2010 Maserati Quattroporte Review

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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
March 12, 2010

The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte cleverly disguises a sports car as a four-door sedan.

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.

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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.

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2010 Maserati Quattroporte

Styling

The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte is a stunning package with unmistakable looks.

The reviewers across the board are impressed with the sleek design and intimate interior of the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte.

The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte is available in three trims: Quattroporte, Quattroporte S, and the latest Quattroporte GT S. All of the models feature styling elements Automobile Magazine calls "automotive art," while Edmunds claims that the Maserati Quattroporte features "a delectable aesthetic cocktail of classic sport-sedan proportions and inimitable Italian flair." Car and Driver is a fan of the unique Italian design, noticing a "triangular taillamp theme [that] is sure to be controversial, but we love them purely because they are so darn Italian." For the Maserati Quattroporte GT S, Road and Track points out the differences in the form of "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 highlights the "black finish has also been applied to the door pillars, belt line, door handles, and exhaust pipes." It is easy to say that everyone agrees with Automobile Magazine when they claim that the Quattroporte is "one of the most gorgeous four-door cars on the planet."

You might not realize that there have been differences between the QPs over the years, and they have now settled on the design changes made last year, possibly the best combination of all the subtle enhancements. Jalopnik tells us 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 notices a "quantum improvement in ergonomics brought by Bose's new multimedia/nav system," a standard feature on the Maserati Quattroporte base and S models. Car and Driver reviewers also mention "minor but significant changes to the Quattroporte's interior" maintained from last year. On the other hand, Edmunds says that the Maserati Quattroporte's interior controls "aren't likely to challenge Toyota for ergonomic supremacy anytime soon." However, Edmunds follows up by mentioning "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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2010 Maserati Quattroporte

Performance

The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte has an amazing engine sound that will immediately get potential buyers reaching for their checkbooks—and that’s on top of the great performance.

Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com rave about the performance capabilities of the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte, which, as TheCarConnection.com's editors point out, is a four-door sports car in disguise.

The biggest reason for Maserati Quattroporte's performance is the Ferrari engine it houses. Edmunds tells us that the 2010 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, on the other hand, gets some engine massaging that increases power output to 425 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque, while Automobile Magazine brings to light that the Maserati 2010 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 finds 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." Jalopnik states that despite the stats, "this Maserati isn't about numbers, it's about experience"—and behind the wheel, it's second to none. The engine sound is a big factor, which Automobile Magazine says is "among the best of any production car on the road," and Jalopnik boldly declares that "if the color red could be embodied by a sound, this would be it."

The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte lineup, similar to last year, is equipped with what Road & Track calls a "crisp ZF automatic with paddle shifters" to help you cycle through the six available forward gears. Automobile Magazine calls it "one of the best automatic transmissions in the business," and Edmunds is happy that the Maserati 2010 Quattroporte's sonorous engine "has found a soul mate in the six-speed ZF-built automatic transmission." Edmunds doesn't stop there, adding, "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."

Fuel economy usually doesn't enter into your decision-making process when you choose to buy an exclusive and expensive sports car like the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte. Just for the record, the official EPA estimates for the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte are 12 mpg in the city and 18 mpg on the highway.

A true driver's car, the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte is meant to be driven hard. The luxurious interior shouldn't discourage you from doing so. However, its hard suspension makes it difficult to use the Quattroporte as a daily driver. 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 & Track raves about the "excellent suspension tuning." Automobile Magazine remarks that, when driving the Quattroporte hard, "you'd never guess the four-door weighs nearly 4,400 pounds" since it offers "spectacular grip." On the other hand, Automobile Magazine warns that the Maserati Quattroporte's "ride quality, especially at low speeds, might be a bit rough on crumbling US tarmac." Car and Driver chips in with the assessment that "steering is about as spot-on and stable as any luxury proposition could ask for," as well as noting that the Maserati Quattroporte's "brakes proved as impressive as the rest of the chassis."

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2010 Maserati Quattroporte

Comfort & Quality

The interior of the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte is a contrasting mix of luxury and economy with adequate space that will comfortably hold four.

The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte's price tag doesn't reflect the wealth of luxury features and usable space. In fact, reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte is more about performance than luxury.

According to most review resources, the Quattroporte sacrifices some interior room compared to the competition. Based on TheCarConnection.com's research, the seating arrangement within the Maserati 2010 Quattroporte provides seatbelts for five, but the practical limit is four adults. Edmunds reports that up front, the "seating is comfortably supportive, but taller drivers might find the Quattroporte a bit lacking in headroom." Automobile Magazine claims that 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 finds 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 problem with the interior is that lack of rear headroom due to the sloping design.

With four adults sitting inside, the Maserati 2010 Quattroporte doesn't offer much in terms of storage. Edmunds decides that "you can blame the layout of the car for that, with its V8 engine significantly behind the centerline of the front wheels," which means that you won't "be able to fit quite as much designer luggage in the trunk." Interior storage isn't too bad; there's a more than adequate number of cup holders and interior storage compartments.

Some materials in the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte are not exactly top-notch, surprising considering the price tag. Road & Track reviewers are not happy to find that the "paddle shifters are plastic," and Automobile Magazine claims that "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 harsher, insisting that "too many bits have still been plundered from the Fiat parts bin." There are some fans of the interior, with Car and Driver raving 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."

In terms of cabin noise, one would assume that the quieter the cabin, the better. This does not necessarily hold for the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte, which features an appealing engine noise; once you catch the faintest hint of the sound, you'll want nothing but more. Jalopnik finds that the Maserati 2010 Quattroporte is "extraordinarily loud and gloriously obnoxious—pure Maserati."

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2010 Maserati Quattroporte

Safety

No one buying the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte considers safety to be a priority, but all the standard fare is provided.

One would be extremely disturbed at the thought of sacrificing a 2010 Maserati Quattroporte in the name of crash-testing, but NHTSA and the IIHS have no such qualms. No tests are done on the Maserati Quattroporte yet, due to the limited production runs and exorbitant price tags, which create more realistic barriers for the crash-testing agencies. The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte does, however, offer a few standard safety features that should interest the safety-conscious.

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 claim that the 2010 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 finds that the Quattroporte "comes well stocked with safety features," including standard "stability control and antilock brakes."

The editors at TheCarConnection.com noticed that other than the usual fare of safety equipment, 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 claim is standard on all Maserati Quattroportes.

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2010 Maserati Quattroporte

Features

The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte is a joy for those who wish to customize their car like no other rival allows for.

In the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte lineup, exclusivity plays a major role, which means the options list is long and the standard features are very high-end.

The Maserati Quattroporte offers you very desirable features that raise the bar for luxury as you work your way down the list. Car and Driver states that these latest Maserati 2010 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 find that the standard features on the base 2010 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." According to Car and Driver, all 2010 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." Edmunds finishes up the basic list of 2010 Maserati Quattroporte features, reporting that "a voice-activated navigation system" and "satellite radio" come standard. The 2010 Maserati Quattroporte S offer much more in terms of features, with Edmunds noting that a "Wenge wood interior trim" is the only nonperformance difference between the Maserati Quattroporte S and the base version.

In terms of options, the 2010 Maserati Quattroporte puts a smile on the faces of prospective buyers. TheCarConnection.com's editors point out that Maserati Quattroportes are built to order, and Edmunds highlights that 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 adds that "the options list is as long as the average waiting time for an Italian train," and if something you want isn't there, then "Maserati can probably figure out a way to make it happen." When looking at the top-end Maserati Quattroporte GT S model, Automobile Magazine states it still "utilizes the Bose Multimedia System like other 2010 Quattroporte models," and it offers the same extensive customization options.

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