Barry Holder, Director at Fantastic Media test drives the Maserati Ghibli and discovers it is practical as well as epic.
Despite being immersed in the automotive industry with work and spending a lot of time visiting car dealerships with our clients DealTrak and Smart Insurance, family life over the past 10 years has meant I’ve always had to consider boot space over horsepower when choosing a new car.
With this in mind, when the opportunity to test drive the new Maserati Ghibli came along it seemed like the perfect opportunity to embrace the world of luxury motoring.
So on a crisp Friday afternoon I made my way to JCT600 in Leeds with a head filled with wild notions of an epic road trip; perhaps to visit friends in Scotland, or a day up to the North Yorkshire coast, or maybe even a weekend with the in-laws in Kent.
It was with these ambitions fresh in my mind that I arrived at the dealership, which is shared with Ferrari and Aston Martin. Gareth and Stuart looked after me while the Ghibli was brought through and after a quick run through of various buttons and dials I was off to hit the open road – which unfortunately for me was the M621 at rush hour.
This slowdown in proceedings gave me time to play around with a couple of different settings, including the different drive modes. Hitting the Sport Mode switch had the dual effect of sharpening the car’s reaction times to so lightning fast Zeus would be proud, while at the same time engaging what I assumed was a multitude of sub-woofers in the exhaust system. The 3 litre diesel engine went from purring along to emitting a deep, thunderous growl that was audible in the beautifully upholstered cabin, so goodness knows what it sounded like to the passers-by as I queued to get onto the motorway.
Eventually I made it through the weekend traffic, arrived back home and began to plan out my blissful weekend of open-roads meandering through open Yorkshire countryside.
Unfortunately, my plans of a Grand Tour around Britain evaporated as the reality of my kids’ social life kicked in. A series of sporting and social fixtures needed to be fulfilled.
First up was a scoot over the hills to take the kids running at our local ParkRun. Not really a journey to open up the throttle, but as it turned out a bit of a light bulb moment for me.
As well as prowess, panache and power, the car is also practical. My daughter (who broadly categorises all cars as Minis or Not Minis) stretched back in the spacious back seats and declared the Ghibli “epic”.
Being aimed at professionals around my age, the ability to transform into Dad’s taxi - albeit a beautifully crafted one - is a must. The spacious boot, room in the back and decent fuel economy sit perfectly with the more playful elements of the car. Running done and dusted, we got the weekly shop in, followed by a birthday party drop off and finally an emergency trip to Ikea to pick up a couple of new chairs.
Sunday afternoon brought a slightly more adventurous journey with a trip over to Manchester to attend a charity ball with some clients where the motorway miles were gobbled up effortlessly by the Ghibli.
Coming back the next morning to return the car it dawned on me that, while the weekend wasn’t quite what I had in mind, it was probably exactly what Maserati had in theirs. A car that looks, feels and sounds great, yet is as perfectly at home ferrying children around as it is galloping down the motorway in total comfort.
The car Barry Holder, director at Fantastic Media, drove was a Maserati Ghibli, 2,987cc Diesel. Solid paint, parking sensors front and rear, Sat Nav, Bluetooth, air con individual climate control, 18” wheels.
Priced at £49,860. Supplied by JCT Brooklands, Rind Road, Lower Wortley, Leeds LS12 6AA 0113 292 6388.