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To begin, I am not a car expert; I believe I am an enthusiast, I like cars, I like to drive I like the feeling of pulling through a curve as fast as you can, downshifting and accelerating, shifting gears, driving fast. I have owned a 528I, a 540I and an E550 so you have an idea of where I am coming from. This review is totally IMO but hope that it will help those considering buying a Ghibli. I suggest you keep in mind the following:
· This car is primarily handmade (check out the videos on the manufacturing process which is very interesting).
· This car has a Maserati/Ferrari designed, Ferrari built engine (the true soul of this car!).
· This car has a newly designed/engineered dynamic AWD system specifically designed for sports car type driving.
· The design is all Italian, sexy, curvaceous, and cool. Turns heads wherever you go (especially when you blow by in sports mode!!).
· This is a Maserati……………..let me say it again……it is a Maserati…..let roll of your tongue and keep it in mind all the time.
· They made this car with a base including delivery for $77K……Let that number sink in for a moment. Consider the engineering the styling and everything else about this car and that you receive for the price. Ghibli is an automotive miracle!
Bottom Line – Maserati has created a ground breaking and innovative machine that will have the others (you know who they are) in their R&D facilities trying to catch up. Rides smooth when it needs to be or fast and agile. Highly engineered with ground breaking technologies (AWD, engine (output for size)) that creates an unbelievable ride regardless of where you are sitting. Awesome styling and look, solid feel, quiet, and provides an experience not just a ride and a smile every time you realize you are driving (or riding in) a Maserati!!
Exterior – the design of this car is spectacular how do I know – not only does it turn heads – it is a sight to behold and will be for a long time to come despite what others say. I am in a restaurant the other day and the owner wanted to know who owned the Maserati – he said beautiful car what did you pay $120K - $130K, and I said no just under $100K, really he says (funny weird face)….well congratulations and enjoy. When I leave the restaurant, what is sitting outside but a brand new BMW M6……………..clearly I just gave that guy a case buyer’s remorse….. what could have been……………not that an M6 is not a beautiful car but he never considered Maserati………….certain people are going to start to you can be sure of that!
Rear Design - I do not see why many do not like the rear design of this car……………..it is perfectly fine to me, I even like the integrated spoiler and twin dual pipes and the overall look. But beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!
Use of Aluminum – This car feels solid. The doors on the Ghibli do not sound tinny or feel cheap in your hand or when closed properly (not slammed). We could argue about where to use aluminum but my guess it was the hood and doors to maintain as close as possible to 50/50 (actually 51/49 for the Q S4) weight distribution. Should have been in the quarter panels? Maybe but you have to figure Maserati considered that.
Trunk lid is not the best feeling or sounding and unlike the doors feels light. Trunk needs to have a different opening system (he one they use is very bulky not hydraulic). However, I can close mine without slamming it like others have posted. Add some heavy padding on the lid and my guess is it will not pop up like it does currently and will feel more solid. Considering what you are buying this is a minor non-issue.
Trunk Capacity – very good. Fold down seats also very good. This is a daily driver so these are a must and was not left out.
Interior – There is a lot of debate on this but IMO they did a great job. I did not like the standard leather (felt hard and rough) but the luxury leather is excellent. Seats are very comfortable for cruising and driving hard. Eight way adjustable seats (others have many more but not sure how many more ways actually improve seating position). Seats have enough adjustments to select comfortable position. Standard headliner is very good and padded including all pillars. Good storage including air conditioned glove box and center console (keep drinks cool nice!!). Cup holders are small but hold a solo cup firmly which is good. Understand why Alcantra is extra (see other thread for a discussion on the benefits of this option). Guess it depends on what else you have driven and are used to but everyone who sits in my car just keeps saying what a beautiful car……
Trim choices are basic but decent Open Pore for those who do not like the high gloss, ebano for the high gloss and carbon fiber to coordinate a full sports car look. Wheels from 19-21” and a decent selection to create any look you want. Lots of third party options for wheels if none of the standard wheel packages are your cup of tea. Also, after market is starting to rev up which will add further choices for those who want them (spoilers, exhausts and in time ECU replacements).
MTC – Despite the moaning and groaning by many this is a decent system. Touch control is easy to navigate is well organized and has enough options to personalize how you want the car to function. I like the touch screen but some have a personal preference for an Idrive type system. Not enough to sway my decision to the contrary. I have only used the navigation system once and it seemed responsive. The music information does not get picked up from your iPhone but again minor deal. I have an SD card with 2700 songs and the voice system works just fine by song, artist or genre. Who cares that it is a Chrysler system. You want a lower priced Maserati…………..guess what…… Maserati cannot spend all the R&D on a infotainment system……..they spent it on the engine, drivetrain, and design which is what matters………………..want a better infotainment system buy a BMW or MB or Audi……but not really sure they are that much better………..regardless, I did not buy my car for the infotainment system. If that is really important to you then you do not understand the Maserati experience.
TFT (screen between speedo and tach)Screen is very nice a lot of options to customize show turn by turn from the navigation system and while not heads up is very functional to get information without taking your eyes off the road too much. Plus I love blue so for me the gauges with mostly blue is just awesome.
Gear Shift – I have had my car less than a week I have full control of stick shift……it is a joystick like a video game (which I do not play)…enough said…………..just get used to it change is inevitable deal with it. Works fine. You do not like the look……..go for a ride in manual sports mode and you will forget all about the shifter……… because you will not be looking at it anyway!
Switchgear – Again if you want a Maserati for $77K base this is what you get…basic but functional…………I had some time to look at the interiors of the GT’s and QP and they do have nicer materials etc. You want that buy one and pay $120K-$180K……..switch gear works and I presume it is all durable but time will tell. But it does not detract from the overall look of the interior or my decision to buy this car.
Back Seat – room is just adequate not great but the back seats are comfortable and the center console has iPhone charger and a 12v socket and storage. Rear heaters if you want. Middle seat will work for local trips. Back should work fine for a family of four even on long trips………need more get a minivan (in 2015 Maserati will make one!! So just wait)
Steering Wheel – great solid feel and nice design – not as nice as the GT wheel but I will not belabor the point – nice enough for this price point, elegant styling and use of chrome accents and has all the functionality you will need. My favorite option heated steering wheel…………..worth every penny. Also like the wood accent around the circumference of the wheel which I believe is different.
Overall Impression – Cabin is elegant sleek beautiful with a clean look……not a lot of buttons…..why?.....because this car is for driving……..no one who has seen my car has said otherwise……………I agree it is nice to sit in the leather surrounds you and it is quiet (I have the laminated glass but difficult to tell how much quieter this option is)……(see other thread with a technical paper from long ago on the actual Db reductions)……….If all you can see is Chrysler stuff you are not looking at the interior the correct way, try again, and if it still really bothers you, spend much more money or look at something else because this does not detract from the overall experience or the high quality interior that Maserati has created for the Ghibli . Please refer back to the base price and the fact that this is a Maserati!!
Skyhook – while I have driven only a limited amount of miles, I have driven in NYC (crappy roads), hilly twisty roads and straight highway. There is not a lot of review information so here is my take on this feature. Normal mode is just heavenly, very compliant; cabin vibration and noise over imperfect surfaces and very rough pavement is nicely muted. Do not get the jarring discussed in the reviews which I believe were all on the base suspension. Sports Mode is stiffer while still continuing to compliant and muted (less than normal but not much) on imperfect or very rough surfaces. Body roll is minimized in sport mode while on the twisty roads and road imperfections are only slightly more noticeable than normal mode……car rides like a true sports car………not sure how this system does this but if you want a dual ride mode I highly recommend this option based on my driving experience so far. I believe sports suspensions are able to balance ride and handling they do not do it as well as skyhook. Unfortunately, I cannot compare Skyhook and the sports suspension with the Koni’s but there are some threads with some comments on that suspension . Overall sports mode is probably softer with Skyhook and no lowering of the car itself. You have to decide on the type of ride you want and make your decision accordingly.
Transmission/Drive Train and Driving Impressions - Sex is probably better but not by much (Ok not really). This is the finest car I have ever driven……(remember to see the other cars I have owned so you can take my comment into context)…………..summary by mode:
Auto – I do not notice any throttle lag (many threads on this topic) however in this mode I am driving the family and need smooth acceleration which is provided, in spades.
ICE – good for grandpa and snow as it is designed to be. Get Snow tires your Perelli P Zeros are going to be bricks in Winter. My Dealer’s current Deal $3,195 four Pirelli Snow tires, Mounting and Dismounting for three years and storage, not bad and painless.
Sport –There is slight throttle lag when you punch it but is it is slight and does not affect needed acceleration in regular driving conditions and this mode is still great for highway once you are up to speed and want higher shift points but not drive in manual. Exhaust note good but manual sport is way better.
Manual Sport (Skyhook engaged) – this is what this car is all about. Instant shifting, no hesitation, like being on rails and what is over steer and under steer because I cannot find any. Thank you dynamic AWD. And the exhaust note is so melodious even with the windows up you still can hear the sweet sounds. Downshifting, upshifting nothing but pop gurgle and roar……just unbelievable. Curves at speeds I did not think physically possible.
Speed/Power– 0-60 per the spec is 4.7 sec, going from 60-100 is literally takes a heartbeat! 100 feels like 60; 120 like 80 be aware and get a good radar/laser detector as you are going to need it. This Italian thoroughbred wants to go fast and when it is not, you can feel it wanting to go. I have not driven the base Ghibli, and some are going to scream NO, but I can see where some may want this model as it has more than enough power for a day to day family car. If you are in need of speed the Q S4 is the only way to go.
The future – This is the first year of a brand new car, not a remodel or upgrade a NEW car…………..one reviewer said how rare that was and how nice it was to test drive a truly new car…………… will Ghibli improve over time of course it will……………will what I consider minor will be corrected I think so. More tech (heads up, lane departure, active cruise control, etc.) may be in the future plans but when you think about why you buy a Maserati, how much of this tech do you really want? Some new tech is safety oriented and should be included in the future. More luxury items like self-closing doors and trunk lid sure, but you cannot get it all right on the first try, but you have to give Maserati credit because there was long hard thought given into what to focus on and I think they did an outstanding job. Buying now makes you a part of history in a great company that is going places and I am glad to be a part of their transformation.
I think Maserati has delivered an award winning machine with solid construction, top notch engineering, and the true Maserati experience to many who thought getting a Maserati was just a dream………..stop dreaming…….start driving you will not be sorry.
 

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I was never in any doubt when I ordered my Ghibli...........BUT your review has completely convinced me it is the right choice........assuming you are not an employee!

Hope to get mine in April - just ticking off the days!!
 

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Excellent review!! Sounds like you had some good quality time behind the wheel!!
I appreciate the thorough write-up as it adds insights to potential and new owners.

Everything you said is absolutely true about how nice the car looks, handles and sounds. This is my first Maserati ... I've driven Jaguar XKR's and a supercharged XF and hands down this Ferrari based Ghilbi Q4-S has them beat in my opinion.

I was driving home through NJ / NY on Friday and took advantage of the responsive steering to avoid potholes and must have blinked for a few seconds and was effortlessly at 120 mph with a wonderful growl from the exhaust. (had to get it out of my system).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
essex I am not an employee of Maserati

Beer Guy - you will never get that out of your system........I am convinced this car cannot do less than 100!!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
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Paddles - these large paddles are great and are fixed to the steering column........I like them fixed my previous car had them on the wheel which made it hard to shift and turn. the fixed paddles seem easier to use. Also the larger paddles allow you to hold the wheel lower and still shift. After some use they do not get in the way of the stalks after you use them for a few days despite what some reviewers have noted. I am sure there are two schools of thought on where to attach paddles and I hope others weigh in.
 

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Etodd, didn't you just get your car 3 days ago? And you already have 500 miles on it? Yikes!

You are correct about aluminum hood and doors.

I too love the lines both inside and out - Maserati did an awesome job.

The car is just a joy to drive - makes the daily commute sooo fun. If I have to spend an hour a day in the car, why shouldn't it be?

The car does feel really solid - not flimsy at all. It also feels like it grips the road very very well.

The only drawback I have seen so far is that it seems to be pretty thirsty, though I haven't recorded the MPG yet. But if I want the performance, I suppose I have to pay the price!

There has not been one second that I have regretted the purchase. I would buy it all over again in a heartbeat.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Actually four days but who is counting! Two were weekend days and I drove to a long twisty county road and drove it twice!! Yes very thirsty especially in manual sport mode where I rarely get beyond 5th or 6th gear. need more time in 7th or 8th gear which I did a bit on the highway yesterday...........BORING!!!!!. I am running about 14-15 MPG but I close to doubled my gas budget when I planned to buy the Ghibli. Probably no need to drive in manual sport around town but it is so intoxicating at this point I am unable to just put it in auto or auto sport....I love to make my Ghibli sing and I am starting to get good at it!!....I am sure the novelty will wear off????? I hope not! Glad to hear you are happy with your purchase and please post your experiences as you drive more.
 

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Etodd: Thank you for taking the time to write such a thorough review! I know that you've been looking forward to your delivery for quite a while. So glad the Ghibli hasn't disappointed! You've been such an active contributor to this forum; it's great that you now have the true hands-on experiences.

As someone who hasn't been in a Chrysler, I wasn't aware of the switchgear or the MTC. I never was bothered by it and have read good reviews about the UConnect system.

You've brought up a good point that Maserati probably considered various options, but for either overall weight, weight distribution or cost savings, decided to fit the car as we have it.

Glad your love story has been "consumated". :)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
James Thanks and you are correct about Uconnect. See Below:

Spotlight On: Chrysler Uconnect | New and Used Car Reviews, Research & Automotive-Industry News & LeftLaneNews

Technology Of The Year - Connectivity: Chrysler Uconnect

Some have mentioned why no HD but some have gotten Travelink installed with Sirrus so I am not sure if we have the U4 system or not but we do not have the app button or HD radio. Not sure if going to a U4 system is an firmware upgrade or not. Many would be happy if it were!

AOL autos named Uconnect Tech of the Year so it cannot be all that bad.
 

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I was pleasantly surprised on fuel consumption, (I expected LOW MPH, but HIGH FUN). 14-15 around town "quickly" in sport mode and 23 highway in auto mode!
 
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Etodd - thanks for such a comprehensive set of personal impressions of the car. It is very helpful for me as I am contemplating getting one.

It seems that you're having a ton of fun with it, so glad to hear that.

Cheers,
Sam
 

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Have had my Ghibli for about a month and just completed a 2000 mile road trip. A couple of observations/comments.
Having spent upwards of 8 hours on each of two days behind the wheel, my first thought is the seats are the most comfortable I have ever driven in. Not even the slightest twinge of back ache after all that time. In addition to my wife in the front we also had one normal and one petite adult in the back. No complaints from them either.
Driving was on a combination of freeways and country back roads ( trip was from CT to SC) and the car performed superbly on both. Plenty of power, the acceleration particularly from about 60mph to around 90 is very impressive even in normal mode. Average mpg for the whole trip was around 25. Not at all bad.
Problems? A couple of minor and one major, although the latter was not the cars fault.
Minor. After stopping for a break of about 20minutes, pressed the ignition and nothing happened. Tried several times with the same result. Let the car sit for a couple more minutes and tried again and it started perfectly. Never happened again and no idea why it happened at all. Similarly after another short break got back in the car
switched on, everything worked but the nav screen stayed blank. Strangely voice instructions were active as was the graphic between the two dials which shows turn details, so the system had to have been getting information, but nothing on the main screen. After an overnight stop, start the car and the screen magically reappears. As my wife said the "italian" planning the route planning the route probably got tired and decided to go home for the weekend!
The bigger problem I mentioned above concerned the windshield. On i95 somewhere in NC, i was about to pass a very large flat bead which was hauling a huge piece of earth moving equipment. At about 80mph a stone came flying off the wheel of said piece of equipment ( i clearly saw where it came from) and went straight into the wind shield, with predictable results. Fortunately the windshield did not shatter but chipped and then cracked and will need to be replaced. My dealer tells me that it will take 3 days to order, install and cure and will cost north of 1100 bucks, which thankfully insurance will cover.
Dealer will also be looking into the other minor problems.
Overall the car is everything I was hoping it would be, minor issues notwithstanding.
 

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Thanks for the comments, KRY. Good to know you and your passengers were ok after the windshield incident. It's an inconvenience, obviously, but fortunately something that is easily replaceable and covered by insurance.

The bigger concern, in my opinion, is the minor gremlins (typical of a first year model) that seem to perpetuate the reputation of Italian vehicles. I know a most on this forum have not had many issues, if any at all, but I will be taking frequent drives to northern New England (hours away from any dealer) and would hate for an issue such as the ignition not working ruin my trip.

I'll continue to hope for a good one, knowing the driving experience will outshine any minor annoyance!
 

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Great write-up KRY.

I haven't seen any gremlins yet on mine but love to hear what others have seen so I can watch out for them.

I feel your pain on the windshield. I once purchased a new Vette and drove it to the bank for the loan paperwork. When I got home, the bank called and wanted me to come back because they had screwed up a form I needed to sign. On the trip back to the bank, I'll be damned if a truck didn't throw up a rock and crack the windshield.

Luckily the crack was still less than the diameter of a penny by the time I got it to a repair shop so I just had a spot repair done. 14 years later looking at that spot repair reminds me of the bank messing up the paperwork.
 
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