The Maserati GranCabrio is a four-seat convertible with beautiful styling and oozing charm

Find Maserati GranCabrio 2010-2019 deals
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
New car deals
Nearly-new car deals
Sell your car
In partnership with
Powered by

The last convertible car that Maserati produced before the GranCabrio was the Spyder. It was based on the 2001 Coupé and had just two seats. 

Before the GranCabrio, the only other four-seat convertible Maseratis were produced by two coachbuilding firms in the 1930s. The Italian firm Castagna and British company RAG Patents both used Maserati’s 26M as the starting point for their convertibles.  

The GranCabrio's V8 is one of the best sounding in the business

So officially, this is the first time that Maserati has produced a four-seat convertible. Maserati does have a rich heritage in elegant open-top sports cars, though, stretching back to the 1950s AG6 Frau Spyder.  

Such heritage continues with this, the GranCabrio, because whatever talents it may prove to have in other areas, we think you’ll agree that it is a stunning-looking motor car. At least, that was the universal opinion of those we asked. 

As the name suggests, the GranCabrio is based on the GranTurismo. The coupé is available with either a 4.2 or a 4.7-litre V8, and a choice of a conventional automatic or automated manual gearbox.

However, there is just one GranCabrio engine/gearbox combo: a 4.7-litre automatic. However it can be had in standard, more focused Sport or race-inspired MC Stradale trims. The latter draws on the styling of the stripped-out MC Stradale GranTurismo, but with no mechanical changes.

Back to top

Covering 4.9m of road space, the GranCabrio is a very long car. A Mercedes E-Class convertible, itself capable of carrying four, is some 20cm shorter, and even a Bentley Continental GTC falls 8cm short of the Maserati, although its closest competition comes in the shape of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupé.

Although the GranCabrio doesn’t exactly disguise its proportions, it does present them in the best possible light. Which is in no small part down to the decision by Maserati to opt for a canvas roof over a folding metal design. The triple-layer roof, available in a choice of six colours, takes 28 seconds to close and can be operated on the move at speeds below 19mph. 



Maserati GranCabrio front end

Mechanically and design-wise, the Maserati GranCabrio follows the GranTurismo closely. A 4.7-litre naturally aspirated V8, broadly the same unit as that used in Alfa Romeo’s 8C, produces 444bhp and 376lb ft of torque on the standard car and on the Sport. The engine is connected to a ZF six-speed torque-converter automatic gearbox, with drive then channelled to the rear wheels via a mechanical limited-slip differential. The race-inspired MC Stradales gain an additional 10bhp - producing 454bhp.

Double wishbones are used at the front and rear, with steel springs and anti-roll bars. As with the GranTurismo Sport automatic, Maserati’s Skyhook adaptive dampers are standard on the GranCabrio. Using acceleration readings taken from each wheel and the body, the valving in each damper is continuously adjusted. A Sport button, which adjusts the suspension mapping to trade ride comfort for improved body control, also quickens the gearshift and opens the exhaust flaps beyond 3000rpm. 

Folding the roof makes the most of the GranCabrio's amazing soundtrack

At the front, the main headlamp unit incorporates the automatically activated bi-xenon main bulbs, side lights and indicators. Separate foglamps sit below. Along with the Trident badge in the grille, the three vents on the GranCabrio’s wings are a signature Maserati styling detail

Like the GranTurismo, the automatic 4.7 has the same twin pipes as the 4.2. The GranCabrio sounds great at all times but, in Sport mode, exhaust flaps open above 3000rpm for much greater volume.

Not only are 20in wheels standard, but you also get a choice of two designs for no extra cost. There’s a choice when it comes to the three-layer canvas roof, too, as it’s available in a range of colours. Black is standard; other colours cost more and come with a choice of two interior colours. The roof mechanism can be operated on the move, or when stationary by inserting the key in the door lock.

For the GranCabrio MC, Maserati has grafted on new and more aggressive bumpers front and rear; the exhaust has been rearranged also, with a new spoiler completing the body changes. 20-inch wheels aping those of the MC Stradale distinguish the MC from the rest of the GranCabrio range as well.


Maserati GranCabrio interior

This is where the Maserati GranCabrio’s considerable length pays off, because this is a convertible with genuine legroom for four adults. However, legroom is just one component of comfort, and in other respects the GranCabrio is more restrictive. To make space for the roof mechanism, the rear seats have been moved inwards and raised, which restricts headroom when the roof is up. Obviously, there are no such issues with the top lowered. 

Generally, airflow with the roof lowered is well managed, particularly with the rear windows raised. However, the height of the rear seats causes another issue at speed because it places taller rear-seat passengers in the airflow.

The GranCabrio has a tiny boot due to the inclusion of bracing to support structural rigidity

Despite these foibles, the GranCabrio remains one of the most spacious four-seat convertibles on the market, perhaps bettered by only the Bentley Continental GTC. However, it stops short of being one you would choose for a cross-continent trip, especially considering the frankly pathetic boot space. 

In order to restore some of the structural rigidity lost in the conversion from coupé to convertible, the boot now incorporates a torsion wall, reducing the volume from 260 to 173 litres. Worse still, the space left is an awkward shape. 

Elsewhere, the cabin reflects the same highs and lows as the GranTurismo’s. Although the overall design and material choice are of a standard to merit the price, there are a few ergonomic slip-ups. The worst of those are the optional ‘comfort’ front seats, which many of us struggled to get comfortable in – not least because, despite a range of adjustment, they lack any form of lumbar control, a curious omission. 

Inside there is swathes of leather and polished wood crafted for the GranCabrio and is dominated by a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system, which is functional but lacks the refinement and ease of use that makes the BMW, Mercedes and Audi systems a doddle to use. There is also touches of Alcantara, including on the back of the paddle shifters. Upgrade to the GranCabrio Sport sees aggressive details added to the exterior, while inside the front seats have been replaced for a sportier variant although if you crave heated or electrically adjustable seats then expect to part with more money.

The MC Stradale models gain numerous sporty details such as a sports steering wheel, alloy pedals, lashings of Alcantara and carbonfibre and bigger race-inspired paddle shifters, while the Centienial model adds a stylish, limited edition range-topper to complete the range, with a bespoke blue paintjob and white leather interior finished with blue stitching.


Maserati GranCabrio top profile

The 'standard' Maserati GranCabrio might have 444bhp and the capability of hitting 60mph in 5.1sec but the GranCabrio can feel significantly less rapid. 

There are two reasons for this: that weight and a distinct lack of torque. At its peak (at 4750rpm) the GranCabrio’s 4.7-litre V8 produces 376lb ft, but at 2500rpm it has less than 300lb ft. So although it is quick, it is no match for a Mercedes-AMG SL 63 or a Jaguar XKR convertible. Whereas the Maserati needs 4.5sec to go from 30mph to 70mph, the Mercedes takes just 3.8.

The 4.7-litre V8 is beautiful, but weight blunts the GranCabrio's performance

The Sport model brings several key improvements, which include 15 percent stiffer springs, thicker anti-roll bars, a 10bhp power increase for the 4.7-litre V8 and a brand new electronic damping system. Together, they transform the GranCabrio into a car that, on the right road, is considerably more fun, both in performance and aural thrills.

However, the Maserati always requires considerable effort to achieve anything resembling rapid performance. So if you’re leaving the gearbox to shift for itself, you’ll have to make more use of the throttle pedal and set the six-speed auto gearbox to work in a more frenzied way. 

That, though, is no great hardship – and nor is it if you choose to flip the gearbox into manual mode to control it via either the gear selector or paddles. It will hold high gears on full acceleration (although it won’t run against the limiter) and reveals that none of this engine’s charisma or charm has been lost. In fact, the absence of a roof makes it all the easier to hear it. In Sport mode – with the exhaust flaps open – the V8’s voice is quite magnificent, on or off the throttle. Some might find it slightly anti-social, though. 

The GranCabrio’s brakes are impressive, both for their outright deceleration (stopping the car from 70mph in less than 50m in both wet and dry tests) and their resistance to fade when repeatedly stopping a 2.1-tonne vehicle on a high-speed test in 30deg C ambient heat. 


Maserati GranCabrio cornering

Working out how to make a large cabriolet like the Maserati GranCabrio both ride and handle is one of an automotive engineer’s tougher jobs. Make the chassis rigid enough for the car to feel like the coupé on which it is based and you’ve probably made it so heavy that there’s precisely no chance of that happening. Go for retention of lightness and the chassis is so flexible that the situation is even worse. 

It’s always a compromise and the chances are that a manufacturer goes for softness, both to suit the characteristics of a convertible and to attempt to mask the lack of precision offered by a flexible bodyshell.

The suspension is firm - too firm for rough roads

Having to remove such a vast area of roof and leave four full seats open to the elements has done Maserati no favours, given that it is ostensibly a performance brand. The same weight that afflicts the GranCabrio’s performance also blunts its potential as a driver’s car.

Nevertheless, Maserati has fitted springs and dampers on the base car that, around town, suggest to the driver that the GranCabrio means business. There’s a firmness to the car’s demeanour that tells you it is not as soft underneath as it is on top – especially if the two-stage adjustable dampers are placed in Sport mode, where the baseline is firmer still. It’s not actually uncomfortable, but it comes close to being so at times.

However, when you ask a lot of the Maserati’s chassis, such as on challenging roads, you do need to accept some discomfort and keep Sport engaged to ensure sufficient control of the car’s body movements. 

On the Sport model the addition of a brand new version of Maserati’s Skyhook electronic damping system has transformed the ride. So much so that even on quite rough roads and with sport mode engaged, the GranCabrio Sport glides along with impressive refinement. And in normal mode, which to be honest is what you end up using most of the time once the novelty of deafening yourself has worn off, this car is now a truly impressive cruiser.

On both versions of the car the steering is heavy and feelsome enough, but it lacks a little accuracy because of some looseness in the chassis. Through the steering wheel’s rim, you can feel the body flex, just as you can through the seat and by looking at the rear-view mirror. It is not unpleasant – but it is a borderline disappointment.


Maserati GranCabrio

The Maserati GranCabrio carries a five-figure premium over its fixed-head equivalent, which is a bigger differential than with Jaguar’s XKR and BMW’s M6. The flipside is that you could easily park the GranCabrio next to an Aston DB9 Volante or Ferrari California and no one would think you the cheapskate. 

Not that any GranCabrio owner could ever be so described, such is its appetite for fuel. In the standard car we averaged 17.2mpg, which is a realistic figure for moderately enthusiastic driving and, comparatively, not terrible. However, the combined effects of the GranCabrio’s weight, the nature of its power delivery and a gearbox with only six forward ratios mean that, at best, it returns 22.0mpg. Whatever official figures may tell you, the Sport's figures are unlikely to be better, given it encourages more spirited driving.

There's plenty of scope for personalisation

The options are plentiful, not least the colour and trim choices, some of which need serious thought before opting for. Maserati claims a personalisation programme unlike any other in the world with over a billion combinations. We’d question the worth of some of them. Curiously, the optional ‘comfort’ seats don’t have adjustable lumbar support and aren’t actually that comfortable; they’re best avoided. The same could be said for the wooden steering wheel. Each to their own, but we think it is terrible. And if you want the dashboard to be topped in anything but a black material, it will cost you extra as an option. 

The biggest cost when you’re spending this money on any car will be depreciation, but here the Maserati will fare surprisingly well. Unless you really go overboard with the options, you should get back nearly half what you paid after three years.



3.5 star Maserati GranCabrio

The Maserati GranCabrio has its flaws. Against the clock, its performance may look respectable, but in real-world use its relative lack of torque and considerable weight mean it struggles to match the expectations set by the Trident badge. It is also thirsty, has a small boot and, like many convertibles, trades compromises in ride and handling for an open roof. Naturally, our overall rating must reflect these drawbacks.

In spite of those things, this is a genuine and exciting four seat convertible. It’s impeccably built (although some of the options cross the taste barrier) and there’s reasonable room for two people in the back, even if they will be blown about a bit on longer, faster journeys.

The GranCabrio is elegant, exciting, if dynamically flawed

It’s a car that can be parked next to more expensive machinery and not make you feel inferior in any way, until you drive off – you simply won’t be able to keep up. That weight and lack of torque from the V8 are the biggest disappointment. A Jaguar XKR-S shows how it can be done, but then your rear seat passengers will feel distinctly short-changed in the back of the Jag.

That doesn’t stop us from liking the GranCabrio, though, because it is a charming car. It looks and sounds sensational, and it deserves credit for being the one of the few convertibles that, with a few caveats, can seat four.

As a single-car purchase, the GranCabrio would need careful consideration, especially with more capable options available - namely the Mercedes-Benz S-Class Cabriolet, but within a multi-car garage we can certainly see its merits. Especially if that garage happened to be on the Cote d’Azur. 


Matt Prior

Matt Prior
Title: Editor-at-large

Matt is Autocar’s lead features writer and presenter, is the main face of Autocar’s YouTube channel, presents the My Week In Cars podcast and has written his weekly column, Tester’s Notes, since 2013.

Matt is an automotive engineer who has been writing and talking about cars since 1997. He joined Autocar in 2005 as deputy road test editor, prior to which he was road test editor and world rally editor for Channel 4’s automotive website, 4Car. 

Into all things engineering and automotive from any era, Matt is as comfortable regularly contributing to sibling titles Move Electric and Classic & Sports Car as he is writing for Autocar. He has a racing licence, and some malfunctioning classic cars and motorbikes. 

Maserati GranCabrio 2010-2019 First drives