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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 27 January 2021

Road test: Maserati Ghibli merges grand-tourer style with executive saloon practicality

The new offering from the Italian manufacturer has one goal in mind, and that's to make you feel good whenever you get in it

Being able to get really animated about something on a daily basis is a goal many of us would find appealing. It’s not always easy to achieve, though. Normal life tends to get in the way.

However, if fancy cars are your bag, Maserati reckons it may have the answer, as that is what it says its latest Ghibli will provide – everyday excitement.

The Italian manufacturer may have a point. This is a car with rather more style than you’d expect from a vehicle under the banner of an executive saloon and there is a distinct degree of jollity to be experienced when you get behind the wheel.

It’s a Maserati, so you know it’s going to be nice to look at. The outer stylings manage to combine a sense of elegance and sportiness. The front bumper and a sizeable grille are prominent, giving what Maserati calls a "shark nose" profile.

Inside, it is comfortable, neat and uncluttered. You can find your way around the various controls without needing a manual the size of an encyclopaedia, which is always refreshing.

This Ghibli is a direct competitor to many of those German saloons (the BMW 5-Series, for example) that, while being solid performers in themselves and without serious fault, don’t seem to have the X factor in quite the way some other vehicles do. It’s all very subjective, of course, but the new Ghibli seems to retain a link to the past, when taking a grand tour in a grand tourer was romantic. Before the roads got quite so full, of course, and, more recently, when people didn’t have to think twice about moving around.

There’s a sense of calm when driving the Ghibli (large cars, notably SUVs, can often give you this sensation effortlessly, but it’s a harder thing to achieve in a smaller vehicle). It’s a nice, zippy ride, too, with a 0-100 kilometres per hour time of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 286kph.

You wouldn’t describe a Maserati as a supercar, exactly, but that’s because it isn’t absurd where so many of its rather more flamboyant (and eye-wateringly expensive) brethren are.

No, this is just an incredibly smart ride that most of us would be happy to be seen in at whatever our preferred venue may be.

You won’t be going off-roading or rallying in it any time soon, but, even if it was suited to that sort of thing, you wouldn’t want to do that as it’d be a crime to get that neat and tidy exterior all messed up. In fact, it’s surprising that pressure groups don’t exist to make maltreating flashy cars illegal.

So the Ghibli is a car to be reckoned with. It’s not the cheapest in its class, but we’re talking Maserati here, an undoubtedly iconic brand. Would it live up to its hype and provide everyday excitement? Hard to say for sure, but we’d say on first impressions it’s a distinct possibility.

Updated: December 15, 2020 04:13 AM

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