Skip to main content

I am not a fan of high-performance SUVs. I just didn’t believe there was actually a way to blend the sporty and fun performance of a sports car with the bulky and practical SUV form factor. However, after some time behind the wheel of the Maserati Grecale Trofeo, I can safely say that my mind has been changed. The Grecale, though, seems a bit special. Sure, it looks like an SUV and has all the practical features of one, but it feels like a genuine Maserati performance car. That’s because it is.

Astonishing handling and breathtaking sound

Never in my life did I think I’d be behind the wheel of an SUV and on the hunt for a windy road. Yet, that’s exactly the position I found myself in behind the wheel of the Grecale Trofeo. From the moment I first drove it, I could tell it was more than just an SUV. The Trofeo, being the highest-performance trim, has sporty suspension, a responsive and aggressive transmission, and a 523 horsepower twin-turbocharged V6 powerplant that it shares with the almighty MC20.

That engine is absolutely visceral. I’m convinced that Maserati could take a standard lawnmower and make it sound like a supercar. Sure, it’s “just” a V6, but the above video will show you just how angry this thing sounds. Even with the stock exhaust, the Maserati Grecale Trofeo is a screaming, crackling, and downright evil-sounding monster. It plants you in your seat like you’d never expect an SUV to, and the satisfaction of the paddle-shift-actuated downshifts is impossible to relay through text. It really is that good.

Now, back to that windy road. The Grecale Trofeo isn’t exactly a massive SUV, but it is an SUV. So, taking it on a tight and winding mountain road may seem like a bad idea. It isn’t. The Grecale Trofeo puts all 523 of its horsepower down through an all-wheel drive system and a set of Bridgestone Potenza Sport tires, and it puts it down well. The Grecale Trofeo is downright nimble, agile, and unbelievably predictable through cornering.

Can the Maserati Grecale Trofeo go Off-Road?

You bet! I was extremely hesitant to take this thing off the pavement at first. It is, after all, a Maserati. However, being that it’s an SUV and has an off-road driving mode, it felt like the duty of my job description to get it a little dirty.

Obviously, you wouldn’t take the Maserati Grecale on a rock-crawling or hefty off-roading course. You can, however, very easily take it on your average dirt road to a campground, lake, or cabin. With 7.9 inches of ground clearance, it’s only about three-quarters of an inch shy of a Ford Explorer’s ground clearance.

Of course, the performance tires on the Trofeo are not exactly ideal for an off-road scenario. However, in my light off-road testing, I put the Grecale on some relatively steep angles and drove slowly in an attempt to get the tires to spin in the dirt. To my surprise, they didn’t. The all-wheel drive system and locking rear differential (yes, it has a locking diff for off-road mode) handled it just fine.

Overall, I only went into this drive with any form of excitement because the Grecale Trofeo is a Maserati. Being a lifelong sports car enthusiast and a massive MC20 fan, I was simply excited to be interacting with a car from the triple-trident. Coming out of the experience, though, I am a believer. The Maserati Grecale Trofeo is a purebred Maserati performance car; it just happens to come with the practicalities of an SUV.

So, go ahead. Take it to the track and drive it into the wilderness to wind down. It’ll take it!