Buyer’s guide Maserati Quattroporte
The fifth-generation Trident four-door flagship is a tech-laden tour de force, so buy carefully
Outstandingly elegant Pininfarina styling with numerous classy touches make the Quattroporte V stand out from its rivals. The styling makes it look smaller than it is, and on the road it shrinks around you, feeling poised and purposeful with 395-435bhp available to hurl its two-ton hulk along, accompanied by a great V8 growl.
With a wide choice of supersaloons from the early 2000s now dropping into the £10-20k bracket, it’s interesting that the Quattroporte has a strong following among classic car owners, significantly boosting Maserati Club UK membership. It’s a car that evokes passion and heritage, and is a driver’s car first and foremost.
It’s immensely – scarily – complex and you don’t want to own one once they start going wrong, unless you’re extremely handy and happy to fit secondhand parts. Significant electrical glitches affected even Autocar’s road-test car, so low mileage is no guarantee of reliability.
Two transmissions were offered and are the most important choice when selecting which model to buy. At first there was only the sixspeed automated-manual Duoselect transaxle, which some people love, especially in paddleselect manual operation, but which is considered awkward and jerky compared to other modern transmissions when used in its fully automatic mode. It was joined at the start of 2007 by a sixspeed ZF auto that was mounted to the back of the engine; while some criticised this for lessideal weight distribution, in fact it only changed it from 47:53 to 49:51 (front/rear).
Rear seats are adjustable for height and rake, while some models have seats with cooling and massage functions. There’s plenty of space inside, though the boot is small. Carrozzeria Touring built four stunning five-door Bellagio Estates in 2008-’09, but you won’t find one – the only known sale was in 2013 for €117,600.
Criticisms when new centred on the car being too focused a drive for everyday use; that perhaps explains why so many today have very low mileages, because most were bought as second cars for weekend outings rather than everyday use. If you find one of those that was also garaged (and you keep it so), you’ve a good chance of many years of enjoyable – and relatively troublefree – Maserati charm. Don’t forget that in the UK, cars registered before 23 March 2006 will cost £305 a year to tax; later ones £535 a year.