If you’re looking for a new luxury sedan with an eye on performance, you’re probably interested in the 2015 BMW 5 Series and the 2015 Maserati Ghibli. Both offer bold styling, high-performance driving experiences and engine options that rival most sports cars, along with a series of upscale equipment and luxury gadgets. But which one is better? We’ve created a detailed comparison between both cars to find out, but first let’s see what’s new with the 5 Series and the Ghibli for the 2015 model year.
2015 BMW 5 Series
The 5 Series sees only minor updates for 2015, including some revised option packages and standard LED fog lights. See all 2015 BMW 5 Series models available near you
2015 Maserati Ghibli
All new in 2014, the Ghibli offers only a few minor changes for the 2015 model year, including newly standard Bluetooth, satellite radio and navigation. See all 2015 Maserati Ghibli models available near you
The Maserati Ghibli is too new for reliability ratings from experts at J.D. Power, though we’re a little nervous given the brand’s reputation for pricey parts and temperamental vehicles. The 5 Series, meanwhile, earned a four in J.D. Power’s Power Circle Ratings, indicating better-than-average reliability.
When it comes to warranty length, the Ghibli offers 3 years and unlimited miles of bumper-to-bumper coverage, while the 5 Series touts 4 years or 50,000 miles of bumper-to-bumper protection. Although we don’t think either car is a clear winner in this category, we’d love to see the Ghibli’s J.D. Power scores to find out if its reliability record is good enough to compete with a mainstream luxury model such as the 5 Series.
The 5 Series offers five engine options, from the frugal 240-horsepower 528i and the highly efficient 255-hp 535d all the way up to the raucous 560-hp twin-turbocharged M5. Gas mileage is best with the diesel, which returns up to 26 miles per gallon in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, and with the turbocharged 528i, which comes close to those numbers at 23 mpg city/34 mpg hwy.
The Ghibli, meanwhile, offers only two engines: a 345-hp turbocharged V6 mated to rear-wheel drive and a more powerful version of the same engine that puts out 404 horses and comes with standard all-wheel drive. Since Ghibli fuel economy tops out at 15 mpg city/25 mpg hwy, the BMW is the clear winner in this category.
In crash testing carried out by the federal government’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the BMW 5 Series earned a perfect 5-star overall score. The Ghibli, meanwhile, has not yet undergone government crash tests. Neither car has yet completed the full battery of assessments carried out by the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, though the Ghibli has earned a slightly higher overall score than the 5 Series after a few tests.
When it comes to safety technology, however, the 5 Series blows the Ghibli out of the water. The Ghibli offers the basics, including a standard backup camera, standard curtain-side airbags, and optional front and rear parking sensors. But it doesn’t have any of the latest safety gadgets such as a head-up display, forward-collision alert with automatic braking, a lane-departure warning system, a night-vision system, adaptive brake lights or a multi-angle rearview camera — all of which the BMW offers.
As a result, the winner here is clear: While both cars offer about the same level of crashworthiness, the BMW has a huge advantage in terms of safety features and options.
Climbing inside a well-equipped version of the latest BMW 5 Series feels like stepping into the future. Climbing inside a Ghibli, however, feels like stepping into the past.
That’s the best way to describe it, especially in the luxury-sedan realm, where certain high-tech gadgets that should be commonplace aren’t even offered in the Maserati. We’ve already covered the BMW’s huge advantage in safety features, where it boasts many unique features over the Maserati such as forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning, night vision and more.
But it doesn’t stop there: The BMW also offers 4-zone automatic climate control, a rear-seat entertainment system, an automated parallel-parking system and adaptive LED headlights, none of which the Maserati has. In fact, we could go on for a while with technological advantages that favor the BMW over the Maserati, but we think you get the point: When it comes to tech, the Maserati lags far behind its more mainstream rivals.
In virtually every category so far, the BMW 5 Series has outperformed the Ghibli dramatically — except for reliability, where the Ghibli is, for now, something of a question mark. The BMW also offers a highly similar driving experience and, in our opinion, a better-appointed interior — and that says nothing of the available 5 Series GT hatchback body style, which the Ghibli doesn’t offer.
The Ghibli could make up for all of this with a highly affordable price point, but it doesn’t. While the BMW starts at around $50,000, the Ghibli is closer to $70,000. While that may be comparing apples to oranges in terms of engine power, even closely competitive 5 Series models are still several thousand dollars cheaper than their Maserati rival. As a result, the leader of the value category is an easy one: The 5 Series wins by a mile.
Although we’d love nothing more than to tell you that the sexy, exciting Italian has unseated the masterful, serious German in this comparison test, that simply isn’t the case. Instead, this comparison serves to simply reinforce our opinion that there’s a reason BMW has been so successful in this segment for so long.
The Ghibli is outclassed by the 5 Series — and the Maserati is a lot more expensive, too. The BMW is more refined, more efficient and better built, and it comes with many more features, gadgets and safety equipment, leaving the Maserati to trade solely on its unique name and (admittedly) handsome appearance. But few car buyers are that shallow with such a large purchase — and as a result, we suspect few shoppers will be moved by the Maserati’s good looks and steep price tag. The BMW is our pick.