Maserati Ghibli vs Jaguar XF

Maserati Ghibli vs Jaguar XF
Credits: Otis Clay
14 Apr, 2014 11:47am

We see if new Maserati Ghibli saloon is worthy of the hallowed badge, as it battles capable Jaguar XF

Maserati is celebrating its centenary in 2014, and bosses have big plans for the famous brand. Under the guidance of parent company Fiat, Maserati is expanding its model range, beginning with a stylish new saloon. And as a statement of intent, this car has been given one of the most evocative names from Maserati’s history books: Ghibli.

While the original Ghibli of the sixties was a grand tourer to rival supercars like the Ferrari Daytona, the new model is designed to take on the best high-end executive saloons, and it slots into the range below the Quattroporte limo. It shares its underpinnings with the Quattroporte, although some Maserati fans may be upset that the entry point to the range – which we test here – is powered by a V6 twin-turbodiesel engine.

Maserati Ghibli review

Jaguar XF review

However, diesel power is absolutely essential if the Ghibli wants to steal sales from established rivals in this market. To find out how this newcomer performs, we’ve lined up a hugely talented rival in the shape of the Jaguar XF. Even though the British saloon is getting on a bit, in high-power Diesel S guise it matches the Ghibli for power and torque. Our two test cars aren’t far apart on economy and emissions, either.

So can the fiery new Maserati make an impact? Or will the Jaguar come out on top in this clash of luxury sports saloons?

Hit the links above to read each review and then read on for our road test verdict.

Head-to-head

Running costs

These cars justify their high prices with their long lists of standard kit, while everyday costs are similar.

The Maserati emits 158g/km of CO2, with the Jaguar emitting just 1g/km more, so both models sit in road tax Band G, and company car costs are within a few pounds.

During its time on test, the Ghibli was nearly 3mpg more efficient, returning 29.3mpg in our hands – this backed up Maserati’s slightly better claimed figures.

Gearboxes

Both cars get eight-speed autos from German company ZF, but the Jag’s is smoother, and the rotary gear selector is more intuitive than the Maserati’s trigger lever.

Still, the Ghibli’s £245 optional aluminium shift paddles (above) are great to use, and suit the car’s sporty character perfectly.

Styling

Looks are always subjective, but we think the Maserati is far more distinctive than the Jag, thanks to its low-slung nose and angular lights. It’s more sports car than saloon – although the rounded rear end isn’t quite as stylish.

Verdict

1st place: Jaguar XF

It’s been around for a while now, but the Jaguar XF still ticks all the right boxes as a sports saloon. While it’s not as sharp as the Maserati in bends, it remains entertaining to drive and has plenty of performance, plus it’s a comfortable cruiser when you’re not in a hurry.

2nd place: Maserati Ghibli

Maserati Ghibli 2014 static

The Ghibli is a solid effort from Maserati. It looks fantastic, and the diesel is a decent performer. But vague steering takes away from the sharp handling, while the firm ride, hesitant gearbox and disappointing quality mean it can’t match the Jag’s all-round talents.

Figures

Jaguar XF 3.0D S Porfolio Maserati Ghibli Diesel
On-the-road price/total as tested £49,510/£49,510 £48,830/£56,413
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000) £24,399/49.3% £27,926/57.2%
Depreciation £25,111 £20,904
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £2,661/£5,322 £2,624/£5,249
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £2,808/£4,680 £2,540/£4,233
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 44/£476/G/£180 TBC/£487/G/£180
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service £260/£360/£260 £650/£910/£930
Length/wheelbase 4,961/2,909mm 4,971/2,998mm
Height/width 1,468/1,939mm 1,461/1,945mm
Engine V6/2,993cc V6/2,987cc
Peak power 271/4,000 bhp/rpm 271/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque 600/2,000 Nm/rpm 600/2,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission 8-spd auto/rwd 8-spd auto/rwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 70 litres/space saver 70 litres/£295
Boot capacity 540 litres 500 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight 1,770/590/1,850kg 1,835kg/N/A/N/A
Turning circle/drag coefficient 11.5 metres/0.28Cd 11.7 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs 3yrs (unlimited)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers 12,500 miles (1yr)/97 12,500 miles (1yr)/17
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 3rd/5th N/A
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars 79/73/62/4 95/79/74/5
0-62/30-70mph 6.4/6.2 secs 6.3/6.0 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 2.6/3.2 secs 2.4/3.0 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th 4.2/5.3/7.4 secs/N/A 4.0/5.2/7.7 secs/N/A
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 155mph/1,500rpm 155mph/2,000rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 45.6/33.5/8.8m 45.7/33.5/9.1m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph 59/44/55/63dB 65/49/59/67dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 26.5/5.8/408 miles 29.3/6.4/451 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 37.7/56.5/47.1mpg 37.2/56.5/47.9mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 8.3/12.4/10.4mpl 8.2/12.4/10.5mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 286/159g/km/27% 258/158g/km/27%
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/camera Eight/yes/yes/yes Seven/yes/yes/£792
Adapt dampers/stability/adapt cruise No/yes/£1,275 £2,045/yes/yes
Climate control/leather/heated seats Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/£370
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go Yes/yes/yes £660/yes/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth Yes/yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes/yes

Disqus - noscript

I thought both of them have the same ZF gearbox. Why the Ghibli's gearbox reacts slower?

I thought the 2007 XF was wonderful before 2010. Now it is a 7 year old design and feels a bit tired. Time for a new one, it wouldn't be my choice of car in 2014.

I'm sure Jag have something special up their sleeve though, when the replacement shows up. Hopefully soon.

I would take the Maserati. No doubt.

No!!! Buy a reskinned 1998 S-type, on a Ford platform, with a Peugeot engine, made by Ford, nailed together by Brummies - the one that failed 5* Ncap crash rating - twice, for just £56k!

You know it makes sense - follow the British press, who would never lie to you, unless we 'entertain' them - Get a Jaaaaaaag!

Hi Justice

Yes, both cars have the ZF gearbox, but each firm develops their own software to control it, which is why there are differences in the way the cars respond.

Thanks
Dean Gibson
Deputy road test editor

seriously, someone would choose a xf over a maserati ghibli

Hello racist. You are persistent at least, but wrong as usual.

Yes, it slaughtered everything who it first appeared but Jag rested on their laurels too long. £50k is unrealistic for the Jag but feasible for exotica like the Mazza marque.

This reads lie a biased review.

One more for the home team. If the Jag is not as good as the Maserati in the bends and the Maserati's steering takes away from its sharp handling then logic dictates the Jags handling is crap in the corners. Add in the outdated cabin of the jag and the review becomes a "give it to the home team, no matter what". The Jagy exterior used to be its trump card but as the competition is up there, it needs an update ASAP.

Less than 30mpg from a diesel? Or just 60% of the claimed economy... it's a known fact that "official" economy is false, but this must have been some pretty heavy-right-foot test!

Picked up my new XF S in Italian Racing Red with Ivory interior two weeks ago. It looks stunning inside and out and is amazing to drive, I really don't get the 'it looks and feels dated' rubbish. After dealer discount I got it for £46k and I'm currently getting 36mpg which is considerably better than what was received on this test!

The 0-60 times are incorrect for the Jag. The standard 3.0D does it in 6.7, the S does it in 5.9.

As the XF was not launched until March 2008, I very much doubt you you knew of one in 2007, teh new XF2 is special, very, and will blow everyone away.

Jag everytime, the dribbly looks like a fat bird has sat on the front, and as it is based on Chrysler tech, which in its self is not bad, it aint up there with the best.

Jag might be on a Ford Platform now, but all the electrical and techy stuff is all in house, XF2 will be teh one to watch out for, as it is seriously stunning.

As for your MPG, our XF regularly got high 30's on a run, so how you managed just 26 is beyond me, must be a lead pipe in your shoes. Also the XF starts at well below £30k, so again a plus point for the XF

nicer having a Maserati in the drive though, and disappointing quality? give me a break

Launched in March 2008, yes. When do you think the design was completed and production started?
7 year old design, at least.
Next nit you want to pick?

nah there is only one nit around here :-)

Don't be so hard on yourself.

Go fix the indicators in your Skoda Octavia that has had four rings glued to the front of it and the price increased by £20,000 b3ll-3nd

I am never hard on my self, I only pass judgement on others :-0

What bias! and the Maserati keeps its value better after 3 years.

Biased as usual! :)

The XF was an amazing car until about 2011 but it now long in the tooth. The Mazza is a bit of a donkey in pretty clothes, but it's still a Mazza and in this choice, until Jag move the XF onto their aluminium tech, I would side with the fancy pants Mazza as my pick.

A fine quality.

When you read the head to head the Maser seems to edge it. The verdict seems to refer to a completely different test! Bizarre!

Jag every time for me ... if I could afford one.

Jon,
You sound like you know what you're talking about. You wouldn't work in-house for Jaguar by chance would you?
I'm not seeking any secrets (and they should of course be kept secret anyway) but I think we can all assume safely that the next XF will be a fair bit lighter on an all-alluminium platform, and will come with the new 4-cylinder 'Hotfire' engines as one option.

Personally I can't wait to see it, though it will come after the new XE and SUV I assume, so perhaps 3 years away still?
That said, would you happen to know, roughly, when punters might reasonably expect to see the initial 'concept' version hit the press/motor shows in the flesh?

Fair observation, and yes, I imagine it was (why wouldn't you?). Worth bearing in mind that some of the big German brands were found to be the biggest fibbers when it comes to figures of that kind.

Lol, the jag was great in the bends from day one and everyone knows it. It's steering was a strong point. It doesn't make the car anything other than brilliant.
As for the interior, that is a matter of personal taste. I still love it, far more than BMWs and Mercs. Audi improved their interiors, but then many of their generic-looking models look pig-ugly and plain boring to look at.

So there you go folks... One in the eye for all the naysayers and those foreign nationals who spend their lives on Brit car blogs slagging Jaguar.

The Ghibli's servicing costs are virtually 300% more than the XF over 3 years...Ouch!

Jaguar = £880
Maserati = £2,490

;-)

Next year end of

Cheers

How do you compare the two cars? Not in the same class for starters!

For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links