Full 2009 Maserati Quattroporte Review
What's New for 2009
The Maserati Quattroporte lineup has been heavily revamped for 2009. There are now three revised trim levels -- base, S and Sport GT S. The latter two trims come with a new 4.7-liter V8 first seen in the GranTurismo S coupe. Exterior styling has also been tweaked, with revised headlights, a new grille and taillights featuring LED strips. There are also some minor interior trim and feature revisions for all 2009 models, including a new Bose multimedia integration system that greatly simplifies the car's center-stack controls.
Suppose you're a well-heeled automotive aficionado who wants a new ride, and you can't resist the allure of fine sporting cars from the country shaped like a boot. You're convinced there's nothing quite like Italian four-wheeled conveyances, with their sonorous engines, sumptuous interiors and character-rich personalities. But here's the thing -- you need four doors. You know the Ferrari 612 Scaglietti has a usable backseat, but ingress and egress are kind of a pain, not to mention that $270,000 base price. You, sir or madam, are about to be the proud owner of a 2009 Maserati Quattroporte.
The Quattroporte sedan looks like nothing else on the road, a delectable aesthetic cocktail of classic sport-sedan proportions and inimitable Italian flair. It also features impressive handling and a choice of two soul-stirring V8s. The base 4.2-liter engine is a treat, belting out an addictive wail at full throttle that befits its origins with corporate sibling Ferrari. New this year is a larger 4.7-liter V8, which is found on the new S and Sport GT S. First debuting on the GranTurismo S, the 4.7 tacks on 25 horsepower (33 hp in the GT S) and delivers slightly improved acceleration as well as better tractability around town. The new S and Sport GT S also benefit from larger and more powerful brakes and sportier exterior styling cues. Put it this way -- if Ferrari had applied a prancing horse logo instead of the Maserati trident, the Quattroporte would have fit right in as Modena's first production four-door.
In spirited driving, all Quattroporte models deliver sharp handling that belies the car's 4,400-pound curb weight, though the S and the Sport GT S are the ones to have if frequent visits to curving mountain roads are your cup of tea. There are extensive customization options for the finely crafted interior, and the new Bose multimedia integration and navigation system is a vast improvement from the car's earlier center-stack layout. Certainly, the 2009 Quattroporte isn't the cheapest or fastest performance luxury sedan on the block. But if you like to drive and enjoy ample doses of Italian character and panache, the Quattroporte will speak to you like few other four-doors can.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte is a performance luxury sedan offered in base, S and Sport GT S trims. Standard equipment on the base Quattroporte includes 18-inch wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, foglamps, heated exterior mirrors, rear park assist, a power tilt and telescoping steering column, leather upholstery, rosewood interior trim, 14-way power-adjustable heated front seats with driver memory, four-way power-adjustable rear outboard seats, a refrigerated storage compartment in the front armrest, dual-zone automatic climate control and a power rear sunshade. Also standard is a Bose multimedia integration system with a 30-gigabyte hard drive, a voice-activated navigation system, satellite radio, an iPod jack, a USB port and a nine-speaker surround-sound audio system.
The S model adds the 4.7-liter V8, 19-inch wheels, larger brakes, adjustable suspension dampers, a sport steering wheel with shift paddles and Wenge wood interior trim. The Sport GT S is similar but has a sport-tuned (nonadjustable) suspension and its own exclusive wheels and interior and exterior styling details.
The options list is as long as the average waiting time for an Italian train. At least one option also comes with its own waiting time -- eight months for the $8,800 Bianco Fuji pearlescent paint. Suffice it to say that if you want a particular feature on your Quattroporte, Maserati can probably figure out a way to make it happen.
Powertrains and Performance
The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte is powered by one of two V8s: a 4.2-liter and a 4.7-liter. The 4.2 cranks out 400 hp and 339 pound-feet of torque. The 4.7 in the Quattroporte S ups the ante to 425 hp and 361 lb-ft, while the Sport GT S promises 433 hp. The only available transmission is a six-speed automatic with manual shift control. Maserati says the base engine is good for a 0-60-mph run in the mid-5-second range, with the 4.7-liter mill trimming a few tenths off that time.
The Quattroporte comes well stocked with safety features. Front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, stability control and antilock brakes are all standard.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Maserati Quattroporte's cabin can be customized like few other production vehicles at its price point, offering a vast array of cabin trims and leather colors. Want a hideous combo of Cuiuo burnt orange and Bordeaux red? Maserati will set you up, although the word stupido may be overheard during production in Maserati's Modena factory. Seating is comfortably supportive, but taller drivers might find the Quattroporte a bit lacking in headroom. Also, the Quattroporte is clearly designed for only four, as indicated by the aggressive contours of the power-adjustable outboard rear seats.
The handsome dash and console receive more logical controls for 2009, though they aren't likely to challenge Toyota for ergonomic supremacy anytime soon. The previous navigation system was one of the worst in the business, but the new Bose multimedia system makes it a distant memory. The Bose setup includes hard-drive-based satellite navigation, a CD/MP3/DVD player, satellite radio, digital music storage, iPod integration, Bluetooth and voice activation. It works reasonably well, though unlike competing systems such as MMI and iDrive, this one makes do without a control knob -- instead, there's a dual-mode dial on each side of the display screen and buttons lining the top and bottom. One interesting feature of the Bose system is its infrared proximity sensor: Move your fingers close to the right-side knob and the system will automatically bring up the proper audio or navigation menu on the screen.
The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte's automatic transmission is perfect for the American performance luxury sedan market, offering crisp downshifts and seamless operation. Ride quality is on the firm side in the performance-biased Quattroporte S and Sport GT S, but those who find it objectionable should be quite content in the supple base model. Despite its 4,400-pound curb weight, the Quattroporte is in its element on serpentine roadways, evincing excellent steering feel and body control for a luxury sedan. Straight-line performance isn't world-beating, but the Quattroporte is plenty fast, and either V8 sounds soulful enough to make concerns about 0-60 times fade away.