20 September 2017


Maserati Quattroporte 4.2 V8 road test report

4.2 V8

Buyers of seriously fast and sporty 4-door saloons are spoilt for choice. Audi, AMG Mercedes, Bentley, BMW, Cadillac and Jaguar can all provide, with Aston Martin and Porsche soon to join the fray. The only candidate from Italy is the Maserati Quattroporte, but it’s a highly worthy contender.

Road Test Reports Says4.5 star rating
A front-facing image of the Maserati Quattroporte

Image number 2 of the Maserati QuattroporteImage number 3 of the Maserati QuattroporteImage number 4 of the Maserati Quattroporte

Performance Performance - 5 stars

The basic Quattroporte hides a 400bhp 4.2-litre V8 under its long, gently sloping bonnet. Allied to a 6-speed gearbox (manual or paddle-shift sequential) this is more than enough for a wickedly entertaining drive. This may be a saloon, but the sheer power, eager throttle response and slick gearchange can easily fool you into believing you’re at the wheel of something much sportier than a comfy 4-seater. For the record, the figures are 0-62 in 5.6secs, with a 168mph top speed, but if that’s not enough there’s also the 4.7-litre 430bhp S version, or even the new 440bhp, 177mph Sport GT S model.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 5 stars

Other big, fast, rear-drive saloons – AMG Mercs and the BMW M5 included – also handle superbly, but from the driver’s seat they still feel like what they are, ie. big, fast saloons. Somehow, and it’s hard to put a finger on exactly why this should be, the Quattroporte feels more like a thoroughbred 2+2 GT, or a 2-seater sportster. Maybe it’s the near perfect 49%/51% f/r weight distribution, or the geometry of the all-alloy double wishbone suspension combined with the optional, electronically-controlled Skyhook suspension system, or the well-weighted and accurate electronic power steering. But whatever it is the Quattroporte rides comfortably while somehow cleverly disguising its true size and near 2-tonne weight.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 4 stars

There was a time, most notably during the 1980s, when Maserati was on its back legs. Its ancient factory was ill-equipped and run down and its cars, though expensive and ostensibly luxurious, were about as well screwed together as a East German Trabant, but a lot less reliable. Fortunately, and with much investment in time and money from Ferrari, the factory was completely transformed during the ‘90s, along with greatly improved production methods and working practices. Suffice to say that fit and finish on the Quattroporte is at least what you’d expect of a c.£80k car.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 5 stars

All current Maseratis have a collapsible steering column, front and rear seat belts equipped with pre-tensioners and load limiters, two front airbags, two side airbags in the front seats plus two window ‘bags in the doors for side impact protection. There’s also Maserati’s Stability Programme (MSP) which works in conjunction with the ABS and EBD systems. Optional extras include xenon headlights, parking sensors, the Skyhook suspension and a tyre pressure monitoring system. A volumetric alarm and a Navtrak tracking system is also standard. Euro NCAP tests have not been carried out.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 5 stars

For a high performance GT car the Quattroporte (meaning ‘four door’ in Italian) is fantastically spacious and practical. That said, compared with some other large saloons, the 450-litre boot isn’t overly capacious, but, according to Maserati, that’s enough for at least three golf bags. However, the Quattroporte’s interior should not defined by humdrum space and practicality issues, but by its glorious design, sumptuous ‘Frau’ leather, rich wood and wonderful comfort. For example, all seats both front and rear, are electrically adjustable and can be fitted with heating, ventilation and even a massage function if specified. In short, this is Luxury with a capital L.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 4 stars

Let’s start here at the bottom line; the ‘basic’ 4.2 model costs £77,330 otr, (£83,200 for the S, £89,860 for the Sport GT S). On top of that you’ll have to consider fuel consumption at 19.2mpg combined, CO2 emissions at 340g/km and the top group 20 insurance rating. So it’s not cheap to buy or to run. The very first Quattroporte was launched way back in 1963, and its 4.2-litres and 280bhp was enough to make it the Fastest Saloon in the World. Today’s Quattroporte can’t quite lay claim to that title, but it’s still a fabulously desirable car.

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