You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

2020 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport Is a Luxury Sedan in a Racing Suit

Car and Driver logo Car and Driver 4/17/2020 Rich Ceppos
a close up of a car going down the mountain: Maserati's aging mid-size sedan hides an unexpected dose of luxury under its aggressive looks. © Car and Driver Maserati's aging mid-size sedan hides an unexpected dose of luxury under its aggressive looks.

Seven long years into its production run, the Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport still looks lean, mean, and ready to pounce. Its wide haunches, pavement-scraping nose, and aggressive headlights still project enough presence to get people's attention. In this time of social distancing, neighbors out for walks waved and called out their approval from afar for the deep-blue Italian sedan that was parked in our driveway.

Even if they weren't sure exactly what it was, they knew it looked expensive and fast. If we could have given them a ride in our S Q4 GranSport test car, however, they would have found the Ghibli a refined machine that mixes equal parts Rodeo Drive luxury and Mulholland Drive sportiness. Just as we did.

a car parked in a parking lot: 2020 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport © Rich Ceppos - Car and Driver 2020 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport

Speed and Luxury

The S Q4 GranSport sits atop the Ghibli range alongside the similarly priced GranLusso model. Equipment differences between the two are minor. The GranSport gets a modestly more-aggressive front bumper, standard adaptive dampers, larger Brembo brakes, and a few sporty trim packages that are not available on the GranLusso.

Both the GranSport and GranLusso start at $85,290, which puts them squarely in the same price class as the Mercedes-AMG CLS53, BMW 840i xDrive Gran Coupe, and Audi S7. Both top-spec Ghiblis are motivated by the same 424-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission. (Lesser Ghiblis get by with a 345-hp version of the same engine.) Ghiblis are built on the larger Quattroporte's rear-drive platform; the Q4 designation signifies all-wheel drive. The Ghibli's system defaults to sending 100 percent of the engine's torque to the rear wheels but can route up to 50 percent of the available twist to the fronts if wheel slip is detected.

a red motorcycle parked next to a car: 2020 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport © Rich Ceppos - Car and Driver 2020 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport

If the S Q4's exterior appearance and specs lead you to believe that it's a snarling sport sedan, both its interior and driving character say otherwise. That's especially so in the case of our test car, which was dressed with $11,550 worth of luxury and appearance upgrades. Most impressive among them is the stunning Pieno Fiore leather option ($4400), which covered our car's interior with deliciously soft, two-tone red-and-black hides on almost every surface. It was complimented by a black Alcantara headliner ($900), carbon-fiber interior trim ($800), and a powerful Bowers & Wilkins sound system ($2000). Sliding behind the wheel conjures visions of pulling up to the valet at the Casino de Monte-Carlo, rather than racing through the principality's winding streets in a Formula 1 car.

A Seductive Balance

Since its launch for 2014, Maserati has massaged a car that left us lukewarm into one that's as athletic and refined as the BMW 5-series used to be. It executes steering commands with accuracy and grace, even on all-season tires. It swallows large bumps in a single gulp yet retains a keen sense of connection with the road. You can have fun hustling this car. But it's equally comfortable for daily commutes and long trips, even if no one is taking any trips at the moment.

a wheel of a car: 2020 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport © Rich Ceppos - Car and Driver 2020 Maserati Ghibli S Q4 GranSport

Big pushes of the accelerator result in some initial lag from the twin-turbo V-6 before the car surges off the line. The exhaust note is a rich but muted baritone. We were unable to test this latest GranSport model, but our previous test of a 2014 model with 404 horsepower—20 horses fewer than the current model—resulted in a 4.7-second zero-to-60-mph time and a quarter-mile run of 13.4 seconds at 105 mph. Even if the more-powerful 2020 GranSport were a couple tenths quicker, it would still lag behind the CLS53 and A7 by about a half second to 60 mph.

The Maserati Ghibli may not be the quickest in its class, but it is thoroughly engaging and impressively well-rounded. It has adequate room for four. Its build quality and interior materials are commensurate with its price. And it still has the go-fast looks to go with its exotic badge. Cars this far into their production run usually feel ready for retirement. We're sure that's one thing our neighbors would never say about the Ghibli S Q4 GranSport. 

Research the Maserati Ghibli on MSN Autos >>

AdChoices
AdChoices

More From Car and Driver

Car and Driver
Car and Driver
Loading...

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon