Review: 2008 Maserati GranTurismo
This 2008 review is representative of model years 2008 to 2014.
By Perry Stern of MSN Autos
It gets more difficult each day for those suffering from good fortune to attain some level of exclusivity with their luxury automobile purchase. But for the price of a high-end Mercedes coupe, you can drive a car with both a legendary heritage and stunning looks. More importantly, with only a few thousand sold per year, odds are good your neighbor won’t have one. The new Maserati GranTurismo lives up to its name as a comfortable daily driver while still providing the performance of a sports car.
Those fortunate enough to get to the point of actually picking an exterior color for their GT can choose from 19 colors, a number of light-alloy wheel treatments in 19-inch or 20-inch styles, and brake calipers available in six different colors.
Under the Hood
Sixty mph arrives in about five seconds, and when unconstrained by local laws, the GT can reach a top speed of 177 mph. We did not have the opportunity to visit the Autobahn, but during short stints at triple-digit speeds through Italy the GT felt stable and planted — as if one could remain all-day north of the century mark.
The GT gets the new ZF 6-speed automatic transmission first introduced in the Quattroporte. This tranny adapts to driving style and conditions, and also offers three alternate modes: Auto Sport, Low Grip/Auto Ice, and Manual (via column-mounted paddle shifters).
The power-operated front seats can be equipped with three-level seat heaters, and dual-zone climate control helps regulate cabin temps. Access to the rear seats is relatively easy, and though fit for two adults, short stints are recommended. The GT’s dash features a 7-inch high-resolution display for audio and navigation information, fed by a 30-Gig hard drive that stores both nav-info and roughly 180 hours of music. Sadly, Bluetooth connectivity is currently unavailable.
Visibility from the driver’s perch is good, but the stylish curves make it nearly impossible to see the edges of the car. Since this isn’t the type of vehicle you want to station by the bump method, parking maneuvers require great care. Adding to the low-speed woes is the GT’s size. Although a coupe, it is amply proportioned and actually longer than a Ford Explorer.
On the Road
Also available on the GT is the "Skyhook" adaptive suspension system. Using sensors to keep track of acceleration, road conditions, wheel movement, etc., the system provides a number of operating modes to tailor the ride quality without sacrificing handling. In most circumstances, the system can be left in Sport mode for sharper performance, but disabling it on the highway resulted in a smooth ride.
More recently, we spent a few days stateside with the GT, and found it easily handled the role of daily driver. Not that fuel economy is much of a deciding factor when considering a Maserati, but the GT did average a livable 16 mpg.
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