Maserati Quattroporte vs luxury diesel rivals

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.

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 dieselBMW 640d M Sport Gran CoupeMaserati 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£34,698TBC
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/cost46/£792/H/£20549/£703/F/£145N/A/£767/G/£180
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£420/£550/£420£475 (5yrs/50k)£650/£910/£930
    
Length/wheelbase5,015/2,920mm5,007/2,968mm5,262/3,171mm
Height/width1,418/1,931mm1,392/1,894mm1,481/1,948mm
EngineV6/2,967cc6cyl/2,993ccV6/2,987cc
Peak power296/4,000 bhp/rpm309/4,400 bhp/rpm271/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque650/1,750 Nm/rpm630/1,500 Nm/rpm600/2,000 Nm/rpm
Transmission8-spd auto/rwd8-spd auto/rwd8-spd auto/rwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel80 litres/foam70 litres/run-flat70 litres/£525
Boot capacity (seats up/down)445/1,263 litres460/1,265 litres530 litres/N/A
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,900/600kg1,885/570kg1,885kg/N/A/N/A
Turning circle/drag coefficient12.0 metres/0.30Cd12.0 metres/0.29Cd11.8 metres/0.31Cd
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (unltd)/2yrs3yrs (unltd)/3yrs3yrs (unltd)/3yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers20k miles (2 yrs)/36Variable/15312,500 (1yr)/17
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.6th/6th*10th/24th*N/A
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./pointsN/AN/AN/A
    
0-60/30-70mph5.7/5.2 secs5.4/5.3 secs6.6/6.3 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th2.6/3.7secs2.2/2.8 secs2.6/3.1 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th/7th/8th3.8/4.7/6.3/N/A3.6/4.5/5.6/7.94.1/5.1 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph160mph/1,500rpm155mph/1,500rpm155mph/1,500rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph42.8/31.6/8.5m47.7/35.8/8.7m46.7/34.0/10.3m
Noise levels outside/idle/30/70mph49/64/63/67dB47/68/60/68dB69/61/48/68dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range31.0/6.9/546 miles31.5/7.0/485 miles25.5/5.7/393 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined36.7/50.4/44.1mpg41.5/58.9/51.4mpg36.2/54.3/45.6mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined8.1/11.1/9.7mpl9.1/13.0/11.3mpl12.8/19.2/16.1mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket244/169g/km/29%240/149g/km/25%297/163g/km/28%
    
Airbags/Isofix/parking sensorsEight/yes/yesFour/yes/yesSix/yes/yes
Adapt damp/cruise/active cruise ctrl£1,116/yes/£1,589£1,100/yes/yesYes/yes/yes
Electric/leather/heated seatsYes/yes/yesYes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes
Metallic paint/xenon lights£851/yesYes/yes£660/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/BluetoothYes/£224/yes/£429Yes/yes/yes/yesYes/yes/yes/yes

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