£94,355 - £109,990 Price range
There’s something special about Maseratis, and the GranTurismo perhaps epitomises that – it may not be as racy as a Ferrari, but has class and sleek looks that other car makers would kill for. It’s also a very good car, judging by the high review scores.
For those with a more outgoing personality (or plain old self-confessed show-offs), Maserati makes a convertible version of the GranTurismo, known as the GranCabrio. It’s equally stunning to behold, and the missing roof makes it all the better to hear the sound of those glorious Ferrari-derived engines…
Testers note that, unlike Maserati’s previous GT car, the GranTurismo has enough space for four adults. It’s a well-appointed interior too, with soft leather lining most surfaces and a suitably sporty driving position, giving you a clue as to the car’s intentions. Some drivers do find the seating position a little uncomfortable, and note that the “comfort pack” actually loses a lumbar support option. Build quality is good, and the boot space is reasonable – enough for some Grand Touring, at any rate.
Reviews say that the GranTurismo isn’t perfect. It certainly offers a sporting drive, and the relatively stiff suspension makes for an agile car, but there are a few imperfections.
According to one tester, the ride is perhaps a little too hard, but others claim that the GranTurismo is ideal for a car designed to be capable of covering large distances in comfort. You can even opt for a little more suppleness by specifying the Skyhook magnetic dampers, which have a comfort setting.
Unfortunately several testers find the power steering to be a bit vague, with inconsistent weighting making spirited driving less confidence-inspiring. The same can be said of the brakes, which like the steering are described as “aloof”.
At the top of the range sits the MC Stradale. Thanks to the use of carbon fibre seats, carbon ceramic brakes and lightweight wheels it weighs 110kgs less than the regular car. It also has done away with some of the sound deadening, which does make it feel a little more raw than the standard model, but the trade-off is greater ability in the twisty stuff. All of this has been achieved without harming the ride quality, too.
There are a few engine options here – starting with a 405bhp 4.2-litre V8, rising through a quicker 4.7-litre car, and finishing with the hardcore MC Stradale. The latter is most popular with testers, trading some of the grace of regular models for a track-ready attitude, and a noise to not only wake the dead, but have them knocking on your window at traffic lights asking you to drive a little slower.
The regular cars still have all the speed you’ll ever need, and a glorious V8 soundtrack. They need revving to make the most of, but you won’t mind obliging.
The Stradale model is the performance pick of the range. Thanks to its 453hp output, it will manage the 0-60 sprint in 4.6 seconds, and will make an utterly spectacular noise in the process.
If there’s such a thing as an entry-level Maserati GranTurismo, the 4.2 V8 is it. Not that you’ll really notice, nor care, as under the bonnet is a 405hp, petrol V8 which makes a glorious noise, and has a reasonable turn of pace, too. The 0-60mph sprint takes only 5.2 seconds, and top speed is a handy 177mph. If you care about such things, it gets 19.7mpg combined.
It’s an incredibly charismatic engine, which testers say begs to be revved hard to make the most of the power. That means it’s a little less suited to more sedate driving, with less low-down torque than some rivals. An automatic gearbox is there to make the most of the performance, and it shifts cleanly and swiftly. If you fancy having a bit more control, you can use the paddleshifters on the back of the steering wheel.
Adding to the 4.2 V8’s tally of power doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, and indeed testers comment that the 4.7 V8 still makes an amazing noise, responsive to your right foot and with race car-style popping as you come off the throttle. It also has the option of two gearboxes, compared to the 4.2’s solely-auto option.
On the 4.7, you can specify a robotised manual, or the more relaxing regular auto. The former is quicker and more aggressive, the latter smoother and more relaxing to drive - it's best to try both, to make sure you’re happy with the gearbox.
Though the 4.7 is happy to sing all the way to the red line, drivers also report that it’s more than suitable for cruising along too, important for a GT car. Like the other GranTurismo models the 4.7 is a little flawed, but it’s preferable to the 4.2.
Given that the GranTurismo S was already a very good car, it’s not too surprising that most of the surgery was mostly nip n’ tuck – the styling’s been tweaked, so it now resembles the flagship MC Stradale a tad, there’s a bit more power and the gearboxes have been upgraded. However, don’t go thinking the changes are imperceptible, as all the critics agree that the alterations have made the GranTurismo a noticeably better car.
Praise was especially given to the automatic and semi-auto paddleshift transmissions: the former shifts cogs faster, whilst the latter is still super quick but much less brutal and jerky than before. It’s still not quite as resolved and as well-mannered as the cheaper auto option, but at least it’s now a credible alternative for those who want their GT car to have a bit of a visceral edge.
That said, there are a few issues that have been carried over from the ‘S’. Weighing in at 1.8 tons, it’s quite a porky car, so it’s not quite as fun to drive as rivals such as the more affordable Jaguar XKR, and the ride’s still a bit firm at town speeds. However, the changes transform the Sport into, as one critic put it, ‘the GranTurismo it always should have been’, so this revised Maser is still worthy of your attention if you can afford such a machine.
The MC Stradale shares the 4.7 V8 of the S model, but has an altogether racier disposition. It produces 442bhp, a little more than the standard car, has a menacing idle, and a positively scary note all the way to its 7,500rpm red line, particularly in Race mode. Every test mentions the V8’s noise, so it’s certainly a defining characteristic of the car.
Performance is worth mentioning too. As it’s a fair whack lighter than the regular car, that V8 has less work to do and turns in a 4.2-second 0-60mph time, and top speed rises to 187mph. That performance is accessed via a robotised manual, rather than fully automatic transmission, and in Sport and Race modes you have full control over when it changes gear, unlike some semi-auto systems.
As if to add icing on the cake, all that reduced weight actually makes the Stradale more economical than the regular 4.7 S - go on, you know you want one…
At the Mercedes and Aston Martin level the GranTurismo is pitched, it’s fairly good value – many of its rivals creep over £100,000, but the GT starts at a little over £80k. It’s easy to spend tens of thousands extra on the options list though, so be careful which boxes you tick. Fuel economy is reasonable for a car at this level, at just under 20mpg.
It’s fair to say the GranTurismo is a flawed gem. It might not be as resolutely competent as some rivals, but it’s got character to spare and great looks that you won’t tire of easily. For the right mix of class and aggression, the MC Stradale has to be the model to go for.