Maserati Grecale GT 2023 UK first drive

The GT clearly doesn’t need the optional air suspension, nor even adaptive damping, to feel quite limber and spry in its ride and handling. We tested it on optional 20in wheels, but otherwise a standard rolling chassis specification. It had an isolated and quite sophisticated ride, with a convincing underlying plushness about it, although it shunned overt softness in its body control. It instead maintained a sense of taut control at most speeds, only becoming a little bouncy and underdamped at higher speeds, when bigger bumps presented. The adaptively damped steel-coil suspension might well mitigate that ultimate sense of rebounding excitability, but I would be careful to do so in tandem with moderately sized wheels, in order to maintain that fairly plush secondary ride.

The handling is well-balanced and neat for a car of this size and weight – just as you would expect of a car on Alfa’s expensive platform. Although the steering is big on assistance and a muted in feel, especially around centre, it commands a crisp and linear turn-in from the chassis, which resists roll well and has a good appetite for corners. 

So there’s certainly some handling dynamism to be enjoyed here, if less appetite for outright speed. Although Maserati has clearly done what it can with this engine, it’s just an engine, when all is said and done: responsive enough, with decent drivability and refinement and respectable outright performance but little charm or sporting appeal. It doesn’t have the vocal presence or drama you might expect of a Maserati, although it does a passable job if you don’t expect fireworks. And plenty ought to be happy to go without those in a lower-end derivative of a luxury SUV that serves other priorities – and many of them quite well. 

If you want speed and excitement, look elsewhere – and, counting the forthcoming electric Grecale Folgore as well as the other Grecale versions, there will be plenty of places to look. But if you just want something plush, luxurious and a bit different, this introductory model certainly has its lures.

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