Maserati Ghibli Review
Car Tested: 2017 Maserati Ghibli; Road Test No. 772
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 1.49 crores
The Maserati Ghibli is an attention magnet, the trident logo grabs a lot of eye balls in India
The Maserati brand is targeted towards the well heeled audience and comes with an immense snob value of a luxurious Italian brand. They entered the Indian market officially last year and a while back we drove the flagship Maserati Quattroporte GTS with a roaring V8 petrol engine. This time around we drive the baby Maserati, the Ghibli and that too with a diesel engine, which is the preferred fuel choice in India. We examine how does it fare on Indian roads.
Motor Quest: The Maserati Ghibli made its public debut at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show. It is considered as the volume spinner of Maserati lineup. The production of the Ghibli takes place alongside the Quattroporte in the new Giovanni Agnelli Plant in Grugliasco near Turin.
Exteriors – The Maserati Ghibli looks quite aggressive, especially from the front profile. The angry projector headlights point towards the huge grille having a shiny Maserati trident sitting in the middle. The bonnet section is long when you see it from the side profile while the roofline is raked and merges smoothly into the boot. The Ghibli comes with a shiny set of multi-spoke alloys. The shoulder line gets prominent towards the rear which leads to a rather understated rear profile. The Ghibli looks elegant from the rear but the quad pipes hint about something special under the hood. There is some uniqueness in its design which grabs a lot of attention on the road.
Interiors – The interior layout is fantastic, it’s nice and taut along with rich colour tones of orangish brown with contrasting black and wood inserts. The soft touch dashboard and the other materials used immediately give away the attention to detail of the interior. The feel and smell of the leather materials will make you realise that you’re sitting in a super premium car. The 3-spoke steering wheel looks classy and feels good to hold. The instrument cluster has got a huge and colourful MID display with sizeable analogue dials alongside. The centre console houses a neatly integrated touchscreen infotainment system with minimal buttons. There is an analogue clock on top of the dash that adds a touch of class to the interior.
The well crafted interiors are more focussed towards self driven car buyers
The touchscreen unit is responsive and easy to use with plethora of connectivity options. The music system offers rich audio experience, you get an option to choose Harman Kardon or Bowers & Wilkins audio system. Some of the features include 8-way power adjustable seats, keyless entry with push button start, tyre pressure monitoring system, bi-xenon adaptive headlamps, surround view camera, etc. A few things we missed in the Ghibli include sunroof, auto park assist, ventilated seats, etc.
The front seats in the Ghibli are very supportive and comfortable. The steering to the seat angle is a bit raked and the driving position is more performance oriented. You get decent amount of storage spaces such as cupholders in the middle and bottle holders on each door. The rear seat space is a bit disappointing as there’s limited legroom and headroom at the back. The back seat is meant for only 2 adults as there is a huge transmission hump in the middle. The boot space is quite accommodating though. You can easily fit your golf bag in there.
Performance – Unlike the Quattroporte GTS which we drove earlier having a stonker of an engine, the Maserati Ghibli comes with a far more sensible and practical engine option. The powerplant on offer is a 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine, known to produce 275 PS of power and a massive 600 Nm of torque. The engine comes matched to an 8-speed ZF transmission. Power is sent to the rear wheels and according to our VBOX tests, we managed to hit 100 km/hr from standstill in 6.95 seconds which puts the Ghibli in the territory of the BMW 530d and Mercedes E350 CDI. The engine doesn’t have much of that typical diesel clatter and it feels pretty smooth and refined.
The engine has enough punch and the gearbox has been nicely matched
Slot the gearknob into D and start driving, that’s when you realise that the power delivery feels very linear and once the slight turbo lag is crossed, the mid-range becomes punchy and the car accelerates quickly off the line. Triple digit speeds come up very quickly and the engine doesn’t really feet out of grunt. The gearbox is very smooth and quick in its operations and is really matched nicely to the oil-burner. The Ghibli, however, doesn’t provide you with the rush that you would normally expect with a 3.0-litre engine. The Ghibli is a nice cruiser, doing 100 km/hr at 1500 RPM in top gear. You get a Sport mode on offer, which basically holds on to higher revs for quick acceleration. On the fuel efficiency front, one can expect around 10-12 km/l under regular driving conditions.
Driving Dynamics – The Ghibli has a pretty stiff suspension set-up which is typical of performance cars. The front gets a double wishbone with stabiliser bar while the rear gets a multi-link set-up. The suspension can tackle most bad patches of roads but hit a large pothole and the car will thud, what with its 3-metre wheelbase and those 19-inch wheels. Ground clearance is a bit low so you need to be extra careful on speedbreakers. Talking about the steering, it is a hydraulic unit offering rich feedback. However, the one on our test car seemed to be vibrating a bit too much. It feels very precise though. Handling is predictable and once you switch to Sport mode, the chassis, suspension and steering feel a bit tighter, giving the car an agile feel. The fun-to-drive factor is decent but there isn’t anything really extraordinary here. The brakes also do a splendid job.
Safety and After Sales Service – When it comes to safety, the Maserati Ghibli offers 7 airbags, ABS, EBD, Maserati Stability Program, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, blind spot alert and more such advanced tech. After sales in India is very limited to a couple of metro cities and since the Ghibli is a pure CBU you might have to shell out a lot for the spare parts and service costs in India.
Verdict – The Maserati Ghibli isn’t meant for a large chunk of elite audience, it is for those who like to keep rare cars in their garage. At that price point you get full size luxury saloons such as the Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series and the likes. However, the Ghibli should be technically compared with the Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5-Series, etc. Hence it is a rare Italian for the self driven who like to arrive in style. The diesel engine makes it a little more practical if you want to use it on a daily basis. You miss the aural delight of the petrol engine with the Ghibli but it’s all about the style and the fancy badge on the grille.
* Signature Maserati styling makes it very attractive on Indian roads
* The interiors look and feel rich with high quality materials
* The diesel engine makes it a practical luxury car with decent performance
* There are a tonne of safety features on offer in the Ghibli
What’s Not So Cool
* It is a bit overpriced considering the class it belongs to
* Some features are missing even at this price point
* Low ground clearance might get bothersome on speedbrakers
Alternatives: Mercedes S-Class, BMW 7-Series, Audi A8, Jaguar XF
Further Reading –