- Unmistakable styling
- Excellent performance and handling
- Luxurious, coupe-like interior
- Charming engine sound
- Interior is short on space
- Some incongruous materials inside
- Small trunk
- A reputation for poor resale value
- Built to order, but you'll have to wait
The 2013 Maserati Quattroporte performs with some of the verve of a sports car, and aims to make new converts from those who drive stodgy luxury cars.
The Quattroporte--the name means "four doors" in Italian--pairs a roomy interior and nice proportions with a sleek shape penned by the design house Pininfarina. And with its sonorous Ferrari engine under the hood, it's flat-out one of the sexiest four-doors you can get.
By design, the Quattroporte is arguably more coupe-like than any other four-door--even in these days of seemingly countless four-door coupes. Its silhouette is recognizable from a distance, and even piecemeal, many of the details like its shark-like front end, aggressively raked windshield and smoothly sculpted roofline all look directly borrowed from a grand-touring sports car. The elegant tail is a welcome contrast in a world of rising-beltline sedans, and it accentuates the long-and-low elegance. The Quattroporte's interior stands out from the luxury-car norm as well, with a richness that's simply lacking in all the German alternatives, with fine detail work, real wood veneers, soft, lightly processed leather upholstery, and leather piping. Additionally, doors open with a softened electric assist.
The phrase "four-door sports car" has been used elsewhere in the market, but it really applies here. From the driver's seat, the Quattroporte feels dynamic and engaging, and much more like a four-door sports car than a luxury cruiser, or even than a well-honed German sport sedan, and even though the QP has four real doors it tends to meet sporty coupes halfway in the game of compromise. The ride is slightly harsh; the back seat is somewhat cramped (it's especially headroom limited); and you do hear the engine plenty--although that's a good thing.
Quattroporte Sport models get a 434-horsepower, 4.7-liter Ferrari-derived V-8, while the Quattroporte Sport GT S model gets a 444-hp version. The GT S posts an official 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 178 mph. In either case, the engine sounds and revs like exotic sports-car material, loping along at idle but sounding a bit savage at the low and mid revs, then hitting a smooth sonorous high at 7,500 rpm. Brembo brakes give it the stopping power of a true supercar, while the independent suspension lends a nimble feel. We recommend the Skyhook air suspension, as it tends to make the car feel just as buttoned-down while greatly improving ride comfort. All the models come with a six-speed ZF automatic transmission, but before you jump to conclusions keep in mind that it's one of the best-calibrated auto boxes in the business and includes paddle-shifters.
As with most semi-exotic or ultra-luxury models, there are indeed some drawbacks, and the Quattroporte definitely has its nits and misses. In addition to very limited trunk space and tight back-seat space, there are some cabin materials and fits that may be below the standard for a $140k+ vehicle, although with build-to-order options and boutique-level service those are really minor quibbles.
With a wide range of options and features, including upholstery finishes, colors, and trim, it's quite easy to drive the Quattroporte's price much higher. In fact, due to the exclusive nature of the car, most are built to order, and can accordingly be equipped just about however the buyer desires. Key differences in the Sport GT S model include Trofeo Design "Active Shifting" paddles, a more aggressive program for the transmission, a sport suspension, special Poltrona Frau leather with Alcantara (faux-suede) inserts, and a sport exhaust that sounds even better.