Getting behind the wheel of the new Maserati Grecale Trofeo SUV

By Tracey Thomas

Making its debut in 2023 as the newest Maserati to rule the road, the Grecale was named after the strong, cool, Mediterranean wind, grecale, translated as “Greek wind,” symbolically suggesting what’s in store when you get behind the wheel.

As a die-hard car enthusiast, I was thrilled when I was invited to drive the 2024 top-of-the line Trofeo model for a week made wonderful this winter, becoming an ardent believer in that undeniable Maserati magic along the way.

Admittedly I felt a little bit anxious about driving a spanking new $110,000+ ultra-luxury car on the busy roads of Connecticut’s gold coast. It was only a fleeting feeling, however, because it was quickly revved up by a rush of excitement that didn’t let up for weeks. Imagine a family-sized SUV built to comfortably bring along the kids or a friend or two, roomy enough to hold all of their gear and yours, tough enough to tackle all manner of terrain with all-wheel drive, and sleek enough to maneuver effortlessly through everyday traffic in town or on the thruway – with the heart of a speed-worthy sports car tucked under its hood. The Grecale Trofeo is all that and more.

The interior alone is a heady experience with an elegant design and high-tech flourishes. For one thing, the seats literally hug you when you sit down, a nod to the traditional “welcomes” you are greeted with in Italy where the Maserati was born. Maseratis are also ingeniously designed to move with your every command at the simple push of a button. The seats in my new Maserati were a vision of plush red leather with the same double stitching that was carried through to the saddle-style dashboard, along with polished wood and 3-d carbon fiber roping on the doors that was also polished in places to gleam with just the right amount of glamour.

The steering wheel was hands-down a work of art, guiding my ride with unexpected precision and automatically keeping the car inside the lanes. It also intuitively read my mood, enabling me to switch from the cloud-like comfort zone to an off-road experience easily and seamlessly, and gave me the option to shift from automatic to manual gears using paddles that are mounted on the steering column and great fun to operate. What sports car lover doesn’t long to drive a stick shift? I absolutely love this feature.

The infotainment center on the car’s dashboard was outstanding and steeped in touch-screen modern technology that can take some getting used to. Every model comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; a Wi-Fi hotspot is available with a subscription. It also works with voice-command services like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and the entire audio system can be upgraded to a 21-speaker, 1285-watt Sonus Faber stereo. Operating it requires a learning curve, but it really is the only thing on this car that does.

Featuring an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, the Grecale Trofeo comes standard with a host of driver-assistance features, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and an intersection collision-avoidance system. I confidently drove it up and down the Connecticut coast, flying down the highway as if powered by the wind it is named for, meandering along shoreline communities on winding lanes and marveling at the incredible way it handled them, smooth as butter. I drove it through slow-moving traffic and small towns with stop lights that gave my fellow drivers time to stop and drool at the wheels I was in. Notwithstanding its good looks and the distinctive matte gray finish of the car I drove (it comes in eight different colors), this powerhouse of an SUV runs with a 253 horsepower 3.0L twin turbo V6 engine that takes off like a rocket, going from zero to 80 before you know it, (0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds)!

When you think of a Maserati, what comes to mind? Most of us think of speed, performance and luxury. The Grecale Trofeo SUV fits right into those categories, but goes the extra mile by doing double duty as a sports car and a sophisticated everyday utility vehicle perfect for just about every age and generation. I am one of those women who loves to drive and grew up racing around town in little high-performance sports cars, the faster and sexier the better. As the publisher of Venü, today you will find me out on the road, driving all over with stacks of magazines piled up in the back of my own SUV with colleagues and clients often coming along for the ride. Driving the Maserati Grecale Trofeo brought me back to the carefree, open road days of my youth, while providing me with the luxury of ample room, elegant style and safety features that ensured my peace of mind in all driving conditions. It was an exceptional ride that fits the bill for all the ways I like to drive.

Ladies listen up — best of all, the head-turning attention I received while I was at the wheel made me feel awesome and sexy as the car, recapturing memories and feelings from idyllic days past that happily enhanced the entire experience. I can’t wait to test drive one of these magical Maseratis again.

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