Maserati Quattroporte

The Essentials

  • Price from £82,140
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 19.2mpg
  • What is it? Highly desirable but seriously flawed exeutive toy

Great

  • Just looks wonderful. Elegant and refined
  • Practical, but still feels very plush and fashionable with it
  • Fantastic engine, wonderful drive

Gripes

  • Small fuel tank means frequent fill-ups
  • A firmer ride than you'd expect from a luxury car
  • Semi-auto gearbox is jerky, so we'd stick to the fully automatic version
  • Drive

    Sporty and thrusting, but suspension may be firmer than some would like. Engine sounds great

  • Inside

    Feels like there's a lot going on in the dash, though switches are clearly marked. Luxurious touches

  • Safety

    Stability and traction control come as standard along with six airbags

  • Reliability

    Still has to be proven in the long term, but parent company Ferrari has a great reputation

  • Space

    Quattroporte - Italian for four doors - suggests four-seat practicality but it's not over-generous with space in the back

  • Standard and extras

    Choosing your perfect leather, paint and wood trim gives a touch of individualism. Bella, bella

  • What's it like to drive?

    With at least 400bhp available from the Quattroporte's V8 engines you'll never be short of get up and go from the minute you touch the accelerator. The engine sounds great when you work it but it's also quiet enough to make long journeys restful. The car clings to the road, so corners are taken with panache but you'll also feel the bumps because it's not the most cosseting ride. If you can get to grips with the steering column paddle shifts your gear changes will be super smooth - we'd go for the fully automatic option.

  • What's it like inside?

    The Quattroporte has Sophia Loren curves and a sophisticated specification package that can have you dictate the interior look of the car right down to having curtains in the back windows. The driving position is sportily low-slung but if you're wearing size 9s watch out - the footwell is cramped. There's space for four - but only just and luggage space is smaller than you'd expect in a car of this size.

  • How reliable is it?

    Ferrari owns Maserati, which should bode well, but sticklers for quality might be a touch disappointed with some of the plastics used in the car. Safety kit includes stability and traction control and six airbags. Should anyone hotfoot it off with your car, the tracking system should help police apprehend them.

  • Should I buy one?

    If you can keep mileage below 14,000 a year, Maserati will throw in free servicing for three years, making it easier to justify the high price tag. Only just, though, because running costs will make your eyes water, and you'll soon be on first name terms with staff at your nearest fuel station.