Maserati Grecale Trofeo: The Ultimate Mid-Size SUV
Maserati has made a comeback in the market with the launch of the Grecale mid-size SUV earlier this year. Although the brand never really left, it has been a while since Maserati introduced a new mass-produced model. The Grecale is a significant vehicle for Maserati as it enters a highly competitive segment, challenging the Porsche Macan, Mercedes-Benz GLC, Audi Q5, and BMW X3. While the majority of sales will consist of the two mild hybrid models – GT and Modena – the real standout is the Trofeo.
The Trofeo variant of the Grecale is powered by the impressive Nettuno V6 engine, a 3.0-liter twin-turbo powerhouse that has been borrowed from the MC20 supercar. Though detuned to produce a still-impressive 389kW/620Nm, the Trofeo retains the remarkable F1-derived pre-chamber ignition. Paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, the Trofeo accelerates like a rocket. It boasts a 0-100kph time of just 3.8 seconds, and its performance capabilities far exceed legal limits.
The transmission in the Trofeo, a ZF-sourced eight-speeder found in many other high-performance vehicles, delivers exhilarating gear shifts, especially in the aggressive Corsa mode. In this mode, the exhaust is tuned to its maximum loudness, resulting in a thrilling sound. Although not as raucous as a V8, the twin-turbo V6 engine produces an incredible soundtrack.
Despite its weight of nearly 1900kg, the Grecale Trofeo manages to maintain excellent handling prowess. The standard air suspension system and fully active chassis keep the SUV stable and poised, particularly in Corsa mode. Additionally, the steering is responsive and provides clear feedback. In the Trofeo’s raciest drive mode, the all-wheel drive system becomes more rear-biased, further enhancing its dynamic performance.
In terms of competition, the Grecale Trofeo outshines its rivals. While it has been a while since we’ve had a Macan in the office for comparison, I believe the Maserati surpasses the other German offerings in this segment. The Trofeo is undeniably impressive and sets itself apart from the competition.
However, if you prefer a more comfortable driving experience, you can switch to the Comfort or GT mode, where the SUV settles down and becomes more relaxed. This mode is ideal for urban driving, providing a quiet and easygoing experience.
Inside the Grecale, Maserati has made significant improvements compared to its previous models. The cabin exudes a luxurious feel, thanks to the presence of four screens, including a digital clock. While I would personally prefer physical controls for the air-conditioning and a volume knob, the secondary screen performs well and is user-friendly.
The gearbox selection buttons may not be to everyone’s liking, but the paddle shifters offer a convenient alternative for switching between reverse and drive. The standard sports seats provide good support without sacrificing comfort, keeping in mind that the Grecale is, after all, an SUV. The extensive leather upholstery adds to the overall comfort of the interior. Additionally, the SUV is equipped with a high-quality Sonus Faber audio system, carbon fiber accents, and a spacious boot with a capacity of 570 liters.
The exterior design of the Grecale is captivating, especially the front end with its massive concave grille divided by the iconic trident logo and vertically oriented headlights inspired by the MC20. The rear end, while less distinctive, still works well, featuring boomerang-shaped taillights reminiscent of the 3200 GT.
One aspect to consider is the fuel consumption of the Trofeo. Despite its relatively small three-liter engine displacement, the Trofeo drinks a fair amount of fuel. Maserati claims an average consumption of 11.2L/100km, but real-world driving resulted in mid-14s consumption for me, particularly when engaging the engine in Corsa mode.
If fuel efficiency is a priority for you, Maserati also offers the GT and Modena models. These mild-hybrid four-cylinder variants produce 220kW/450Nm and 242kW/450Nm respectively, with significantly lower fuel consumption.
Alternatively, if you can wait a bit longer, Maserati intends to release an all-electric version of the Grecale called the Folgore. This electric SUV will boast an impressive 410kW/820Nm and a 105kWh battery, providing a range of over 500km. However, expect the Folgore to come with a hefty price tag.
In terms of value for money, it’s difficult to say for certain without comparing the Trofeo to its direct competitor, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 63. However, from my experience, I believe the Maserati takes the lead. While the top-spec Porsche Macan GTS comes at a lower price point than the Trofeo, it offers less power and features an older package. The BMW X3 M40i, priced lower than both rivals, fails to match the Trofeo’s level of performance.
The Maserati Grecale Trofeo is an exceptional SUV that delivers outstanding driving dynamics, luxurious comfort, and striking design. Although it may have its minor drawbacks, such as fuel consumption, the Trofeo offers a truly unparalleled driving experience. So, if you’re in the market for a mid-size SUV that stands out from the crowd, consider the Grecale Trofeo – it won’t disappoint.