Why you’d want a Maserati Quattroporte V
Outstandingly elegant Pininfarina styling with numerous classy touches make the Quattroporte V stand out from its rivals. The styling makes it look smaller than it is, and on the road it shrinks around you, feeling poised and purposeful with 395-435bhp available to hurl its two-ton hulk along, accompanied by a great V8 growl.
With a wide choice of supersaloons from the early 2000s now dropping into the £10-20k bracket, it’s interesting that the Quattroporte has a strong following among classic car owners, significantly boosting Maserati Club UK membership. It’s a car that evokes passion and heritage, and is a driver’s car first and foremost.
It’s immensely – scarily – complex and you don’t want to own one once they start going wrong, unless you’re extremely handy and happy to fit secondhand parts. Significant electrical glitches affected even Autocar’s road-test car, so low mileage is no guarantee of reliability.
Two transmissions were offered and are the most important choice when selecting which model to buy. At first there was only the six-speed automated-manual DuoSelect transaxle, which some people love, especially in paddle-select manual operation, but which is considered awkward and jerky compared to other modern transmissions when used in its fully automatic mode.
It was joined at the start of 2007 by a six-speed ZF auto that was mounted to the back of the engine; while some criticised this for less-ideal weight distribution, in fact it only changed it from 47:53 to 49:51 (front/rear).
Rear seats are adjustable for height and rake, while some models have seats with cooling and massage functions. There’s plenty of space inside, though the boot is small. Carrozzeria Touring built four stunning five-door Bellagio Estates in 2008-’09, but you won’t find one – the only known sale was in 2013 for €117,600.
Criticisms when new centred on the car being too focused a drive for everyday use; that perhaps explains why so many today have very low mileages, because most were bought as second cars for weekend outings rather than everyday use.
If you find one of those that was also garaged (and you keep it so), you’ve a good chance of many years of enjoyable – and relatively trouble-free – Maserati charm.
Don’t forget that in the UK, cars registered before 23 March 2006 will cost £305 a year to tax; later ones £535 a year.
Images: Will Williams
Maserati Quattroporte V: what to look for
The Quattroporte arguably got the balance right between pace, sporting drive and luxury, although it’s geared towards enthusiastic drivers who will be happy to make a few sacrifices such as its prodigious thirst and a somewhat harsh ride – especially in GT S form, which also had a great growling exhaust bypass valve.
See above for trouble spots
There’s little to choose between the 4.2- and 4.7-litre engines; both are superb. All have red cam covers except 4.2 ZF-gearbox cars, which had blue. DuoSelect cars had dry-sump engines, ZF cars had a wet sump. Listen for rattly timing variators (on start-up and overrun), and look for oil and water leaks.
Here is ZF’s auto gearbox with the paddleshift option. Early cars had the DuoSelect transaxle, an automated manual – only for enthusiasts.
Check the brake discs for wear – they don’t last long. Skyhook dampers are fitted to most except Sport and GT S: beware, new dampers are c£2k a pair.
Look for a recent 800A+ battery and ensure the many electrical functions work, including sat-nav, tyre-pressure and parking sensors, door mirrors etc.
Check seats’ electric functions, plus all tech options. Rear shelf leather can shrink in the sun. Check footwells for water ingress (via door membranes).
Maserati Quattroporte V: on the road
Every Maserati Quattroporte V should deliver effortless performance, good feel and great handling: anything less needs attention which will inevitably be expensive. The ride can feel a bit harsh, but there should be no knocks or clonks.
Skyhook electronic adaptive dampers with switchable Normal/Sport modes reduce the harshness in the Normal setting without ever becoming wallowy; the S and GT S used fixed-rate shock absorbers and stiffer springs, contributing to an even more fierce ride.
Engine issues are rare; rattly timing variators are most common, costing c£1800 per side to replace. A rattle lower down in the engine bay, which goes away if you push ‘ECO’ on the dash, is a worn air-con compressor, well over £1000 to change. Budget c£850 per year for regular servicing, but keep plenty in hand for the unexpected: new Maserati parts are very costly.
ZF transmissions are durable but the DuoSelect can eat clutches if driven badly (Maserati diagnostics can give a wear indication) and if it’s slow or noisy changing, it may need new hydraulic selectors – each costs around £2000-2500.
Brakes are strong and effective but wear fast; ABS sensors corrode and are costly to replace. On ZF-gearbox cars, the electronic handbrake sticks if used infrequently and you have to rock it back and forth, switch off and reboot until it frees (or spend £1000+ on new cables and shoes). Quality tyres can be very expensive and last 8-15,000 miles, so check for wear and brand.
Maserati Quattroporte V price guide
- Late/low miles: £20,000
- Average: £15,000
- Early/high miles: £9500
- Late/low miles: £25,000
- Average: £21,000
- Early/high miles: £18,000
- Late/low miles: £27,500
- Average: £23,000
- Early/high miles: £18,000
Maserati Quattroporte V history
2003 Pininfarina-styled QP V unveiled
2004 On sale with 4.2-litre V8 and DuoSelect
2005 Sept Executive GT (inc 19in wheels, folding tables, massaging seats) and Sport GT (inc quicker gearshift, firmer dampers, sports exhaust, 20in alloys, red-accented Tridents)
2007 ZF full-auto ’box option added.
2007 Sept Sport GT S added (inc Brembo brakes, 20in alloys)
2008 Apr Facelifted styling, better nav/audio, DuoSelect and Skyhook suspension dropped; Sport GT becomes Quattroporte S (4.7, 424bhp, 174mph, 0-60mph 5.3 secs); Sport GT S gets 434bhp 4.7 and electronic exhaust bypass
2009 Mar Centurion Edition 4.2/4.7 for holders of black AmEx cards
2010 Apr GT S Awards Edition (126 built), black or gold, dark chrome trim, satin grey wheels
2012 Production ends
The owner’s view
Nick Waddington has a passion for Italian cars: “I love Italian design and have had classic Maseratis since 1992. I bought this 4.7 facelift five years ago. I didn’t want a GT S – the ride is too harsh.
“I feel a sense of occasion every time I drive it – the finish is so lovely, it just feels right. It’s for high days and holidays – it’s not a car for Waitrose runs. It’s lovely for long distances, very comfy, with an abundance of power: you can relax whatever the traffic, knowing that if there is a gap, you can go.
“I like the style of driving: lots of torque, not like a Ferrari where you’re forever trying to keep it on cam. My only complaints are that the boot is a bit limited for four on a long trip, and the sat-nav is clunky. I keep it in a dehumidified garage and take it out every two to three weeks to keep it all working properly.”
DAIMLER SUPER EIGHT
Classic XJ looks in an alloy body with adaptive air suspension and a supercharged 4.2 V8: it did 0-60mph in 5.3 secs. Check for rusty subframes and aluminium corrosion.
2002-’09 • 2762 built • Price now £10-20k
BENTLEY FLYING SPUR
With a 6-litre, 552bhp twin-turbo W12 and adaptive air suspension, this is a highly competent driving machine, if scarily expensive to run.
2005-’12 • c4500 built • Price now £17-50k
Maserati Quattroporte V: the Classic & Sports Car verdict
The Maserati Quattroporte V is one of the most competent and charismatic sports saloons of the new millennium.
Just remember that this car is a highly complex and delicate piece of Italian engineering and be prepared to treat it as such – and you’ll be punished if previous owners have not looked after it.
Do due diligence, and buy the best you can: most examples are low-mileage, so don’t pay a big premium for it.
- Great styling
- Super power
- Lots of kit
- Strong club following
- Excellent support from specialists
- There’s a huge amount to go wrong
- Services can get very costly
- The ride is too harsh for some
- Boot space is inadequate for four people
Maserati Quattroporte V specifications
Sold/number built 2004-’12/25,256
Construction steel monocoque, with some aluminium panels
Engine all-alloy, dohc-per-bank, 32-valve 4244/4691cc V8, Bosch Motronic fuel injection
Max power 395bhp-434bhp @ 7000rpm
Max torque 333lb ft @ 4500rpm to 361lb ft @ 4750rpm
Transmission six-speed rear-mounted DuoSelect automated manual or front-mounted ZF auto, driving rear wheels
Suspension double wishbones, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar
Steering speed-sensitive rack and pinion
Brakes servo-assisted ventilated discs with ABS (front 330-360mm, rear 316-360mm)
Length 16ft 7in-16ft 83/4in (5052-5097mm)
Width 6ft 22/3in-6ft 21/4in (1895-1885mm)
Height 4ft 82/3in-4ft 8in (1438-1423mm)
Wheelbase 10ft 2/3in (3064mm)
Weight 4255-4387lb (1930-1990kg)
Top speed 165-177mph
Price new £77,000-85,900 (2007)
BUY A CLASSIC MASERATI QUATTROPORTE