2020 Maserati Ghibli

2020 Maserati Ghibli Review: Italian Flair With Ferrari Power

by Karl Furlong

Are most mid-size luxury sedans simply too businesslike and serious in their demeanor for your tastes? Well, welcome to the curvaceous and characterful Maserati Ghibli. Typically Italian in its disdain for the generic, the Ghibli is proof that a four-door sedan doesn't have to be boring. A Ferrari-derived twin-turbo V6 is just as charming as the sensuous exterior, and delivers up to 424 horsepower to provide the Ghibli with spirited performance - and a gorgeous soundtrack to go with it. That said, the fastest Ghibli is still no match for a BMW 5 Series with an M badge on the back, or the quickest of Mercedes-Benz's E-Class range. Similarly, the Germans convincingly trump the Ghibli for interior quality and available technology. So, while this Italian isn't at the cutting edge of its segment, you tend to forget its vices because it's just so desirable, and we're not sure we can say the same about those stuffy Germans.

2020 Maserati Ghibli Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2019 Ghibli?

No major changes have been made to the range for 2020, although there has been an increase in the standard and optional equipment. For example, the base model now gets a heated steering wheel as standard. The GranSport and GranLusso trims also get an enhanced safety specification, with the likes of adaptive cruise control and forward-collision warning now being standard.

Pros and Cons

  • Seductive looks for a mid-size sedan… from the front
  • V6 delivers strong performance and a gorgeous sound
  • Engaging handling
  • Distinctive GranLusso and GranSport trims to suit different buyer tastes
  • Fantastic seat comfort
  • Some switchgear feels cheap
  • Pricier than more mainstream models
  • Sub-par ride quality

Ghibli Exterior

The Ghibli's curves give it a unique silhouette in this segment. The concave grille with its chrome bars was inspired by the '50s Maserati A6 GCS Berlinetta and remains instantly recognizable. The rear-end isn't quite as striking, although quad tailpipes do remind you of the sedan's performance potential. All models ride on 19-inch alloy wheels as standard and also get bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights. The GranSport and GranLusso trims are optional, with the former having more of a luxury focus and the latter boasting more aggressively designed bumpers and other styling cues. The GranSport, for instance, gets unique 20-inch alloy wheels.

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See All 2020 Maserati Ghibli Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Ghibli is just over an inch longer than a BMW 5 Series, but the Italian isn't quite as tall. Key dimensions are a length of 195.7 inches, a width of 83.8 inches including the side mirrors (76.6 inches without the mirrors), and a height of 57.5 inches. The wheelbase measures 118 inches. Curb weight ranges between 3,990 pounds for the base Ghibli to 4,123 lbs for the all-wheel-drive S Q4.

Exterior Colors

It's always good to play around with an online configurator when you have a sedan as beautifully designed as the Ghibli - this is a car that seems to look equally stunning in any color you choose. Nero and Bianco are the two standard shades, and you can upgrade to several extra-cost metallic options that vary between $1,000 and $2,700 each. These colors include Nero Ribelle, Grigio Maratea, Grigio, Blu Passione, Blu Emozione, Rosso Folgore, Bianco Alpi and Blu Nobile.

  • Grigio Metallo
  • Nero Ribelle Mica
  • Blu Emozione Mica
  • Blu Passione Mica
  • Rosso Folgore Mica
  • Bronzo Siena Metallescent
  • Champagne Metallescent
  • Grigio Maratea Metallescent
  • Bianco Alpi Tri-Coat
  • Blue Nobile Tri-Coat
  • Rosso Potente Tri-Coat
  • Grigio
  • Nero
  • Bianco

Ghibli Performance

The base, rear-wheel-drive Ghibli is fitted with a sublime 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 producing 345 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, enough for a claimed 0-60 mph sprint time of 5.5 seconds and a top speed of 166 mph. It's decent but not spectacular performance - a base BMW 530i with a 2.0-liter turbo-four isn't much slower. For more power, go for the Ghibli S with its 424 hp and 428 lb-ft as it'll cut down the 0-60 mph time to 4.9 seconds and reach a maximum of 178 mph. The S Q4 has the same power outputs but with the added traction of all-wheel-drive, it will get to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. Overall, the Italian's performance won't bother BMW or Mercedes-Benz, but then again, this car is a lot more about how it makes you feel and less about on-paper statistics - in that regard, most buyers will love the manner in which the Ghibli's tuneful V6 does its job.

2020 Maserati Ghibli Front View Driving Maserati
2020 Maserati Ghibli Rear View Driving Maserati
2020 Maserati Ghibli Engine Maserati

Engine and Transmission

The Ghibli's engine is manufactured by Ferrari in Maranello, so the result is not just power and potent performance, but an engine with real soul. In the base Ghibli, outputs are 345 hp and 369 lb-ft, swelling to 424 hp and 428 lb-ft in the S variants. In both cases, the engine is paired with a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission.

Both engines sound magnificent, especially with the windows down so that you can fully enjoy the acoustics from the exhaust system. The lower-powered engine endows the Ghibli with adequate rather than remarkable performance. Around town, it's nicely civilized and at higher speeds passing power is strong. The more powerful V6 is a tangibly better performer, though, and provides the kind of zip you'd expect in a Maserati. Turbo lag is barely an issue and beyond 2,500 rpm, it's a joyous powerplant to exploit. The ZF eight-speeder seems to lack some urgency when you're in the mood to press on, but it's otherwise a decent companion to the V6.

  • Engine
    3.0-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

As you'd expect of a Maserati, the Ghibli feels tauter and more sporty than the average luxury midsize sedan. The steering doesn't exactly fizz with feedback, but it's responsive and allows you to accurately place the sedan through a series of curves. There's also good body control and plenty of grip. These good handling qualities are a bit less impressive on uneven surfaces, though, as the Ghibli is rather sensitive to mid-corner bumps. Fast changes of direction are also met with more reluctance than you'd encounter in a BMW 5 Series.

The Italian's sporting pretensions also result in a rather firm, brittle ride that would quickly send Mercedes-Benz owners running in the opposite direction. Even when switching from Sport to Normal mode, the ride never truly settles and picks up on too many surface imperfections for a car of this kind. Not helping matters are the Maserati's large wheels, which also kick up more road roar than in many competitors. Overall, the Ghibli is a decent drive but just lacks the polish we expect of a high-priced luxury sedan.

Ghibli Gas Mileage

The Ghibli's EPA-rated economy numbers work out to 17/24/19 mpg city/highway/combined for the rear-wheel-drive variants. On a 21.1-gallon tankful of premium gasoline, a combined cruising range of approximately 400 miles should be on the cards. The all-wheel-drive version has the same combined cruising range but is estimated to return a marginally heavier 16 mpg in city driving.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    21.1 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 17/24 mpg
* 2020 Maserati Ghibli 3.0L

Ghibli Interior

The Ghibli's interior is a curious blend of premium materials and some flimsier switchgear. At first glance, everything looks great, but it's only once you begin operating the various switches that you'll find less weight to them when compared to a German luxury sedan. Although a five-seater, the Ghibli is better suited to four occupants. Seating is a highlight, as the upholstery not only feels good to the touch but provides a nice mix of comfort and support. The driving position is generally decent and less compromised than in some other Italian cars, and while the infotainment system is reasonably logical, it lags behind the equivalent Mercedes-Benz and BMW systems. Although soft-close doors and 12-way power front seats are included, equipment levels are adequate rather than exceptional for the price.

2020 Maserati Ghibli Dashboard CarBuzz
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Seating and Interior Space

Technically a five-seater, the Ghibli is better-suited to four occupants due to a narrow center rear seat that is much less comfortable than the rear outboard seats. Leather upholstery on all models adds to the comfort levels, and once seated, there is a reasonable amount of leg- and headroom for all passengers. Rear legroom only begins feeling a bit tight if adults taller than six-feet are occupying the front seats. The driving position is great, except for pedals that are slightly offset; a memory system for the driver's seat will make it easy to call up your preferred settings. Smallish rear side windows can make it feel a tad claustrophobic at the back, though, and the door apertures aren't the biggest so ingress and egress are slightly impeded. If you'll often be transporting passengers at the back, an E-Class is a much better prospect.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

All models have leather-upholstered seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Ghibli S additionally gets extended leather upholstery for an even more luxurious environment. Customers can choose between premium perforated leather, Pieno Fiore natural leather, and Zegna silk upholstery. High-gloss carbon-fiber or wood veneer trims represent a sportier or more opulent touch depending on which one you go for. Available open-pore wood or Piano Black are additional trim options. There are a variety of upholstery colors/color combinations to choose from, from black Nero leather to more exuberant shades like Cuoio, Sabbia, and Rosso (a deep red hue) with Nero contrast stitching. You can also choose the color of the dashboard to suit your tastes, creating an ambiance that's far removed from the typically stoic BMW 5 Series cabin.

Ghibli Trunk and Cargo Space

At 17.7 cubic feet, the Ghibli's trunk offers a practical amount of space for a big grocery shop or a small family's belongings for a weekend away. That said, the trunk's design is rather shallow so it's not as good for taller items as some other rivals in this segment. The 60/40-split-folding rear seat usefully expands available cargo capacity.

Interior storage space is average, with good-sized door pockets in front and compartments in the center console for items like smartphones and wallets.

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2020 Maserati Ghibli Trunk Space 1 CarBuzz
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  • Trunk Volume
    17.7 ft³

Ghibli Infotainment and Features

Features

Starting with the base model, you get 12-way power front comfort seats with two-position driver memory, heated front seats, a sunroof, soft-closing doors, power-adjustable and folding side mirrors, a heated steering wheel, keyless opening for the trunk lid, cruise control, a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, parking sensors front and rear, push-button start, keyless entry and go, dual-zone climate control, and blind-spot detection. Opting for one of the higher trims will add features like front sports seats, adaptive LED headlights with high-beam assist, ventilated front seats, and a surround-view parking camera. Most modern driver aids like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist require upgrading to one of the pricier trims. Considering the Ghibli's price, there's only an adequate amount of features.

Infotainment

The Ghibli's infotainment system, while not as advanced or slick as BMW's iDrive or Mercedes' MBUX system, is generally easy to use. Dubbed Maserati Touch Control Plus (MTC+), the system comprises of a 8.4-inch touchscreen and a center console rotary knob. Standard features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, a Wi-Fi hotspot, SiriusXM radio with a one-year free trial subscription, and SiriusXM traffic and travel link with a five-year trial subscription. Navigation and an internal hard-drive are part of the package as well. The basic sound system features eight speakers, but GranLusso and GranSport trims introduce a ten-speaker, 900-watt Harman Kardon premium audio system. A 15-speaker Bowers and Wilkins surround sound system is optionally available.

Ghibli Problems and Reliability

The Maserati Ghibli hasn't yet been rated by J.D. Power for overall dependability and quality. And, while the NHTSA hasn't recalled the 2019 or 2020 Ghibli year models, the 2018 model was recalled twice: once for incomplete subframe welds which may fracture (increasing the risk of a crash), and once for a potential fuel leak in the engine compartment which could pose a fire risk. 2017 was even worse, with five recalls - issues included software malfunctions, an issue where the rear wheels could lock up, and a faulty rearview camera.

The Ghibli is covered by the brand's four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty. The powertrain warranty, along with roadside assistance, is for the same period/mileage.

Ghibli Safety

While the IIHS hasn't tested the 2020 Ghibli, the virtually identical 2019 model received a consistent spread of Good ratings for crashworthiness tests, although the vehicle was untested for crash avoidance and mitigation. The NHTSA has yet to test the Ghibli.

Key Safety Features

Every Ghibli ships standard with seven airbags. Also standard is Maserati's stability assist program, auto-on headlamps, a rain sensor, cruise control, parking sensors front and rear, a brake assist system, and a rearview camera with dynamic guidelines. Driver aids are rather sparse for the base model, with blind-spot detection being the lone notable feature that's standard.

The GranLusso and GranSport variants both get the Driver Assistance Package as standard. The package encompasses adaptive cruise control, forward-collision warning, a surround-view camera, traffic sign recognition, lane departure warning, pedestrian recognition, blind-spot alert and autonomous emergency braking.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2020 Maserati Ghibli a good car?

Like many Italian cars, the Maserati Ghibli is more of an emotional purchase than the average vehicle. Its curvaceous and distinctive design (especially from the front), eye-catching cabin materials and colors, and gorgeous V6 combine to ensure that you're unlikely to ever feel bored with this Italian. It's also going to be a rare sight, so exclusivity is guaranteed. All of that being said, Maserati hasn't significantly updated the Ghibli in some time. The car's measurable qualities also fall short of the cheaper BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class: pound-for-pound, the Germans are better built, ride more comfortably, are faster, and boast superior on-board tech. Besides the Ghibli's V6, there's actually not much more driving enjoyment on offer than in a 5 Series. So, if you're prepared to admit that this would be a heart-over-head decision, the Ghibli is unlikely to disappoint. But if you want the best luxury car you can get at the price, this isn't it.

🚘What's the Price of the 2020 Maserati Ghibli?

The Ghibli range begins with the base model at an MSRP of $69,490. This price excludes tax, licensing, registration, and Maserati's destination/handling charge of $1,495. Next is the more powerful Ghibli S at $74,490, followed by three models which all cost $76,990: the better-equipped GranLusso, the sportier GranSport, and the S Q4. Moving up a price level, the S GranLusso and S GranSport each cost $81,290. Finally, the S Q4 GranLusso and S Q4 Gransport top the range and cost $83,790 each. By comparison, the BMW M550i xDrive carries an MSRP of $76,650, has well over 500 horsepower from its twin-turbo V8, and is far quicker than the fastest Ghibli.

2020 Maserati Ghibli Models

The Maserati Ghibli comprises nine models, distinguished by either power output/drivetrain (Base, S, and S Q4) and/or features (GranLusso and GranSport). The range in its entirely is, therefore, comprised of the Base, S, GranLusso, GranSport, S Q4, S GranLusso, S GranSport, S Q4 GranLusso, and S Q4 GranSport.

The base model is equipped with the lower-powered version of the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 producing 345 hp and 369 lb-ft. This model gets 19-inch alloy wheels, bi-xenon headlamps, soft-close doors, sunroof, power-adjustable and heated front seats, an 8.4-inch touchscreen with navigation, a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, and blind-spot alert. The S model primarily adds the more powerful V6 with 424 hp and 428 lb-ft but also gets a limited-slip differential and a twin dual-pipe exhaust system. The S Q4, as its name dictates, gets intelligent all-wheel-drive with active torque control, along with a front active differential.

Either GranLusso and GranSport can be added to the base, S, or S Q4. GranLusso is more on the luxury end of the spectrum and adds features like a chrome front fascia insert, full perforated premium leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, adaptive full LED headlamps, and a ten-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound audio system. The GranSport specification is better suited to the driving enthusiast, with features like 20-inch Urano alloy wheels, a Skyhook performance suspension with electronic damping, 12-way power front sports seats, and gloss red-painted brake calipers. Like the GranLusso, the GranSport gets an enhanced safety specification with driver aids, such as adaptive cruise control and a surround-view camera system being standard.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Base
3.0-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$69,490
S
3.0-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$74,490
GranLusso
3.0-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$76,990
GranSport
3.0-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$76,990
S Q4
3.0-liter Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$76,990
See All 2020 Maserati Ghibli Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

There are a few added-cost packages available to further customize the Ghibli. At $550, the Climate Package adds heated windshield washer nozzles, heated rear seats, and a power rear sunblind. The Driver Assistance Package costs $1,600 and is standard on the GranLusso and GranSport - it includes a host of driver aids that we think are essential in a luxury car of this price. Among them are highway assist, a surround-view camera, adaptive cruise control with stop & go, forward-collision warning, and pedestrian recognition.

There are a good few appealing individual options as well. An Alcantara headliner and pillars will cost you $900 and adds another touch of luxury to the cabin. Full perforated premium perforated leather upholstery (standard on the GranLusso) not only covers the seats but extends to the dashboard and instrument cluster - the cost varies by trim but costs $3,200 on the base model. You can also get power-adjustable pedals on selected trims ($400), aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters ($550), and the Skyhook performance suspension ($1,500 on selected trims - standard on the GranSport).

🚗What Maserati Ghibli Model Should I Buy?

Considering the Ghibli is already a rather expensive prospect, if you're buying one, then value is unlikely to be the highest priority for you. With that in mind, we'd go for the S GranLusso at $81,290. This is a luxury car, after all, so the GranLusso's more premium interior with extended leather and ventilated seats feels appropriate. Plus, you get many more driver aids and the benefit of the more powerful V6. There may be better luxury cars out there, but this is the best Ghibli.

2020 Maserati Ghibli Comparisons

Maserati Quattroporte Maserati
BMW 5 Series Sedan BMW

2020 Maserati Ghibli vs Maserati Quattroporte

Starting at $30,000 more than the Ghibli, the Quattroporte is the bigger of the brand's two four-door sedan model lines. Over ten inches longer than the Ghibli, the Quattroporte cuts an even more imposing figure than the Ghibli and has a roomier cabin. The same enthralling V6 means similar performance, and dynamically, the Quattroporte mimics the Ghibli by offering a reasonably sporty feel, yet lacks the sophistication and smooth ride you'd expect in a luxury sedan. Both cars have handsome cabins that can be specified in opulent leathers, but the basic build quality is still some way off the class best. For the pricey Quattroporte, it's even more of an issue when you're going up against the Porsche Panamera and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The bigger and grander Quattroporte does feel like a step up from the Ghibli, but the difference in ability isn't as large as the price hike would lead you to believe.

See Maserati Quattroporte Review

2020 Maserati Ghibli vs BMW 5 Series Sedan

The BMW 5 Series resides at the top of the class for its blend of refinement, technology, quality, and admirable handling abilities. From its super-quick infotainment system to the roomy back seat and peerless construction, there's very little that the BMW doesn't do better than the Maserati. At the top-end of the BMW's range, the M550i offers stupendous twin-turbo V8 power and a 0-60 mph time of well under four seconds, easily leaving the fastest Ghibli behind. At $53,900, the 530i also offers efficient performance and more standard driver aids than the base (and more expensive) Ghibli, although this model's turbo-four isn't as exciting as the Maserati's V6. The 5 Series is also rather clinical in its execution, lacking the flair of the Italian both inside and out. The 5 Series is easily the more rational choice between these two, but if you've fallen for the Ghibli's alluring looks, even an utterly competent BMW may not be enough to change your mind.

See BMW 5 Series Sedan Review

Maserati Ghibli Popular Comparisons

$69,490 - $83,790
Price Range (MSRP)
Maserati Ghibli
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