The Maserati name has been associated with quite a bit of change over the past decade or so.
What was once a brand known mostly for high-performance exotics like the MC12 and the GranTurismo, the brand has been targeting more of a luxury clientele with recent entries. The Levante SUV (reviewed here) and Ghibli sedan have shown up in the past few years targeting a younger demographic, and have made entry into this brand more of an attainable goal. This is the 2020 Maserati Quattroporte SQ4, a name that has been well-established for decades.
Maserati has been producing the Quattroporte since 1963, with a few gaps in between. The latest one is the sixth-generation, known as the Quattroporte VI. This model has been around since 2013 with a few revisions over the years, and aside from the GranTurismo, is the prettiest thing in the lineup. Its proportions are just right for a full-size executive sedan, and while the Ghibli (reviewed here) is a bit more anonymous in its styling, the Quattroporte has unmistakable lines that really do define its presence as something special.
Moving up from the SQ4, the Quattroporte lineup splits two ways, between the GranLusso tested here and the GranSport. The former gives the car a more luxurious look, with heated and ventilated seats, lux-look 20-inch “Mercurio” wheels, and the beautiful Ermenegildo Zegna interior. Opting for the GranSport nets a sportier look, with red brake calipers, sport seats, and more. Both models retain the boosted V6 tested here, while the top-dog GTS gets the turbo V8 that’s shared with the Ferrari California.
Interestingly, both engines are hand-built by Ferrari at the Maranello plant. The GranLusso’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 gets 424 horsepower and 428 lb-ft. of torque, and is mated to a ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission. 100km/h comes from a standstill in 4.8 seconds, a smidge faster than the base model’s 5.0 second run. There’s some turbo lag evident, but the SQ4 is as quick as necessary and from a performance standpoint, does just fine. It handles crisply too, with good steering feel and decent reflexes for a car of its size. Those who prioritize performance will want to pony up for the sweet, sweet V8 on the GTS.
The Driver’s Assistance Package includes adaptive cruise control with Highway Assist, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, a 360-degree camera, active blind spot monitoring, traffic sign and pedestrian recognition, and lane keep assist. Active safety features are great and all, but the intelligent all-wheel-drive system (with a limited slip differential!) is an essential in our Canadian climate. Ride quality is also excellent thanks to the Skyhook electronic damping suspension, though a bit on the soft side unless Sport mode is enabled.
One of the highlights is the interior of the Quattroporte. While it’s not without its Italian quirks, the Pieno Fiore leather and Radica open pore wood trim is just stunning. The leather-wrapped steering wheel has wood trim around the rim that’s sandwiched in between the leather. It looks and feels wonderful, and so do the seats. Our tester was equipped with a four-seat configuration with a console in between the rear seats. The legroom is exceptional, and in between short and long wheelbase versions of comparables like the S-Class and 7-series.
As we already know, being part of the Fiat-Chrysler family means there is some shared componentry. We happened to have a 2020 Chrysler 300 on test at the same time as the Quattroporte, and it was interesting to note the identical window switches, engine start button, headlight switch and mirror controls between the two cars. The infotainment system is also the same, as Maserati Touch Control Plus (MTC+) is a re-skinned version of Chrysler’s Uconnect. Despite the similarities, none of the materials feel low-rent, and realistically, the average Quattroporte buyer likely won’t have a Dodge Charger (reviewed here) in their driveway to compare.
The MTC+ infotainment system isn’t bad per se, and has quick response time, but there are some quirks. Quirks, on an Italian car – go figure! For instance, the controls for the ventilated seats are built into the touchscreen, and in order to access them the driver needs to exit Apple CarPlay (or Android Auto) and go into the native Maserati interface. Also, the warning beeps for just about anything are obnoxiously loud and the volume is not adjustable. There is a sensor on the steering wheel that will force the car to yell at you if your hands aren’t exactly at the ten and two o’clock positions. If your hands are on the bottom half of the wheel, it will scold you loudly in a way that your passengers will hear – infuriating.
Updates to the Quattroporte for 2020 include standard soft-close doors, heated leather and wood steering wheel, a powered rear sunshade, and the Driver’s Assistance Package. Pricing for the SQ4 GranLusso starts at $133,600. Our tester’s paint and upholstery all came at an extra cost, as did options like the four-seat configuration ($4,800), Bowers & Wilkins stereo ($2,400), four-zone automatic climate control, and incredible column-mounted paddle shifters. The 20-inch Perseo wheels are a $550 step up, bringing the total price as-tested to $150,260 before destination and delivery.
The Quattroporte’s pricing puts it up against high-rolling rivals like the BMW 750Li (reviewed here) and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Its problem is that these equally-established players, while lacking in that unique Italian style, have unparalleled levels of luxury as well as eight-cylinder engines at lower price points. They also have slightly more advanced driver assistant suites, and stronger dealer networks for when service is needed. If you’re looking for the flagship that’ll have people at dinner saying “Yeah, he drives the Maserati”, the 2020 Maserati Quattroporte SQ4 is still the out-of-the-box choice that will keep you coddled every day, year round.