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The editors of TheCarConnection.com have driven the Quattroporte and present their own impressions and details in this Bottom Line to help provide you with the best information. TheCarConnection.com has also read reviews from a wide range of Web sites and publications, bringing you the highlights in a definitive review.
Judging from the sexy design and appeal of the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte, one would never guess that it had been in production for five years. In this case, that isn't a bad thing because the car has been refined over the years; in the looks department, it's still great.
One can easily spot the car due to its strikingly unique looks, with a sharklike front end, an aggressively raked windshield, and a smoothly sculpted roofline that leads to a very elegant tail; the vehicle's designers have reached a compromise between sports car and elegance. Unlike German luxury sedans, the Maserati offers a richer interior with a lot of woodwork and little touches like leather piping.
That said, the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte is a very different machine from luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz S-Class; it's more of a four-door sports car than a sporty luxury sedan. On patchy back roads, the suspension can get a bit jittery, yielding more road noise than you might expect. Also worth mentioning, though some might not complain, is the Ferrari-designed, dry-sump V-8 under the hood, which causes a constant rumbling accompaniment. To a car enthusiast, that is part of the Maserati'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 redline.
The offerings from Maserati on the 2010 Quattroporte is a 400-horsepower, 4.2-liter V-8 engine, while the Quattroporte S gets a 425-horsepower 4.7-liter engine and the newer Quattroporte Sport GT S picks up a 434-horsepower version of the 4.7-liter mill. Though Quattroportes in previous model years were fitted with the rough Duo-Select gearbox—one of the worst automated manual transmissions TheCarConnection.com has tested and especially out of place on a sedan—the 2010 Quattroporte, just like last year, comes only with the six-speed ZF automatic transmission first offered two years ago on the Quattroporte Automatica.
The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte has huge Brembo brakes with a pedal feel that's exotic-car firm and secure from triple-digit speeds to supplement the power offered. It may not outpace an exotic sports car—the standard model takes 5.6 seconds to reach 62 mph, while the Sport GT S takes just 5.1 seconds—you’ll hardly feel its 4,400-pound curb weight and often think you’re in a much smaller car. Accentuating the car’s handling is a front and rear double-wishbone suspension and the recommended Skyhook air suspension, which, while offering a decent ride, is still tight when required. For those in need of a tighter ride, there is also a Sports mode.
The Quattroporte's powertrain is extremely rewarding with the six-speed automatic, considering the skepticism aimed at automatic performance cars. Switch the gear into the manual mode and the paddle-shifters beside the rather small steering wheel are activated, providing a precise-feeling click when they're pulled back and delivering an almost instant shift. With a little throttle blip, the downshifts are smooth and effortless, though of course, one can always leave it in drive and not worry about shifting.
Due 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, the cosy interior gives you the feeling of a sports car’s cockpit. Other than limited headroom in the rear seats, the front ones are fitted and the rear is spacious enough to accommodate adults, though it must be noted that comfort isn't really the Quattroporte's strong point. As can be expected with such a beautiful design, there are a few sacrifices to be made, such as a small trunk that's only large enough for a single big suitcase and a couple of weekend bags.
The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte prides itself on exclusivity, with just a few thousand examples located across all of the United States. You’re unlikely to encounter another one in the same color and style, if at all. Since most Quattroportes are built to order, there's a wait time of about four months, plus multiple upholstery, paint, and interior trim combinations.
There aren’t any independent crash-test results for the Quattroporte, but with seat-mounted side airbags up front and head-protecting curtain bags covering the front and rear, the car at least covers the bases. Anti-lock brakes and stability control are standard, as are great bi-xenon HID headlamps.