- Flowing Italian design
- Tasteful, refined interior
- Strong twin-turbo engines
- Poor gas mileage
- Interior not as roomy as you'd expect
The 2016 Maserati Quattroporte is a rare sight, but shouldn't be—it's gorgeous, with sharp, Ferrari-flavored performance.
After being reborn for the 2014 model year, Maserati's big sedan returns for the 2016 model year with some minor updates.
The Quattroporte continues as the brand's top four-door, now accompanied by the smaller, related Ghibli. It's as stylish as ever and offers luxury and performance in equal doses with a choice of modern twin-turbo engines. Until this year, the lineup has consisted of a V-6-powered Quattroporte S Q4 with all-wheel drive, and a rear-drive, V-8-powered Quattroporte GTS.
For the 2016 model year, the big Maserati sedan adds a rear-drive Q-Porte powered by the V-6. The new Quattroporte S has a twin-turbo V-6 rated at 404 horsepower.
Up close, the latest Quattroporte's details don't clearly recall its predecessor, but step back a few feet and the flowing proportions resolve into perfect, familial clarity. Crisp creases and angular accents dominate the exterior design. An ovoid grille with a large trident emblem sets the tone at the nose, sweeping up to the curved hood and into the fenders. A character line traces along the side and over the flanks, into a simple, understated rear end. The overall effect is one of refinement and class, as well as emotive style.
Inside, the look is much more subdued, but no less well-executed. Satin woods and fine leathers meet with metal accents in a clean, two-tone finish. The only detail that detracts from the look is a poorly integrated central touchscreen flanked by knobs that appear to have been tacked on.
Under the hood, the Quattroporte offers a pair of engines, both of them fitted with twin turbochargers. The base engine, which comes on the Quattroporte S and the S Q4, is a 3.0-liter V-6. In rear-drive form it puts out 404 hp, but it's rated at 410 hp with all-wheel drive. Maserati says it launches to 60 mph in about five seconds. Top speed with the V-6 is 177 mph.
A 3.8-liter twin-turbo V-8 is also available, the province of the GTS model, rated at 523 hp and 524 pound-feet of torque, or up to 530 lb-ft during the momentary "overboost" function. The result is 0-60 mph acceleration runs of 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 191 mph.
An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard on both models. The V-8 GTS features rear-wheel drive, while the S has Maserati's Q4 all-wheel-drive system. The system is rear-biased, sending 100 percent of torque to the rear axle under normal conditions, and up to 50 percent to the front wheels when it detects slip. It adds little weight while making the car a bit more manageable in anything outside of ideal, dry-road conditions.
As is the case with many expensive, limited-volume vehicles, the Quattroporte hasn't been crash tested by either the NHTSA or the IIHS. Nevertheless, a steel monocoque reinforced with aluminum crossmembers should provide a strong passenger cell. The related Ghibli has been tested by the IIHS, earning "Good" scores in all categories of testing it has been subjected to.
Equipment and features are, as with any Maserati, quite good even in base form, and there are many possibilities for personalization and customization. Available features include a 1,280-watt Bowers & Wilkins audio system; the Maserati Touch Control screen; adjustable pedals; and a rearview camera.
New features for 2016 include stop-start, a hands-free trunklid, blind-spot monitors, a 900-watt Harman Kardon audio system or a Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, and new Zegna-penned trim packages. Otherwise, the bigger four-door in the Italian brand's lineup carries over unchanged.
Gas mileage isn't very good, even for a luxury performance sedan. The all-wheel-drive S Q4 and its twin-turbo V-6 carry ratings of 16 mpg city, 23 highway, 18 combined, according to the EPA. The 3.8-liter V-8 in the GTS earns an EPA rating of 15/22/17 mpg.