Reader test team: Maserati Grecale

Maserati's name graces some of the greatest sports cars ever made, but can it cause a stir in the sports SUV market? Our readers give their verdict...

Maserati Grecale 2022 Reader Test Team opener

Maserati is one of those names that most people have heard of; its history can be traced back for more than a century. Now, with the Maserati Grecale, it wants to make itself even more of a household name by launching a model to compete with the best best sports SUVs on sale.

Due to arrive in showrooms at around the end of the year, the Grecale is a direct rival to the Porsche Macan, and it’s also intended to steal sales from the best large SUVs such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC.

It certainly doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to performance. Even the entry-level GT model manages a swift 5.6sec 0-62mph time, courtesy of a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine with mild hybrid tech for 296bhp without disastrous fuel economy (officially, 32.5mpg is possible). A 325bhp version of the same engine powers the mid-range Modena.

The flagship Trofeo, meanwhile, is armed with a 523bhp V6 – related to that of the MC20 sports car – for a 3.8sec 0-62mph sprint. An all-electric Folgore model is on its way, too. It's all enough to make the bigger Maserati Levante look rather overshadowed, and it might even persuade buyers away from the best luxury SUVs, such as the sportiest BMW X5 models, and the Range Rover Sport.

Of course, in order to succeed, it needs to display the kind of quality and practicality that buyers of premium large SUVs are looking for. With that in mind, we invited a group of readers to deliver their verdicts on a left-hand-drive example well ahead the first customer deliveries taking place. Here’s what they said.

Mark DiCioccio

Maserati Grecale 2022 Mark in front seat

Age 60 Job Managing consultant QA/RA Drives Mercedes-Benz A-Class

“I see the Grecale as a serious Porsche Macan rival. At first glance, I didn’t think its looks could hold a candle to the Macan’s, but once I saw cues such as rear lights that nod towards the ‘boomerangs’ of the 3200GT, I knew the designers cared about it being a real Maserati.

“Inside, I was immediately struck by the twin-screen set-up that controls the infotainment as well as the air conditioning. It doesn’t look intimidating and feels like it’ll be pretty natural to use.”

Maserati Grecale 2022 infotainment detail

“Black interiors can be quite oppressive, but there’s enough of a feeling of space in the Grecale for this not to be an issue. That said, it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like in a lighter colour or with a panoramic roof, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much personalisation is offered.

“Of course, we’ve not been able to get a feel for the Grecale in motion, but the noise it made when it was being moved around bodes well. It sounds really potent for a four-cylinder engine. I like that the four tailpipes are all functional, too. It helps underscore the thought that the Grecale is based on solid engineering, not just cosmetics.”

Maserati Grecale 2022 Henry front end

Age 43 Job Pension manager Drives Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Porsche Macan

“I was interested to see how the Grecale compares with the Porsche Macan, particularly when it comes to fit and finish at the price. Does the Grecale feel like a £65k car? I’d have to say that it does.

“Inside, the materials and textures feel as plush as they should in a Maserati, and it’s suitably driver-focused while looking bang up to date. The driving position feels good and the high centre console lends a cocooning feel. It’s cosseting, too; I imagine you’d be able to set off from Manchester and arrive in London without discomfort.

Maserati Grecale 2022 headlight detail

“The clock on top of the dashboard reminds me of the Macan’s Sport Chrono. It’s nice to see this Maserati signature feature given a contemporary smartwatch makeover. They’ve nailed it outside, too; to my eyes, the hints of MC20 sports car look less contrived on an SUV than the Boxster-inspired style of the Macan.

“The entry-level GT should be all most people need, with the Trofeo as the determined petrolhead’s choice. But it’ll be interesting to see how the electric version fares in an entirely different market for Maserati.”

Verdict 5/5

Rebecca DiCioccio

Maserati Grecale 2022 Rebecca boot interior

Age 27 Job SEO specialist Drives Alfa Romeo Mito

“I think it’s a really pretty machine. I’m a huge fan of the Grecale’s cousin, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, and the Grecale really asserts itself and has its own character. More importantly, it looks like a Maserati, with curves in all the right places, yet it’s actually quite understated.

“It feels like a Maserati inside, too; this is a car that will retain current fans of the brand as well as attracting new ones, both young and mature.

Maserati Grecale 2022 rear seats

“They’ve done a fantastic job on the interior packaging; I think the smaller Alfa Romeo Tonale’s seat goes farther forwards, but the Grecale seems capable of accommodating both extremes of height. Somebody well over six feet tall has plenty of space in the back, even when they’re sitting behind an equally tall driver.

“It does seem expensive next to the Macan, though. And while Maserati has clearly tried to make sure the Grecale is practical, it seems a shame that the boot floor isn’t completely flat when the rear seats are folded down; it means bulky items might not be the easiest to push all the way forward. That’s rather inconvenient in a car that’s obviously going to be marketed towards busy families.”

Verdict 4/5

Philip Hollis

Maserati Grecale 2022 Philip at tailgate

Age 64 Job Retired Drives Mercedes-Benz GLC

“The infotainment screen looks excellent and I found its menus easy to navigate; I entered a postcode and it came up pretty quickly. I was extremely impressed by the sound system. I can’t say that it the Sonus Faber branding makes much difference to me, but it does sound good.

“I’m really not sure about having buttons for the gear selector. I prefer the column stalk of my GLC, but I suppose you’d get used to buttons after a while.

“The boot is a decent size, although it looks a bit narrow for a set of golf clubs. I’m pleased the car can tow, though; the 2.0-litre models’ 2300kg limit is decent, and the V6 can pull even more.

Maserati Grecale 2022 Gesturing at grille

“I reckon the 2.0-litre GT  would be a sensible choice; the acceleration time seems plenty. I don’t think I’d need the V6; where can you go to get the most out of that kind of car these days?

“For me, the residual values are the biggest thing, and Maserati doesn’t have the best record in this regard; the Grecale needs to hold onto its value in order to compete on PCP finance or leasing. If it proves a good car
and word gets around, it could set the brand on the right path.”

Verdict 4/5

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