Not content to be a niche player, Maserati’s Ghibli sports sedan for 2015 attempts to rain on the parade of such well established players as the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Cadillac CTS. Unfortunately, while this sexy Italian has the looks to turn heads, its performance aspirations come up a bit short of the mark.
You'll Like The 2015 Maserati Ghibli If...
If you desire an expensive, slightly exotic midsize luxury performance sedan and value esthetics above all else, Maserati’s Ghibli for 2015 may do more to light your fire than an Audi A6 or Jaguar XF.
You May Not Like The 2015 Maserati Ghibli If...
The Ghibli S Q4 is definitely not as fine-tuned as the BMW M5, Cadillac CTS-V or Audi S7, nor is its interior as thoughtfully crafted. Those seeking a more comfortable ride should look to the Lexus GS 350, while fuel-economy-minded buyers should look to the BMW 535d or Audi A6 TDI.
Changes to Maserati’s midsize 2015 Ghibli sedan are slight. Bluetooth and navigation are now standard, as is satellite radio.
Inside the 2015 Ghibli sports sedan the atmosphere is spacious and very Italian. The standard leather interior is nicely detailed and assembled and rear passengers have room to relax. On the list of options is a luxurious Poltrona Frau leather interior. Personalization options include a range of six leather colors and five looks for the trim details – among them Radica, Ebano, and Carbonio, the first two of wood and the third of carbon fiber. We could do with a few less obvious Chrysler parts, however, such as the minivan power window switches and headlight switch from the 300 sedan.
Personalized aesthetics are a big deal for Italian cars and their clients, and the Maserati Ghibli sedan can be ordered in eleven different colors from the catalogue – most at added cost. The stunning array of wheels available from Maserati (there are seven) ranges from a standard 18-inch to an aggressive 21-inch forged design. Even the brake calipers from Brembo can be ordered in four different colors – black, red, blue, or silver. Exterior lines established by the new Maserati Quattroporte are faithfully echoed here in smaller scale on the Ghibli and look better at this size.
Maserati’s 2015 Ghibli S Q4 places an emphasis on performance driving, with a firm suspension, a neck-snapping 404-horsepower twin-turbocharged V6, and a body built for speed. Rear-drive models get a less powerful but equally potent 345-horsepower V6. A stiff chassis helps with the car’s handling, although the steering feels overly light on center and then almost argumentative when the time comes to execute turns. The Ghibli can run to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, with the AWD system biased completely to the rear wheels until it’s needed. Press the Sport button on the center dash, and gearshifts and throttle response get crisper, while it also opens up the sport exhaust, which makes a great sound. Although the Ghibli’s throttle loves to be wide open, the 8-speed automatic feels less certain what to do at speeds between zero and 100 mph.
The 2015 Maserati Ghibli has a starting Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $71,000 for the rear-wheel-drive base model tuned specifically for North America to 345 horsepower. The top S Q4 all-wheel-drive version of the Maserati sedan starts near $80,000. A fully load S Q4, however, can bring the price up close to $108,000. With Maserati throwing almost all it has into the Ghibli but the kitchen sink, the option-list heavy Germans (Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class) are able to have lower MSRPs by up to $15,000 before adding on the extras. This would be fine if Maseratis had a tendency to hold onto more residual value over time than those competitors, but the market has routinely proven the contrary. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying.
As a benefit of the Italians often feeling that loading the car with content helps them better compete, even the base Ghibli for North America does well on standard equipment. All trims come standard with a mechanical limited-slip rear differential and a solid set of Brembo compound brake discs. Inside, passengers will always be surrounded by some form of all-leather interior, while the S Q4 comes with a large sunroof. All turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 gasoline engines for the Ghibli are based off of the Chrysler Pentastar V6 blueprint and modified extensively. Navigation and heated front seats are standard.
Significant options for the Maserati Ghibli range start with the aesthetic personalization list, which includes multiple exterior colors, interior leathers (2-tone treatments also available), trim details, wheel selections, and even brake caliper colors. The $1,770 sunroof is an option on the base Ghibli. Performance wise, the biggest choice to make is the optional Skyhook adaptive suspension. For the S Q4 sedan there is the stereophonic choice of a Bowers & Wilkins hi-fi system.
The Ghibli’s aluminum-rich chassis helps keep it light and strong. The ample use of high-strength aluminum increases rigidity and improves handling, and helps Maserati’s newest sports sedan earn a 5-star Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Most midsize sedans offer ample front seat legroom but come up short when it comes to back-seat passengers. Maserati’s Ghibli for 2015 provides ample room for rear-seat adults, more than in an Audi A6, Lexus GS or Cadillac CTS. There’s also an ample 18.7 cubic feet of trunk space.
Under the Hood
Using the Chrysler Pentastar 3.0-liter engine block and head as a starting point, the Maserati Ghibli sedan benefits from the two separate power ratings of a twin-turbocharged powerplant built by Ferrari. Whether at 345-hp or 404-hp trim, the responsiveness via the very sweet-shifting 8-speed automatic gearbox is satisfying, and the voice of the sport exhaust likewise. The powerplants are sadly not yet direct-injected and so their fuel efficiency – using regular unleaded – is not stellar as it should be.
With the responsibility of the Ghibli sedan to produce maximum sales, Maserati will later come out with hybrid-EV trims, a GT S trim and/or an ultra-aggressive MC Stradale version. A first-ever 3.0-liter turbocharged Ghibli diesel is offered in Europe.
3.0-liter turbocharged V6 (Ghibli)
345 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
369 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/25 mpg
3.0-liter turbocharged V6 (Ghibli S Q4)
404 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
406 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/25 mpg
With its Quattroporte-inspired styling, the 2015 Maserati Ghibli sports sedan holds a distinct advantage over less visually dynamic cars. The Ghibli sports sedan and its all-wheel-drive twin, the Ghibli S Q4, are powered by a set of twin-turbocharged V6 engines that pump out 345 and 404 horsepower, respectively. The Ghibli’s overall performance, however, isn’t nearly as polished or refined as that of the BMW 5 Series, which might be forgivable if not for the Ghibli’s rather lofty sticker price. A handsome interior is somewhat degraded by parts clearly pilfered from Chrysler products and the hard front seats leave something to be desired. Then again, for those more impressed by making a statement than flat-out performance, Maserati’s 2015 Ghibli speaks loud and clear.