The Good, the Bad and the Maserati Quattroporte…


So, the Bentley Flying Spur has arrived – time to say goodbye to the Quattroporte. What do you need to know about the Maserati if you are in the market to buy?

Bad: The auto gearstick is too sensitive – the hair trigger action drops you into neutral when you want reverse; the infotainment system doesn’t have DAB and FM signal is only average; steering isn’t what it should be for a sporting saloon; emissions and depreciation are high.

Good: the Quattroporte looks sensational parked next to any German machine; even the diesel engine performs and sounds fantastic; there’s acres of space for people and luggage; and, of course, it’s a Maserati.

And if you need another reason to try a Quattroporte, watch yesterday’s video post from the Intouchables…

Want to start the week right – try this slice of Maserati movie madness…


Heaven forbid we should ever start talking about ‘residuals’ on Car Couture! Apparently, the secondhand prices of Quattroportes isn’t that good, while the smaller Ghibli is doing surprisingly well.

Personally, I can’t think of a better car to step into on a grey British morning. Even if you live in a mock Tudor pile and polish your shoes too frequently, the Maserati gives you serious cache.

You can pick up a low miles 2006 Quattroporte for less than £20k. Black ones are highly sought after and, despite alarming fuel economy, it will make you feel bloody marvellous.

Don’t believe me? Watch this piece of film from the French movie Intouchables… Enjoy your week.

Logic goes out of the window when you see a Maserati Quattroporte in the metal…



I never, ever thought I would choose a four-door saloon over a benchmark convertible.

There are two cars parked on my driveway right now. A black Porsche 991  S Convertible, and a black Maserati Quattroporte diesel.

These are two of my favourite things. All that’s missing now is a black Morgan Plus 8 and my work here is done.

Anyway, surprising as it might seem on a damp Sunday in England, I can’t keep away from the Maser. I mean, I can’t give you a sound reason why exactly but it just looks such a beast, so cool and so, Maserati.

And there it is. That’s why you shouldn’t buy at Audi A8, a Mercedes S class or a BMW 7 Series. Logic goes out of the window when you see this Quattroporte in the metal…

Maserati Quattroporte – lots of ‘Trident’ logos but not one diesel badge to be seen


There are plenty of Maserati ‘trident’ badges on the latest Quattroporte – you’ll see them everywhere inside the and outside the car.

But what you won’t find on the V6 is a badge saying ‘diesel’. Not sure why this is because the 275bhp engine is one of the highlights of the Quattroporte. It works brilliantly with the 8-speed auto gearbox. Press the Sport button and the diesel feels more like a V6 petrol.

This being a Maserati, they’ve managed to squeeze a decent exhaust note from the four tailpipes as well. I’m not a fan of rasps and pops (a la Jaguar F-Type) but the Quattroporte has a deep-throated grumble that is very satisfying.

The Quattroporte may be a little long in the tooth now but it’s still massively desirable. It will be a few years yet before a replacement comes along and driving this V6 diesel I can clearly understand why sales continue to rise…

It’s rude to stare – why the ageing Maserati Quattroporte will get you noticed


Jeremy Clarkson and I have little in common – apart from the first name. He does lives around the corner from me and delivery drivers bizarrely get us confused. Although I don’t earn as much as him, or do double denim.

But we do agree on Maserati Quattroporte. Despite misgivings about his sartorial elegance, JC does agree with me that there’s no cooler executive saloon than a 2009 Quattroporte in black.

Driving back down the M40 from London last night, I could feel eyes watching me as I steered the big Maserati homebound. We passed them all – BMWs, Audi, Mercedes… Nothing stood a chance.

You see, the drivers of all those cars have worked out their benefit in kind tax, their fuel consumption and resale values and been frightfully dull. Whereas the Quattroporte is a massive statement of your determination to be different.

And besides, the v6 diesel was averaging 37mpg. Which isn’t that bad…


What’s the bottom line when you consider buying a Maserati?


Buying a Maserati comes down to this. You either want to run with the pack and buy German – or you know that a genuine Italian masterpiece will trump anything else in the executive car park.

To be honest, the best of BMW, Audi and Mercedes is better than the Quattroporte. Better at most things – apart from making your toes tingle every time you slip behind the wheel.

The German trio has better engines, better handling and better depreciation. They are benchmark cars that need no introduction.

But what price being a little different these days? Around £69,000 it seems… There’s a Maserati parked on the driveway and I’m already excited…

Beauty or the beast? BMW’s M4 looks a bruiser from every angle


Faced with the choice of a BMW M4 or a Maserati Ghibli S – which car would you choose?

A friend of mine is faced with with this rather lovely dilemma. It’s either the beautiful Maserati, or the beast-like M4. Both have been styled to opposite ends of the spectrum – both are ‘super’ cars in their own right.

Wherever I’ve driven the BMW this week it’s attracted the attention of a certain type of car enthusiast. Usually the ones who wear a baseball cap back to front and drive a modified Vauxhall Corsa. All those muscular bumps suggest power and aggression.

When Car Couture had the Ghibli on test last year, heads turned for all the right reasons. It’s a glorious car to look at from the inside out, although few could say it is as much of a driver’s car as the Beemer.

If you’re an aesthete, the Maserati should win every time but after days days in the M4, I could be tempted to buy a baseball cap too…

Stylish Italians don’t drive SUVs – I wonder why….?


Just back from a Maserati event in Italy – and just about the only SUV I saw in two days was the company’s forthcoming Levante, due out at the end of this year.

Admittedly, that was on a top secret test track near Turin. Photography was banned and I was too slow to snap anything on my iPhone anyway. Profile looks like a BMX X6 though!

And I certainly didn’t see one Santa Fe. The Italians only seem to own Italian cars – they would buy a broomstick if it had FIAT written on the side.

So, it’s home from Heathrow in the  Hyundai. I’ve been averaging 41mpg in the big SUV. It’s not as pretty as a Maserati but the Santa Fe is great value for money…

The Mitsubishi PHEV is a plug-in vehicle that removes that worrying feeling you are just about to run out of juice

954821_150109 - Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV - BTS - Christchurch - 0013-Edit

You’ve read all the fluff about the brave new world of electric cars. However, even the stylish, beautifully-proportioned Tesla (tested elsewhere on this site) falls foul of the lack of plug-in infrastructure in the UK.

What we need is a plug-in vehicle that removes that worrying feeling you are just about to run out battery life in the middle of nowhere. So, until there are plug-in points on every street corner, the Outlander PHEV is the perfect solution.

PHEV is the first plug-in vehicle that has the reassuring back up of a hybrid petrol-electric system – so you will never have the stress of searching for a plug-in point miles from home.

It’s brilliantly simple – like most great ideas – and that’s why it’s now the UK’s No. 1 plug in. The PHEV does everything and is also a sports utility vehicle, a booming car sector in Britain.

Add four-wheel drive ability and you start to understand why this five-seater is proving so popular. We also like the way it looks at Car Couture and with a lot of miles to cover this week, I’m looking forward to seeing how the PHEV copes in the real world of Bank Holiday traffic.

I don’t have a family, so I can admire the XC60 from afar and buy an inappropriate Maserati instead…


For once I seem to be in the right test car for the weather conditions. Usually I have a rear-wheel drive BMW for ice (appalling), an MX-5 two-seater to go on holiday with a passenger AND dog (tight), or a bog standard saloon on a hot day when a convertible would be perfect (boring).

The point is that even with the keys to a candy shop of cars, it’s difficult to plan ahead and choose the right one. In Britain, spring can be a snow-fest, or a mini scorcher. It’s the only good reason to live by the Med, where the weather is always the same.

Which is probably why in 2015, car buyers seem to want multi-purpose vehicles that do everything. A one-size-fits-all, off the peg motor that takes every day in its stride, and whatever you throw at it.

While the XC60 is never going to set your pulse racing, it’s a brilliant family SUV. Fortunately, I don’t have a family to ship around, so I can admire it from afar, tell my friends it’s perfect for their kids – then go and buy an inappropriate Maserati instead….