Maserati Ghibli Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Car Review

Maserati Ghibli review

£62,850 - £91,910
510
Published: 03 Jun 2021
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

We’ve only been driving the Ghibli Hybrid, because, well, it’s actually new. The V6s and ludicrously rapid Trofeo V8 make the right Italian noises, but walking away from a BMW M340i – or M3, C63 or even an Alfa Giulia Quadrifoglio – to pick the multi-cylinder Ghiblis is going to take an Evel Knievel-spec leap of faith. Still, bet they'd bump the overall score up a bit. 

The Ghibli Hybrid, however… well that’s different. It’s still a Maser, but it’s sensible. Right?

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Perhaps a little too sensible. The Hybrid teams a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo engine used all over the Fiat-Chrysler empire with a 48-volt starter-generator motor to give a chunky total of 326bhp. It’s good for 0-62mph in 5.7 seconds. Rapid enough… but hardly deserving of four exhaust pipes.

Healthy numbers nevertheless, but you’re already thinking “hang about, is it just a mild-hybrid?” And the answer, sadly, is yes. This is not a plug-in hybrid Maserati. There’s no electric-only range, no silent running, and consequently, Maserati only claims a best score of 34.9mpg. Frankly, it’s a bit too much hype on the hybrid side, and not enough tech backing it up. 

When so many cars have this 48-volt boost these days, you’d expect something more ambitious from Maserati, but the official party line is that there’s no space in the platform to squeeze in a meaningful battery pack, and the Ghibli’s small sales footprint means the conversion wouldn’t be cost-effective anyway. 

Hardly a convincing case for you to buy one though, is it? If you ordered a full English breakfast and the waiter explained there’d be no bacon, egg or sausages because it’s not cost-effective to switch the cooker hob on, you wouldn’t stay in that hotel again, would you?

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What’s more, you’re left with a Maserati that doesn’t really drive as you’d hope a car wearing the covetable trident would. The four-pot doesn’t make an appealing noise, the powertrain lacks the response a proper hybrid offers with meaningful electroboost, and when you do clog it, all your good work trying to match the claimed economy is immediately undone. 

At least the battery weight penalty is kept modest by such a token hybrid effort, and the Ghibli steers and corners with a touch more flair that an E-class, but doesn’t really egg you on to keep giving it the beans. Sad to say, the more everyday BMW 5 Series is a stronger all-rounder as a luxury barge and a sporting saloon. 

Highlights from the range

the fastest

Maserati Ghibli V8 MC Edition 4dr Auto
  • 0-624.3s
  • CO2
  • BHP580
  • MPG
  • Price£121,000

the cheapest

Maserati Ghibli Hybrid 4dr Auto
  • 0-625.7s
  • CO2
  • BHP330
  • MPG
  • Price£57,100

the greenest

Maserati Ghibli V6d Royale 4dr Auto
  • 0-626.3s
  • CO2189.0g/km
  • BHP275
  • MPG
  • Price£77,030
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