Maserati introduced the Ghibli as a sporty, Italian alternative to the tried-and-true Germans that dominate the midsize luxury segment. When it arrived for the 2014 model year, the Ghibli was also an early part of Maserati's strategy to dramatically increase its sales. The new model brought back the Ghibli name for a modern audience; the name was previously used on a dramatic grand tourer of the late 1960s and early '70s as well as a funky turbo coupe of the 1990s.
A Ferrari-sourced V-6 has been one of the Ghibli's key differentiators since launch and 2021 brings the Ghibli Trofeo, powered by a twin-turbo Ferrari V-8. The Ghibli competes with other midsize luxury sedans including the Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and BMW 5 Series.
The Ghibli's greatest strength is without question its engine lineup. Most models are powered by a sonorous twin-turbo V-6 that delivers plenty of linear power and a new Trofeo trim offers V-8 performance. Inside, buyers will be impressed with the Ghibli's rich-feeling leather interior, although a smattering of plastic controls and infotainment bits borrowed from the Chrysler parts bin is a letdown.
Aided by the engine's glorious exhaust note, the Ghibli is an enjoyable car to pilot through a series of corners. That said, ride quality is stiff, and driving on the highway is not as comfortable as it would be in most of the Ghibli's competitors. The brakes are a bit squishy, too, and this midsize Maserati could use more traction at the rear, or at least less intrusive tuning for the stability control system.
Sometimes an engine is special enough to help overlook a car's flaws. For some, the Ghibli's raucous twin-turbo Ferrari V-6 will make it easy to see past the Chrysler parts-sharing, but that switchgear will never look right to us in a luxury sedan with prices from $75,000 to well over $100,000.
Maserati previously only offered six-cylinder power under the hood of the Ghibli, but a new Trofeo variant changes that. Every Ghibli utilizes an eight-speed automatic, and both RWD and AWD are available.
The carryover engine is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V-6. In the RWD-only standard Ghibli, it develops 345 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, which Maserati says is good for 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. Under the hood of the RWD Ghibli S and AWD Ghibli S Q4, it cranks out 424 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, and estimated 0-60 drops to 4.9 and 4.7 seconds, respectively (years ago, we tested a 405-hp version hitting 60 in 4.8 seconds). Fuel economy for RWD V-6 models is rated at 17/25 mpg city/highway and AWD cars return 16/24 mpg.
New for this year is the Ghibli Trofeo, a model powered by a version of the engine found in the Quattroporte GTS. The Trofeo's 3.8-liter Ferrari twin-turbo V-8 delivers an impressive 580 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque, and Maserati claims 0-60 in 4.0 seconds flat. The Ghibli Trofeo will only be offered with RWD and is EPA-rated at 13/20 mpg.
In incomplete IIHS safety testing, the Ghibli earns the highest possible rating in the four crashworthiness tests (of the IIHS' six) in which it participated. As for driver-assist tech, Maserati equips the Ghibli with front and rear parking sensors, automatic high beams, and blind-spot monitoring as standard. A Driver Assistance package is optional on base Ghibli and Ghibli S/S Q4, but standard on the GranLusso and GranSport trims, as well as the Trofeo. The package adds adaptive cruise control, a 360-degree camera system, traffic sign recognition, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane keep assist.
The Ghibli seats five just like its competitors, although legroom measures as the smallest in the segment. Compared to the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, all three of those cars offer at least 3.0 more inches of front and rear legroom than the Ghibli's respective 37.7 and 33.2 inches. As for cargo space, the Ghibli's 17.7-cubic-foot trunk dwarfs the 13.7 and 13.1 cubes in the A6 and E-Class but falls short of the BMW trunk's 18.7 cubic feet of volume.
Every Ghibli features Maserati's 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto as standard. Standard audio is an eight-speaker system but GranLusso and GranSport trims include 10-speaker Harman Kardon audio and a 15-speaker Bowers & Wilkins system is available as a standalone option.