2016 Maserati Quattroporte Review: Quick Take

Jodi Lai
by Jodi Lai

The rule kind of goes like this: If you’re driving a high-priced Italian exotic, you don’t complain about it.

Well, I’m about to break that rule. You might hate me for doing this, but it has to be said: The Maserati Quattroporte is a completely unimpressive car. *runs for cover*

Before you call me a spoiled brat, let me declare that in isolation, this car is fantastic. It’s luxurious and it’s wearing a huge Maserati badge, so what could possibly be wrong with it, right? It’s not that the Quattroporte is a bad car, but when you compare it to other cars in its segment, they just set such a high bar, and the Quattroporte just can’t meet those high standards. It can’t even meet lower standards of cars that cost far less, and that’s a huge problem.


Engine: 3.0L twin turbo V6
Power: 404 hp, 406 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
EPA Fuel Economy (MPG): 16 city, 23 hwy, 18 combined
CAN Fuel Economy (L/100 km): 15.4 city, 7.8 highway
US Price: S Q4 Starts at $107,900
CAN Price: S Q4 Starts at $121,400

An Image Issue

I’m not the only one who thought this, either. Nearly everyone I picked up and drove around just shrugged their shoulders and said, “That’s it? I was expecting more.” If you’re an image-conscious luxury car shopper, there are many other cars that are more dramatic that will get you noticed. The sedan doesn’t have a lot of presence on the road and the design is not particularly pretty.

ALSO SEE: Maserati Levante Jumps on the Luxury SUV Bandwagon

One design cue that really annoys me is the small base wheels. The 19-inchers don’t fill up the wheel-well enough, making it look awkward and cheap. The wheels are also slightly inset, and should be pushed out more to give the sedan a more authoritative stance. The car really doesn’t look proper unless it’s wearing 20 or 21-inch wheels. You’d expect a six-figure car to automatically come with big enough wheels.

If you don’t care about image and want big luxury executive sedan, then Maserati does the trick well. At a quick glance, it’s classy and conservative. It also scores points because Maseratis are generally quite rare, so they seem more exotic and exclusive.

The Drive is Nothing Special

Maseratis are famous for their angry Italian V8 howl, but this Quattroporte S Q4 has a V6 under the hood. The Ferrari-built 3.0-liter twin turbo V6 sounds pretty good under full throttle, but I’m convinced that the Shelby GT350 I was driving last week was so loud that it left me partially deaf, because the Quattroporte is far too quiet. Putting it in sport mode helps a bit, but the Maserati is just so subdued and drama-free. If I’m paying more than six figures for a car, I want drama everywhere.

With 404 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, the Quattroporte can get to 60 miles an hour in 4.6 seconds. It’s is faster than you’d ever need it to be and it stays really flat in a corner, but again, it doesn’t meet expectations because there’s a fair bit of turbo lag. You floor the pedal the the car takes a couple beats to really get going, which is made worse as the eight-speed transmission seems to take too long to sort itself out.

The steering is has a solid, heavy feel and it’s quite responsive, but the whole experience is kind of ruined by the terrible paddle shifters. They’re enormous, they don’t turn with the wheel, and they get in the way of the signal turn stalk. Even if you never use them, they will still annoy you. And it’s the same story with the joystick-like gear selector that bounces back to center once you pick a gear, which is clunky and never works like you want it to. FCA, which owns Maserati, even had to recall cars outfitted with a similar setup because people didn’t know how to use them, and it became a safety issue.

ALSO SEE: 2016 BMW 750i xDrive Review

In the end, the drive is nothing special. It does the job, but if excellent driving dynamics in a big sedan are what you’re after, this isn’t the best car you can get.

The Interior is Nothing Special

The Quattroporte’s interior is also a huge a disappointment. I love the red leather and optional Zegna trim, but the rest of nothing special. There are a lot of cheap-looking FCA parts that don’t make the Maserati feel as high-end as it should, and the piano black trim gets very dusty very quickly. Cheap plastic can be found everywhere, and there are a lot of little annoying things that show a lack of attention to detail from Maserati.


Where Are All the Features?

If you look at all the other executive sedans on the market right now, the Maserati falls short in other areas, too. Compared to a BMW 7 Series, a Mercedes S-Class, an Audi A8 or RS7, or even a Porsche Panamera, the Maserati is bare bones.

ALSO SEE: Facelifted Maserati Quattroporte Gets Some Much-Needed Upgrades

There are none of the features you’d expect at this price point: there’s no adaptive cruise control, no head-up display, no 360 degree camera, no wireless phone charging, no lane departure warning, no automatic emergency braking, or lane keep assist. Some of these are things you can find in a Honda Civic these days, so it’s kind of embarrassing that they’re not in this Maserati.

The Verdict: 2016 Maserati Quattroporte Review

The main draws of the Quattroporte are the enormous Maserati trident emblem in the grille and its Ferrari-built engine, but other than that, there’s not much else that sets it apart or makes it better than its competition. Maserati really needs to give its flagship sedan a refresh to make it more competitive.

Perhaps its biggest downfall is that it just doesn’t feel that special or expensive when you drive it and sit in it, and it feels very behind the times because it’s lacking so many features we’ve come to expect. It says a lot when a topline Mercedes C450 AMG feels more fancy, drives better, sounds better and has more features, all while costing a fraction of the Quattroporte.

If you had your heart set on a Maserati, the GranTurismo sounds downright savage and looks damn sexy, but if you need something more practical, the Levante is more modern. If it were my money on the line, however, I’d rather have an Audi RS7.


  • Maserati badge
  • Exotic/rare
  • Ferrari engine


  • Lacks features
  • Doesn't justify price
  • Ergonomic issues
Jodi Lai
Jodi Lai

Jodi has been obsessed with cars since she was little and has been an automotive journalist for the past 12 years. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto, is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), and a jury member for the prestigious North American Car/Truck/Utility Vehicle of the Year (NACTOY). Besides hosting videos, and writing news, reviews and features, Jodi is the Editor-in-Chief of AutoGuide.com and takes care of the site's day-to-day operations.

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2 of 3 comments
  • FrownyFace3000 FrownyFace3000 on Jun 19, 2016


  • RoseFlorida RoseFlorida on Oct 26, 2017

    My Quattroporte is 9 years old. It looks special, but when Maserati tweaked the design for the new models it lost the special edge. I don't know why, but making the grill slightly wider lost it. On top of that much of the competition have picked up design cues from the earlier Quattroporte, so it is not as distinctive. The newer design did not have the same quality interior either. Still, I get lots of comments, approvals, thumbs up regarding the 2008 design, among the most beautiful four door cars ever produced. The sound of the V8 cannot be compared to that of the V6, nor to the sound of any other car engine not in an Italian exotic. The "piano black" of the interior is an option. One can choose woodgrain instead. I ordered piano black and love it. Clean your car often - who wants an interior that looks clean but is actually dusty and dirty? Competition in the segment is fierce, and it will be interesting to see how Maserati responds to it.