What do you drive?

Discussion in 'Motor Vehicles' started by Steveo, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. The Stig

    The Stig Special Members

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    The Fourth Car: 2014 Maserati Ghibli | M157 3.0 S Q4 | Twin-turbocharged V6, 411 hp / 560 nm | 8-speed automatic | 4WD

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    It was tuesday night, and I was giving up hope of getting a call from my work saying I'd have work for wednesday. Then, the minute their office officialy closes, my phone rang. 'We've got a car we need you to deliver tomorrow. Information is on the website. Have fun!'. Have fun? Well, okay. An hour later I bothered checking where exactly I had to pick the car up. As I logged in and navigated to the right screen, the 'Brand' information listed Maserati. This can't be right, I thought as my heart skipped a beat. This can't be right. Quickly I looked up the license plate number and realized that no mistakes were made; I was driving the top-of-the-line all-wheel drive petrol version of the smallest Maserati on sale today: the Ghibli. Oh joy!

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    The Ghibli was introduced in 2013 as the 'cheapest' car of the Maserati range, made to rival the upper range of cars like the BMW 4-series Gran Coupe and 5-series, Audi A5 Sportback and A6, and Mercedes E-class and others. In size, I'd say it's comparable to a 5-series in terms of dimensions on the outside, but inside, it's not as roomy. We'll get to that later. The Ghibli is available in a range of different engines, all of which are 3-liter V6s. At the bottom of the range, there is a 275 hp diesel engine, which in Italy is also available in a 250 hp variant. The petrol range starts with a Ferrari-developed 3.0 twin-turbocharged V6 developing 350 hp. There's also a 411 hp 'S' variant sending it's power to the rear wheels. At the top of the line there is the S Q4, which adds a 4-wheel drive system to the most powerful petrol V6. This was the car I drove. Under normal circumstances the power is all going through the rear wheels, but when needed 50% of the power can be sent to the front. The S Q4 weighs 1910 kg, which frankly is quite a lot. Then there's the price of this model, that cost €137k when new. For that money one can purchase a V8-powered Audi S6 and keep €13k for options, for instance.

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    On the outside, the Ghibli reminds me of the sixth generation of Quattroporte, in a good way. Especially the front of this car looks so mean, with it's relatively small headlights, dramatic lines over the front quarterpanels, and the big, chrome-edged grille with the famous trident logo. In my opinion there's not many cars in this class that look as good as the Ghibli. It's not over the top, but certainly not boring either. At the rear the design is a lot more modest, but still great to look at. The wide hips that go from the rear door handles to the rear lights is a design cue you don't see often in this class. The Nero Ribelle combined with the 19" Proteo rims chrome accents makes this Ghibli a really good-looking alternative to a classy executive sedan. Maybe just the Rosso brake calipers are a bit too racy, but who am I to complain about that.

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    Inside this car was done in a way I wouldn't necessarily spec my own Ghibli. There was a lot of Poltrona Frau-supplied red leather, both on the seats, the door panels and on the dashboard. The trim accents were made of carbon fiber. It looks great, sure, but does it look better than cognac-brown in combination with a dark woord trim? Not really, at least not in my opinion. Still, that's just critiquing someone else's taste. The seats were great, electronically adjustable and both heated and ventilated. They were quite supportive, and very comfortable. The only 'downside' for a car this price is that they don't come with extendable seat cushions, but as I said before I do not miss them. As with the BMW I reviewed earlier, the headrests are actually soft enough to rest your head against while driving. The steering wheel comes down when you turn the power on, and goes up again when you want to get out, to make sure there's enough room for your legs to move in or out of the car. Like the seats, the steering wheel was also electronically adjustable and heated. It's thick, covered in leather, and hydraulically assisted instead of electric like on most new cars. In the wide center console you'll find the lever to control the ZF-supplied automatic 8-speed transmission with, as well as a couple of buttons of which the most important by far is the one that says 'Sport'. What that does exactly will be told below. Most of everything is controlled by the big Chrysler-sourced infotainment screen in the middle, that works quite well but does look a bit cheap in terms of graphics. It's that Chryslers are not sold here, or I might have complained about 'cheap' American buttons and switches in an expensive Italian sedan. Above the screen there's a tiny clock on which you can read the time if you desire to do so. Not really that functional, but it does add style to the interior. Behind the steering wheel are two enormous metal shifting paddles that do not turn with the wheel, but rather stay in the same place. These paddles are so big in fact, that the controls for the turn signals are further back than I'd like, as I almost had to take my hand off the wheel to be able to reach it. One small detail I noticed were the seat belt buckles, that were made of metal instead of plastic like you'd find in many other cars. The fit and finish of the interior was good, but maybe not good enough to justify it's price. I can't really judge that since I haven't driven any other cars in this price range.

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    When driving away from the parking lot I noticed that when turning the wheel fully, the front wheels were scraping against the inside of the wheel wells. Probably a calibration error somewhere on this car, because I find it hard to believe this is how these get sold. I decided to not touch any of the Sport stuff yet, and let the automatic transmission do it's own thing while navigating to the highway. I wasn't really impressed by the ride quality, as it was firmer than what I was expecting. Even in the normal mode, I was impressed by the sound the engine made. When on the highway, I decided to use the first petrol station/parking lot to take some pictures and test the car's acceleration. When I pressed the 'Sport' button on the center console, the sound went from 'Impressive' to 'Ridiculous'. This must be one of, if not the best sounding V6 engine on the market in any car as of today. There's crackles and pops coming from the exhaust, triggering flashbacks of wars I have never been in. Thanks to 411 hp and 550 Nm, 100km/h is on the clock in just 4.8 seconds from a standstill. It's so hard to describe what sound the car makes exactly, so watch this video instead. It goes through a lot of different perspectives, including in-car views that I can say gives a good representation of what I heard. Put those headphones on!



    As soon as I first clicked the 'Sport' button, I immediately became addicted to it. It also sharpens up the throtte response, makes the steering heavier, lets the engine run at a higher rpm and makes the shifting quicker. It's a sound that no executive sedan should make, and it certainly doesn't really fit this type of car. But who cares, really. I had a lot of fun being behind semi trucks, just so I could press the 'Sport' button and whizz past, making a noise that makes everyone around you look at you in confusion. Everything I did not really like about the car got washed away by the press of a button. Driving this was a great experience, and man, would I love to own one of these just for the sound. But the price is where my dreams get shattered, as there's real tough competition for the money you'll have to hand over to your friendly neighborhood Maserati dealership. Even if I had the money, I would have to think really hard of choosing the Ghibli over it's competitors, which is a shame.

    For more pictures of this particular car, check this link: Exclusieve Auto Spots | Ieder uur nieuwe spots! • Autogespot
     
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  2. StickyFinga

    StickyFinga #HORUS

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    Before you explained more about this car on Discord, I never really paid any attention to the Ghibli but it is impressive indeed.
    Sounds fantastic, too. The thing about the wheels scraping sounds really weird. In no situation should that be allowed. I don't
    know if you cared enough to mention it or anything but that's quite surprising.

    Thanks for sharing. Sounds like you had a blast driving this.
     
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  3. azo

    azo ɐllᴉzpoƃ

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    Very cool ride and experience, mate.

    I'm glad you shared this with us. :)
     
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  4. Aztlan

    Aztlan Ocelotl Yolotl

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    My Lamborghini...eh I mean my ride

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    Almost two years old, it has some battle scars of road environment but still looks like new.
    No problems at all, only the entertainment dash crashing on me for two days multiple times during that interval.
    It hasn't happened again since then, which has me confused.
     
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  5. StickyFinga

    StickyFinga #HORUS

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    That car is huge. :D

    Looks good, bud. Nice rims!
     
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  6. The Stig

    The Stig Special Members

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    Don't think Toyotas come that massive here. Nice car, dude!
     
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  7. Aztlan

    Aztlan Ocelotl Yolotl

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    Driving this car in Europe will be a pain for sure :lol:

    I got it because is comfortable and makes the 5 hour drive to visit family less stressfull
     
  8. thatbastard

    thatbastard GT Cruisin'

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    [​IMG]

    So the other day I used my old Ford Fiesta as credit against my new car - a Hyundai i20.

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  9. Aztlan

    Aztlan Ocelotl Yolotl

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    The Bastardmobile ;)
    man, that car is tiny
    you don't need to do this to get inside? :p
    (1 minute mark)



    anyhow
    is that a used car? because if you got it new, that's a quick turnaround for receiving the license plates
     
  10. thatbastard

    thatbastard GT Cruisin'

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    It's tiny compared to American boat sized cars yeah! There are some whindy and narrow roads where I am, so anything bigger is just hassle. It's a used 2009 plate car, although it's in very good condition.
     
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  11. StickyFinga

    StickyFinga #HORUS

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    Looks to be in good condition. Save travels!
     
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  12. Aztlan

    Aztlan Ocelotl Yolotl

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    From your pictures, I can see it will be a hassle to get in and out of the drive way with my boat size car :lol:
     

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