Maserati GranTurismo review
The gorgeous Maserati GranTurismo is a thrilling and emotional Italian GT car to rival the Porsche 911
There aren’t many cars that are as emotional as the Maserati GranTurismo. The gorgeous looks and spine-tingling Ferrari V8 engines are enough to forgive anything that the Maserati could possibly do wrong. Not that it does that much wrong anyway – the interior is a little confusing and the fuel economy is woeful, but in every other way the GranTurismo is fantastic. Despite its hefty kerbweight, it feels just as agile as a sports car and is blisteringly quick in a straight line. And for those wanting to take their Maserati on track there is the more focused Mc Stradale with its lighter weight and sportier chassis set up.
Our choice: GranTurismo Sport
The GranTurismo is widely considered to be one of the best-looking cars on the road. Designed by Pininfarina, the GranTurismo blends together elegant lines and menacing supercar touches perfectly. It does a great job of hiding its size, too, making it look far more compact and lightweight than it actually is – after all this is a car that weighs almost two tonnes. The MC Stradale takes on a more menacing appearance with its new front and rear bumpers, extra aerodynamic features for improved downforce, carbon fibre bonnet and 20-inch alloys. Inside the GranTurismo is incredibly luxurious, with fine leathers and woods covering almost all of the surfaces while the MC Stradale features carbon fibre element and Alcatara. It’s beginning to look slightly dated, though, with a mess of buttons on the dashboard, while the build quality isn’t as good as on the new Quattroporte.
There are two engines in the GranTurismo range: a 4.2-litre V8 in the standard GranTurismo or a 4.7-litre V8 in the S, Sport and MC Stradale models. We’d recommend any of the latter three because of the incredible performance and crackling roar from the exhausts, which is especially raucous with the MC Stradale. With 453bhp, it can launch the GranTurismo from 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and it feels incredibly flexible at low speeds, too. Quick steering and a finely tuned suspension set up mean the GranTurismo is extremely capable in the bends. It’s surprisingly comfortable in everyday use, too. The MC Stradale is the sharpest handling model thanks to its 100kg lower weight and lower stiffer suspension and fixed rate dampers. Yet it manages this without any apparent loss in comfort. And in manual mode the single clutch paddle shift gearbox can swap cogs faster than you can blink while the standard carbon ceramic brakes have fade-free stopping power. Shame they can feel a bit grabby at lower speeds while the gearbox is a bit jerky in automatic mode.
Maserati has not had the best luck with reliability but ever since Ferrari took over, things have improved greatly. Both engines have been on sale in the GranTurismo and GranCabrio for years now and have proved to be very reliable. It hasn’t been crash tested by Euro NCAP but six airbags come as standard and a host of electronic systems are fitted to help keep you safe.
The GranTurismo can legitimately claim to be a four-seater rather than just a 2+2, as the rear seats are spacious enough to fit tall adults. The boot is a little bit tight, though, offering just 260 litres. That means if you're carrying four people, it’s probably best if they don’t each bring a bag.
A naturally-aspirated V8 engine and a hefty kerbweight is a recipe for crippling running costs. The 4.7-litre V8 models all manage about 17mpg and CO2 emissions are about as high as you’ll find, at 387g/km. The 4.2-litre model is slightly better, with a figure of 19.7mpg. Both are in the top road tax band and will be extremely expensive to insure.