Full 2009 Maserati GranTurismo Review
What's New for 2009
Entering its second year of production, the suave Maserati GranTurismo receives a standard Bose multimedia system as well as a new S trim level featuring a larger 4.7-liter V8 and an automated manual transmission.
The 2009 Maserati GranTurismo is quite possibly the well-heeled enthusiast's dream car. It looks like nothing else on the road -- in a very good way. It sounds like the Italian purebred it is, particularly when the S model's exhaust baffles open up to let the 4.7-liter V8 sing. Its interior is adorned with opulent materials, and customization possibilities are seemingly endless. The GranTurismo isn't just another car: it's a living, breathing testament to the passion of Italian automotive design.
Well, all right, let's not get carried away. The GranTurismo only lives and breathes, of course, when you turn it on; otherwise, it's a collection of metal and rubber like any four-wheeled conveyance. But there's something uniquely visceral about the way a Ferrari-influenced V8 roars to life; likewise, the styling has a certain Úlan that the less exuberant German competition simply can't match. The GranTurismo feels as if it was designed and built by people who love cars, and that's a big part of what makes it worth the substantial price of admission.
Of course, there's more to the GranTurismo than just sights and sounds. The base 4.2-liter eight-cylinder is wonderfully smooth, and its explosive high-rpm muscle enables the GranTurismo to accelerate like a sports car. The new 4.7-liter V8 in the S model is quicker still, as well as more tractable around town. While the 4,100-pound-plus GranTurismo won't set any record lap times, it strikes an agreeable balance between capable handling and long-distance cruising comfort -- just as a proper GT car should. Those who buy a GranTurismo for its beauty will be pleased to discover that it's more than sheet metal deep.
With the addition of a Bose multimedia system this year to compete with iDrive and other such German contrivances, the 2009 Maserati GranTurismo is now the complete package. The BMW M6 is quicker and cheaper, and the Jaguar XKR and Mercedes-Benz CL550 and CL63 AMG are also worthy rivals, but only the Maserati delivers the grand touring goods in such a winsome fashion.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2009 Maserati GranTurismo is a four-passenger grand touring coupe available in two trim levels -- base and S. The base GranTurismo comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, Brembo brakes, the electronically adjustable "Skyhook" suspension, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps with washers, foglamps, heated exterior mirrors, rear parking sensors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with column-mounted shift paddles, leather upholstery, heated power front seats with memory and dual-zone automatic climate control. Also standard is a voice-activated Bose multimedia system with a 30-gigabyte hard drive, a navigation system, satellite radio, an iPod jack, a USB port and a nine-speaker surround-sound audio system. The GranTurismo S includes a larger engine, an automated manual transmission, 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned (but nonadjustable) suspension, a sport exhaust, trim-specific styling cues, Alcantara interior trim, aluminum pedals and a digital tachometer in the instrument cluster.
The options list is notable for its dizzying customization possibilities. The Skyhook suspension can be added to the S for a price, while a full-leather interior is a no-cost option. The brake calipers can be painted any of five additional colors (black is standard on the base model, red on the S), and there are three optional wheel designs for each trim level. Moreover, seemingly endless combinations of interior hues and trim pieces are available, with three different kinds of wood, six paints that can be applied to the wood, an Alcantara headliner in your choice of five colors, et cetera.
Powertrains and Performance
The base 2009 Maserati GranTurismo is propelled by a 4.2-liter V8 that pumps out 405 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. The engine is designed and built by Ferrari, but its unique crankshaft and cylinder heads distinguish it as a Maserati mill. A six-speed conventional automatic transmission with steering-column-mounted shift paddles routes power to the rear wheels. The GranTurismo S steps up to a 4.7-liter V8 rated at 433 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque, as well as a six-speed automated manual transmission or the automatic. Maserati expects 0-60-mph sprints of 5.1 seconds from the base car and 4.8 seconds from the S.
The GranTurismo comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2009 Maserati GranTurismo's leather-encased interior is warm, inviting and highly customizable, thanks to an extensive selection of colors and materials. Controls are mostly where you'd expect them to be, and the driving position is first-rate. Note that the GranTurismo's well-bolstered rear seat actually accommodates two adults, which cannot be said of the M6 or XKR, despite their four-passenger pretensions.
The GranTurismo's previous navigation system wasn't exactly a highlight of the car, but the new Bose multimedia system makes it a distant memory. This setup includes hard-drive-based satellite navigation, a CD/MP3/DVD player, satellite radio, digital music storage, iPod integration, Bluetooth and voice activation. It's a versatile and generally user-friendly system that brings the GranTurismo technologically into line with its chief rivals.
Thanks to its well-sorted chassis and capable-yet-compliant suspension, the 2009 Maserati GranTurismo is equally at home on winding roads and interstates. It's not a hard-core sports car, but that should probably suit most buyers just fine. The Ferrari bloodlines are most evident under the hood, where either V8 does a fine impression of a prancing-horse product. We'd still like to row our own gears with one of those iconic Italian gated shifters, but the S model's crisp automated manual has placated us to some extent.