Ferrari 458 Italia review

Our Rating: 
5
5.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

Twice voted the Auto Express Performance Car of the Year, the Ferrari 458 Italia is one of finest sports cars around

For: 
Sensational looks, stunning performance, wonderful handling
Against: 
Slightly complicated cabin, costly options

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The stunning Ferrari 458 Italia is the benchmark against which all supercars are measured. Powered by a high-revving 562bhp 4.5-litre V8 engine, the beautifully detailed 458 features gorgeous aerodynamically optimised styling, while inside you get a Formula One-inspired steering wheel and a high-class cabin. The seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox changes gear in the blink of an eye, while the standard ceramic brakes deliver astonishing stopping power. Performance is eye watering, while the handling is hugely engaging.

Our choice: Ferrari 458 Italia

Styling

4.9

Penned by Italian styling house Pininfarina, few cars deliver more visual impact than the Ferrari 458 Italia. Looking every inch an exotic supercar, its tightly wrapped bodywork sees the functional aerodynamic and cooling elements beautifully incorporated into the design. The aggressive nose, slender headlights, taut profile and stunning rear end all look sensational. Inside, the cabin provides the exotic, performance-oriented feel you'd expect of a Ferrari.

Driving

4.9

Fast and packed with character, the Ferrari 458 Italia impresses on road and track in equal measure, and driving it is a sensory experience like no other. The aural treat of the sensational V8 engine is glorious; acceleration has to be experienced to be believed, while the controls stream with feedback. The steering is fast and accurate, grip levels astonishing. Using the Manettino dial on the wheel, you can tailor the throttle, gearshift, stability control and dampers so whatever speed you’re driving at, the 458 is hugely engaging.

Reliability

4.5

The Ferrari’s robust build quality and Formula One-inspired technology mean it feels exceptionally well engineered. Plus, in the UK you get a four-year warranty. Solid and beautifully finished, the 458 Italia gets side airbags, while the E-Diff and adjustable stability control ensure it feels reassuring in all conditions, and can be tailored to the driver’s ability level at the touch of a button.

Practicality

3.5

Unlike supercars of old the 458 Italia is surprisingly easy to live with in the real world. The adaptive dampers deliver a reasonably compliant ride, while the supportive and comfortable seats are great on long journeys. There’s a small but deep boot in the nose and a useful luggage shelf behind the seats. Ferrari sells custom-made luggage kits to fit both, and there’s a huge range of personalisation, with most customers specifying several thousand pounds worth of bespoke trim and detailing.

Running Costs

3.5

The Ferrari 458 Italia is clearly a very expensive car, but running costs are helped by seven years of free servicing. The Ferrari Genuine Maintenance programme is included in the car's list price and covers all standard maintenance items. With 12,500-mile service intervals, there's no mileage restriction and the deal is transferable when the car is sold. To reduce emissions and improve fuel consumption, Ferrari’s HELE High Emotion Low Emission stop-start system is an option on the 458.

Last updated: 5 May, 2012

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