In-depth Reviews

Maserati Ghibli saloon

“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

Used car deals
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 powerful 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’s no £35,000 version of the Maserati – it’s all or nothing, with prices starting from over £50,000. 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 Ghibli 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. Its engine range is also appealing, although its 3.0-litre petrol is simply too thirsty to recommend, so the punchy 271bhp 3.0-litre diesel is Maserati’s best-seller. This returns around 40mpg, which, while reasonably palatable, is a little off the efficiency pace compared to the BMW 530d (45.6mpg) or Audi A7 3.0-litre TDI (49.6mpg).

On the road, slight compromises continue. The big diesel engine is nicely punchy, but it’s not as smooth or characterful as similar offerings from rival brands. At this end of the market, such refinement counts for a good deal, and the diesel Ghibli simply isn’t as quiet as the competition. Despite an electric power-steering setup, it’s not as good to drive, either, 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

Updated Peugeot 5008 starts at £29,585
Peugeot 5008 SUV
9 Oct 2020

Updated Peugeot 5008 starts at £29,585

Cupra Formentor SUV review
Cupra Formentor SUV front 3/4 cornering
Cupra Formentor
13 Oct 2020

Cupra Formentor SUV review

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback: base model starts at under £30k
Volkswagen ID.3 - front 3/4 view - 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show
Volkswagen ID.3
14 Oct 2020

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback: base model starts at under £30k

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