Maserati Quattroporte vs luxury diesel rivals

6 May, 2014 4:23pm

We see if new Maserati Quattroporte Diesel deserves a place at the top of the luxury car pile as it battles Porsche and BMW

Only the Italians could make the phrase ‘four-door’ sound glamorous. Ever since its debut back in 1963, the Maserati Quattroporte has brought a hefty dose of elegance to the straight-laced luxury saloon market.

Now into its sixth generation, the Quattroporte is as desirable as ever and features a diesel engine for the first time. The 271bhp VM Motori common-rail V6 emits 163g/km, making the Maserati a much more cost effective choice. However, the Quattroporte is no longer the only four-door with flair. Rival brands now offer luxurious models that blur the lines between coupes and saloons.

Maserati Quattroporte review

Porsche Panamera review

BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe review

Porsche’s Panamera has always blended a well engineered chassis with a spacious and upmarket cabin, and now there’s a powerful new 3.0-litre V6 diesel in the line-up. Completing our trio is the enticing BMW 640d Gran Coupe, which we test in flagship M Sport trim.

Click the links above to read each review, then read on for the road test verdict.

Head-to-head

Ride quality

Grand tourers have to strike a balance between a comfortable ride and sharp handling. The Maserati gets Skyhook adaptive damping as standard, and Porsche gives customers the choice of £1,116 PASM adaptive damping or £2,525 air-suspension. Adding VDC variable damping to the BMW costs £1,100, or you can combine that with an adaptive anti-roll bar as part of the £3,400 Adaptive Drive package.

Maserati Quattroporte vs rivals - rear

Luxury heritage

Neither rival has the stylish luxury saloon heritage of the Quattroporte. The original was launched in 1963 with a 4.1-litre 253bhp V8. The outgoing car, the fifth incarnation of Quattroporte, was the longest running. It was on sale from 2004 to 2012, with a mid-life facelift to keep it fresh.

Engine notes

A nice sound is key to accepting diesel in this type of car. The BMW emits a lovely growl, while the Porsche is hushed. Maserati’s Active Sound System changes the exhaust note in Sport mode, but its mechanical sound isn’t pleasant.

Verdict

1st place: Porsche Panamera

Porsche Panamera 2014 front

A new engine with more power, greater torque and improved refinement was just what the Panamera Diesel needed to give it the edge in this very competitive sector. It’s also more practical than the BMW, plus it’s the cheapest car to buy of our test trio.

2nd place: BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe

BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe 2014 front cornering

With gorgeous styling, an awesome engine and a lovely cabin, the 640d is a very desirable package. Plus, low emissions are a bonus. However, a high price and cramped rear seats relegate it to second by the tiniest of margins.

3rd place: Maserati Quattroporte

Maserati Quattroporte 2014 front action

It’s a shame to see the Maserati Quattroporte finish third, but it’s simply outclassed here. Although there are elements of desirability and the diesel is decent, vague steering and disappointing interior quality really let it down.

Figures

Porsche Panamera diesel BMW 640d M Sport Gran Coupe Maserati Quattroporte Diesel
On-the-road price/total as tested £65,634/£70,220 £69,535/£85,470 £69,230/£80,009
Residual value (after 3yrs/30,000) £35,508/54.1% £34,837/50.1% TBC
Depreciation £30,126 £34,698 TBC
Annual tax liability std/higher rate £3,786/£7,574 £3,467/£6,934 £3,864/£7,727
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles) £2,393/£3,989 £2,355/£3,925 £2,909/£4,849
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost 46/£792/H/£205 49/£703/F/£145 N/A/£767/G/£180
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service £420/£550/£420 £475 (5yrs/50k) £650/£910/£930
Length/wheelbase 5,015/2,920mm 5,007/2,968mm 5,262/3,171mm
Height/width 1,418/1,931mm 1,392/1,894mm 1,481/1,948mm
Engine V6/2,967cc 6cyl/2,993cc V6/2,987cc
Peak power 296/4,000 bhp/rpm 309/4,400 bhp/rpm 271/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque 650/1,750 Nm/rpm 630/1,500 Nm/rpm 600/2,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission 8-spd auto/rwd 8-spd auto/rwd 8-spd auto/rwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel 80 litres/foam 70 litres/run-flat 70 litres/£525
Boot capacity (seats up/down) 445/1,263 litres 460/1,265 litres 530 litres/N/A
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight 1,900/600kg 1,885/570kg 1,885kg/N/A/N/A
Turning circle/drag coefficient 12.0 metres/0.30Cd 12.0 metres/0.29Cd 11.8 metres/0.31Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery 3yrs (unltd)/2yrs 3yrs (unltd)/3yrs 3yrs (unltd)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers 20k miles (2 yrs)/36 Variable/153 12,500 (1yr)/17
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos. 6th/6th* 10th/24th* N/A
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./points N/A N/A N/A
0-60/30-70mph 5.7/5.2 secs 5.4/5.3 secs 6.6/6.3 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 2.6/3.7secs 2.2/2.8 secs 2.6/3.1 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th 3.8/4.7/6.3/N/A 3.6/4.5/5.6/7.9 4.1/5.1 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph 160mph/1,500rpm 155mph/1,500rpm 155mph/1,500rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph 42.8/31.6/8.5m 47.7/35.8/8.7m 46.7/34.0/10.3m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph 49/64/63/67dB 47/68/60/68dB 69/61/48/68dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range 31.0/6.9/546 miles 31.5/7.0/485 miles 25.5/5.7/393 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 36.7/50.4/44.1mpg 41.5/58.9/51.4mpg 36.2/54.3/45.6mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined 8.1/11.1/9.7mpl 9.1/13.0/11.3mpl 12.8/19.2/16.1mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket 244/169g/km/29% 240/149g/km/25% 297/163g/km/28%
Airbags/Isofix/parking sensors Eight/yes/yes Four/yes/yes Six/yes/yes
Adapt damp/cruise/active cruise ctrl £1,116/yes/£1,589 £1,100/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes
Electric/leather/heated seats Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes
Metallic paint/xenon lights £851/yes Yes/yes £660/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth Yes/£224/yes/£429 Yes/yes/yes/yes Yes/yes/yes/yes

Disqus - noscript

Funny world when the Porsche looks like good value in a comparison... And if you're driving the Panamera you get to enjoy the interior without having to look at the exterior!

So (just to point out how incredibly stupid theser reviewers are) you climb into the quattroporte and you say, ah too bad about the quality? Are you insane? To a leather clad stylish interior like this? Panamera's you think is better?! (BMW is but it is the BMW you know...).

Vague steering?! If not it is heralded as too sport for the class.

Just stop writing reviews man. Go make a 20$ android phone blog or something.

After all is said and done, these are three fine cars and I would be very happy with any one of them.

All three cars are really magnificent in their own way, really hard to pick one! I'm quite baffled though to read 'the disappointing interior quality' of the Maserati because I actually think it's interior looks the best of the three, certainly looks the most refined and sophisticated in that Italian mien way. The Porsche for me is the least good-looking of the three but still desirable. It's great to see Maserati becoming more obtainable and mainstream, and less of a minority car it was before. Apparently, Maserati is enjoying record sales growth in China and USA, this is very encouraging news and will pay dividends in investment and developement.

Under the heading of 'ride quality' you don't say anything about the ride quality...

BMW looks like a fleet car, compared to the other two here.

Auto Express 1,347
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