Car reviews - Maserati - Quattroporte - 330bhp
Sweet-singing V6, mid-range grunt, decent fuel economy, quality feel to materials, cabin space, sporting but comfortable road manners
Room for improvement
Touchscreen infotainment system fussy, centre screen controls also a little complex, gear selector not intuitive to use, some unsettled front-end behaviour when pushed
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16 Oct 2015
INTRODUCING an entry level petrol-powered variant with about 58 fewer kilowatts than the next model up might have some concerned about an absence of ability in the Maserati Quattroporte, but there’s little cause for concern.
The big Italian sedan might well only be sending 243kW/500Nm to the rear wheels – where the flagship V8 GTS sends 390kW and 650Nm – but it becomes apparent that many won’t miss it.
The eight-speed auto, afflicted with the annoying shifter that isn’t always easy to use, does a much better job of making the most of the twin-scroll turbos’ efforts with the petrol V6, which is particularly appealing when using the mid-range urge on offer.
Certainly, it isn’t likely to wrap your organs around your spine away from standstill, but it is a swift sedan nonetheless.
The twin-turbo also sounds good, delivering a high-pitched howl in the tunnels along the route, although it required a visit to the upper rev range with the active exhaust in play to achieve it.
But should the need arise for some introverted progress, the new V6 Quattroporte can comply.
The more urbane outputs, adaptive suspension and clever transmission make it a smooth suburban cruiser. Although the low-profile tyres do fuss over smaller road imperfections, the damping does a better job.
Highway cruising is effortless and quiet, with the comfortable cabin layered in leather and – aside from the cabin bits familiar to the American side of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles family – it’s a passenger cabin that can easily cope with an interstate cruise.
Four adults would be well accommodated and the 530 litre boot is sufficiently large to swallow luggage for that number of occupants.
Changing to less travelled country backroads and the switchgear for transmission and suspension can be independently switched to Sport modes, should the road surface be less than billiard table smooth even when the road is typical of the region the sports tune is within liveable parameters.
With the eight-speed auto in Sport mode (or manual control, but that’s an indulgence given the smart programming) and kept in the meaty mid-range, rapid A to B country-road progress is completed without undue fuss.
Only a slight shimmy from the front end through some bumpier bends marred the well-weighted steering and generally the car shrank around the driver, feeling less than a vehicle of two-tonnes girth, near-5.3m length and two metres wide.
It was only narrow roads and oncoming traffic that reminded the driver of the large footprint covered by the large sedan.
Fuel consumption hovered in the low-teens for suburban running and during the more enthusiastic back-road driving it rose into the mid-teens, but a freeway stint soon had the forced-induction V6 running nearer 10 or 11 litres per 100km.
Italian appeal has long been an ingredient for Maserati, allowing the heart to over-rule the head that sees only German options in the upper-reaches of the prestige sedan market.
The Italian brand steeped in passionate history, racing heritage and bespoke craftsmanship has a talented – if expensive – offering for the well-funded to consider.
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