In-depth reviews

Maserati Ghibli saloon review

“The Maserati Ghibli is hugely alluring in many ways, but it comes with a higher price tag and more compromises than other large executive saloons”

Carbuyer Rating

3.4 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.2 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Exclusivity
  • Powerful and fast
  • Stylish looks

Cons

  • Cramped rear seats
  • High servicing costs
  • Unproven reliability

Assuming you’re looking near the top of the large executive saloon class, the Maserati Ghibli is a rival to the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class, Jaguar XF, Volvo S90 and Audi A6. We say ‘near the top', because unlike its key German rivals, the Ghibli is only available with a range of very powerful petrol engines and in high-spec trim levels. This isn’t a problem if you’re looking at a well-specced Mercedes E350d, for example, but it’s worth knowing there isn’t a £35,000 version of the Maserati – it’s all or nothing, with prices starting close to £60,000. In fairness though, Maserati would like you to see the Ghibli as a coupe-like model like the similarly expensive Mercedes CLS and Audi A7.

Either way, Maseratis have tended to appeal to buyers’ emotions rather than their spreadsheets, and the Ghibli certainly looks good enough to set pulses racing. In late 2017, the car was heavily revised, with Maserati saying the changes made it around 70% new. The bodywork was redesigned to reduce drag and it looks sharper and more elegant than before. Adaptive LED headlights were also added, with an automatic main beam.

The engine range is also appealing. Although the 3.0-litre petrol is simply too thirsty to recommend, the smaller 325bhp four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine, which features mild-hybrid assistance, is the most efficient of the line-up. This returns around 33mpg, which, while reasonably palatable, is a little off the pace compared to similarly specced versions of the BMW 5 Series and Audi A7, which can manage over 40mpg.

In 2020, the V6 diesel engine was discontinued from the Ghibli range.

At the top of the Ghibli line-up, the Trofeo model is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 engine that produces 572bhp. It’s billed as a rival to performance saloons such as the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E 63 S, and manages 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds.

On the road, slight compromises continue. Despite an electric power-steering setup, it’s not as good to drive as rivals, as it always feels rather heavy and has a jittery ride, even with the optional adaptive ‘Skyhook’ suspension fitted. Get it on the right road and it’s great, but the Jaguar XF and BMW 5 Series are still better to drive.

Practicality is another problem, as the Ghibli’s back seats and boot are smaller and tighter than the BMW 5 Series’ and Mercedes E-Class’. Still, the dashboard design will be a tonic for anyone tired of serious executive saloons’ staid and sombre interiors. It’s not a riot of colours and illogical switches, but there’s more vigour and style than usual in this class of car. A facelift improved the infotainment system slightly, though, while a five-star crash-test rating from Euro NCAP means the Ghibli takes safety suitably seriously.

If it sounds like we’re being overly harsh on the Ghibli, that’s because we’re looking at it in the cold light of day and in direct comparison to its rivals. If you’re taken with the looks, the badge and the Italian allure, you won’t give two hoots about the competition: you’ll be too busy being smitten by the Ghibli’s charms, warts and all.

Most Popular

What are Audi TFSI petrol engines?
Yellow Audi Q2
Audi
16 Apr 2021

What are Audi TFSI petrol engines?

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Best new car deals 2021
Skoda Fabia
Deals
16 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

More on Ghibli

New 325bhp Maserati Ghibli launched with mild-hybrid tech
Maserati Ghibli
16 Jul 2020

New 325bhp Maserati Ghibli launched with mild-hybrid tech

2020 Ghibli range gets 2.0-litre petrol model with electrification to reduce emissions
Limited-run 2018 Maserati Ghibli Ribelle revealed
2018 Maserati Ghibli Ribelle front
Maserati Ghibli saloon
26 Sep 2018

Limited-run 2018 Maserati Ghibli Ribelle revealed

Limited-edition Maserati Ghibli Ribelle brings added style; production limited to 200 cars worldwide
Top 3 alternative executive cars for £28,000: Volvo S90, Jaguar XF, Maserati Ghibli
Volvo S90
2 Aug 2018

Top 3 alternative executive cars for £28,000: Volvo S90, Jaguar XF, Maserati Ghibli

"Dear Carbuyer. I have a budget of £28,000 for an executive car that stands out from the crowd. What should I buy?"
Maserati Alfieri coupe and cabriolet confirmed
Maserati Levante
1 Jun 2018

Maserati Alfieri coupe and cabriolet confirmed

Strategy announcement covers Alfieri drop-top and EV, and move away from diesel
Maserati Ghibli updated for 2017
Maserati Ghibli saloon
29 Aug 2017

Maserati Ghibli updated for 2017

Facelifted Ghibli to be available in GranLusso and GranSport trim
New Maserati Levante SUV to make Goodwood debut
Maserati Quattroporte saloon
13 Jun 2016

New Maserati Levante SUV to make Goodwood debut

The Maserati Levante - the company's first-ever SUV - will make its public UK debut at the Goodwood festival of speed

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks