Maserati Quattroporte saloon
“The V8 Maserati Quattroporte is the go-to driver’s luxury saloon, with sharp handling and blistering performance, but the diesel version substitutes excitement for economy”
- Beautiful interior
- Sharp handling
- Seriously fast
- Pricey to buy and run
- Could be more spacious
- Not as comfortable as some rivals
The Maserati Quattroporte name has graced various Italian saloon cars for 50 years. Its popularity has boomed recently and has been further increased by a broader engine choice than ever before. From occupying a tiny niche in the market for ultra-fast, petrol-powered saloon cars, the Quattroporte is now a serious rival to the Jaguar XJ , BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class.
Having recently been updated, the current Quattroporte boasts (alongside its Ferrari-developed V8) more efficient petrol engines than before, as well as a diesel version. Priced more affordably and with lower running costs, the diesel makes the big Maserati appealing as a company car for the first time, so this version is expected to become the biggest-selling Quattroporte.
Meanwhile, the 523bhp Ferrari-developed petrol V8 and 407bhp petrol V6 engines remain available for those who prioritise power over parsimony, and all models continue to enjoy an interior built for luxury and comfort, with wood and leather all around. An extra 107mm has also been added to the passenger compartment, significantly improving the amount of space in the back.
Despite all this luxury, the Quattroporte has never been ashamed of putting the needs of the driver ahead of cossetting the passengers. This is expressed by the driver-focused dashboard and the way the car rides – it’s more firmly set up than the Mercedes S-Class or Jaguar XJ, and beats the Porsche Panamera, Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series for driver appeal. The Quattroporte is a genuinely fast car, too. All models can easily match the electronically limited 155mph maximum of their German rivals, while even the diesel can accelerate from 0-62mph in less than 6.5 seconds.
Although it doesn’t ride as comfortably as some rivals, whether you’re tempted by the unique performance appeal of the V8 GTS, or the more cost-efficient diesel, the Maserati Quattroporte is well worth considering as an alternative to the German brands if you’re shopping for a big luxurious saloon.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Although still providing a huge 523bhp, the 3.8-litre V8 petrol engine is a massive improvement in terms of fuel economy on the old Quattroporte's 4.7-litre V8. However, it’s still going to cost a lot to tax, fuel and insure. The official fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures of 23.7mpg and 274 grams per kilometer are high, so you'll be topping up the 80-litre fuel tank regularly and road tax will cost £505 a year. Meanwhile, the smaller 3.0-litre V6 petrol manages 26.9mpg and emits 244g/km of CO2 for £490 road tax.
The 3.0-litre diesel engine is far more efficient, returning a claimed 45.6mpg and emitting 163g/km of CO2, so tax is £180 annually. However, as impressive as this seems on paper, it shouldn’t be forgotten that the Mercedes S-Class diesel returns 52.3mpg and 141g/km, while the even more efficient BMW 730d is rated at 60.1mpg and 124g/km.
Engines, drive & performance
The range-topping 523bhp V8 engine accelerates the two-tonne Quattroporte from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, which is quicker than an entry-level Porsche 911. The V6 model is nearly as quick, though, and apart from not sounding as good offers most of the performance appeal of the bigger engine. Despite its weight, the Quattroporte feels as light as a feather through corners. Quick changes of direction are easy and the steering reacts fast, helping the car to feel a lot smaller than it actually is.
The 3.0-litre diesel doesn't sound anywhere near as good as the petrols, though, despite an ‘Active Sound’ generator that operates when Sport mode is activated. It’s obviously slower than the petrol, but still puts out a competitive 271bhp and isn’t at all short of pace, managing a 0-62mph time of 6.4 seconds, midway between a BMW 730d and Mercedes S 350d. When we drove the diesel, though, we found it to have a vague response from steering that felt artificially heavy when cornering. This lack of sensation and feeling of kickback on rough surfaces somewhat eroded the driver appeal.
Body control is improved when the Sport suspension mode is selected, but the jiggly ride this brings will probably see you switching back to Normal as soon as the road straightens out.
You sit behind a recently updated dashboard boasting a bigger touchscreen of higher resolution. There are also a variety of driver-assistance systems to call to action. The touchscreen interface is logical and quick to use thanks to its rotary dial system, and it has sharp, attractive graphics, too.
Interior & comfort
The interior of the Quattroporte is now more luxurious than ever before. High-quality leather, wood and metal is the order of the day, and ergonomics have received a lot of attention, so all controls can be found in logical places. It’s just a shame it doesn’t look a little more adventurous, especially when rivals like the Jaguar XJ and Mercedes S-Class look so special inside.
An extra 107mm in between the front and rear wheels compared to the old model has greatly boosted the amount of space available to rear passengers, with legroom becoming quite generous. However, the elegantly low roofline does mean that headroom in the back is a little limited, so if you’re tall then slouching may be necessary to avoid your head brushing the ceiling.
Those looking for luxury may be disappointed by the car’s ride quality, which deteriorates markedly on poor road surfaces, failing to disguise shocks that would go unnoticed by passengers in an S-Class or Jaguar XJ – a side-effect of the sporty way the Maserati is set up.
However, the seats are very well shaped and cushioned, while improved sound insulation means the Quattroporte is impressively quiet on smooth roads. When considered on its own merits, this is still a comfortable car over long distances.
Practicality & boot space
The latest Quattroporte is a much longer car than the model it replaces, which greatly improves rear legroom and boot space. Passengers in the back seats can stretch out and while a three-seat rear bench comes as standard, alternatively you can choose a more luxurious two-seat set-up with a big centre armrest. The boot can hold 530 litres of luggage – 80 litres more than the old car – and you can fold the rear seats down if you need to carry something larger.
Reliability & safety
Both petrol engines offered in the Maserati Quattroporte were new for this model. That may sound worrying, but millions of miles of testing before going on sale means they'll probably be hardy enough – although Italian cars don't have the best reputation for reliability. Interior quality is impressive, so you won't find any flimsy plastics.
The Quattroporte hasn't been through the Euro NCAP crash tests, but a strong, high-tech body, a long list of active safety systems and a generous amount of airbags mean it's likely to perform well in a crash.
Price, value for money & options
The diesel model is the least expensive in the Quattroporte range, although it still works out a little more expensive than a BMW 730d or Mercedes S 350d. The petrols, too, are more expensive than their direct rivals, with the V8 GTS costing more than any Mercedes S-Class short of the range-topping AMG models.
So the Quattroporte is an expensive car, but this is somewhat justified by the way it’s built and the materials it’s made from, not to mention the Ferrari-developed V8 engine, which brings astonishing performance. All models have a very long list of standard equipment in that high-quality interior, including full leather upholstery, sat nav and climate control.For those who want more, there are a variety of sport, comfort and luxury packages to choose from, at a price. These can include three-zone rear-seat heating, a wood-and-carbon-fibre steering wheel and Alcantara-suede roof lining.