There’s no debating the success of the new Maserati Ghibli, what with the entry-level sedan helping boost the brand’s sales by more than 300 percent in August. Still, we wondered, why would anyone want anything less than a Quattroporte? Then we took a test drive. Here are the five takeaways that changed our mind about this rising star.
1. Not all entry levels are equal: The thing about a lot of so-called entry-level vehicles from premium brands is that you always seem to sacrifice mightily for the more affordable car in the line-up. But the Ghibli has taken a different approach, pushing for a more youthful appeal than its bigger sibling, the Quattroporte.
2. High-end elements remain: Although much smaller than the Quattroporte, the Ghibli is still packed with the same kind of amenities you expect from the Italian automaker. That approach comes to life in the cockpit with luxury features like the Maserati Touch Control screen, adjustable pedals and premium leather. Not bad for $70,000, or $32,500 less than the starting price for the Quattroporte.
3. It’s uniquely sporty: Despite the fact it was first introduced in 1963 as a two-door coupe, the all-new Ghibli sedan takes styling cues from the Quattroporte. But it has a more sportier feel with a personality all its own, available in three trim levels in the U.S.—the Ghibli, Ghibli S and the Ghibli S Q4.
4. There’s power under that hood: Proving it’s more than worthy of the Maserati nameplate, the Ghibli is gutsier than it first appears to be. The mid-size sedan is powered by a twin turbo V6 rated at 410 horsepower, and it’s as a thrilling as anything in its class.
5. It drives like a dream: Weighing 110 pounds less than the Quattroporte and being nearly seven inches shorter, the Ghibli feels a lot nimbler than its larger sibling. The smaller sedan has a 0 to 60 mph time of 5.4 seconds, which isn’t frighteningly fast but still quite impressive for the segment. You know, sort of like the car itself.