2017 Maserati Ghibli

2017 Maserati Ghibli Review

Sharp handling and Italian flair make the Ghibli a distinctive choice for a midsize luxury sedan.
3.5 star edmunds overall rating
author
by Dan Frio
Edmunds Editor

Many luxury automakers are now offering sedans that straddle the line between swoopy four-door coupes and traditional midsize luxury sedans. Maserati is in the mix as well with its 2017 Ghibli. The Ghibli is unmistakably a Maserati, and its style and proportions split the difference between the automaker's flagship Quattroporte sedan and Gran Turismo two-door.

On sheer Italian flair alone, the Ghibli hits the right notes. But it's not just a sharp suit; it's also a sublime handler in the corners and curves. An available twin-turbo V6 sourced from its Ferrari corporate cousin further sweetens the deal.

That's the good news, and for many it will be enough. Less impressive is the 2017 Ghibli's interior fit and finish. Borrowing buttons, knobs and switches from its corporate Fiat Chrysler parent, the Ghibli's cabin feels more Dodge and Detroit than Testarossa or Turin. It's still fairly snazzy on its own, but not when you consider other models that the Ghibli competes with.

We think those other European rivals — Mercedes-Benz's CLS- and E-Class models, Audi's A6 and A7, and the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe — are worth strong consideration first. What they might lack in passione, they account for with luxury, elegance and effortless driving experience. The Ghibli can tug at your heartstrings with its infectious spirit, but it may leave you unsatisfied after the novelty wears off.



what's new

For 2017, the Maserati Ghibli adds new optional driver assistance and safety features, an improved infotainment interface, and updated Luxury and Sport packages.

we recommend

Maserati teases you with the base Ghibli, and it's not a bad choice if you just love the design. But its performance is underwhelming, and for speed that matches the style, you'll need to go with the Ghibli S or all-wheel drive S Q4. Both offer more horsepower and torque than the base model, as well as handy extras such as adaptive front lighting.

trim levels & features

The 2017 Maserati Ghibli is a midsize luxury sedan available in three trims: base, S and S Q4. The base model comes well-stocked with features such as 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery and navigation. The S offers more engine power, performance and luxury appointments (leather-trimmed panels, for example), and the S Q4 provides the same, but with all-wheel drive. 

Standard features on the base start with a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 engine (350 horsepower, 369 pound-feet of torque) paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. From there it includes 19-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, LED running lights and taillights, automatic wipers, a sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable steering wheel, leather upholstery, power and heated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, an 8.4-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, and an eight-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

The Ghibli S gets the same engine with more power (410 hp, 406 lb-ft of torque), upgraded brakes, adaptive headlights with washers, automatic high beams, and additional leather dash and door trim. The Ghibli S Q4 is similarly equipped but adds all-wheel drive.

Ghibli option packages start with the Luxury package, which includes among other items ventilated front seats, a hands-free power trunk, a 10-speaker premium Harman Kardon sound system and driver assistance features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and a surround-view camera. There's also a Zegna Edition Luxury package, which integrates silk from the famed Italian design house into seats and surfaces.

The Sport package for S and S Q4 trim levels includes a choice of 19-, 20- and 21-inch alloy wheels, adaptive suspension, sport seats, shift paddles, blind-spot monitoring, and front and rear parking sensors. The Sport Carbon package swaps in a carbon-fiber steering wheel, shift paddles, doorsills and assorted interior trim bits.

The Driver Assistance package offers several modern driver aids including adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and a surround-view camera.

Other notable options to look out for include an adaptive suspension, a variety of different wheel selections, a 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound audio system, upgraded leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the base 2014 Maserati Ghibli (turbo 3.0L V6 | 8-speed automatic | RWD).

Edmunds Scorecard

Overall3.5 / 5.0

Driving

3.5 / 5.0

Acceleration3.5 / 5.0
Braking3.5 / 5.0
Steering2.0 / 5.0
Handling5.0 / 5.0
Drivability4.0 / 5.0

Comfort

4.0 / 5.0

Seat comfort5.0 / 5.0
Ride comfort3.0 / 5.0
Noise & vibration4.0 / 5.0

Interior

3.5 / 5.0

Ease of use2.0 / 5.0
Getting in/getting out3.0 / 5.0
Roominess4.0 / 5.0
Visibility4.5 / 5.0
Quality2.5 / 5.0

driving

edmunds rating
If you want a truly pulse-quickening Ghibli, you'll have to step up to the 410-hp S Q4 model. This base Ghibli is no slacker, but it never has alarming punch. The handling? Oh, it's sensational. Perfect balance at all times.

acceleration

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Not overly quick, but the 350-hp twin-turbo V6 provides a smooth flow of thrust from 3,000 to 6,500 rpm. The exhaust gets growly in Sport.

braking

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The pedal has some softness early in the stroke. But the brakes do a good job of hauling the Ghibli down from speed with zero drama. No pedal fade.

steering

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The effort is a tad too light, with our test car exhibiting a rubbery feel off-center. It feels artificial, like it's electric. But it's hydraulic. Still, the Ghibli goes where it's pointed.

handling

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Precise, willing and perfectly balanced. Not only is the Ghibli easy to control at the limit, but it exhibits almost zero understeer. As midsize luxury sport sedans go, this is one of the best.

drivability

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Smooth throttle delivery. The eight-speed automatic is happy to kick down a gear but could use stronger throttle blips for smoother rev-matched downshifts.

comfort

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The Ghibli is quiet and comfortable, especially considering it's an Italian sport sedan. The front and rear seats are well padded. The turbo V6 only gets loud when the Sport button is activated. The Normal suspension setting is just soft enough.

seat comfort

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The front and rear seats are thickly padded and comfy. The front buckets have good lumbar support. Your body settles into these seats, forming instant lateral support to keep you secure when going around turns.

ride comfort

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Our test car's optional adjustable suspension should satisfy most. Normal mode isn't overly cushy, but it smooths out the big bumps. Sport mode is definitely more jiggly.

noise & vibration

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Excellent sound deadening and dual-pane glass keep the Ghibli extremely quiet in normal driving. Summer tires, however, do produce some extra humming over coarse surfaces.

interior

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The Ghibli's interior isn't as sumptuous as we thought it would be, and there are some ergonomic oddities. But there's plenty of room and good outward visibility as well as some useful storage/cargo ideas.

ease of use

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The steering wheel has a overly large diameter. It's hard to see lights on buttons next to the console shifter and for the climate controls. The left-side paddle shifter interferes with the turn-signal stalk operation.

getting in/getting out

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Access to the front is easy, but the rear doors are small. Your feet can get caught on the doorsill on your way in. The center console also protrudes rearward in back, which can make it hard to slide across to the other rear seat.

roominess

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Excellent headroom front and rear, even for tall people. Good kneeroom for the driver and decent elbow space up front. Rear footroom is poor, though.

visibility

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The narrow and short windshield pillars allow an excellent view out the front, perfect for looking through turns. The rear of the car sweeps up, and the rear window is wide but short. A rearview camera is standard, as you'd expect.

quality

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The interior could be better. The Chrysler switchgear brings down the quality level of the Ghibli. We also noticed some sharp edges on the trim, and one car had a rattle from the back deck.

utility

The better-than-average trunk space, split-folding rear seats and rear seat pass-through give the Ghibli surprising cargo-carrying flexibility and utility.

small-item storage

No front bin, but there's a large (and cooled) center armrest bin. The door pockets are reasonably deep, but they're narrow.

cargo space

edmunds rating
Uniform shape to 17.7-cubic-foot trunk, bigger than that of the E-Class or even CLS-Class but pales compared to the Audi A7's, for example. Split folding rear seats come standard and enhance utility.

technology

The 2017 Ghibli makes a welcome tech leap forward, with upgraded in-car electronics and new driver assistance features. A new dial controller makes for easier infotainment roaming, while forward collision warning, auto emergency braking and adaptive cruise control make a long-overdue appearance.

audio & navigation

An 8.4-inch touchscreen display appears lifted from the Dodge-Jeep-Chrysler family, but that's not a bad thing. Big surface area and quick response make it easy to use on the road. Optional audio systems are legitimate audiophile offerings, especially the 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround system.

smartphone integration

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration are now included. There's no native in-car app suite (diagnostics, service reminders, concierge service), but we don't miss one either.

driver aids

Maserati has answered complaints about a lack of available driver assistance technologies with the 2017 Ghibli. Options include most of the now-common features: blind-spot monitoring, auto emergency braking and lane keeping assist, among others.

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.