Maserati Ghibli review
The Maserati Ghibli combines style and quality with sharp handling to rival the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class
Think Maserati Ghibli and memories of a coupe and GT car come to mind, not an executive saloon. Still, Maserati claims this Ghibli saloon has what it takes to rival the best at the sporty end of the executive car class and, sure enough, it proves able when driven quickly. The Ghibli feels sufficiently sporty to justify its three-pronged badge.
The Ghibli isn’t as well built as the established, mostly German, opposition and the ride is on the firm side too. This Maserati certainly looks the part, however, making its rivals appear rather ordinary by comparison.
Although shorter than the Quattroporte, the Ghibli shares its double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspension set-up, plus it’s available optionally with Maserati’s Skyhook adaptive damping. New electronic steering was added as part of the 2017 facelift, along with a subtle facelift, improved safety tech and the introduction of two new trim levels.
Prices start from around £58,000 and there are four versions to choose from: the standard Ghibli, Ghibli S, Ghibli Hybrid and Ghibli Trofeo. In addition, buyers can upgrade their Ghibli with GranLusso and GranSport trim levels - each one offers a distinct flavour; one focused on luxury, the other on sport.
With the Ghibli, the iconic Italian supercar manufacturer now has a challenger in the big-selling executive car class. The car’s arrival also saw a diesel engine offered in a Maserati for the first time, although this has now been replaced in the lineup with a petrol mild-hybrid version.
Maserati badge or not, the Ghibli rivals the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class, looking sharp and interesting in comparison. The heritage that comes with the Maserati badge means it should deliver on the road too, although fans will remember the Ghibli as both the glamorous Giugiaro-designed and V8-powered GT car launched in 1966 and the boxy mid-1990s four-seat coupe styled by Gandini - rather than an executive saloon.
The 271bhp 3.0-litre diesel is no longer available, with Maserati choosing to go for mild-hybrid petrol power in the shape of a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder model delivering 325bhp. Two 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engines remain, in either standard 345bhp or 424bhp 'S' form, while at the top of the range is the 3.8-litre V8 Ghibli Trofeo with a staggering 572bhp.
Maserati will be hoping that the desirable brand image and exotic styling will continue to pull at the heartstrings of buyers. They certainly won’t want for equipment, with leather seats, auto climate control, xenon headlamps, parking camera and touchscreen sat-nav, all included as standard.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Maserati Ghibli combines style and quality with sharp handling to rival the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Ghibli’s fun driving experience is marred by a lack of suspension refinement
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsRelatively high costs of ownership are a significant stumbling block for the Ghibli
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Ghibli’s swoopy styling impresses, but interior ambience is let-down by the details
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceSwoopy styling compromises space in the rear, but the Ghibli is luxurious and refined
- 6Reliability and SafetyIt’s miles better than Italian exotics of old, but the Ghibli still lacks that ‘hewn from solid’ feel