Maserati Grecale review – ride and handling
The Grecale lacks the duality of rivals like the F-Pace SVR; it’s neither as indulgent nor as comfortable
There's a disjointed, slightly undercooked feel to the Grecale on first acquaintance. Its four-cylinder engine has a hint of diesel-like grumble at low revs, the steering feels lifeless and springy in its weighting and the body bobs and shimmies on its springs over bumps. The Grecale lacks the deftness and precision of a Porsche Macan, and the cushioned yet surefooted feel of a Jaguar F-Pace.
Higher speeds reveal a tendency to follow ruts and imperfections too – even changing lanes and driving over cats eyes disturbs the Grecale's line. Bear in mind, this is in what should be the most relaxed Comfort mode, which softens the dampers, dulls the engine response and brings lighter steering.
The adaptive dampers can be firmed up either by switching to Sport mode or pressing a dedicated damper button on the steering wheel, but doing so introduces a choppiness that'll have you softening them off again on anything but very smooth roads. Instead, the Grecale is at its best in GT mode, which marries softer damping with a more lively calibration for the engine and gearbox (in Sport mode, the throttle response becomes overly bright and harder to modulate).
So configured, the Grecale is quick across the ground and can withstand high cornering loads, but there are scrappy edges to the dynamics when you reach the outer limits. Carry speed into a corner and there’s some pitch and roll to manage, and it almost feels like a front-wheel drive car in how the front wheels scrabble for purchase and corrupt the steering under full power on the way out.
The Trofeo also lacks the poise and adjustability of our favourite hot SUV in this type, the F-Pace SVR. The air springs allow more body movement than the aforementioned, and it can take a leap of faith to push further and explore the Grecale’s capabilities. When you do there’s inherent stability in the chassis, the initial front-end push settling to a secure balance that allows you to lean harder.
The rear e-diff comes into play with further commitment, yet where the Jaguar feels malleable, transparent and throttle adjustable despite its size, the Grecale isn’t as indulgent. It also lacks the F-Pace’s polished ride quality and GT appeal.