AS LONG-TIME TEST DRIVERS, THE OHLALA TEAM ARE ALWAYS HAPPY TO GET BEHIND THE WHEEL OF A HIGH-PERFORMANCE VEHICLE, ESPECIALLY WHEN THAT VEHICLE IS A MASERATI.
Who wouldn’t want to spend the day in a Maserati? This month, OHLALA got to do exactly that thanks to the great team at Maserati Qatar, who handed us the ‘keys’ to the 2023 Grecale. Needless to say, we were super excited to get our hands on this high-end machine.
Named after a North Easterly Mediterranean wind, the Grecale is certainly a breath of fresh air. The moment we laid eyes on the vehicle, we knew we were taking in something rather special.
At the front end of this striking SUV sits a low and imposing grille, complete with brushed chrome inserts and a large Trident emblem. This flawlessly designed feature, along with the perfectly sculpted bonnet and contemporary LED headlights, combine to create an aggressive-looking front end that seems to stare you down, daring you to try and tame it.
We appreciated the seamless transition between the front and the sides, where elegant yet sporty curves and lines create a visually pleasing surface. Body-coloured side-skirts and 20-inch alloy wheels further add to the classy nature of the exterior as do the flush-to-the-body door handles.
The trapezoidal dimensions of the vehicle are evident at the rear end, where boomerang taillights – inspired by the Giugiaro 3200 – integrate flawlessly with the uniquely crafted lip spoiler. The body-coloured bumpers at both front and rear contribute toward the SUV’s upmarket appearance, while the twin dual exhaust system, sitting under the diffuser, provides a subtle reminder of the Grecale’s on-road intentions.
The refined yet sporty feel of the exterior is skilfully complemented by the mastery of the interior design. The cabin of the Grecale exudes a sense of sophistication and elegance and is peppered with high-tech flourishes.
Only the best materials have been used throughout, including Open Pore Wood and premium leather. The cabin also features beautiful trimmings such as the burnished inserts on the centre console and door panels. The button on the door rather than conventional door handles facilitates easy exit – every detail has a purpose.
The spacious nature of the Grecale provides comfortable seating for up to five occupants, while the cargo area provides 20cu/ft of storage space. This capacity can be greatly increased when the power-folding rear seating is laid flat, accomplished by the simple push of a button in the boot. A flat load floor is located underneath these rear seats, providing yet another storage option.
“The refined yet sporty feel of the exterior is skilfully complemented by the mastery of the interior design.”
TECHNOLOGY & INFOTAINMENT
The 2023 Grecale features the latest Maserati Intelligent Assistant (MIA) multimedia system, operated through a 12.3-inch screen or voice control.
This is the largest screen ever fitted in a Maserati and boasts a resolution of 15 million pixels in Ultra HD. An 8.8-inch screen has also been included in the setup and is used to access various additional vehicle controls. The MIA is powered by the Android Auto operating system, which we found to be impressive in terms of response speed and overall operating performance. The system also allows two smartphones to connect at once via Bluetooth and is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Noteworthy optional extras include a state-of-the-art head-up display, three-zone climate control and a Sonus Faber 3D sound system with up to 21 speakers.
The key, which is actually a very funky show-off wristband, is a standard feature with the Grecale, allowing for easy access and engine start.
POWER & PERFORMANCE
Our favourite moment of the day was firing up the Grecale 2.0-litre turbocharged, mild-hybrid engine. Not only does the engine have the sweet Maserati sound to it, but the SUV’s potent powertrain can deliver up to 300hp (220kW) and 450Nm of torque. The Maserati Grecale also comes with two other engines, the Modena with a 330hp and the Trofeo with the Nettuno engine, giving you 530hp.
This beauty of a four-wheel drive offers three driving modes including Comfort, GT and Sport. Its versatile and capable performance ensures it’s as comfortable on the road as it is in the rough.
We found the combination of these driving modes and the optional air suspension system to be sublime, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time negotiating the roadways of the country.
Furthermore, Maserati has included a full suite of safety and driver assistance systems, ensuring the well-being of all occupants.
In the Grecale, Maserati has created a practical SUV that is amongst the very best in the luxury segment. Not only does it exhibit a near flawless design, it also delivers a capable performance and houses an impressive list of desirable technical features.