£74,265 - £96,270 Price range
29 - 45 MPG
More than 24,000 Maserati Quattroportes have been sold worldwide since the current model arrived in showrooms back in 2013 – not bad for what will always be a left-field choice.
German saloons dominate the luxury class, but neither the Mercedes S-Class or BMW 7 Series can compete with the Maserati’s combination of gorgeous looks and a sporty drive. The Aston Martin Rapide S is a car that can – but will cost you nearly twice as much in the process. Go figure that…
A mid-life facelift brings to the Maserati revised exterior looks (a new grille and matt-black trims), a bigger infotainment screen and a suite of new safety systems.
Engines remain the same – you can choose from a 3.0-litre diesel, or V6 3.0-litre and range-topping V8 3.8-litre petrols. Thanks to revised aerodynamics (an automatic air shutter that cuts drag) the V8 now boasts a dizzying top speed of 193mph.
Buyers can choose between two new trims – GranLusso and GranSport. GranLusso’s for those after a luxury look, with Ermenegildo Zegna Edition (silk) upholstery and restrained 20-inch alloy wheels. GranSport targets sporty types dazzled by huge 21-inch alloy wheels and an interior featuring sports seats, a sports steering wheel and Piano Black wood trim.
If the Maserati’s exterior hadn’t given the game away that this is an entirely different saloon to a Mercedes or BMW, then its interior certainly will do.
It can’t hope to offer the space offered by either of the bulky Germans, but then the Maserati’s cocoon-like driving position and expensive-feeling three-spoke sports steering wheel makes it special. You also get nice touches such as the firm’s iconic centre clock and GranLusso models’ silk-like upholstery.
The new 8.4-inch infotainment system, meanwhile, has sharp graphics and is operated via a rotary control between the two front seats that anyone used to a BMW iDrive system will take to easily.
Interior space has been sacrificed somewhat for those effortlessly good looks, but the Maserati isn’t cramped. Up front there’s space for tall adults, but attempt to put someone of a similar stature in the back and you’ll notice it loses ground to the Germans. Still it claws a little back thanks to its comfortable seats, plus double-glazed windows and ‘cavity’ sound deadening that make for an extremely quiet interior.
What’s more the boot is bigger than you might think, with 530 litres to play with it’s more spacious than a BMW 7 Series’ load bay (515 litres) and larger than the one you’ll find in a S-Class (510 litres).
The Maserati Quattroporte has always been a luxury saloon that dialled back comfort in the name of a fun drive, but this model makes pushes harder towards being cosseting than ever before.
All models come with Maserati’s electronically controlled Skyhook suspension. Set to Normal it offers a better ride than any Quattroporte that’s come before it, but not one that’s as comfortable as in rivals. Sport offers the reverse problem, it makes the car noticeably firmer but not enough for truly gung-ho driving. The result is that the Quattroporte sits in a no-mans land – too stiff to rival the comfort of a German saloon, but not stiff enough to be as fun or engaging as the model it replaced in 2013.
The steering also falls wide of the mark. It remains hydraulic rather than electrically assisted (a rarity these days), but doesn’t live up to the promise that might bring – feeling slow to react at high speeds and giving too much feedback through the wheel on poor surfaces.
That’s confounded by a V8 engine that sounds normal, in a way something developed by Ferrari never should.
Gear changes come via an eight-speed conventional automatic, which shifts up and down smoothly, but can feel hesitant at low speeds. Expensive-feeling steering-wheel mounted metal paddles mean you can change without having to take your hands off the steering wheel and the box will hold onto gears at the redline just like a race car’s would.
All the engines in the Quattroporte offer impressive performance, but it’s the diesel that is likely to be the most popular because it blends its powerful turn of speed with decent fuel economy. Purists will go for the petrol V8, which makes the Quattroporte one of the fastest saloons ever built.
Maserati Quattroporte diesel engine
While most manufacturers will charge you more to fit a diesel, in the Quattroporte it is the cheapest model in the range. It’s also the slowest, but its 271hp lends it a turn of pace deserving of the Maserati badge – getting from 0-62mph in just 6.4 seconds. Its 443Ib ft of torque (available from just 2,000rpm) means it also has real-word get up and go that will keep the petrol models honest. Of course it smashes them for fuel economy, returning 46mpg – around 15mpg better than the basic petrol – and costing a reasonable £180 to tax every year.
Maserati Quattroporte petrol engines
If you’re going to buy a Maserati, though, a petrol engine fits the sporty brief quite a lot better. The range starts with a zingy 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged unit. It produces 404hp and 406Ib ft of torque with raspy enthusiasm – getting the car from 0-62mph in a delightfully zippy 5.1 seconds, while enthusiastically slurping fuel at a rate of 29.4mpg and producing 223g/km CO2 emissions for road tax of £295 a year.
Could be worse, though – the twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 costs £500 to tax and gobbles fuel at a rate of 26.4mpg. It has the strongest performance here, though, sweeping from a standstill to 62mph in just 4.7 seconds and not running out of puff until an almighty 193mph. We just wish it sounded more like a V8 with Ferrari pedigree.
It’s powerful, developing 424bhp, which is enough to push the Maserati (which is no lightweight) to 62mph in 5.4 seconds. If you keep the throttle buried you’ll eventually run out of puff, but only when the speedometer is reading 174mph.
It’s not all high-rev howling and bellowing though; if you tickle the throttle the S is refined and flexible and surprisingly torquey, making cruising and city driving just as easy.
You won’t be impressed with the economy, however. Maserati suggest that it’ll do 18mpg, but we suspect that the real figure will be much lower than that, thanks to the beguiling nature of that big V8…
No, you won’t notice the changes that they’ve made to the engine – but you will notice what they’ve done to the suspension!
They dropped it all-round, and changed the dampers from fancy Skyhook adaptive ones to perfectly judged single-rate jobbies, and according to the experts, the Sport GT S is even more amazing at going round corners than the standard car.
The 400bhp 4.2-litre V8 petrol engine is powerful enough to swish the big Maserati (it is more than 5 metres long) to a top speed of 170mph after passing 62mph in just 5.6 seconds, both of which are very impressive figures. It’s not just what it does though – it is the way that it does it, in an angry bellow of Italian fury that is utterly addictive.
The V8 is fitted with Maserati’s ‘Skyhook’ suspension system, which does exactly what you would think; gives impossibly high levels of grip and superb handling, whilst allowing the driver to know exactly what the four tyres are doing. It is a bit firm for town-work, though.
The Maserati might be a popular car in Maserati terms, but it doesn’t sell in the volumes needed for Euro NCAP to justify testing its safety. That said, Maserati’s smaller saloon – the Ghibli – does and it secured a five-star rating in 2013. What’s for sure is that this model is the safest Quattroporte yet, sporting equipment never before available on the model – including a blind-spot monitoring system, adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking, a lane departure warning system and a 360-degree parking camera.
This latest version of the Quattroporte has taken a noticeable swing towards the comfort of its rivals and lost a little bit of the old car’s character in the process. Nevertheless, it’s still bound to appeal to people looking for something different from the default German options, and to those buyers the Quattroporte’s mix of thoroughbred looks and strong performance are sure to remain appealing.
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