Matt Joy reviews the Maserati Quattroporte V6 S, a fast, refined four-door cruiser with a sporty side.
The famous Italian manufacturer Maserati is aiming high in 2014, attempting to boost its sales to record levels. Alongside a new model in the shape of the Ghibli, it has also given the Quattroporte a significant makeover to keep it competitive with key rivals in the exclusive sports luxury saloon market.
Maserati has ditched its naturally aspirated V8s in favour of more efficient turbocharged V8s and V6s, while the new diesel engine already seen in the Ghibli will also be offered. We drove the V6 S model which costs £80,095.
“The Quattroporte was one of the most handsome and stylish saloon cars ever made”The Quattroporte was one of the most handsome and stylish saloon cars ever made, so it should come as no surprise that the latest version doesn’t look massively different. It has a long, swooping nose, elegant hips and a long tail as well as all the small details that are classic Maserati: the iconic grille, the trident badge and the vents in the front wings are the key signifiers.
It’s also important to note that the Quattroporte’s design does a good job of hiding its very long wheelbase. It may be a driver’s car but owners may spend a lot of time in the rear, yet it doesn’t’ sacrifice any elegance in the process.
There’s no doubt that the Quattroporte is a big car, but if you’re expecting vast amounts of room then take a closer look first. If you’re sitting up front then there’s very little to grumble about; head and legroom are good and the driving position is sensible and avoids too much of the offset issues that had plagued older cars.
In the rear you can have a bench seat or a twin-seat arrangement for added luxury and although there’s plenty of legroom, headroom is less generous and the relatively small windows give a cosy rather than an open feel. Boot space is a respectable 530 litres.
Performance & handling
“Enthusiasts may bemoan the death of the naturally aspirated V8 but the turbocharged V6 delivers most of the thrills without the penalties.”Anyone buying into the Maserati brand has an expectation of performance and handling, and the Quattroporte delivers. Enthusiasts may bemoan the death of the naturally aspirated V8 engine but in truth the turbocharged V6 delivers most of the thrills without the penalties. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, the Quattroporte is not short of performance; it can hit 62mph in 4.9 seconds and hit 177mph, and the V8 turbo is only 0.2 seconds quicker to 62mph.
It feels as fast as the numbers suggest. With the Sport mode engaged the exhaust is opened up to allow the full engine sound into the cabin and the rapid gearchanges (which can be paddle operated) make the most of the engine’s prodigious torque. The brakes are reassuringly strong while the suspension can be adjusted to suit the conditions, although the stiffest mode is only really suitable for very smooth roads.
Economy & environment
This is where the turbocharged unit comes into its own, helping to boost the economy and emissions. Considering the performance, the combined figure of 26.9mpg is respectable and competitive with similarly-quick rivals. It’s helped by the standard fitment of stop/start, something new to Maserati, as well as the efficient eight-speed gearbox. Switch the car into the I.C.E. mode and it works as efficiently as possible, changing up early and softening the throttle response.
Even so, anyone looking for good fuel economy needs to consider the forthcoming diesel model or look elsewhere.
Equipment & value
The Quattroporte is a luxury sporting saloon with a sizeable price tag so it’s not unreasonable to expect a decent amount of kit. The S is technically the entry-level model but is packed with kit; electronic dampers, leather and wood trim, electric front seats, active cruise control, a 10 speaker audio system and the big touchscreen that runs the sat-nav, audio and Bluetooth, plus a very useful alarm system complete with tracker.
That said, the options list is vast and unsurprisingly expensive. The 21-inch wheel options runs to £5,000, individual heated electric rear seats instead of a bench are £4,440 and rear entertainment with TV to go with it is another £5,400.
You can count on the Quattroporte being a safe car. The electronic safety systems are first rate and comprehensive, its sporting nature means strong brakes, good grip and power while a stiff body structure means the odds are on your side should the worst happen. The Quattroporte doesn’t have a EuroNCAP rating at present but the smaller Ghibli gets a full five stars so its big brother should at least match it.
“Anyone spending this amount of money wants more than just a dull, practical box and the Quattroporte delivers on the all-important want factor.”Anyone spending this amount of money wants more than just a dull, practical box and the Quattroporte delivers on the all-important want factor. It’s a beautiful thing to look at and the new interior means it’s equally attractive on the inside now too. The driving experience is special, with a characterful engine and sparkling performance. There are a few negative points, chiefly that some of its rivals are a little more comfortable and arguably better value.
However most of the key competitors are German, and the Maserati’s Italian origin makes it that little bit special in comparison. It may not be the outright most sensible choice, but the Quattroporte will certainly please your heart.