- V8 power and performance with RWD appeal
- Beautifully designed car that oozes Italian charm
- Raspy engine roar is so appealing
- The price – start saving!
- Interior is a little dated
- Some rivals are more fun to drive
The Maserati Ghibli made its public debut at the Shanghai Motor Show in 2013 with a saloon body stye that delivered coupe-like performance and exceptional comfort levels.
Now Maserati has given its line-up a modern look with three new trim levels called GT, Modena and Trofeo. The Ghibli GT is a 1.4-litre mild hybrid version, while the Ghibli Modena features a 3.0-litre V6 turbo petrol engine. This model is on sale as Modena, Modena S or Modena S Q4 with all-wheel drive.
At the top of the scale is the model we tested, the mighty Ghibli Trofeo. This is the car to suit anyone looking for maximum performance thanks to its 3.8-litre V8 petrol engine.
All cars feature a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission and, whichever model is chosen, it will exude Maserati charm and Italian chic.
The Maserati Ghibli Trofeo is instantly recognisable thanks to its stretched bumper and trademark ‘sharknose’ grille with chrome painted slats. Taking its inspiration from the Alfieri concept car, the concave grille adds a 3D effect to the car. But the design is not all about aesthetics as the aerodynamic coefficient of the new-look Ghibli is just 0.29 which is a seven per cent improvement on the original model. This in turn improves both the performance and fuel efficiency.
There are adaptive full-LED matrix headlights along with the new Trident logo on the bonnet and the C-pillar. In addition, there is new-look writing at the rear too, along with a trim-specific ‘Trofeo’ badge just above the three iconic air intakes.
The styling is completed with soft close doors, carbon fibre finishes, 21-inch matt black alloy wheels and red brake calipers.
Moving inside, the interior features full-grain natural leather sports seats that are 12-way power-adjustable, a newly-redesigned gear lever and revised drive mode buttons, plus the double rotary selector crafted from forged aluminium offering access to various on-board systems.
Creature comforts are plentiful and include an 8.4-inch high-resolution display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth, plus a pitch perfect 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Premium sound system.
All controls, dials and readouts are perfectly positioned for ease of use and that means the driver can concentrate on the road ahead without any distraction.
On The Road
Handling & Performance
Powering the Maserati Ghibli Trofeo is a 3,799cc V8 twin-turbo direct-injection petrol engine delivering 580hp of power and 730Nm of torque. That translates into some blisteringly quick performance stats with the 0-62mph sprint completed in just 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 203mph.
The engine was developed by Maserati Powertrain in collaboration with Ferrari so expectations are not-surprisingly high. And this is a car that delivers on all counts.
The handling from this rear-wheel drive powerhouse is truly exhilarating, but maybe not quite as awesome as it once was. That’s no fault of Maserati – it’s simply down to the fact there are some highly polished rivals out there now vying for sales.
That said; this latest Ferrari-built engine boasts scorching pace out the starting blocks. The grip is excellent and acceleration through the eight-speed gearbox is swift and sharp. There are large paddles for added driver engagement along with drive modes called Normal, Ice (similar to Eco) and Sport, and these alter the driving characteristics of the car.
And, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, there is also a Corsa mode with Launch Control that sharpens up throttle responses and gear shifts while delivering a raspier exhaust note.
Our Trofeo model featured upgraded Skyhook suspension that reacts to the road surface and adapts the suspension accordingly. That said; the ride is quite firm, so hit an unexpected bump and you will feel the full force.
Space & Practicality
The Maserati Ghibli Trofeo boasts a strong road presence thanks to its large four-door saloon styling with dynamic design. It stretches 4,971mm in length, is 2,128mm wide (with side mirrors) and 1,461mm high. The wheelbase is a generous 2,998mm which means there is plenty of room inside the cabin. In fact, five adults can sit comfortably inside the vehicle.
The boot can swallow 500 litres of luggage and the rear seats have a 60:40 split so can be folded forward to open up additional storage room. The boot is power-operated and also features a kick function meaning the owner can wave their foot beneath the rear bumper to open the lid. This is great if you have your hands full of shopping bags.
Elsewhere, there are large door pockets, a locking glovebox, a deep central cubby bin, front and rear cup holders, seat back nets and some practical trays.
Powered seats and a power-adjustable steering wheel make it easy to find the ideal driving position and the all-round visibility is okay, although the lengthy bonnet can make it difficult when edging out onto a main road from angled turnings.
The rear doors open nice and wide offering simple to access to child seats and there are Isofix fittings to the outer rear seats.
With Maserati being a highly-respected premium marque, prices will never be cheap so with that in mind, the entry-level Ghibli GT costs £75,800 and the Modena from £95,960.
Our range-topping Ghibli Trofeo cost £121,745, although a number of optional packs bumped the final price up to £136,575. These included an Interior Carbon Package (£1,280), Cold weather package (£875), Premium Package (£560), Driver Assistance Package (£2,960) and some individual options.
Day-to-day running costs are not for the faint-hearted either with a WLTP-tested combined fuel efficiency of 22.4-22.9mpg (expect to see about 20mpg in reality) and carbon emissions of 279-285g/km.
So, apart from being on first name terms with the petrol station staff, that CO2 figure will result in a first-year road tax bill of £2,605 dropping to the standard fee of £180 after 12 months.
However, as the vehicle costs in excess of £40k, it is subject to a premium car levy which adds an extra £390 to the annual bill from years two to six.
If you are lucky to be looking at the Maserati Ghibli Trofeo as a business car, don’t expect too much incentive from the taxman as it sits in the highest Benefit in Kind tax bracket of 37 per cent and insurance is also the highest group with a rating of 50.
It may seem that these costs are a tad hefty to say the least, but they would be comparable with any similarly-powered car that delivers such thrilling performance capabilities.
So, the Ghibli has the looks, the tech and the all the performance you could wish for. We should also mention the comprehensive list of safety and driver assist specifications that help to keep occupants and other road users as safe as possible.
While the Ghibli is getting on a bit nowadays and Maserati has plans to replace it later this year, it still offers outstanding driving dynamics with a suitable soundtrack to match the performance.
And, despite there being very impressive rivals out there that can easily match its handling and pricing, there is still something quite alluring about owning a Maserati. It sort of puts you in a very exclusive club.