Review: Maserati Ghibli (2013)

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Available with an impressive twin turbo V6 diesel engine. Improved interior finish. Strong performance and great style. Five star Euro NCAP rating.

Clunky gear selector action. Brakes lack progression. Expensive alongside the competition. Steering is a touch vague.

Maserati Ghibli (2013): At A Glance

Maserati has long been a brand associated with style, performance and exclusivity. Things are changing though as the Italian manufacturer looks to be less of a niche player and move more into the mainstream with an expanding model range.

Step forward the new Ghibli. This is a four door saloon that sits below the Quattroporte in the Maserati line-up and in terms of size is similar to a BMW 5 Series and Jaguar XF.

The Ghibli name is not new. It dates back to the 1960s, although then it was a grand tourer designed to compete with cars like the Ferrari Daytona. Now it's a more sensible saloon and the big news is that the Ghibli will be the first Maserati to come with a diesel engine. The 3.0-litre V6 unit is also used in the Jeep Grand Cherokee and gets an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Alongside this are two V6 petrol engines.

The Ghibli is certainly distinctive styled, with a long bonnet and short rear-end. The aggressive front end features angular headlights similar to those seen on the Quattroporte and the grille and wing vents echo those of the V8-powered Gran Turismo. It makes much of the competition look distinctly ordinary.

Sadly the cabin isn't as dramatic and lacks some of the style you'd expect from an Italian luxury car. That said, the quality is impressive and the sumptuous interior is incredibly comfortable. One criticism is the clunky action of the gear selector which isn't very pleasant, while the paddleshifts for the gearbox are mounted on the steering column rather than the wheel itself.

The Ghibli competes with top end versions of the BMW 5 Series and the like so it's no surprise to see a price tag to match. The diesel model costs £48,600 which is competitive with rivals. It's an impressive refined saloon and a car that's guaranteed to create plenty of interest and admiration.

Looking for a Maserati Ghibli (2013 on)?
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What does a Maserati Ghibli (2013) cost?

List Price from £54,835
Buy new from £51,129
Contract hire from £624.46 per month

Maserati Ghibli (2013): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4971 mm
Width 2100–2128 mm
Height 1461 mm
Wheelbase 2990–2998 mm

Full specifications

Maserati says it has aimed for an interior that is elegantly simple, with clean lines and user-friendly instrumentation. It has certainly succeeded and given the Ghibli a luxury feel that's not always found on rival cars. The leather topped dash and doors have a lovely feel to them and there's an air of quality throughout.

It's a shame it's let down by that clunky gear lever operation. Other gripes are the sole indicator stalk that also controls the wipers. Because of the paddleshifts being mounted on the steering column, you have to stretch your hand to reach the stalk rather than just being able to flick the indicator on.

On the plus side the dials are a stylish yet simple design and sitting between them is a colour screen with a very comprehensive trip computer and control system. It comes with a digital speedo as standard and it's easy to operate through buttons on the steering wheel. One oddity though is that there's no volume control on the multifunction steering wheel.

However, the driving position is good and there's plenty of adjustment in both the driver's seat and the steering column. Rear visibility isn't great and indeed it's hard to judge the extremities of both the front and rear of the car but thankfully there are front and rear parking sensors as standard and an optional reversing camera as part of the Convenience Pack.

The rear seats offer reasonable space despite the coupe-like design, although taller passengers will find head room tight and the angle of the roof means you feel hemmed in. However, legroom is good and the Ghibli is also practical with rear seats that split and fold plus a 500-litre boot which is usefully wide albeit it with a rather narrow opening.

As well as plenty of stowage, including a large cubby under the central armrest, the Ghibli has lots of modern touches including a huge 8.4-inch colour touchscreen as part of the Maserati Touch Control system. The screen has an excellent resolution with clear buttons that control an intuitive and easy to use system. The nav is very good and quick to route plus there's a USB connection which supports iPhones and iPods.  

Child seats that fit a Maserati Ghibli (2013)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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What's the Maserati Ghibli (2013) like to drive?

The Ghibli is the first Maserati to come with a diesel engine. It's a 3.0-litre V6 that produces 275PS but what really stands out is the 600Nm of torque that gives the Ghibli diesel muscular performance.

Acceleration from 0-62mph takes 6.3 seconds and it is certainly no poor relation to the 3.0-litre V6 petrol engines with strong pace. Plus of course fuel economy is much improved with a claimed 47.8mpg available. CO2 emissions are 158g/km which is on par with rivals like the similarly powered Jaguar XF.

Thanks to the fact it's a V6, the engine has plenty of character and while not unpleasant, there's certainly more of a rumble from under the bonnet than in rival V6 diesels from Audi or Jaguar. It can be a little slow to respond to throttle inputs at low speeds so driving in traffic isn't always smooth but of more concern is the gear selector. It has a clunky operation so it's not very easy to quickly select the right gear while putting it into park requires more force than you'd expect.

Once you're on the move that's less of an issue and you can instead enjoy the immense performance of the 3.0 diesel. It pulls superbly well from low revs with a muscular feel and a lovely sound. There's also a Sport setting which makes the exhaust note more prominent and quickens the gearshitfs from the automatic gearbox. The eight-speed 'box works well in the standard mode, although it can hunt for gears when rushed.

The other option is to put it in manual mode and change gear yourself using the gearshift paddles. This presents another issue as the paddles are fixed to the column rather than the steering wheel. This is awkward in itself but worse still is the fact that rather than a satisfying blip on either paddle to change up or down, the Ghibli requires a clunky pull of either. It's far from pleasant and makes the system feel dated.

There's better news when it comes to handling though. Despite a lack of feel in the steering, the rear-wheel drive Ghibli is impressive through corners with impressive amounts of grip, good traction helped by a mechanical limited slip differential and very little weight transfer. It has good agility for what is a substantial car and is also very refined too, although the brakes do lack progression.

Sadly the ride isn't the best and the Ghibli can struggle to settle down on undulating roads although there is the option of an adaptive damping system called Skyhook. The diesel Ghibi is also available with Sport suspension which lowers the ride height by 10mm and uses stiffer springs and firmer dampers.

Aside from the diesel, there are also two petrol versions of the Ghibli. Both use a twin-turbo 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine with the standard model producing 330PS and the Ghibli S developing 410PS and 550Nm. The latter is the real performance model in the range with a 0-62mph time of just 5.0 seconds although as you'd expect, economy is pretty poor at 27.2mpg.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
3.0 25–40 mpg 5.5–6.3 s 158–255 g/km
3.0 D 39–48 mpg 6.3 s 158–184 g/km
3.0 S 29 mpg 4.9–5.0 s 223 g/km

Real MPG average for a Maserati Ghibli (2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

20–38 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Maserati Ghibli (2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Why does my Maserati Ghibli have a steering judder problem?

My Maserati Ghibli has a wheel judder issue when turning on hard lock. I read about the wheel judder on some Mercedes-Benz models also doing this. I have asked Maserati about this but they say it is quite normal and not to worry - but I do worry - it does not seem right! The manufacturers warranty is due to expire in a week so should I insist on a check before the warranty expires?
If it happens on 3/4 lock there's a problem. If it only happens on full lock then the reason is that to give the car an acceptable turning radius the lock stops have been set too ambitiously. You can have the lock stops altered, but the result will be a greater turning circle. The Mercedes-Benz C43 and GLC problem is that it crabs well before full lock is applied.
Answered by Honest John
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