Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A white 2023 Maserati Grecale is shown from the front beneath a new car alert banner.

A New Wind Is Blowing – The 2023 Maserati Grecale

These days it seems that you can’t drive a block without passing a half dozen BMW and Mercedes SUVs. Even Porsche is beginning to lose its aura as more and more Macans roll out from Stuttgart. So what do you buy when you want a luxury SUV that stands out from the crowd, but you don’t have the funds for a Lamborghini Urus or Ferrari Purosangue? Well, the new 2023 Maserati Grecale just might be the answer. While this brand-new SUV may be the least expensive Maserati to date (starting at $64,995, the Grecale is downright affordable by Maserati standards), it delivers a level of exclusivity that you won’t find in the mainstream luxury brands.

Named for the cool northeast wind that blows from the Greek islands into the Mediterranean, the Grecale is a breath of fresh air for Maserati in more ways than one. Not only does it make the prestigious Italian brand more accessible to luxury-seekers everywhere by expanding the brand into the booming small SUV segment, but the Grecale will also be the first Maserati to offer a full-electric Folgore (which means “lightning” in Italian) model on top of its mild-hybrid and traditional gasoline versions. The Grecale Folgore won’t arrive until 2024, but the 2023 Grecale has plenty to offer for luxury buyers.

Smaller Than the Levante, With the Heart of the MC20

If there is one thing car manufacturers are realizing, it’s that drivers want both sports-sedan performance and SUV comfort in the same vehicle. The Italians might have been late to the party, but in typical Italian fashion, they are now building some of the most compelling options. Maserati expanded into the SUV segment in 2017 with the midsize Levante, and the new Grecale continues the pattern of building stylish and performance-oriented models. The newest member of the Maserati family will offer a variety of engine options, but the star of the show is the 3.0-liter twin-turbo Nettuno V6 that powers the top-trim Grecale Trofeo.

This magnificent engine was borrowed from Maserati’s new MC20 supercar, although it was detuned down to a “mere” 523 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque to better match the handling characteristics of the small SUV. If you aren’t looking for a family car that can accelerate from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds, then you have two mild-hybrid options to choose from. Don’t worry, though––even the base model features an innovative electric supercharger and 296 horsepower.

A white 2023 Maserati Grecale is shown from the side driving past a city.

Italian Style With a Modern Touch

If there is one thing Italian cars are known for, it’s impeccable style, and the Grecale is a shining example. While BMW and Mercedes are in a race to see how many screens they can stuff inside their cars, Maserati struck an elegant balance between tradition and modernity. While you will find three digital displays in the cockpit (four, if you count the odd, but somewhat charming, digital analog clock mounted at the top of the dash), they are well integrated with overall styling and do not detract from or overwhelm the driving experience.

Driving experience is the name of the game for the Grecale, as it befits any car wearing a trident on its grille. In fact, Maserati even mounted the start/stop button and drive mode selector directly on the flat-bottom steering wheel, just like on the MC20. Add the large alloy paddle shifters and other hard button controls, and you will never need to take your hands from the wheel as you drive. Still, this is an SUV, and you won’t be subjugating your passengers to the sort of discomfort associated with an actual supercar––they can sit back and relax in the hand-stitched leather seats, surrounded by premium materials, while you enjoy the drive.

Trofeo or Folgore? Which Will You Choose

The 2023 Grecale is a successful example of making a luxury brand more accessible without cheapening it. Although the new model is the least expensive in the Maserati lineup, it is every bit a Maserati. From its classic Italian styling to its available Nettuno engine, this new model only accentuates the mystique that surrounds the brand while positioning it to claim market share in a rapidly growing segment. The new Grecale also sets Maserati up for the future with its mild-hybrid powertrains and upcoming Folgore all-electric model. With such distinctive options available, the only question is, which will you choose?