Full 2012 Maserati Quattroporte Review
What's New for 2012
The 2012 Maserati Quattroporte receives some minor optional equipment changes. A few common options have also been bundled into convenient packages for easier ordering.
Existing in a class of one has its advantages and its pitfalls. Being the only Italian four-door sedan available affords Maserati the freedom to do things a little differently with the Quattroporte. The 2012 Maserati Quattroporte indulges with elegant style, high-quality materials and old-world craftsmanship. It's what sets this low-volume luxury sedan apart from some of its ubiquitous rivals. However, participating as a small player in a competitive segment overshadowed by well-backed giants like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and now Porsche has its challenges.
In the recent past, the Maserati Quattroporte was considered an outlier. While it was a unique and highly customizable option to the volume sellers, it lacked some modern features that affluent buyers now expect in a $100,000-plus sedan. The 2012 Quattroporte is certainly better, but it still lacks some of the most advanced options that are pretty common for flagship luxury sedan shoppers these days, such as adaptive cruise control, collision avoidance technology and Web-based connectivity.
Be that as it may, there are those who are passionate about the visceral qualities of the 2012 Maserati Quattroporte. Fitted with sumptuous leather finished by a world-renowned Italian furniture company, exotic real wood and a sonorous Ferrari-designed V8, the Quattroporte entertains in a different way. It's a pleasure and an occasion to drive this five-passenger sedan. Sophisticated double-wishbone suspension, precise steering and an intelligent six-speed automatic combine to provide an experience that stimulates at least four of your senses.
Those considering the Maserati Quattroporte might also consider a similarly proportioned, equally rare and eye-catching Aston Martin Rapide. While the stylish Brit's price is nearly twice that of the stunning Italian, it also boasts a more powerful V12 engine. Going on price alone, we would recommend looking at the Audi A8, Jaguar XJ and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. For those seeking a combination of utter performance, technology galore and unique styling, the best choice will be the Porsche Panamera that is offered in seven variations.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2012 Maserati Quattroporte is a performance-oriented large luxury sedan offered in base, S and Sport GT S trims.
Standard equipment on the base Quattroporte includes a 4.2-liter V8, 18-inch wheels, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, foglamps, LED taillamps, 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, 14-way power-adjustable front seats with driver memory, dual-zone automatic climate control and a power rear sunshade. Also standard are a Bose multimedia integration system with a 30-gigabyte hard drive, a voice-activated satellite 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 suspension dampers and polished Wenge wood interior trim. The Sport GT S is similarly powered, 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 Executive GT package that includes chromed exterior side vents, massaging/ventilated front seats, a faux suede headliner and wooden tray tables for rear passengers. The S model further offers two bundled wheel/brake and interior options within the Premium Pack 4.7, Plus Pack 4.7 plus two separate carbon-fiber trim packages.
Stand-alone options include a wood and leather steering wheel, different wheels up to 20 inches in diameter, a faux suede headliner, contrasting-color upholstery stitching and carpet piping. Also offered are front parking sensors, heated/ventilated/massaging rear seats and privacy louvers for demure passengers. 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 2012 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 5.5 seconds for the base model and 5.3 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 12 mpg city/20 mpg highway and 15 mpg in combined driving for the 4.2-liter V8, while the 4.7-liter engine is rated at 12/19/14.
Standard safety features for all 2012 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 colors 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 2012 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. Selecting the Sport mode protocol sharpens shifting as well as the firmness of the available adaptive dampers.
Despite its weight of about 4,400 pounds, the long Maserati is surprisingly competent on serpentine roads thanks to an idealized weight distribution, 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.