We never expected the Ghibli to be flawless, and nor will many of its customers. Most who want a car thought through to the last detail will buy a German premium saloon and live with the conservatism of that decision.

We appreciate fully the power of looking out of your window and seeing a beautiful Maserati on the drive. From the way it looks to the sense of occasion it imparts, this car is special.

The suspension needs to be sorted out if it's to compete with E-class Mercedes

But more than any other Maserati, the Ghibli must work as a device for doing a job, in a segment where the standard is through the roof.

And here, the Ghibli is second best in too many areas. The car’s ride, refinement and ease of use are all notable for their mediocrity – and the diesel lags behind its rivals in terms of performance, too.

The result is not a poor car. It still charms and it’s the most rounded Maserati ever created. But the sense it leaves is not of how good it is, but of how much better it could and should have been.

Rivals like the BMW 5 Series, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz CLS or even the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupé remain the more preferable options – for now.


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