2009 Maserati Quattroporte Review

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Trevor Wild Trevor Wild Author
May 28, 2009

The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte steers like a sports car, sounds like a sports car, and looks like a sports car—but wait, it's a four-door sedan!

TheCarConnection.com read reviews from a wide range of Web sites and publications to bring you the highlights in a definitive review. TheCarConnection.com editors also drove the Quattroporte and include their own impressions and details in this Bottom Line to help provide you with the best information.

The Quattroporte made its production debut five years ago, yet the sleek four-door sedan looks just as fresh and sexy today as it did then. In this case, good things come to those who wait, as Maserati phased in a number of improvements to the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte over the year, resulting in a better-rounded sport sedan with much-improved drivability.

The Quattroporte has a silhouette that's recognizable from a distance, with its shark-like front end, aggressively raked windshield, and smoothly sculpted roofline that leads to a very elegant tail; the vehicle's designers have deftly mixed elements from sports cars with long-and-low elegance. Inside, the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte doesn't exhibit the tight, holistic design of a true mass-produced luxury sedan, but details like leather piping and real wood trim bring a warmth to the cabin that's absent from stark, Germanic luxury sedans.

Those looking at the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte alongside big luxury sedans like the Mercedes-Benz S-Class should be aware that the Quattroporte is a completely different animal; it's more a four-door sports car (said in a non-marketing sense) than a sporty luxury sedan. The suspension can get a bit jittery on patchy back roads, and there's more road noise than you might expect. And the Ferrari-designed, dry-sump V-8 under the hood is an omnipresent, rumbling companion. To us, that's a big part of the QP's appeal; its faint rumble in gentle driving yields to more urgent sounds under brisk acceleration and a tuneful wail by the time it reaches its 7,500-rpm maximum.

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Standard on the 2009 Quattroporte is a 400-horsepower, 4.2-liter version of that V-8 engine, while the Quattroporte S gets a 430-horsepower, 4.7-liter and the new Quattroporte Sport GT S picks up a 434-hp version of the 4.7-liter. Though Quattroportes in previous model years came with a balky Duo-Select gearbox—one of the roughest automated manual transmissions TheCarConnection.com has tested, and especially out of place on a sedan—the 2009 Quattroporte comes only with the six-speed ZF automatic transmission first offered last year on the Quattroporte Automatica.

To match all the available power, the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte has huge Brembo brakes with a pedal feel that's exotic-car firm and secure from triple-digit speeds. While the Quattroporte isn't the quickest for straight-line acceleration—5.6 seconds to 62 mph for the QP, just 5.1 for the Sport GT S—its very nimble feel belies its 4,400-pound curb weight. Aiding that is a front and rear double-wishbone suspension and the recommended (optional) Skyhook air suspension, which is very quick to firm up when needed, yet otherwise relaxes for decent ride comfort. There's a Sport mode, as well, keeping the dampers at a stiffer setting.

Performance cars that only offer automatic transmissions are always a bit suspect to us, but the Quattroporte's powertrain is extremely rewarding with the six-speed automatic. With the gate moved over to the left, paddle-shifters beside the rather small-diameter steering wheel are in control; they provide a precise-feeling click when they're pulled back and deliver an almost instant shift. Downshifts are especially neat, as they're almost instantaneous and come with a throttle blip. Or you can just putt around in Drive and forget about the shifting, which then is quite unobtrusive.

Even though the 2009 Quattroporte is big on the outside, it has an intimate feel inside, thanks to side pillars that angle inward more steeply toward the roof than is typical, along with a prominent center console that restricts the driver and passenger footwells somewhat and brings a true sports car cockpit feel. Front seats are snug and supportive, and in back there's space for two to ride in relative comfort—though headroom is surprisingly limited by the roofline. In all, comfort isn't a strong point for the QP. The curvy, beautiful shape also brings a few sacrifices. The trunk is small—only large enough for a big suitcase and a couple of weekend bags. Storage bins and sturdy cup holders aren't a complete afterthought, though. You'll find all the usual luxury features inside, but absent are the high-tech features offered in some high-end lux sedans, such as head-up displays and blind-spot systems.

New for 2009 is the Maserati Quattroporte Sport GT S version, which includes a lowered suspension with stiffer tuning, plus a sport exhaust and revised engine/transmission tuning. It's dressed up a bit too, with a black grille that has distinct concave vertical fins, along with black trim for the doors, door handles, and twin-oval exhausts. Headlights have a unique design as well. The interior is finished in a Titantex composite trim, and sport seats are finished in Alcantara and leather.

Exclusivity is one of the reasons to own a 2009 Maserati Quattroporte. With just a few thousand of them in the United States, you're unlikely to encounter another one, and even if you do, the chances of it having the same color and style are next to none—most QPs are built to order, with a wait time of about four months, plus multiple upholstery, paint, and interior trim combinations.

The Maserati Quattroporte has not been crash-tested, but it includes seat-mounted side airbags in front and head-protecting curtain bags covering the front and back. Anti-lock brakes and stability control are standard, as are great bi-xenon HID headlamps.

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2009 Maserati Quattroporte

Styling

With unmistakable exterior styling and a much-improved interior, the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte strikes automotive gold in the looks department.

The stunning 2009 Maserati Quattroporte lineup earns countless compliments from reviewers for its sleek styling and improved interior layout.

The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte is available in three trims: Quattroporte, Quattroporte S, and new-for-2009 Maserati Quattroporte GT S. All of them feature styling elements Automobile Magazine calls "automotive art," while Edmunds raves that the Maserati Quattroporte features "a delectable aesthetic cocktail of classic sport-sedan proportions and inimitable Italian flair." Speaking of unique Italian flair, Car and Driver reviewers notice that the Maserati Quattroporte is distinguished by a "triangular taillamp theme [that] is sure to be controversial, but we love them purely because they are so darn Italian." For those interested in the new Maserati Quattroporte GT S, Road and Track points out that some of the exterior changes include "20-in. wheels (with a multi-trident design) and a new front bumper whose black grille has black vertical slats that curve inward, like those of the GranTurismo." Automobile Magazine adds that "black finish has also been applied to the door pillars, belt line, door handles, and exhaust pipes." To put it simply, few reviewers disagree with those at Automobile Magazine when they gush that the Quattroporte is "one of the most gorgeous four-door cars on the planet."

Those new to the Maserati Quattroporte lineup might not appreciate the interior changes made by Maserati, but current Quattroporte owners will certainly notice the difference. Jalopnik points out that the Maserati Quattroporte's "primary and secondary controls for both the passenger and driver have been refined in order to enhance ease of operation," while Motor Trend observes a "quantum improvement in ergonomics brought by Bose's new multimedia/nav system," which is standard fare on both Maserati Quattroporte base and S models. Car and Driver reviewers also mention the "minor but significant changes to the Quattroporte's interior" that favor driver ergonomics more than in prior versions. Despite the changes, Edmunds says that the Maserati Quattroporte's interior controls "aren't likely to challenge Toyota for ergonomic supremacy anytime soon." Aside from the controls, Edmunds cites "some lovely details" inside the cabin, including aluminum pedals that "look like sculpture and the suede-upholstered rim of the steering wheel [that] feels great."

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2009 Maserati Quattroporte

Performance

The engine sound alone almost justifies the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte's purchase price, but if that's not enough, the sure-footed handling and superlative performance should prove nearly irresistible.

Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com rave about the performance capabilities of the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte, which, as TheCarConnection.com's editors point out, is more a four-door sports car than a luxury GT cruiser.

The not-so-secret reason for the Maserati Quattroporte's sporting prowess is the Ferrari-sourced engine sitting under the hood. According to Edmunds, the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte lineup is "powered by one of two V8s: a 4.2-liter and a 4.7-liter," with the smaller engine turning out "400 hp and 339 pound-feet of torque" in the base version. The Maserati Quattroporte S gets some engine massaging that increases power output to 425 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque, while Automobile Magazine notes that the Maserati 2009 Quattroporte GT S's 4.7-liter V-8 "receives a re-mapped engine computer, boosting power to 433 hp." With the Quattroporte GT S, Car and Driver reports that "some 85 percent of the 4.7-liter's 361 pound-feet of torque is available from 2500 rpm, and there are 40 more pound-feet on tap in the crucial 3000-to-3500-rpm neighborhood." Despite these impressive numbers, Jalopnik reminds us that "this Maserati isn't about numbers, it's about experience"—and behind the wheel, it's second to none. The unrivaled driving experience is largely due to the engine's sound, which Automobile Magazine says is "among the best of any production car on the road" and Jalopnik remarks that "if the color red could be embodied by a sound, this would be it."

For 2009, Maserati rethinks the transmission for the Maserati Quattroporte lineup, and the result is a much more appealing automatic. The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte lineup is available exclusively with what Road and Track calls a "crisp ZF automatic with paddle shifters" to help you cycle through the six available forward gears. Automobile Magazine deems it "one of the best automatic transmissions in the business," while Edmunds reports that the Maserati 2009 Quattroporte's sonorous engine "has found a soul mate in the six-speed ZF-built automatic transmission." Edmunds adds, "in Drive, the shift action is effortlessly smooth, or you can slot the level into manual and make use of the shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel."

When you make the decision to buy an exclusive and expensive sports car like the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte, fuel economy usually doesn't enter into your decision-making process. For those who are interested, however, the official EPA estimates for the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte are 12 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.

The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte is a true driver's car, and despite its luxurious trappings it is meant to be driven hard. This is most clearly evidenced by the hard suspension, which makes living with the Quattroporte on a daily basis something of a chore. On the positive side, Car and Driver notes that the Maserati Quattroporte is "now regarded as one of the sportiest luxury sedans ever," and Road and Track raves about the "excellent suspension tuning." Automobile Magazine reviewers are clearly impressed by the fact that, when driving the Quattroporte hard, "you'd never guess the four-door weighs nearly 4,400 pounds" since it offers "spectacular grip." However, as mentioned earlier, Automobile Magazine warns that the Maserati Quattroporte's "ride quality, especially at low speeds, might be a bit rough on crumbling US tarmac." Other accolades from reviewers include Car and Driver's assessment that "steering is about as spot-on and stable as any luxury proposition could ask for" and the Maserati Quattroporte's "brakes proved as impressive as the rest of the chassis."

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2009 Maserati Quattroporte

Comfort & Quality

There’s a mix of impressive, opulent trims and materials in the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte—interrupted by a few cheap-looking plastics. Interior space isn’t vast but good enough for four.

The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte features a price tag starting well north of the $100,000 mark, but don't expect that tally to include a wealth of luxury features and usable space. In fact, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte is much more capable as a performance machine than a luxury tourer.

The Quattroporte sacrifices some interior room compared to the competition, according to most review resources. The seating arrangement within the Maserati 2009 Quattroporte provides seatbelts for five, but the practical limit is four adults, based on TheCarConnection.com's research. Up front, Edmunds reports that the "seating is comfortably supportive, but taller drivers might find the Quattroporte a bit lacking in headroom." Automobile Magazine contends it "may not offer the vast interior space of a Mercedes-Benz S-Class," but at least "four adult passengers won't be complaining about room." Car and Driver remarks that the Maserati Quattroporte's interior is "none too roomy, but like a well-tailored Italian suit, it always seems to have enough give to keep a person from feeling confined." The major criticism of the interior of the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte comes from TheCarConnection.com's own editors, who feel that rear headroom is compromised due to the sloping rear roofline.

One of the other downsides to the tidy capacity dimensions of the Maserati Quattroporte is that it doesn't offer much in the way of storage space, especially if four adults are riding inside. Edmunds notes "you can blame the layout of the car for that, with its V8 engine significantly behind the centerline of the front wheels," which means you won't "be able to fit quite as much designer luggage in the trunk." Interior storage isn't too bad, though, and TheCarConnection.com observes a more-than-adequate number of cup holders and interior storage compartments.

Many may be surprised by one aspect of the Maserati 2009 Quattroporte lineup's interior: Some materials are not exactly top-notch. Road and Track reviewers are disappointed to find that the "paddle shifters are plastic," and Automobile Magazine points out "some of the plastics—especially those on the shift paddles—aren't quite as high-quality as we'd like for a car costing nearly $140,000." Edmunds is even more critical, chiding that "too many bits have still been plundered from the Fiat parts bin." Not everyone gets down on the interior of the Maserati Quattroporte, however; Car and Driver proclaims that it features "hectares of gooey-soft leather, so-genuine-it-looks-fake wood, and Alcantara," making the Maserati Quattroporte's cabin an "olfactory and tactile feast."

When it comes to cabin noise, conventional wisdom dictates that the quieter the cabin, the better. However, the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte features such an appealing engine noise that, once you catch the faintest hint of the sound, you'll be begging for more. Jalopnik reports that the Maserati 2009 Quattroporte is "extraordinarily loud and gloriously obnoxious—pure Maserati."

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2009 Maserati Quattroporte

Safety

Safety isn't what sells cars like the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte, but most of the expected features are here.

Many would consider it a tragic loss for a 2009 Maserati Quattroporte to be sacrificed in the name of crash-testing, but NHTSA and the IIHS have no such qualms. Unfortunately, the limited production runs and exorbitant price tags on the Maserati Quattroporte lineup are more realistic barriers for the crash-testing agencies, and accordingly there have been no tests done on the Maserati Quattroporte yet. The 2009 Maserati Quattroporte does, however, offer a few standard safety features that should bring a little peace of mind to drivers.

Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the Maserati Quattroporte offers the latest in safety equipment, especially when it comes to airbags. Motor Trend reviewers report that the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte's "passenger frontal airbag is designed to deploy without harming a child while protecting heavier than average occupants" thanks to a "two-stage design [that] senses what's hitting it" and alters its deployment in order to provide the optimal level of inflation and protection. Aside from the high-tech, two-stage airbag design, Edmunds says the Quattroporte "comes well stocked with safety features," including standard "stability control and antilock brakes."

Aside from its set of dedicated safety features, editors at TheCarConnection.com notice that the standard high-intensity bi-xenon headlamps offer tremendous illumination power, which greatly aids nighttime visibility. Driver visibility from within the Maserati Quattroporte is also enhanced by the "rear park assist" feature that Edmunds reviewers report is standard on all Maserati Quattroportes.

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2009 Maserati Quattroporte

Features

The only downside to the vast array of personalization features is that you’ll have to wait for your own 2009 Quattroporte to arrive.

Exclusivity and customization are the name of the game for the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte lineup, which means the options list is long and the standard features are very high-end.

The Maserati Quattroporte line offers a very desirable set of base features, and moving up to the higher trim levels only adds to the luxury. Car and Driver notes that these latest Maserati 2009 sport sedans "will be offered in base and Executive trim levels, [with] the latter bringing rear heated and cooled seats, wood tray tables, four-zone climate control, and more." Edmunds reviewers state that the standard features on the base 2009 Maserati Quattroporte include "adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, foglamps, heated exterior mirrors, rear park assist...leather upholstery" and "14-way power-adjustable heated front seats with driver memory." All 2009 Maserati Quattroportes also feature a "Maserati/Bose [multimedia] system [that] is easier to work with than that of any given German sedan" and controls the Maserati Quattroporte's "MP3, USB, and CD capabilities," according to Car and Driver. Edmunds rounds out the base Maserati 2009 Quattroporte features list, reporting that "a voice-activated navigation system" and "satellite radio" come standard. Moving up to the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte S doesn't add much in the way of features; Edmunds says a "Wenge wood interior trim" is the only non-performance difference between the Maserati Quattroporte S and the base version.

When it comes to options, the 2009 Maserati Quattroporte doesn't disappoint. TheCarConnection.com's editors point out that Maserati Quattroportes are built to order, and Edmunds says the "cabin can be customized like few other production vehicles at its price point" with a "vast array of cabin trims and leather colors." Edmunds also comments that "the options list is as long as the average waiting time for an Italian train," and if you want something not on the regular list, then "Maserati can probably figure out a way to make it happen." For those interested in the top-end Maserati Quattroporte GT S model, Automobile Magazine reports that it still "utilizes the Bose Multimedia System like other 2009 Quattroporte models," and it offers the same extensive customization options.

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May 16, 2015
2009 Maserati Quattroporte 4-Door Sedan Quattroporte S

Wanted luxury and speed/handling..... got it !

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Love my maser qp. Fast and beautiful. Did not expect great gas mileage, but if you stay off it, its not bad (if you can stay off it)... All Leather interior is really nice. Bose infotainment system is awesome... + More »
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