The infotainment centre is a good size at 8.4-inches and is placed centre stage, winged by air vents and just above the climate control levers. I find the screen is easy and clear to read – and doesn’t fade out with sunshine glare.
An odd design quirk, though, is the white stitching on top of the dash, which is distractingly reflected in the windscreen, but that’s my only gripe.
The resigned gear shift is easy to use, although as a touchy-feely gal, I soon realise I have to keep my left hand off it – slipping into neutral on a green light is embarrassing. Drive modes here are Sport, ICE and Drive, while the aluminium double rotary wheel connects to audio volume and other functions. Thankfully, the Ghibli has good-sized cup holders (you can have them made even larger) and there’s a 12V power socket as well as a handy USB socket and aux-in port.
Silk inserts feature on the leather rear seats too, with plenty of room for three adults and integrated headrests. The centre arm folds down to reveal two cup holders and storage space (with 12V DC and a USB point). The 60/40 folding rear seats have handy ISOFIX fittings to securely anchor child seats and provide 500 litres of luggage space.
Maserati Ghibli Diesel GranLusso Performance and Handling
Foot on brake, Start button pressed, Sport mode on – and this Italian stallion roars into life. I open the window to better hear the roar of the 3.0-litre V6 turbodiesel – thanks to the active sound system near the exhaust pipes. It’s an aural orgasm. A more restrained purr in Normal mode while in Sport the unmistakeable aggressive Maserati growl is in full force. Yes, it sounds like a diesel engine but is quieter in the cabin than the petrol version. Other modes are Drive and I.C.E. – but I leave the Ghibli in Sport mode until I reach the motorway.
Electric power steering helps to move this 1875kg beauty around effortlessly. She feels light and responsive in town traffic, and once I accelerate onto the motorway she’s a dream. Acceleration is 6.3 seconds to 62mph, so slightly slower than her Sport and SQ4 stablemates. But once she’s off there’s no holding her. 275 horses at 4,000rpm. Love it!
Top speed is 155mph and my foot is barely touching the pedal as we take off down the M23, accompanied by punchy bass and crisp trebles from the Bowers & Wilkins Premium Surround Sound System from 15 strategically placed speakers. There’s a good 1280W amplifier here and perfectly configured QuantumLogic™ Surround.
For those who know about woofers and tweeters, they’re in the front and rear doors. And there’s even a Kevlar mid-range cone. There is something deliciously satisfying about being able to leave other cars in the dust. Call me a girl racer, but I love the sense of power. The ability to move at the touch of a pedal. Lots of admiring glances too…
The eight-speed ZF auto gearbox is smooth and efficient. Part of the Ghibli’s smart car tech is that it recognises road conditions, such as uphill or downhill driving, hard braking or driving through a corner, and selects the optimal gear and the most suitable gearshift style accordingly. If you prefer to use the paddles, simply move the gear shift to the left for manual mode. There are two park options: The ‘P’ button on the gear shift and the electronic park brake lever to the right of the rotary wheel. Braking is very precise and responsive, and it takes me a while to make it a smoother operation.