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Maserati and budget-conscious buyers are a lot like ice cream and hot sauce, or chicken nuggets and chocolate sauce - an odd mix. But there’s no denying that the segment does exist, and for that very reason there’s the Maserati Ghibli, the entry model into the brand’s line-up.
The Maserati Ghibli is the most affordable Maserati money can buy, but don’t let that fool you because it’s also one of the nicest looking Maserati’s that money can buy. Available in 11 exterior colors, choices are aplenty but the most difficult one you’ll have to make, will be deciding whether to go for the GranLusso or GranSport trim.
This being the GranLusso, is more focused on luxury, while the GranSport receives different bumpers in the front and back, larger wheels, and carbon fiber trim on the interior – but more on that later. What sets the Ghibli apart from its German rivals is its distinct styling that is bound to turn heads at any and every corner.
Simple but far from basic, the cabin of the Ghibli GranLusso speaks luxury with piano black trim, soft stitched leather, and exclusive silk created by Italian fashion house Ermenegildo Zegna. Driver-focused, the cabin beautifully combines luxury with sportiness through an analogue clock atop the dashboard and wood inserts along the steering wheel with well bolstered bucket seats and large aluminum paddles.
Fine details and a livelier design are what set the Ghibli apart. For instance, the chrome bezel around the A/C vents and central infotainment screen mimics the shape of the grille up front. The gear shifter, which has been redesigned for 2019, has not just been done as an aesthetic upgrade but for shorter travel and improved operation.
At 369,000 Dirhams, the Ghibli GranLusso packs a lot of creature comforts that include, soft closing doors, 12-way power adjustable seats, a 1,280-Watt Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, an 8.4-inch infotainment screen, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and an electronically lockable passenger glove box.
But in no way is that all. On the safety side of things, the GranLusso welcomes 7 airbags, a tire pressure monitoring system, a surround view camera, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and blind spot monitoring.
With a 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 engine pushing 350 horsepower and 500 Nm of torque to the rear wheels, the Ghibli is a lot more fun than the boring executive sedans it competes with. Cementing its driver-focused attention to detail, the Ghibli has a perfect 50:50 weight distribution meaning you can go around corners really, really fast and still be in total control.
The ZF 8-speed automatic transmission shifts gears rapidly and in doing so, lets out beautiful Italian symphonies from the quad exhausts at the back. Speaking of the exhaust system, it does come fitted with valves that can be opened and closed, but you’d have to out of your mind to drive with them shut since the aural experience it delivers is out of this world.
Stopping power, is provided by Brembo brakes that come as standard equipment across the Ghibli range, and the adaptive suspension system works together with the three drive modes for added control. ‘Normal’, Sport, and I.C.E (increased control and efficiency) make changes to the transmission, ECU, and traction control for perfect grip and power at all times.
To better explain the Ghibli, I’d like to use a quote by American businessman and author, Robert Kiosaki which goes something along the lines of “No one achieves great things by following the crowd. Have a spine and strike your own path.”
The fact of the matter is that the Maserati Ghibli is prettier, more driver focused, and more exquisite than its German rivals can ever be. Although some may say it’s a misfit in the segment, the truth is that it's moved away from the crowd, taken Kiosaki’s advice and created a path for others to follow.