In-depth reviews

Maserati Ghibli saloon - Engines, drive & performance

Get used to its weight and bumpy suspension and the powerful Maserati Ghibli can be satisfying to drive

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first: the Maserati Ghibli is less comfortable than the Mercedes E-Class, while the BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF have a better-rounded and more consistent driving experience, without any marked deficiencies.

The Ghibli is annoyingly fidgety and unsettled over bumps and while things get better on perfectly tarmacked motorways, most of the car's rivals have more effective suspension setups. The electric steering also feels a little inert, while the brakes require careful application to avoid jerky deceleration, which is disappointing for such an emotionally impactful car.

All of those shortcomings can be forgotten when conditions are perfect, though. Despite weighing the best part of two tonnes, the Ghibli has excellent weight distribution, so it corners very flatly and predictably, while the supportive seats hug you just so and the powerful engines inspire spirited driving.

Maserati Ghibli petrol engine

The Ghibli Hybrid was introduced in 2020 and combines a 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric supercharger and 48-volt mild hybrid electrical assistance. It produces 325bhp, and is not far behind the V6 Ghibli in terms of overall performance, managing 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds and a top speed of 158mph.

The 3.0-litre petrol engine sounds great, is incredibly smooth to rev and is built by Ferrari. From 2017 onwards, the petrol received a 20bhp power increase and the six-cylinder now produces 345bhp and means the car can get from 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds. Viewed in isolation, the Maserati is hardly slow but compared with the cheaper and significantly more economical BMW 540i with its 4.8-second 0-62mph time, it looks rather less impressive.

For those wanting more power, the Ghibli Trofeo is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.8-litre V8 engine producing 572bhp. It can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds, placing it slightly behind performance saloon rivals like the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E 63 S which are capable of the same benchmark in around 3.5 seconds or less. The Trofeo does beat its rivals for overall top speed though, reaching 203mph flat out.

Diesel engine

The 271bhp 3.0-litre diesel was removed from the Ghibli range in 2020. It could manage 0-62mph in 6.3 seconds, and came with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

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