If 10 years ago I had told you I was going to test a Maserati 4×4 that had only four cylinders yet, including options, cost £84,000, what would you have thought? But here we are.
And, well, it’s pretty good. I’d heard indifferent things about the ride, but on 21in wheels (20s are standard) with 40-profile tyres, it feels pretty good to me – controlled and relatively firm but never harsh or crashy, even now, when potholes have been opened by frost but not yet fixed. You want to steer around bigger ones, but it’s pliant enough.
It’s sufficiently refined, too. I’d need a back-to-back with a Macan to know for sure, but Porsche does intentionally allow more road noise inside than some rivals. The Grecale is relatively muted, although that might not be a bad thing, given that its engine has gravelly undertones.
There’s little problem with its delivery, though, which, being augmented by a mild-hybrid system at low speeds, has a broad delivery. Peak torque of 332lb ft arrives at 2000rpm and stays until 5000rpm, then peak power at 5750rpm, so it isn’t a traditional high-revving exotic Italian powerplant. Which is probably a shame but also probably in keeping with how it will be used.
Dynamics engineers often say their favourite variant of a car is the lightest one, and the Modena carries around 50kg less than the Trofeo. It’s not loads (the 3.0-litre V6 lacks a mild-hybrid system), but the biggest difference will be in the nose. And for a 1.9-tonne, 1.67m tall car, the Modena is respectably agile.