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2016 Maserati Ghibli vs. 2016 Maserati Quattroporte: What's the Difference?

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro March 2016

If you're interested in a high-performance sedan, your shopping list might include the 2016 Maserati Ghibli and the 2016 Maserati Quattroporte, both of which combine excellent performance, high-end luxury and the all-important renowned Maserati badge. But what exactly is the difference between these two models? And which one is better? We're taking a closer look at all the key differences between the Ghibli and the Quattroporte in order to find out.

Exterior

On the outside, the Maserati Ghibli and the Quattroporte offer a relatively similar shape with a similar profile and fairly close lines. The two models are so similar, in fact, that most onlookers will likely have trouble telling them apart -- something that may cause consternation among Quattroporte owners, considering that it starts well above $107,000 to the Ghibli's base price of just $71,000 with shipping. Still, a close look at the two cars will reveal some key differences like the fact that the Ghibli is noticeably smaller than the Quattroporte in virtually every detail, looking more like a seven-eighths copy than its own unique design.

Interior

Inside, the Ghibli and Quattroporte are surprisingly different. The most obvious difference is interior room. While front seats in both models offer about the same space, the Quattroporte is much larger in back than the Ghibli. Beyond that, the two sedans have a totally different character on the inside, with the Ghibli touting a sporty, modern feel to the Quattroporte's more traditional, luxurious, old-school cruiser design. In short, we suspect you're more likely to confuse these two cars on the outside than you are when you climb inside.

Mechanicals

The Ghibli offers two engine choices. Base models use a 345-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, while the high-end Ghibli S (rear-wheel drive) and S Q4 (all-wheel drive) models upgrade to a 404-hp version of the same engine.

The Quattroporte, meanwhile, starts with the Ghibli's optional 404-hp engine in its base-level S model. As in the Ghibli, that engine is offered with rear- or all-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission. Drivers interested in more power can upgrade to the Quattroporte GTS, which uses a 523-hp 3.8-liter turbocharged V8 and comes only with rear-wheel drive.

The result: Although the Ghibli and Quattroporte share an engine, that engine is the most powerful one offered in the Ghibli and the least powerful one offered in the Quattroporte. Drivers especially focused on performance should, therefore, choose the Quattroporte.

Features & Technology

Neither the Ghibli nor the Quattroporte are standouts when it comes to equipment, with both models falling well below rivals from mainstream luxury brands like BMW and Mercedes in terms of luxury features and options. Scan the options list of both cars all you want, but you won't find common modern features like forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, a panoramic sunroof or lane-keep assist.

With that said, the Ghibli and Quattroporte are relatively similar to each other when it comes to equipment and features. Neither one offers any major advancements over the other, touting primarily high-end trim packages and upscale interior designs as their most exciting option choices.

Admittedly, both models offer a few upscale features we're fond of, such as an 8.4-inch touchscreen with an excellent infotainment system, rear cross-traffic alert, heated rear seats and automatic high beams. But if you're expecting the Quattroporte to boast many features you can't get in the Ghibli, you're mistaken.

Driving Experience

Base-level Ghibli models offer a fairly mediocre driving experience, touting only 345 hp and a fairly firm ride. You have to upgrade to S or S Q4 models to get any real performance out of the Ghibli, especially the performance you expect from an Italian sport sedan. That's not the case with the Quattroporte, which offers impressive acceleration and a lot of power regardless of whether you get the base-level S version or upgrade to the high-end Quattroporte GTS. In all models, the 8-speed automatic is quick and smooth.

If you haven't driven an Italian car before, you might be surprised to discover just how harsh the ride is in the Ghibli and the Quattroporte. Neither car is an old-school American luxury sedan. Both prioritize drivability over just about anything else, trading suspension comfort for sharp steering and excellent cornering capabilities. Drivers looking for a commuter car might not appreciate the trade-off, but shoppers who want all-out performance certainly will.

Safety

Neither the Quattroporte nor the Ghibli has been fully tested by the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. However, both models offer roughly the same level of safety equipment, boasting standard side-curtain airbags, a standard backup camera and standard traction control with options including rear cross-traffic alert, parking sensors and a blind spot monitoring system.

Unfortunately, neither the Quattroporte nor the Ghibli offers forward-collision alert, lane-departure warning or lane-keep assist -- features that have become commonplace in this segment. But if you're comparing the two cars to one another, you won't find that either one offers a huge safety advantage over the other.

Conclusions

The 2016 Maserati Quattroporte and the 2016 Maserati Ghibli approach the luxury sedan world from a different place than rivals from BMW, Mercedes and other automakers. While those models aim to please just about everyone, the Ghibli and Quattroporte eschew some popular features in favor of style, performance and an exhilarating exhaust note.

As for differences between the Ghibli and the Quattroporte, you won't find many -- once you get past the interior space, the overall size and the powertrains. Think of the Ghibli as a smaller-scale Quattroporte and you won't be very far off. Our advice is to skip the Quattroporte (and its higher price tag) unless you really need the extra space or the improved performance.

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This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2016 Maserati Ghibli vs. 2016 Maserati Quattroporte: What's the Difference? - Autotrader