Used 2015 Maserati Ghibli Review

Despite some disappointing aspects to its interior, the 2015 Maserati Ghibli brings a welcome dose of Italian power, speed and style to the midsize luxury sport sedan class.




what's new

For 2015, the Maserati Ghibli sees a shuffling of standard and optional equipment. Notably, a navigation system is now standard as are 19-inch wheels, which previously were both optional.

vehicle overview

When you're a relatively low-volume, high-end car maker, bolstering your bottom line by bringing out a model more accessible to the masses can be tricky. The problem is, you want something more affordable for folks aspiring to your brand, yet you don't want to dilute your prestigious image by cutting corners in performance, styling and quality. Maserati deftly walks this tightrope with the 2015 Maserati Ghibli.

For the most part, the 2015 Ghibli is unmistakably a Maserati. Of course, it has style of the company's Quattroporte flagship sedan. And you won't find any weakness under the hood, either. In addition to its impressive output -- either 345 or 404 horsepower, depending on the trim level – the Ferrari-designed turbocharged V6 provides a proper soundtrack when driven hard.

But although the Ghibli's interior has the expected Italian flair and leather trimmings, closer scrutiny will reveal that it's not quite as refined as the cabins seen in the Maser's rivals. Inside, there are ample swaths of leather upholstery, but much of it is unpadded and lacks the supple feel you'd expect in a luxury sedan in this price range. Switches and knobs also look and feel rather ordinary for this class. Finally, while there's a good selection of standard and optional equipment on the 2015 Ghibli, there are nonetheless some features missing that rivals offer, such as multi-adjustable front seats, adaptive cruise control and some advanced safety systems.  

Of course, those considering the 2015 Maserati Ghibli will probably also visit the showrooms of its European rivals, particularly the Audi A7, BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz CLS-Class. They similarly offer high style and luxury, along with a greater choice of engines that includes V8s and, in the case of the Audi, diesel power. Although the Ghibli may not be the definitive pick for a high-end midsize sedan in this illustrious group, we're still glad that Maserati has brought some Italian flair to a class typically dominated by large German automakers.

trim levels & features

The 2015 Maserati Ghibli is a five-passenger midsize luxury sedan that comes in base and S Q4 trims.

Standard features on the base model include 19-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlamps, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, leather upholstery, six-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, a navigation system, an 8.4-inch touchscreen display, Bluetooth and an eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio and USB and auxiliary ports.

The S Q4 comes with all of the above as standard plus all-wheel drive, auto-dimming outside mirrors, a power sunroof, heated front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel and driver memory settings.

Various package and stand-alone options allow you to customize the Ghibli with an array of wood, carbon fiber and upgraded leather trim. Several wheel designs are available, up to 21 inches in diameter, as are brake calipers in multiple colors. Notable options include front and rear parking sensors, a driver-adjustable adaptive suspension, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, power-adjustable pedals, a power rear sunshade, heated front and rear seats, ventilated front seats and a heated steering wheel. On the electronics side, you can get an upgraded 10-speaker sound system, a premium 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins sound system and an onboard WiFi hotspot.

performance & mpg

The base 2015 Maserati Ghibli comes standard with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine that sends 345 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. The all-wheel-drive S Q4 sports a higher-output version of that engine that makes 404 hp and 406 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, while steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are optional for both models.

According to EPA estimates, the rear-drive Ghibli achieves 19 mpg in combined driving (15 mpg city/25 mpg highway). The Ghibli S Q4 is just slightly less at 18 mpg combined (also 15/25).

safety

Standard safety features for the 2015 Ghibli include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a rearview camera.

Front and rear parking sensors are optional, but other safety technology like blind-spot monitoring, 360-degree parking cameras, lane keeping assist and forward collision mitigation aren't offered.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Ghibli the best possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. The Ghibli's seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

driving

Acceleration from the base Maserati Ghibli's 345-hp V6 engine is ample but nothing particularly special for this class. If you're intent on wringing serious joy from your Maserati ownership experience, we highly recommend the more potent S Q4 model. Though both models use the same automatic transmission, the S Q4's eight-speed is tuned for snappier shifts and better performance. Most of the time, however, you'll be mesmerized by the Ghibli's engine and exhaust notes, which could have been perfected by a master Italian pipe organ tuner. In Sport mode, especially, the S Q4 rips, pops and snarls when you back off the gas pedal like nothing else in the class.

In normal driving around town or on the freeway, the 2015 Maserati Ghibli is quiet and pretty composed for a midsize luxury sport sedan. More impressive, though, is the way the Ghibli carves through turns with unexpected agility and confidence. The all-wheel-drive-equipped S Q4 does even better. We're not fond of the Ghibli's steering, though. It has an artificial, almost rubbery feel that detracts from the car's otherwise vice-free performance.

interior

The Maserati Ghibli's interior is a study in contrasts. On one hand, you can order deluxe appointments like a two-tone leather dash, leather door armrests and a suedelike headliner, while trimming the cabin in high-gloss wood, open-pore wood or carbon fiber. On the other hand, many of the knobs, buttons and tactile interfaces appear to come from the Chrysler shelves and feel more utilitarian than you'd like at this price (parent automaker Fiat owns both Maserati and Chrysler). The 8.4-inch touchscreen display, in particular, traces a fairly direct line to the infotainment interfaces in the Dodge Charger and Jeep Grand Cherokee. On the upside, this interface is quite straightforward to use and much less complicated than the more elaborate infotainment systems in the German-brand sedans.

Still, there's little doubt the Ghibli falls short of those precision-built German rivals in overall cabin quality. Surprisingly, the Ghibli's front seats offer outstanding comfort, even with their minimal number of adjustments. The seats' thick padding and firm side bolsters are as ideal for a spirited jaunt on a back road as they are for a long interstate drive.

Unlike some rival coupe-styled sedans, the Ghibli doesn't penalize rear seat passengers with a sloping roof line that consumes headroom. There's plenty of rear head- and legroom, even for taller passengers, though foot space under the front seats is tight. At 17.7 cubic feet, the trunk offers generous space for the class, while the rear seat folds in a 60/40 split for added versatility.

edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.