Full 2013 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible Review
What's New for 2013
The Maserati GranTurismo convertible lineup receives a host of upgrades for 2013. Mirroring the changes made to the GranTurismo coupe, a single engine now supplies more power to both models. Other significant changes include new brakes, new automatic transmission programming and mildly updated styling. Revisions to standard and optional equipment round out the GranTurismo convertible line.
If you were ever to hold a contest for the best-looking car ever, the Maserati GranTurismo convertible would have to be one of your finalists. Like the alluring GranTurismo coupe on which is it based, the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible embodies all the traits and qualities one expects from an Italian exotic carmaker: exclusivity, romantic styling and, of course, an open-air driving experience complete with an operatic V8 that stirs the soul. What more could an enthusiast wish for in a convertible?
It all starts with the sweet 4.7-liter V8 under the hood. What this engine lacks in face-flattening response off the line, it makes up for with its thrilling soundtrack and satisfying vigor at higher revs. The V8 is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, which might not seem nearly exotic enough for a Maserati. However, thanks to careful calibration, it serves up very quick upshifts and rev-matched downshifts.
Naturally, some concessions have been made. Rather than opting for a retractable hardtop, the GranTurismo uses a traditional folding soft top in order to keep weight down and maximize trunk and interior space. However, that trunk is surprisingly small. Also, as its name suggests, the GranTurismo is really more of a grand touring convertible than a full-on sports car, and it's certainly not the quickest nor the best-handling car you could choose in this price range. Furthermore, even with the abundance of leather in the cockpit, there's no disguising the dated and not especially user-friendly control layout. And if you're looking for cutting-edge technology and safety features, you won't find them here.
If you want more in the way of speed and tech features, the 2013 Jaguar XKR-S and 2013 Porsche 911 are two of the most appealing alternatives. Neither can match the Maserati's usable backseat, but few cars can keep up with the 911 on a good road, while the Jag has its own personality, courtesy of a fire-breathing supercharged V8. The Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG and 2013 Audi R8 are also worth checking out; each provides significantly higher performance but only two seats. Although the 2013 Maserati GranTurismo doesn't earn top billing in this group, it's an unequivocally beautiful car brimming with Italian passion -- and at this level, character counts for a lot.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo is a four-seat convertible offered in base and Sport trim levels. Base-level standard features include a power-operated soft-top, 20-inch wheels, Brembo brakes, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED taillights, an adaptive suspension, rear parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated front seats and driver memory settings. Electronic features include a voice-activated navigation system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a 12-speaker Bose surround-sound audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, digital music storage and a USB/iPod interface.
The 2013 Maserati GTC Sport gains more aggressive-looking exterior styling details, specific wheels and front parking sensors. Dynamically, the GranTurismo Convertible Sport distinguishes itself further with its higher-output engine, dedicated transmission programming and firmer suspension tuning. Inside, the Sport gets carbon-fiber shift paddles and aluminum pedals.
Options for both trims include a choice of brake caliper finishes, different wheel designs, two-tone interiors, perforated leather seats and a seemingly endless combination of interior colors/trims with contrasting stitching and piping. Furthermore, buyers can specify any color stitching, piping and/or exterior paint they desire: for a price, of course.
Powertrains and Performance
The rear-wheel-drive 2013 Maserati GranTurismo Convertible comes standard with a 4.7-liter V8 engine that produces 444 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. The GTC Sport ups that output to 454 hp. There is only one transmission available, a six-speed automatic. Maserati claims the base car will sprint to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and the Sport will do the same in 4.9 seconds. The GranTurismo convertible achieves an EPA-estimated 15 mpg combined (13 city/20 highway).
The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo convertible comes standard with antilock disc brakes, automatic hill hold, front-seat side airbags and traction and stability control. Front and rear parking sensors are standard, but a reverse camera is not available. A roll bar behind each of the rear seats automatically deploys when the system senses a potential emergency, protecting the rear passengers' heads.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo convertible's interior is tastefully appointed with high-quality materials. The cabin is elegantly luxurious without appearing stodgy, with just a hint of sports car influence. The cloth convertible top action is operated via a single button and retracts or deploys in 24 seconds.
The GranTurismo's controls are logically organized but dated in their design, so audio and climate adjustments will require you to sift through an array of small buttons and knobs. Likewise, the navigation system hasn't been updated in a few years, so there's far less functionality here than you'll get with rivals' electronics interfaces. In addition, there is only one stereo, with no audio upgrade available from the factory.
Unlike most other cars in this class, the GranTurismo boasts comfortable rear seats for medium-sized adults. Part of the reason for this is that its convertible top stows into a separate compartment beneath a hard tonneau cover. Unfortunately, this also means that finding luggage space for four adults will prove difficult, as the narrow and deep trunk measures a miniscule 6.1 cubic feet.
The 2013 Maserati GranTurismo convertible artfully balances a luxurious ride with sporting athleticism. The adaptive suspension is compliant enough to absorb most road imperfections with ease without feeling overly soft. Take the GTC on your favorite curvy road and you'll appreciate the precise and communicative steering. The GranTurismo isn't as nimble or playful as a 911, but it's agile enough for its size and comfortable enough for long-distance travel.
Although the Maserati's 4.7-liter V8 feels a little light on off-the-line thrust compared to the turbocharged engines in competitors, this engine comes into its own as you pick up revs, and it's loaded with personality. The six-speed automatic transmission works well, too, as it provides smooth gearchanges in its default mode and impressively quick upshifts in Sport mode.