Does a refresh make the Quattroporte the first choice for those after a sporting luxury saloon?We find out
What do we have here?
The Maserati Quattroporte is much more than simply what its name suggests, four doors.
Of course, it has the four doors but it’s a large luxury saloon with a sports car pedigree. Launched in 1963, the Quattroporte is now into its sixth-generation, itself being the subject of a recent mid-life refresh.
The latest model gets a new bumper design with matte black details and a redesigned front grille with new vertical chrome slats. It now features an electrically adjustable air shutter in the grille which helps to reduce drag by 10%.
Along the flanks, there’s now matte black side skirts and restyled wing mirrors while the rear gets a new bumper design with matte black insert.
Inside, there’s a new 8.4in high-resolution touchscreen which now includes smartphone connectivity and there’s a secondary rotary controller between the seats.
Below the screen are redesigned heating controls and a new compartment with fold down cover that contains a slide out tray for your smartphone as well as a USB and auxiliary sockets.
There are three engines to pick from, two petrol and a diesel. The entry-level petrol is the S with a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 developing 404bhp and 407lb ft of torque. The more powerful GTS gets a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 developing 523bhp and 524lb ft of torque.
On the diesel front, you get the choice of a single 3.0-litre V6 with 271bhp and 443lb ft of torque.
All engines are available in standard spec and in GranLusso and GranSport trim.
Prices start from £70,520 for the entry-level diesel and rise to £115,980 for the GTS GranSport.
We’re testing the petrol S in standard trim which costs £82,705. It gets a few extras which nudge the price to £97,045 including: Grigio Maratea metallescent paint; carbon fibre interior trim; DAB radio: 20in machine polished Urano design alloy wheels; Trident headrest stitching; full premium leather finish; convenience pack; and driver’s assistance pack plus.
How does it drive?
Splendidly. The Maserati holds the road in the best traditions of a sporting saloon, yet doesn’t translate that to a toupee quivering firm ride.
There is a firmness to the ride over sharper edged bumps and manhole covers but nothing that will disturb your driving pleasure.
Through the bends, body lean is well controlled and grip is excellent. Removing some of the driving experience is the steering, which is numb and fails to engage you with the road under the front wheels.
It’s also more heavily weighted than is ideal, however, it’s consistent in feel and goes where you position it on the road.
The Maserati has two tricks up its proverbial sleeve. The first is the performance. While 0-62mph in 5.1 seconds is hardly ground breaking nowadays, the Quattroporte feels swift with more than enough performance on tap on most occasions.
Its 404bhp peaks at 5500rpm encouraging you to push on, however, peak torque is available from 1750 through to 5000rpm meaning excellent low end and mid-range pull.
The second is the sound track it creates. A deep throaty roar that as you sink the accelerator into the carpet transforms into a screaming wail of motoring nirvana. Back-off or change gear and you’ll get snap crackle and pop. Bliss.
Helping the engine stay in the right rev range for to tickle your acoustic senses is an eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Annoyingly it does without steering wheel mounted paddles, however, pop it into manual mode and you can use the gear lever to shift sequentially.
And it shifts super-fast, it’s almost aggressive. Leave it to sort itself out and the gearbox becomes barely noticeable as cogs are changed serenely. Cleverly, the gearbox will learn your driving habits and adapt accordingly. It’ll even recall whether you had the car in auto or manual mode when you last drove and will put it back in that mode when you get back in.
Running alongside the gear selector is the driving mode settings; Normal, sport and ICE. ICE which stands for Increased Control and Efficiency effectively gives you to smoothest most refined experience possible while sport gives you the best chances to have a bit of fun.
What's it like inside?
Settle into the sumptuous cabin and indulge yourself in a feeling of quality and notion that life’s been good to you. Most surfaces are draped in black hide with contrasting stitching, supplemented by splashes of chrome trim.
Our test car came with the internal carbon fibre black meaning the door inserts.
The driver’s seat is electrically operated and has a fine range of adjustment. There’s also electrically operated lumbar support and steering wheel.
In the lowest setting head room is decent however the driver’s footwell arches and sends your legs towards the outside of the car where you’ll find the offset pedals.
Storage and practically is particularly impressive with storage in the door, a drop-down compartment by the driver’s knee, two central cupholders under a flip up cover, a second flip up cover with a small compartment behind it and then a deep central bin under the armrest. It contains UBS ports and two further cupholders.
While the glovebox is well sized, the best feature is the drop-down cover and slide out tray for your mobile phone ahead of the gear lever.
In the rear, glide through the large opening doors and slide into the sculptured leather seat awaiting you. Stretch your legs out and sink into the seat. There’s so much leg room you can even slouch or cross your legs.
Head room could be better and will be a hindrance to those around the six foot plus mark if you’re not willing to slouch a little.
After privacy? Then with the windows closed, pull the window button again to raise the integral sun blind.
Sitting three across is hindered by a tall and wide transmission tunnel, however, if it's kept to two then the central arm rest can be lowered to enhance comfort. It features two cupholders and a storage bin complete with UBS and 12v socket.
The door contains a decent sized door bin and there’s a small tray between the front seats with two individual air vents.
The boot is electrically operated (optional extra), has a large wide opening a low lip. The floor is deep and flat while there’s some significant under floor storage, a net area on the right with a 12v socket.
On an official combined cycle, the Quattroporte S is claimed to return 29.4mpg. However, during testing, we averaged a less than impressive 19mpg.
It emits 223g/km of CO2 meaning high bills for company car users with a 37% BIK banding.
If you’re after a luxurious large saloon that’ll take four in comfort and your golf clubs in the boot, then the German’s have it covered.
However, if you want a piece of motoring royalty and heritage, good handling, a special interior and a sound track that you’ll carry with you for the rest of your days, then few do it better than the Quattroporte.
If only the steering was better and more involving and some of the expensive options were included, the Quattroporte could have knocked its opposition for six.