Maserati has kept the midlife update very restrained. The sub-Quattroporte has brought new levels of volume, and it accounted for 75 per cent of Maser’s sales until the Levante SUV arrived. Messing with the formula was never on the cards.
Changes, then, are all about the details.
Refinement tweaks to the suspension and sound deadening aim to make the Ghibli a better high-speed cruiser, while there’s a refreshed, smartphone-friendly infotainment system and a bundle of new active safety systems.
Engine choices are a couple of 3.0-litre V6 turbo petrols (345bhp/404bhp) and a 3.0-litre V6 diesel, its single turbo helping it yield 272bhp and a chunky 443lb ft. That’s the one most people buy, in Europe at least.
Alas, the engine is simply not inspirational enough to naturally sit in the front of a Trident-badged car. Even by diesel standards, its enthusiasm wanes far too early in the rev range, and Audi and BMW’s twin-turbo units are more charismatic. On the plus side, the Ghibli’s V6 is impressively hushed at motorway pace.
Its chassis is also rather sensible. The Ghibli’s 50:50 weight distribution means it’s very well balanced, but it stops short of being outright fun. It feels its 1.8 tonnes, and the lighter Jaguar XF remains best in class if you relish driving away from the outside lane. The Ghibli also fidgets more on uneven surfaces.
The new tech is a mixed bag. The touchscreen set-up works well; the safety nannies, less so. We experienced three incidents of the anti-crash sirens sounding with nothing unfolding before us.
All told, it’s good enough to warrant consideration alongside the class norm, but it doesn’t beat it in any one area. Save, that is, for being a Maser. It feels demonstrably more special, with enough flourishes – frameless doors, dashboard clock, blue dials – to hook you in if you’re bored of ticking the same box on the company car list. If you’re not, though, you’re better off sticking with the establishment.
Maserati Ghibli diesel
An average diesel saloon lifted by design flourishes and its badge. If you’re bored of the German norm.