I was chuffed when SSO told me some of the viewers wrote to him telling him how much they enjoyed my Jaguar XKR article and actually wanted to read my views of my Maserati GranTurismo Convertible. That is so cool and thank you. One thing before I get started, I just want to remind you that I am not a real ‘petrolhead’, this is from the heart of a ‘car layman’.
I remember test driving my first Maserati (the 3200) about 15 years ago in the UK. I hated it! It felt like it wanted to constantly bolt on me, leaving me with little to no control of the car. At the fifth roundabout I turned around and returned the car to the dealer. I actually never drove another Maserati until I got the GranTurismo Cabriolet. I don’t know what they changed in the engine (editors note, Ferrari supplies the engines in the GranTursimo), but this time I was in control and loving it. It definitely goes like stink, the only problem is there is no where fun in the area of Texas we live in to drive it. It’s all nasty concrete straight roads here, no windy countryside like England.
It’s my daily driver. Yes, I appreciate just how lucky I am. As the large door shuts, I get the sense that the car is saying to me, I’m ready, let’s go. It’s luxurious, the Italians do leather and wood elegantly. The seat feels like it fits my tush like a glove. It sits low to the ground like a ‘proper’ sports car should (I have been informed by SSO multiple times that the Maserati is a sportscar, not a supercar.) The visibility is quite good and even better with the roof down. The roof is so easy to operate, you can even put it up or down when you are driving (< 20mph), one button and it’s done. Bonus: it folds under a hard top so there is no cover to put over it (that was the only thing I hated about the Jag). If I want to hear the famous ‘Maserati Roar’, I just hit the sport button on the dash. You can actually fit two adults in the back seat in some comfort and our adult children appreciate that, but they are more comfortable with the roof down.
It’s not really fair to compare how the Maserati drives in comparison to the Jaguar XKR or any of our McLarens because the Jaguar was my first love and she had the British countryside as her playground. The McLarens are, well, super cars. But, I will try. You feel you have total control in the Maserati, you turn the wheel ½ inch and it responds immediately. You touch the brakes and it stops. On the other hand, in the Jaguar XKR, you could turn the wheel like 3 inches and nothing, like it was taking a leisurely stroll. Not that strolls are a bad thing, just not on a twisty road. Similarly, the brakes were not as crisp. When SSO drives the Maserati he always uses the paddles, me I’m happy leaving it in auto. Driving the McLaren versus the Maserati is like the difference between Cream De La Mer skin cream and Clinique moisturizer (editors note: or a Porsche GT3 RS vs. a Porsche Boxster). You can’t compare. It is so obviously superior … in every way.
The boot is perfect for my yoga bag and a towel. We did a comparison to the boot space in the McLaren 650S Spider. Guess which holds more grocery bags? Boot to boot, the McLaren actually holds nearly 50% more bags. If I do have a big shop however, there is always the back seat.
I have only had one issue which might surprise you given Maserati’s reputation. Lucky for me the one issue happened one week short of 4 years, as we had a 4 year warranty. I didn’t know what the issue was at the time so I called SSO and yanked him out of a meeting. ‘The car won’t start, I can’t not even get the key out of the ignition, nor open the trunk.” He called Maserati and had them send their Road Side guy out to see the car. When he got there (after 2 hours which seemed like eternity in the hot Texan sun), he said, ‘I know the issue, these bloody Maserati batteries are my nemesis!’ After which he said, “The best thing you can do is sell this thing”. WFT? This is a Maserati Road Side assistant? He showed me how to open the trunk manually by pulling a little loop in the back seat. We jump started the car and I drove to the Maserati Service Center. Maserati replaced the battery free of charge under the warranty. Well not quite that fast, there were a few back and forths with Maserati before they agreed to do so. SSO did point out that the car is kept on a battery conditioner all the time, so the battery should not be dead. Lucky it was not 2 weeks later. The whole thing didn’t phase me as I think my Jag went through a battery a year.
So yes, I love my Maserati GranTurismo Cabriolet. She is deservedly named Gorgeous II after my Jaguar XKR who was Gorgeous I. Maybe I should take her up to our place in the Rocky Mountains this summer and really enjoy her there. Let’s see.
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