’m not a fan of sports activities utilities, so shouldn’t have favored the Maserati Grecale, nevertheless it received me over.
My objections to aren’t totally rational. A few of these vehicles are massive, bloated, make poor use of their dimension and have a chest-thumping picture that may appear puerile.
Styling-wise the Grecale isn’t a shrinking violet. Its physique has bulging flanks, its grill and headlamps make a ‘face’ with a snarly side, however this form of factor is what a variety of its buyer base desires, and the top end result exudes chunky handsomeness that avoids the outright vulgarity of some sports activities utilities.
It’s promoting right into a crowded market, competing with the Porsche Macan, BMW X4, Mercedes GLC and a few of the costlier variations of the Alfa-Romeo Stelvio. It vaguely resembles the latter, which is much less stunning while you uncover that each vehicles make use of variations of the identical sub construction.
Inside, the Grecale failed to satisfy my adverse expectations, by being very roomy. The 535-litre baggage deck is a giant uncluttered house, and the rear of the automotive gives very comfy lodging for a pair of adults, with respectable quantities of head, shoulder and leg room.
A 3rd would really feel cosy however in any other case OK. The again seats are nicely formed and really comfy. The entrance pair are equally commodious.
The leather-lined inside has the stylistic vibe of a bit of designer baggage, is an train in tactile plushness, and has some enjoyable design particulars, together with spherical push buttons to open the doorways. The whole lot felt very nicely screwed collectively too.
On the centre of the sprint a pair of huge contact screens are stacked one above the opposite, with the underside one working elements corresponding to heating and air flow. As is the best way of such programs there are quite a few features, and though issues are laid out logically, and familiarity would quickly have you ever navigating your method confidently, on the transfer the quantity of finger stabbing required generally is a distraction.
The entry-level GT and plusher Modena derivatives have been on supply for road-testing. Each have road-friendly four-wheel-drive and are powered by a turbocharged, 2.0 litre petrol engine in numerous states of tune.
They’re aided by gentle hybrid electrical motors whose batteries are saved below the boot flooring. There’s additionally a rip-snorting 3.0 V6 Trofeo vary topper, which is eye-wateringly fast and can price you six figures.
Again within the comparatively actual world of the £58k GT, its electrical hybrid bits are primarily there to offer the engine some immediate accelerative heft whereas the turbocharger winds itself up. The automotive feels swift, though there’s generally a short pause because it gathers its skirts.
The Grecale has an eight-speed, self-shifting transmission which switches ratios with seamless precision. This may also be managed by a pair of boomerang-sized steering wheel paddles, the rationale for whose big dimension is a thriller.
More often than not the engine is easy and pleasingly muted, however it is going to bark and cackle when pushed arduous.
My publicity to the automotive was on commuter-spattered public roads in Surrey, so I wasn’t in a position to stretch the Grecale’s dynamics, and subsequently can’t touch upon what distinction altering the suspension settings has on the best way it rides and handles corners, however for such an upright, hefty car the velocity and accuracy with which it steered was spectacular.
Should you might discover an open, uncluttered highway, the Grecale can be an entertaining companion.
There have been loads of potholes for the automotive’s meaty low-profile tyres to thunk their method via, and its driving qualities might be described as agency however comfy. On fast-moving A-roads and motorways, it was easy and really civilised, with tyre roar and wind noise decently supressed.
The world most likely doesn’t want one other massive, highly effective sports activities utility dripping with package however this one does have a little bit of charisma and is a pleasant method of getting about. I didn’t totally approve of it, however I loved it simply the identical.