The Maserati Ghibli adds practicality and refinement to the classic prestige and glamour of a famous old Italian car brand. This luxury four-door sports saloon gives owners a piece of a passionate automotive heritage that many rivals miss. It’s fast, stylish and feels special. There’s even a modern hybrid version.
The classy styling and distinctive trident badge on the front grille are what sets the Maserati Ghibli apart from more familiar, less adventurous European rivals. The swooping fastback lines, quad exhausts and big alloy wheels are bang up to date, while also hinting at the marque’s glamorous jet-setting heritage.
The four-door coupe-like car launched in 2013, the third model in Maserati’s history to be called a Ghibli. This generation only comes as a four-door saloon – there’s no convertible or estate.
It was an instant success and become the manufacturer’s most popular-ever model. A slightly more aggressive front end with LED headlights as standard arrived in 2018.
What's it like to drive?
The Ghibli comes with a choice of big, powerful V6 petrol and diesel engines, which were Maserati’s first ever. A turbo petrol/electric hybrid followed in 2020. All models are rapid and make good noises thanks to a carefully tuned exhaust system.
All Ghiblis get a very smooth, quick-changing eight-speed automatic gearbox. Some versions have paddle shifters on the steering wheel. Drivers can instantly tailor their experience by selecting between three handling modes, although all have a sporty edge. Responses are sharp and cornering precision.
The traditional rear-wheel drive system of the Ghibli will please enthusiasts. As well as the standard set-up, different models can come with a stiffer sports suspension or a high-tech adaptive suspension that is composed and pliable - whatever the conditions.
The traditional rear-wheel drive system of the Ghibli will please enthusiasts.
The Maserati’s exotic style is its main appeal. It often shares its dealerships with Ferrari. The badges have a similar sense of prestige.
The cars are fitted with an appropriately lavish list of equipment to match the price tags. The luxury features list has gradually lengthened since it was launched. The cockpit is a smart environment with a simple, elegant design banishing memories of Maserati’s notoriously kitsch efforts in previous cars. Instead, the Ghibli has always been a good place to sit.
Even the earliest cars had electrically adjustable leather seats, wood trim and eight-speaker hi-fi. From 2016, all cars came with a sophisticated 3D sat-nav and up-graded music system, climate and cruise control, and a fuel-efficient stop-start system.
More recent cars added a very smart, easy-to-use infotainment unit with USB and Bluetooth plus excellent smart phone integration. Top spec versions now have high-end fittings like soft-close doors and silk trim inserts.
Ghibli spec lists are complex. There are already 10 different trim levels and these have had different names at different times. It’s worth checking what equipment any used car has. The complex option packs were very expensive new, often adding tens of thousands to the price. Your used car may be more of a bargain than you realise.
The Ghibli is probably Maserati’s first car that could be described as practical. From the spacious, multi-adjusting front seats to the big boot, it’s a car that owners can easily live with. There are even good deep door bins and cubbyholes around the cockpit.
It’s actually very roomy in the front. The fastback styling does limit rear leg and headroom though. You can get three adults in there – the middle one won’t thank you, mind (well, apart from the fact they’re getting a lift in a Maserati). The rear seatbacks recline, not completely flat though.
The driver’s view forward is fine, but looking backwards is less clear because of those thick rear pillars. More recent cars get a useful and safety-conscious blind-spot warning system as standard. Some cars are fitted with a reversing camera, which helps parking without bumps. Best of all is the surround-camera system attached to high-spec models.
Reliability and running costs
There’s no hiding that the Maserati’s V6 engines are thirsty. There are no economical small engines in the range. Testers found the diesel using fuel at a rate somewhere above 30mpg, petrol versions a little less than that.
The recent petrol/electric hybrid is only about as economical as the diesel models. Other running costs like servicing and insurance will also be high.
The Ghibli is a shining example of how Maserati’s build-quality and reliability reputation have improved. Owners’ reports are very positive since Fiat and Chrysler started helping out behind the scenes. If you do want that extra peace of mind though, consider cinchCare.
What we love
The Maserati Ghibli is a rare sight and that unfamiliarity tends to turn some heads. The sleek sport design creates a good impression and the glamorous badge does the rest. The Ghibli is a stylish and prestigious choice that makes owners feel special. The car stands apart from mainstream German rivals. Drivers will enjoy the sporty character while passengers will appreciate the spacious, well-equipped interior.
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With a glamorous badge and individual looks, the Maserati Ghibli is a choice for anyone who values style and making a good impression. It’s luxurious, sporty and practical. Hunt among the spec lists to find the one with the perfect array of features. Ghibli's were expensive new, they can become a bargain when buying used.
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