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My local dealer Ferrari of Washington got three or four Ghibli's in today. I was able to test drive a S Q4 thanks to the capable planning of my sales person. It has solidified my decision to purchase one.

Coming from a 3 series, the Ghibli is definitely larger, but I for one don't particularly driving large full size cars. Luckily, the Ghibli does not feel overly large at all, either from the external appearance nor from the interior dimensions. It feels like a mid-size car - plenty of space and very comfortable. I was afraid that it would feel bloated, having sat inside a Quattroporte. But the Ghibli's proportions are more athletic in comparison. I was immediately happy with the size of this car.

The look is more understated in person as well. It does not particularly stand out, especially in a parking lot full of Gran Turismo and Ferraris. I did not even noticed the two Ghiblis parked right out front as I pulled up to the dealer. So for those who likes to have more flair, a more daring color choice should definitely be made.

The seats looked a bit flat in the photos but the real seats are more supportive, with deep bolsters on the sides of the seat and back. It definitely is a more sporty looking seat in person.

Steering wheel feel is lighter than a 3 series, but not by much. It's a sporty feel with good weight. Thickness is good as well. It does not have the extra-thick feel of 3 series sport steering wheels.

The car I drove did not have the extended leather dash, and the dash looked adequate though a bit plain. The rest of the dash also looked fairly simple and bare with a lack of buttons. Coming from BMW and MB, the lack of buttons will take some time to get use to. The 8" mutli function unit looks just okay. Reaction time is a tad slow for my tastes and the animations can be stuttering. It's not as smooth as the one in my 3-series. Everything is controlled through this unit. The backup camera is really blurry and the resolution is really low. I wouldn't be surprised if it came out of a low end Hyundai.

I saw both the open pore standard and the shiny glossy wood finish. I definitely like the open pore wood better. The glossy finish looks nice, but you can find the same thing in any BMW/MB/Lexus. The front cup holders look a little small. I am worried that it won't fit a 20 ounce bottle, but we'll see.

Sitting inside, the belt-line of the car is really high, almost to my shoulders. This is due to the styling of the car and the low greenhouse given its 4-door-coupe style design. It's the only car where I didn't feel comfortable having the seats lowered all the way to the floor. I had to raise the seats so I can see well enough.

The start button is on the left side of the steering wheel. I am sure I've seen it in photos, but using it is something else. I kept poking at the right side for the button. The shift knob is all electronic as well. As reviews noted, I kept shifting it into neutral on the first try. However, I am sure I'll learn to get use to it.

The car I drove had the standard suspension and the stock 18" wheels. The standard wheels are ugly. I am sorry but that's the only way I could describe it. the spokes are too thick and the machined polish makes them look very cheap. The tires also look much too thick. With this wheel suspension combo, the Ghibli's ride was very firm and actually somewhat bumpy. Here I was in what is still a luxury sedan, and feeling like I was riding in a stiffly tuned sports car. If the sports suspension is even stiffer than this, I am going to be a little worried. It's livable from day to day for sure, I drove a much firmer 335i for a few years with no complaints. But if your friends go along for a ride, choose some smooth roads, otherwise they may not appreciate the ride as much as you would.

Throttle response is not laggy, ponderous, or heavy even when in standard driving mode. The car accelerates on command and in proper amount according to pedal input. The brakes are also neither touchy nor heavy - good feeling brakes that are easy to modulate with great stopping power. In sports mode, the throttle response is more immediate and it holds revs and gears very well, definitely the best I've driven, ever. The car is not a super performance car so the acceleration isn't violent, merely very strong. It's powerful but composed.

In standard mode, the exhaust note can still have a bit of boom through the cabin, especially coasting while slowing down for a light. I hope this won't become bothersome as time goes on. Some times I love some good engine notes, but other times I just want a smooth and quiet car to drive. In sport mode, the exhaust note is of course very enthusiastic, to put it lightly.

I drove it for a few short miles because it wouldn't be right to be putting miles on a car that someone else would end up buying. I didn't push it very hard.
 

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Good review. Thanks.

Note that the Ghibli is meant to be a mid-size car and cannot be compared to a 3 series - rather is should be compared to 5's, XF's, E classes, A6's etc.

Colour wise - that's why I think black and silver are out since they don't define the car enough.

Did it feel claustrophobic inside?

I agree about the standard wheels - what on earth was Maserati thinking putting these monstrosities on this car?! They really are a put-off - unless I now spend more to get something that's basic on other high end cars.

Glad the rest of the review sounds more positive - looks like it's very driver oriented !!!
 

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I compare the ghibli s q4 more with the 6 series gran coupe, better matchup overall, at least these are the two cars I considered buying before I settled on the ghibli.
 

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i woud be interested in back seat space.......i know about a high beltline i have a camero......which have big high doors so if you sit low is can be weird........also has terrible sight lines in the the rear as there is only a small traingular window beteen the B an C Pillar........hopefully sight is good all around on the Ghilbi
 

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Just sat in a SQ4 yesterday for 4-5 minutes. Those 18" wheels are a bad joke. Sticker on this one was around $82K I think. No extended leather, so dash material is typical Chrysler feel, but not a bad effort of making it look like fake leather. Adjusting the driver's seat to my liking, the rear leg room behind it felt a little less than in my XF S/C, but not bad. The car looks more compact on the outside than it actually is, which I like. Overall she Looks nice and well proportioned on the outside ( except for those KIA wheels).
overall Interior materials and feel of this particular spec'd car was not up to the XF.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Note that the Ghibli is meant to be a mid-size car and cannot be compared to a 3 series - rather is should be compared to 5's, XF's, E classes, A6's etc.
I agree. I just have limited experience with 5 series, XF, and E class. I've been driving the E90 3-series for the past 7+ years so it's what I can best compare to.

Did it feel claustrophobic inside?
The front was just fine for me. Perfect in fact. Larger than my 3-series, but not large and bloated like when I sat in the Quattroporte, was just too large for my tastes. I am about 5-10, 190 pounds with fall clothes. :)

I agree about the standard wheels - what on earth was Maserati thinking putting these monstrosities on this car?! They really are a put-off - unless I now spend more to get something that's basic on other high end cars.
I was reserving judgement until I saw them in person. None of the pictures were flattering. In person I stared at them and thought "are you kidding?" The side walls on the tires were so tall that it looked straight out of the 90's, back when cars came with 60-70 series tires.

Glad the rest of the review sounds more positive - looks like it's very driver oriented !!!
Very much so. While the styling is luxurious and sophisticated, without the boy-racer styling of say the M5, the underlying chassis and engine are quite a bit more raw.

Great review . The first one I have seen on this forum
How would you compare it vs BMW 5 series and Audi a6? Thanks
I drove a 535i for a while and would say that the Ghibli is a much more of a driver's car, probably closer to the M5 than the standard 5-series. Interior room is about the same, but the 5 likely has more rear seat room and leg space.

i woud be interested in back seat space.......i know about a high beltline i have a camero......which have big high doors so if you sit low is can be weird........also has terrible sight lines in the the rear as there is only a small traingular window beteen the B an C Pillar........hopefully sight is good all around on the Ghilbi
Sight lines were great in the Ghibli. I had no feeling that I couldn't see well. They do put the window sticker right in front of the passenger side of the windshield, blocking some of the view there. The rear seat is tight, probably same as the 3-series. But due to the low rear roofline and the deep bucket contour of the rear seat, it's a bit tricky to get in and out, especially out. I had to carefully twist my foot to clear the door sill. This is not a comfortable car to take five adults riding. In a pinch you can fit three smaller ladies back there if you are taking co-workers out on a lunch, or two men with average height and build.

Just sat in a SQ4 yesterday for 4-5 minutes. Those 18" wheels are a bad joke. Sticker on this one was around $82K I think. No extended leather, so dash material is typical Chrysler feel, but not a bad effort of making it look like fake leather. Adjusting the driver's seat to my liking, the rear leg room behind it felt a little less than in my XF S/C, but not bad. The car looks more compact on the outside than it actually is, which I like. Overall she Looks nice and well proportioned on the outside ( except for those KIA wheels).
overall Interior materials and feel of this particular spec'd car was not up to the XF.
I had the same feeling regarding the proportion. I won't call it compact, because it's not a small car. That's why I used "athletic" to describe it in my original post above. The wheels are ugly and have no business on a $75k+ car. The 19" probably should have been standard, at least on the S Q4. There is no excuse for this.
 

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Finally someone mentioned those horrible 18 inch wheels. Luxury brands like Maserati should offer up more wheel options as when they offer a few you might be stuck with some horrible options and forced to go which ever looks best.
 

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Nice review. I'll have to see if I have the same sentiments when I go test drive one in the coming weeks. I agree those standard wheels are atrocious.
 
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