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2021 Maserati Ghibli Review


The 2021 Maserati Ghibli is a midsize luxury sedan. It’s the entry-level model in the Maserati lineup making the prestigious Italian brand more accessible. It also makes the Maserati brand a little more competitive with higher-volume luxury marques like BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz. The Ghibli hits a few high notes by delivering the look, sound, and presence of a Maserati, but is it actually worth the price or are you just paying for the brand?

Let’s take a closer look at the 2021 Maserati Ghibli and see if it’s the right luxury sedan for you.

What’s New for 2021?

The Maserati Ghibli gets a slight aesthetic refresh for 2021. This includes a new “tuning fork” grille design and a “boomerang” taillight design that borrows from the brand’s race-bred heritage. There’s also a new standard 10.1-inch Maserati Intelligent Assistant infotainment system. See the 2021 Maserati Ghibli models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Exotic styling
  • Great exhaust note
  • You can say you drive a Maserati

What We Don’t

  • Performance is just okay
  • Interior quality is subpar for its price
  • High cost of entry for V8 engine
  • Doesn’t hold its value

How Much?

$74,390 to $109,890

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Maserati Ghibli has two Ferrari-derived engines available: a turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 and a turbocharged 3.8-liter V8. Every Ghibli has an 8-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive (RWD) is standard. You get all-wheel drive (AWD) on the S Q4 model. The base Ghibli and the S model earned a fuel economy rating of 17 city/25 highway/20 combined mpg. In the S Q4 model, all three numbers go down by 1 mpg. If you upgrade to the V8, fuel economy drops to 13 city/20 highway/16 combined mpg.

The base V6-powered Ghibli makes 345 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. Upgrading to the S model ups those numbers to 424 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. Finally, the V8-powered Trofeo model cranks out 580 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque.

Standard Features & Options

The 2021 Maserati Ghibli is available in four different trims; Ghibli, Ghibli S, Ghibli S Q4, and Ghibli Trofeo. Rear-wheel drive is standard on all models except for the S Q4 model which is equipped with all-wheel drive.

The base Ghibli ($74,390) comes standard with 19-inch wheels, bi-xenon headlights, a power sunroof, leather seats, heated front seats, a 10.1-inch Maserati Intelligent Assistant infotainment system with navigation, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay, SiriusXM, a backup camera, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot alert.

There are two available trim packages for the Ghibli; GranLusso ($81,890) and GranSport ($81,890). GranLusso emphasises luxury by adding a chrome front fascia insert, silk and leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated black leather and wood steering wheel, adaptive full LED headlights with high-beam assist, 10-speaker Harman/Kardon premium audio, and gloss black brake calipers.

The GranSport trim adds a sportier look and feel with a unique front and rear sport fascia, 20-inch wheels, gloss red painted brake calipers, Skyhook performance suspension with electronic damping, 12-way power front sport seats, a heated black leather sport steering wheel with aluminum paddle shifters, adaptive full LED headlights with high-beam assist, and 10-speaker Harman/Kardon premium audio.

The Ghibli S ($79,390) is similarly equipped to the base model, but upgrades the performance with 424 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. Like the base trim, the GranLusso ($86,190) and GranSport ($86,190) are available with the same equipment plus the performance upgrade.

The Ghibli S Q4 ($81,890) is essentially the same as the S model, but with the addition of AWD giving it a slightly quicker 0-60 mph time and better all-weather traction. The GranLusso ($88,680) and GranSport ($88,690) trims are also available at this level.

Finally, at the top of the Ghibli model range is the Trofeo ($109,890). It’s the only Ghibli available with the turbocharged V8 engine which produces 580 hp. Other equipment on top of what you get in the lower trims includes 21-inch wheels, special leather seats with contrast stitching, carbon fiber interior trim, a heated black leather sport steering wheel, 10-speaker Harman/Kardon premium audio, Inox sport pedals, and adaptive LED matrix headlights.

Safety

The 2021 Maserati Ghibli hasn’t been rated for safety by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave it the top “Good” rating in every crashworthiness category.

Standard safety tech on every 2021 Ghibli includes a backup camera, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot alert. Available safety tech on top of that includes automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous Active Driving Assist system.

Behind the Wheel

The 2021 Maserati Ghibli is a competent sport sedan that’s enjoyable to drive in every trim. That said, we’re judging the car based on its brand’s heritage and its price tag when compared to similarly priced competitors in the luxury car world. By those standards, the performance of the Ghibli is just okay. The base turbocharged V6 engine has a very satisfying growl, but out on the road, it’s only moderately rewarding to drive compared to the likes of the Audi S6 or one of the AMG variants of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The more performance-tuned S model is decidedly sportier than the base trim and the V8-powered Trofeo really turns up the heat, but for a European sport sedan with a six-digit price tag, it falls short of high-powered, high-priced competitors.

The story is similar when it comes to interior refinement; just okay for its class and price tag. Interiors of competitors offer a more premium experience, often with more driver assistance tech features available at lower price points.

At the end of the day, the chief merits of the Ghibli are the style, sound, and brand panache. If those things are your top priorities and you have a generous budget, then the Ghibli will satisfy. If you’re looking for a better value, better performance, or a nicer interior, then do some cross-shopping with its competitors.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio – The Giulia is a smaller sedan than the Ghibli, but hear us out. The high-performance Quadrifoglio has a starting price very similar to the base price of the Ghibli and it delivers 505 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 3.8 seconds. That makes it quicker than the Ghibli Trofeo. Choose wisely.

2021 Mercedes-Benz E-Class – The high-performance AMG models of the midsize Mercedes-Benz E-Class compete in a similar field as the Maserati Ghibli. The E-Class is a supremely well-rounded luxury sedan with a blend of performance and luxury that few can match.

2021 BMW 5 Series – The M550i and M5 variants are comparable to the Maserati Ghibli, but actually deliver stronger performance and a more luxurious interior. The styling of the 5 Series is a little more subtle than the more exotic Maserati, so which is right for you depends on your priorities.

2021 Audi S6 – The sporty version of Audi’s midsize sedan has a starting price similar to the Ghibli, but you get 444 hp and standard AWD with the Audi. The S6 also arguably has the nicest interior in its competitive class – yes, even nicer than a Maserati.

2021 Cadillac CT5-V – An American option in midsize sport sedans is the Cadillac CT5-V. This is a value choice with a starting price under $50k and its twin-turbo V6 makes a little more power than the V6 in the base Ghibli. If you’re willing to wait for the 2022 model year, the CT5-V Blackwing will make much more power than a Ghibli Trofeo for much less money.

Used Maserati Quattroporte – Used examples of the flagship Maserati sedan can be found at prices similar to a new Ghibli while offering a more luxurious experience and more space with the same engine options.

Used Porsche Panamera – Available as a sedan or a wagon, the Porsche Panamera is one of the best executions yet of the four-door luxury sports car. It doesn’t compromise on luxury or performance; it delivers huge helpings of both without cutting corners. A new Panamera can get awfully expensive with options, but used examples are a better value.

Used Audi S8 – The “D4” generation of the Audi S8 that ended in 2018 is becoming a super sedan bargain on the used market. Its twin-turbo V8 is a monster and the roomy, high-tech interior pampers the driver and passengers alike while moving very fast.

Autotrader’s Advice

The 2021 Maserati Ghibli has its strong suits, but it’s a tough value proposition. Sure, it’s the most budget-friendly car in the Maserati lineup, but it simply doesn’t stand up to competitors that are faster, nicer, and more affordable.

If you’re in love with the Maserati look and sound, then the Ghibli to get is the S model. It turns up the performance over the base trim without the price getting too out of control. Find a 2021 Maserati Ghibli for sale

Eric Brandt
Eric Brandt is an author specializing in Oversteer content, new car reviews, and finding the best car, truck, and SUV deals each month. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Eric can often be found exploring the north woods on his 1983 Honda Gold Wing when the weather allows it. Father of four, husband of one, and unapologetic minivan enthusiast. Eric mastered driving stick by having a 3-cylinder Chevy... Read More about Eric Brandt

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