by John Tallodi
When it comes to sports cars, especially in the upper echelons, the commonly held belief is that newer and faster is always better. Well the near 10-year-old Maserati GranTurismo seems to be bucking this trend and its operatic V8 and stunning looks have helped keep it in the limelight.
For 2018, a number of exterior and interior changes have been carried out to ensure that it stays in favor with shoppers for at least another year.
The overall design of the GranTurismo has changed little over the years, the same is true of the interior but the hand-stitched leather seats, classy inlays and quality finishes have aged very well.
The old-style ignition key, dashboard instrumentation and power window buttons are clearly out of date but the new-for 2017 centrally mounted touchscreen helps freshen things up when it comes to the available technology.
The GranTurismo is a big car and the wide front doors make access to the rear seats a lot easier than in some competitors. The front occupants will appreciate the generously proportioned seats and wide armrests. Space for oddments is limited though and shorter adults may find it a bit cramped in the rear two seats. Cargo space is decent with a trunk that can take a few soft bags and a set of golf clubs if required.
The GranTurismo may be a decade old but the way it carves up a mountain road or twisty pass is still up there with the far more modern competition. Despite its heavy weight, the GranTurismo offers sharp turn-in and excellent body control, opting for the MC trim further sharpens the handling.
The steering in particular is far more communicative than the overly muted electronic systems in newer cars and the brakes offer strong stopping power without feeling overly assisted.
Stick to the base model and the ride is as you would expect of a grand tourer and most rough road surfaces are easily dealt with, opt for one of the sportier trims and that low-speed composure tends to lose out in favor of more control at higher velocities.
The Maserati GranTurismo is fitted with a 4.7-liter V8 which produces 454 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque. It is rear-wheel drive only and features a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Judged solely on the bare figures, the GranTurismo is outclassed by just about every other turbocharged competitor. Its 0-60 time of 4.7-seconds may have been big news when it was first released but cars like the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT and new Porsche 911 are miles ahead in pure acceleration terms. That V8 may have been derived from Ferrari but with a cross-plane crank and a heavy bodyshell to push along, the GranTurismo is far better suited to fast cross-country travel.
The again, that exhaust note can melt even the hardest resolve and you may soon give in to this Italian's mellifluous power delivery. Subjectively speaking, the GranTurismo still has what it takes to put a smile on your face.
There are two trim levels available for the Maserati GranTurismo, both of which share the same drivetrain with minor differences to equipment levels.
The base Sport Trim is equipped with surround parking sensors, adaptive suspension, sport exhaust, infotainment system with Bluetooth and satellite radio functionality, Bose premium audio system, powered and heated front seats, leather interior and 20-inch wheels.
The MC Trim offers Carbon fiber interior and exterior trim and sportier non-adjustable suspension setup.
There are also a vast range of paint colors, pedal, sill and inlay styles, leather coverings and further Carbon fiber packages to choose form.
The Maserati GranTurismo is a sports grand tourer that still holds strong appeal to those willing to overlook its dated safety and technology systems and rather focus on that captivating V8 and those timeless good looks.
Handling dynamics are still competitive too although outright acceleration is well behind most other segment offerings. Rather open the windows and enjoy what may be one of the world's most captivating engine sounds around.