An Italian masterpiece, the Maserati Ghibli has just had its most significant makeover in years.
The Ghibli is now available as a hybrid and it’s the first electrified car from the marque. You’d have to squint to notice it’s not as full-fat as before.
There have been a few nips and tucks, but all the significant changes are under the skin. Let’s face it; it’s hard to improve on a car that’s such a stunner in the first place.
Inside, the Ghibli’s cabin makes German premium brands’ interiors look dull as ditchwater. The dashboard comes gift-wrapped in sophisticatedly stitched leather, and Maserati has done a top job of providing beautiful seats. Like the dash, the chairs are enveloped in cowhide and are easy to get comfortable in – due to their electric adjustment controls.
Despite the fact the Ghibli Hybrid is larger than most of its challengers, it doesn’t feel mammoth inside. Two adult passengers will fit into the back; the middle seat is only appropriate for a small person – or a child on a booster seat. Leg and headroom aren’t great for anyone over 6ft tall, but space is terrific upfront. Those electric seats will make sure the driver and passenger are kept happy. What’s more, room in the boot is good. Five hundred litres will more than swallow your golf clubs or a couple of hefty flight cases.
Most pronounced in the cabin is the colour touch-screen infotainment system, which has a more clear-cut display than before. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay can also be operated through it. Blind-spot monitoring, lane departure, and city braking, safety technology is all present, too.
Behind the big leather steering wheel, things are very luxurious. Fire the car up using its starter button, and the Italian 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol mild-hybrid powerplant snorts into life. Once moving, the Ghibli feels heavy, yet it’s quick and smooth. Furthermore, top-quality insulation is built-in, which, along with lush carpeting, makes the Ghibli Hybrid a soothing car to drive or travel in. The eight-speed transmission produces speedy responses, but it has a predisposition to latch onto the gears when changing up. The steering isn’t bursting with feedback, either, but, taken as a whole, the new Ghibli Hybrid is a splendid electrified executive ride to spend time with.
The car provides fulfilling, hard-hitting performance, with a zero to 62mph figure of 5.7 seconds and a maximum speed of 158mph. Fuel efficiency is as essential as absolute power in this subdivision of the motoring market – and the Ghibli isn’t as thirsty as you might expect, considering its size. Up to 33.2mpg is realisable, and the saloon produces CO2 emissions from 192 to 216g/km.
Maserati is still a comparatively low-volume producer of cars, so if you buy a new Ghibli Hybrid, you won’t frequently see another. Facts and figures – they’re all pertinent when it comes to reviewing cars. But, there’s another component. If you drive a conventional vehicle, you’ll park up, and nobody will give you a lingering look. If you drive an electrified Ghibli, many people will do a double-take. What value you put on that reaction is entirely down to you.
Tim Barnes-Clay qualified as a journalist in 1994 and is a member of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers. He initially trained in broadcast journalism and has worked as a reporter and news reader at various radio stations in East Anglia and the Midlands. He has also been a motoring journalist for the Mirror Group’s L!ve TV cable network and a presenter, reporter and producer at ITV Central in Birmingham. Tim is now an automotive writer, focusing on car reviews. He has media accreditation with all motor manufacturers’ press offices, and this enables him to test drive the latest cars. He also attends new vehicle press launches at home and abroad.
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