Maserati excels at blending its sporting roots with unsurpassed luxury and Italian style. The all-new Ghibli furthers that trend, and the midsize luxury sport sedan offers the complete package.
Two models are offered: a base rear-wheel-drive Ghibli and an all-wheel-drive Ghibli S Q4. Both are powered by a Ferrari-built, twin-turbocharged 3.0L V6. In the base model it delivers 345 horsepower, while the S Q4 benefits from special camshafts, more boost and more aggressive engine management. The result is 404 horsepower. Both models utilize an 8-speed automatic transmission with five different shift modes. The base car scoots to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds, while the sure-footed S Q4 hits the mark in just 4.6 seconds, on its way to a 177 mph top speed.
The appeal of the Ghibli begins outside, with elegant design that recalls the sedan's older sibling, the Quattroporte. Underneath the lovely steel and aluminum skin, the Ghibli rides on a solid chassis sprung by an alloy suspension with double wishbones up front and a multi-link setup in the rear, with stopping handled competently by Brembo brakes. Maserati claims the base Ghibli offers a perfect 50/50 weight distribution.
Standard equipment on the Ghibli includes 18-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlights dual-zone automatic climate control, cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, leather upholstery with 6-way power seats, a heated tilt/telescopic steering wheel, an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment display, rearview camera and an 8-speaker audio system. S Q4 models add adaptive headlights, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, a power sunroof and more.
Several options and packages allow for a fully customized Ghibli. Skyhook adaptive suspension offers driver-selectable Normal and Sport modes that reduce body roll. A 15-speaker, 1,280-watt Bowers & Wilkins premium sound system provides exceptional auditory stimulation, and a WI-FI system means you never have to disconnect. Navigation is available, as are several leather and wood grain choices, heated and ventilated front seats, plus a range of alloy wheels from 19 to 21 inches.
If you're after a pair of trident badges front and rear, the 2018 Maserati Ghibli won't let you down. But the second you expand your options to a larger swath of the segment, the case becomes harder to make. The Ghibli is a good car with good qualities, don't get me wrong. It's just unfortunate for Maserati that the luxury midsize segment is riddled with great cars.
The Italians are masters of the curve, and the Ghibli wears its Tricolore on its sleeve. Or, more accurately, on its side, where I'm taken with the strong character line sweeping up and over the rear fender while a second complimentary line slinks upward from the side skirt. The hood is long and low, with pronounced bulges over the front wheels, terminating at a grille that's actually appropriately sized for the front end -- take note, Japan.
For 2018, Maserati introduced two new optional packages for each trim level, GranLusso and GranSport. The former focuses on pure luxury, while the latter aims to be a bit sportier. My tester packs the GranSport setup, which means its front bumper is a smidge more aggressive around the lower air intake, and I think that's the way it should look. Save the super-fancy-schmancy stuff for the Quattroporte, in my opinion -- this entry-level Maserati shouldn't be shy about its sporting aspirations. New LED headlights are also included with both packages, and I think they look pretty darn good.
The Good The Ghibli looks good, it sounds great and the infotainment is top notch.
The Bad It feels overpriced and not as sure-footed as its chief competitors.
The Bottom Line Updates for 2018 make the Ghibli better than before, but it still faces a steep climb to the top of the mountain.
The Ghibli sedan will lead the charge (pun intended) in 2020.
It may not be the most practical mid-size sedan, but it's got style and that's apparently enough.
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