Maserati Ghibli Review logo

Maserati Ghibli Review

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2013
      Body type
      Premium
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
“Audi A6 rival from Italy”

Best bits

  • Glamorous styling inside and out
  • An interesting, left-field choice
  • Petrols are satisfyingly quick

Not so great

  • Not as good to drive as you’d expect
  • Trails rivals on quality
  • No automatic emergency braking as standard

Read by

Maserati Ghibli left exterior

Overall verdict

Maserati Ghibli front interior

On the inside

Maserati Ghibli frontright exterior

Driving

Maserati Ghibli left exterior

How much does it cost to run

Maserati Ghibli gearstick

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"Traditionally, Maserati has been a brand associated with style, glamour and exclusivity. With the Ghibli, however, the Italian manufacturer looked to change things up a bit."

Maserati Ghibli left exterior

A more affordable offering to rival executive saloons like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class, this car represented the beginnings of Maserati’s attempt to become less of a niche player, and more of a mainstream name.


There was already plenty of heritage behind the Ghibli name, too. It dates back to the 1960s, although back then, the Ghibli was a grand tourer designed to compete with cars like the Ferrari Daytona, rather than an executive saloon.


To keep Maserati purists happy, two Ferrari-built 3.0-litre V6 petrol engines with eight-speed automatic gearboxes were offered. However, success in the executive saloon market hinges on the availability of a diesel, and the Ghibli was the first ever Maserati model that could be fuelled from the black pump. The engine was the same 3.0-litre V6 unit used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but unfortunately, from the noise it made, you’d think it came from a combine harvester.


To be honest, the Ghibli wasn’t ideal in other areas, either. The ride was firm and lumpy, the handling was only so-so and the steering was vague. Inside, meanwhile, there wasn’t that much luxury or safety equipment, or that much space, the infotainment system on early cars was a mess and the quality of the materials and assembly wasn’t quite good enough. It’s not a bad car by any means, but remember, these are all areas in which the Ghibli’s German rivals really excel, so the differences are brought into even starker contrast.


That said, the car isn’t completely without appeal. It looks good for starters, with a long bonnet and short rear-end, and aggressive, angular features similar to those seen on the Quattroporte luxury car. It makes much of the competition look distinctly ordinary. Its rarity is also guaranteed to create plenty of interest and admiration, and if that sounds good to you, then it might well be worth a look.

Is the Maserati Ghibli right for you?

Have you already made your way through all of the various offerings in the executive saloon market? Have you already tried A6s, 5 Series’, E-Classes and XFs, and you just crave something a little bit, well, different? Something a bit more glamorous? Well, the Ghibli could well be worth a try.


It’s certainly a much rarer sight than its rather ubiquitous rivals, and that alone is likely to stir up a fair amount of admiration, and so is the aggressive Italian styling reminiscent of the Quattroporte limousine’s. The interior has a fair amount of individuality, too, and what it lacks in sheer quality, it makes up for in style and elegance.


Yes, it’s a pricey option compared with rivals, and it trails behind most of them in several key areas, but, it’s interesting and appealing nonetheless.

What's the best Maserati Ghibli model/engine to choose?

We can’t see much reason to go beyond the entry-level trim, as these versions come with most of what you need including two-zone climate control, leather upholstery, cruise control, four powered windows, powered front seats, keyless entry and automatic lights and wipers. The only thing that’s really missing is front and rear parking sensors, but upgrading to GranLusso or GranSport trim just to get those is pointlessly expensive. Well, we say ‘only thing that’s missing’; another big omission from the Ghibli’s standard equipment roster is automatic emergency braking, but unbelievably, none of the trims get this unless optional extras are added.


The diesel version will suit most buyers from a rational point to view, but it’s not all that fast and it’s rather noisy. Purists will prefer one of the V6 petrols, which are more impressive on pace, but they’re still a little unrefined and very thirsty.

What other cars are similar to the Maserati Ghibli?

As an executive saloon, the Ghibli is aimed squarely at rivals such as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class and Jaguar XF. You can forget the regular cooking versions of those cars, though: the Ghibli has no intention of dusting it with a 520d SE or an E220 CDI Avantgarde. No, it’s the higher-end, higher-performance variants of these cars that need to watch out, so the 530d M Sports and the E350d AMG Lines. You might also consider a Porsche Panamera or Lexus GS.

Learn more

Maserati Ghibli front interior

On the inside

Maserati Ghibli frontright exterior

Driving

Maserati Ghibli left exterior

How much does it cost to run

Maserati Ghibli gearstick

Prices, versions and specification