New order and Ghibli review...Sooo excited.
I have just placed a order for a new Maserati Ghibli diesel. I and my wife are waiting for the Maser to come, hopefully by end of March/ early April. We are sooooo excited.
I am based in south west Scotland. The dealer is Parks Maserati Hamilton. So far they have been very helpful and have put together a fairly good deal.
The specs are really simple: Ghibli Diesel, 19 inch Poseidon alloys, Passione Blue, Sabbia interior, Radica trim, convenience pack (rear camera, home link, power boot), heated seats with 8-way control and lumbar support.
What I have driven before: Honda accord, Mitsubishi Lancer, KIA sportage, VW passat, Honda CRV, Mercedes E 350d saloon, Range Rover, BMW M3, Mercedes GLE SUV. Current car is BMW 5 GT.
I have test driven the Ghibli in November 2016 (outgoing model). What was I looking for in the new car & my thoughts so far:
(I have some question about finance options and have stated this at the back end of this post).
1. LOOKS, OUTSIDE-- My first priority was something beautiful, elegant and different. The BMW and Mercs are solid vehicles, but alas very dull and boring and now all models look the same!! and in the UK they are everywhere. In my humble opinion there is some dilution in the brand with them being so common. Just to be different however is not good enough for me. I was looking for a car that is ...what word... stunning, yes. The maser was not on my radar. I was thinking of BMW 6 gran coupe, Merc CLS and Porsche panamera. In my opinion the panamera is plain ugly.. just my view. And then one fine day I met the Maser...in a shopping mall. The Maserati guys in London had the Ghibli and Quattroporte in the mall. I found the Ghibli to be absolutely stunning. The front is striking yet not too aggressive. Distinctive is another word that comes to my mind. The side is graceful and the frameless doors make the car look very nice. The rear is simple yet elegant. The Quattro was too big and I did not like the front nor the interior. I returned home to Scotland and went for a test drive with my wife. In summary..ELEGANT, BEAUTIFUL and STRIKING.
2. LOOKS, INSIDE-- The second thing that I wanted was the interior to be simple, distinctive with a user friendly infotainment unit. The Ghibli is miles ahead of all other cars. Is simple, clean and user friendly. The new Merc has a million buttons, options etc.. The satnav is not intuitive at all. The BMWs are a bit better. I got lost inside the panamera, countless buttons. I have always found a touch screen unit to be best. I just checked the new 2017 Ghibli interior. Is even better and the central unit looks much nicer. The rotary dial is not useful for me. I also do not under stand the fuss about the chrysler switch gear, that the car reviewers often keep going on !!. Honestly all start/ headlight/ window switches look similar to me. The radica trim looked best to my eyes and the door handles inside are so thoughtfully done. In summary...CLEAN, DISTINCTIVE, MINIMALISTIC and USER FRIENDLY. ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT !
3. DRIVE-- I am sure I shall sound a bit dull now... I am not one who looks at the 0-60 acceleration or will rev my engine. I drive modestly and prefer a rather gentle and smooth ride. I must say the Merc CLS and the new E class saloon are really hushed and refined. The Ghibli was also refined and quite inside. I understand this is better in the new Ghibli 2017 model. With the window rolled down the engine noise is lovely, though this was not the deal clincher for me. The gear changes were smooth and once up and running the engine is responsive and good if required for overtaking. I could not feel much difference between normal and skyhook dampers... maybe its the way I drive !! Hence I did not go for this option in my car. Also I did not feel any obvious turbo lag which is often mentioned by the reviewers. So in summary..SMOOTH GEAR CHANGES, RESPONSIVE ENGINE, QUIET AND REFINED.
4. CAR SEATING POSITION-- The one thing that we did not like in the BMW saloons is the car seats. For some strange reason the leather is very hard and the seats are very low and you just can't raise them !! The Mercs are better. The Ghibli was the clear winner for us. The front seats are absolutely top notch and go up a fair bit if you want to. The rear seats are equally comfortable for 2. In summary the front seats..BEAUTIFUL and LUXURIOUS LEATHER, COMFORTABLE and EXCELLENT SEATING POSITION.
5. MILEAGE-- I do lots of driving. My work commute is about 1200 miles/ month. We like travelling and atleast once in a month we go somewhere by car. To make some sense, I went for the diesel, though the petrol Ghibli is a shade nicer to drive, specially the exhaust note and the acceleration. Again my top priority was the best mileage among the ghibli's, and the acceleration and exhaust note come after that. The new Merc E350 d is a tad better and did tempt me for a while !!.
6. PRACTICALITY and SPACE-- Usually I drive alone or with my wife. A reasonable boot was important. Though our children are both away, they come home once in 1-2 months. I wanted reasonable rear leg room. I am 6 ft, wife 5 ft 8 in, daughter 5 ft 7 in and son 6 ft 2 in. As I said above, I like to be seated high and close to the steering wheel. Thankfully that worked, as my son is comfortable behind me, and my wife and daughter have ample room in the front and back respectively. To be honest the rear leg room in the new Merc E class saloon is really good and better than the Ghibli. The BMW 5 series is almost same as the Ghibli, maybe a smidge more. For a car with Ghibli's dimensions, I found the rear leg room to be a bit less. This was the most disappointing aspect for me in an otherwise fantastic car. The power boot lid is useful. I generally do not carry a hundred bags in my hand and find the thing about kicking under the rear bumper to open the boot rather ludicrous. I would think that if one has a lot of shopping to carry, they would use a trolley.
What was low priority for me:
7. Car Tech-- I love gadgets and tech. Honestly I love tech, but has to make sense to me, be user friendly and is consistent. Some of the new car tech is absolutely not for me. Maybe later on it might make sense to me. A lot of car reviewers keep going on and gushing about this and that. We had a look at the 7 series and went nuts after 10 minutes...the options were buttons, touch screen, rotary dial, gesture control and voice command. Me and my wife were so upset with the gesture command...very inconsistent. The voice command was even worse, what with our Indian accent.. I think the BMW went nuts and could not understand what we were saying...maybe I should say what we were screaming out by the end!! My wife has a new fully loaded Merc. We spend a fortune to get all the tech on board. We tried all for a month and almost pulled out all our hair. Now all we use-- satnav, bluetooth, radio, cruise control and heated seats. For heavens sake keep it simple. Maybe it is just me.
8. Acceleration, exhaust notes-- At my peril I shall say this in the forum- I am not into this, though I appreciate a responsive car. The exhaust note is nice but I am not the one who will roll down the windows only to hear this. Also I did not compare the 0-60 figures of various cars. All I know is that when I test drove the Ghibli it was good and fast enough for me.
9. Alloy wheels-- I am not into super massive wheels as I find that they get kerbed in the narrow parking places in the UK and make the drive too jarring and firm. The Ghibli has good enough options and I picked the 19 posiedon.
10. Radio/ audio-- The standard unit is good enough for me. I love listening to radio and was happy with the channels that I tested.
So these were my thoughts. Kindly excuse me for the rather lengthy post. I look forward to the Maser and shall post some pictures once she is here. We have loved it since the first look and the test drive.
I would like to know about personal contract hire (PCH- just like a long car hire with no option to buy at the end) versus personal contract purchase (PCP- with balloon payment at end). Kindly let me know what you all have done and what was your experience or thoughts. It will be very helpful for me as I can choose the finance option by end of february.