Ferrari California (2009 – 2017) Review

Ferrari California (2009 – 2017) At A Glance


+Beautiful styling. Has a folding hard top. V8 engine delivers 460PS. At £143,000 relatively cheap for a Ferrari.

-Still expensive compared to a Porsche 911.

Insurance Group 50

Ferrari is probably the most famous name in automotive history and certainly the most evocative. It has created iconic sports cars and become a by-word for style, desirability and speed. And with the California it's created one of most desirable and beautiful grand tourers around.

The California may have been dubbed the ‘baby’ Ferrari when it was launched, but while the California is the cheapest model from the Italian brand at a few grand shy of a mere £150,000, it’s far from being the 'poor' relation in the range.

In fact, it's the perfect open top sports car. Not too over the top yet still purposeful and stylish, it's a car that gets noticed for its elegance rather than merely for the fact it's a Ferrari.

With a metal folding roof it's refined too, so while there's no mistaking there's a hugely powerful V8 engine powering it, this is no raw-edged racer. That said, it's far from slow with the 460PS engine giving it a 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds.

However, high performance rarely means efficiency or economy. But Ferrari thinks it can change that. Surely Ferrari isn’t concerned with efficiency? Well it is actually.

The Italian brand says it’s possible to achieve low CO2 emissions while still maintaining Ferrari levels of performance. It’s serious too and in 2007 began an ambitious five-year plan to reduce the CO2 of its cars by 40 per cent. No easy task. That's why the California comes with an engine start/stop system.

It's a system that works susprisingly well and in fact the California is very easy to drive in town or in traffic, thanks to the new dual-clutch seven-speed gearbox as standard. The F1-inspired steering wheel is a nice touch and the interior of the California is modern and well-finished with a high quality feel, not something that was always the case with Ferrari models in the past.

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Ask Honest John

Which luxury car is the wisest financial decision - Ferrari, Bentley or Aston Martin?

"In early 2013, I bought a new BMW 640d M Sport Gran Coupe. I part exchanged it two years later for a new BMW M4. That cost me £32,000 in depreciation. I'm now thinking of selling my M4 at the three year point and expect a similar amount of depreciation. The total in five years will be about £64,000. I want to minimise the cost of ownership with my next purchase and have a short list of four second hand vehicles for my budget of £80,000. The options are a low mileage Aston Martin Virage, low mileage Bentley Continental GT, Ferrari California or, at a push, high mileage Ferrari F430. The BMW have cost very little in servicing or road tax. Including depreciation, cost of servicing and road tax - could you advise which might be best in terms of total cost of ownership? I drive about 4000 miles per year. Feel free to suggest an alternative car if you can."
Massive risk factor and high servicing costs with the Aston and the Ferrari, but recently Ferrari have been holding their prices quite well. A California makes more sense than a 430. Why not a Porsche 911? Obviously you will amortise your M4 more effectively by keeping it for another year or two, but if you're fed up with it that isn't an option.
Answered by Honest John

Should I haggle when buying a sports car such as an Aston Martin DB9 or Ferrari California?

"Having read the interview in last weekend's Daily Telegraph I was surprised to read you have already spent 18 years offering your services to readers of the Daily Telegraph, and I hope you will continue to do so for many years, because with a world becoming ever more complicated, your advice is more needed than ever hence this email. In your interview you said one should haggle; I wonder would this also be possible when one intends to buy a used Ferrari or Aston Martin? If so, by how much, as I intend to purchase a sports car in the UK. Also I would appreciate your advice and opinion of the following in terms of usability, reliability and residuals: Aston Martin DBS and DB9, and Ferrari 575M and California, and which would you recommend?"
Depending on whether you are buying a relatively new Ferrari/Aston, or an older one for investment there is massive room to manoeuvre. Among the classics, don't ever believe anything you read. A car may be reported as sold for a mind-boggling amount, but this can simply be to hype the investment market and attract investors into paying colossal amounts at auction. Ferrari 250GTOs and 250 Californias are two cases in point. Currently, Ferrari F550s and F575s have bottomed out and are on the rise. DK Engineering can advise. If buying a newer prestige sports car, then everything is negotiable. Or you go to which is the best way to pay the right prevailing price for a car without being hyped and ripped off.
Answered by Honest John
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