Full 2011 Maserati Quattroporte Review
What's New for 2011
The 2011 Maserati Quattroporte receives some minor cosmetic changes to the S model that are pulled from the GT S trim level. A few options have also been bundled into convenient packages for easier ordering.
Some things just sound better in Italian. In English, Giuseppe Verdi would be a rather pedestrian "Joe Green." Likewise, would you shell out over $120,000 for a car that is simply called the "four-door?" Call it the 2011 Maserati Quattroporte, however, and suddenly it doesn't sound so plain.
For Maserati, the Quattroporte name dates back to the 1960s when large, fast sedans from Italy were a rarity. The current model represents the fifth generation of this car, and its Pininfarina-designed bodywork helped put Maserati in front of many new buyers after years of troubled coupes and convertibles. But this model has been around since 2004, and is beginning to show its age in the face of newer four-door luxury models from England and Germany. Nevertheless, the Maserati Quattroporte still manages to touch all of the necessary bases, making it a memorable luxury sedan.
The 2011 Maserati Quattroporte delivers a smooth and quiet ride that rivals that of cars from any other luxury brand, along with that certain little Italian ingredient -- passion. An even though power output from the available V8 engines is less than that of its rivals, the Quattroporte manages to engage and excite. This car's handling is also noteworthy, even in its base-model configuration.
Unfortunately, the Quattroporte has received few updates in the six years since its debut. The 2011 Mercedes-Benz S-Class still defines the market segment and is available in several different models, from a hybrid to the wild AMG variants, and provides more contemporary technological features. The 2011 Porsche Panamera is also worth a look for its surprising levels of sophistication and performance, as are the latest examples of the 2011 Audi A8 and 2011 Jaguar XJ. Most of these alternatives also have a starting price well below that of the Maserati. But if you've got a thing for Italian passion, you'd be remiss to pass up the 2011 Maserati Quattroporte.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2011 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, power-folding and heated outside mirrors, a power-actuated trunk lid, power-assisted doors, rear parking sensors, a sunroof, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, auto-dimming mirrors, leather upholstery, wood interior trim, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with driver memory, 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 an 11-speaker surround-sound audio system.
The S model adds the 4.7-liter V8, 19-inch wheels, larger brakes, adjustable "Skyhook" suspension dampers and polished Wenge wood interior trim. The Sport GT S is similar but has 20-inch wheels, a sport-tuned (nonadjustable) suspension, shift paddles, faux-suede seat inserts, and exclusive interior and exterior styling details.
Available on the base and S model is the optional Base Pack which adds different wheels, painted brake calipers, a faux suede headliner, contrasting-color upholstery stitching and carpet piping. Also offered is the Plus Pack, which includes all of the Base Pack's features plus front parking sensors, ventilated front seats with massage functions, heated rear seats and a wood and leather steering wheel. The Quattroporte S is also eligible for the Executive Pack that includes much of the Base and Plus Packs as well as shift paddles.
Many of the features from the higher-trimmed Quattroportes and the option packages are available as stand-alone options. Additionally, buyers can add tinted glass, four-way power-adjustable and heated rear outboard seats, window blinds, rear-seat climate controls, fold-down trays in the front seatbacks and a rear-seat entertainment system.
Powertrains and Performance
The base 2011 Maserati Quattroporte is powered by a 4.2-liter V8 that produces 400 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. Both the Quattroporte S and GT S models receive a 4.7-liter V8 that increases output to 425 hp and 361 lb-ft of torque. Either engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Maserati estimates 0-60-mph acceleration at 5.6 seconds for the base model and 5.4 seconds for the S. The GT S, making use of its launch control system, is expected to make the same run in only 5.1 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 11 mpg city/17 mpg highway and 14 mpg in combined driving for the 4.2-liter V8, while the 4.7-liter engine is rated at 1 mpg greater on the highway.
Standard safety features for all 2011 Quattroportes include antilock brakes, stability control, traction control, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Quattroporte's interior is just what you'd expect from a luxury sedan of this stature. Nearly every surface is covered in either supple leather or rich wood trim. Furthermore, Maserati buyers may choose an interior treatment from a dizzying array of color and materials to suit their particular tastes.
Controls are fairly intuitive and easy to operate, with the Bose multimedia system featuring a clever infrared proximity sensor that automatically summons the proper audio or navigation menu to the screen when your finger moves close to the desired button.
Technically, the Maserati Quattroporte can seat up to five passengers, but judging from the deeply contoured outboard rear seats, only four would really be comfortable. All seats are supportive and comfortable for long stretches, but taller drivers may find the accommodations lacking in headroom. The trunk can hold up to 16 cubic feet, which is plenty for a few golf bags and suitcases.
The 2011 Maserati Quattroporte won't win any races against some of its more athletic competition, but it will certainly have enough power and handling to stir the soul of the average driver. The six-speed automatic transmission makes the best of the available power with smooth and crisp shifts.
Despite its weight of about 4,400 pounds, the long Maserati is surprisingly competent on serpentine roads thanks to excellent steering feel and body control. The base model Quattroporte delivers a luxurious and tranquil highway ride. Opting for the S and GT S models will stiffen up the ride some, but certainly not to the point where it becomes intrusive.