How reliable is Maserati? An unbiased look at the exclusive brand

How reliable are Maserati? We investigate...

  • Is Maserati reliable?
  • How reliable is the Maserati GranTurismo?
  • How reliable is the Maserati Ghibli?
  • Why is Maserati unreliable?
  • Should I buy, lease or finance a Maserati?

Maserati is known for producing luxurious and fast cars. Their logo is shaped like Neptune’s trident, inspiring a vision of luxury, elegance and speed.

Founded by four brothers in Modena, Italy in 1914, the company was purchased by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in 1993.

In recent years, Maserati has become more popular. Since 2013 the company has experienced an increase in sales and in 2017 they sold over 51,000 units globally.

But, despite bespoke interiors, high performance and Italian style, there is one thing that plagues Maserati, and that’s dependability.

In this article, we look at how reliable the exclusive Italian brand is to run, taking into account the average cost of repairs, the amount of time that the cars are off the road due to faults and general wear and tear you can expect to experience with your new Maserati.

Is Maserati reliable?

The brand isn’t known for being overly reliable, suffering several issues, with the most common faults being electrical or affecting the axle and suspension.

Unfortunately, while Maserati is becoming increasingly popular among buyers, the reliability has not improved. Since 2016, Maserati has repeatedly earned a low reliability rating in the ReliabilityIndex rankings, coming 40th out of 40 brands.

In the most recent ReliabilityIndex rankings, the luxury manufacturer has earned a rating of ‘Poor’. In 2016 their point score in the Index was 697, in 2019 this has increased to an incredibly impressive 774 (though in this case, the more points a brand has, the lower the reliability rating).

The next closest manufacturer to Maserati is another luxury brand, Bentley, who have a reliability index score of 530 (just 1 point more than they earned in 2016).

How reliable is the Maserati GranTurismo?

The GranTurismo is probably one of the best-known models by Maserati and almost 4500 of them have been sold across Europe since 2010.

Focusing more specifically on the Maserati GranTurismo, we can see that when it comes to reliability, it fares slightly better than when looking at the brand overall.

Maserati GranTurismo

According to the latest information from ReliabilityIndex, the GranTurismo has a rating of 748, so it’s still not incredible, but an improvement on 774. Though reliability is considered low for Maserati, many of the issues that contribute to the low score the manufacturer has been awarded occur later in the vehicle’s life. So, if Maserati is your dream and you are considering getting a lease, it’s worth considering purchasing a maintenance package. There are ways to make your dream a reality without hurting your wallet.

As with any luxury vehicle, the repair costs are not kind to the bank balance, with the average working out at £1,157.70. While being repaired you can also expect to be waiting around a little, with repairs taking almost 5 hours, on average.

The key issue you should expect to encounter with the GranTurismo with the axle and suspension, which accounts for 38.30% of the car’s problems.

Another thing to consider when looking to purchase the Maserati GranTurismo, if you’ve been won over by the sleek styling of the powerful car, is the running costs.

Maserati claims you’ll get 20 mpg combined (that’s 13 city, 29 motorway), but in reality, this will be much lower if you use the impressive 4.7-litre motor to its full potential. The car will also be in the top band when it comes to Vehicle Excise Duty due to CO2 emissions of 331g/km. And, as with any sports car with the power that you can get from the GranTurismo, you can expect the insurance to be extremely expensive.

When you register your new car with the DVLA (in the UK) you will also find you are expected to pay a £320 per year surcharge (once the car is 12 months old, and until it turns six) as the Maserati GranTurismo has a list price of over £40,000.

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Is the Maserati Ghibli reliable?

The Maserati Ghibli is a very popular model from the Italian brand if the 18,860 sold across Europe in the last 5 years is anything to go by.

However, just as with the GranTurismo, there are issues with reliability, with reviews from owners proving very mixed. Many specifically cite reliability as the issue they have had with their new vehicle. Some have had trouble with the brakes, while others have found that the battery drains too quickly. One owner even stated that their Ghibli had been in the garage four times in the first twelve months.

Maserati Ghibli

In their own road test of the Ghibli, AutoExpress found that the car was lacking in build quality, missing the precision of the German equivalents (specifically mentioning the BMW 5-Series). There were also issues with the infotainment system, power-steering and brakes.

That said, as with every vehicle and every owner, some Maserati Ghibli drivers have had no problems at all with the reliability and when asked, gave it five stars.

When it comes to safety, the 2013 version of the Ghibli rated well, earning five stars from Euro NCAP for the multiple safety features, including airbags, pedestrian protection and safety assist.

The Ghibli isn’t exactly low-cost to run, however, expenditure isn’t as high as for the GranTurismo.

Maserati claims that the Ghibli can do 48mpg, however, this depends greatly on the model selected. Miles per gallon varies from 29 to 48 mpg combined (20-37 city, 40-58 highway).

If you select the lower-powered twin-turbo V6 petrol engine with 350bhp, indications are that you will get 32mpg and CO2 emissions are 207g/km, putting you at the higher end of the vehicle excise duty table, with the first payment upon registration amounting to £1,280.

If you decide that you would like the higher-powered Ghibli S with 404bhp then the miles per gallon drop to 29mpg combined and emissions of 223g/km CO2.

Like the GranTurismo, the Ghibli has a list price of over £40,000 and, therefore, will have a surcharge of £320 per year for years three to six.

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Why is Maserati so unreliable?

But, why is Maserati so unreliable? They’re an exclusive brand, I hear you cry! With bespoke designs and engineering, so they shouldn’t be unreliable. You’re right, in theory. But in reality, you’ll find that many luxury cars have issues when it comes to reliability.

Maserati GranCabrio

There are a few reasons for this.

One of the main reasons they place so far down on the reliability tables is that when they do go wrong, the cost of repairs is quite high. Maseratis can also take a long time to repair as their parts are harder to source and replace due to the limited number of suppliers of rarer components. These two factors bring down the manufacturer’s dependability and therefore, reduce their reliability score in comparison with other brands.

As much as it is a great thing, and adds to the uniqueness of Maserati, another reason that ultra-luxurious brands like Maserati and Aston Martin are considered unreliable is due to one of their key selling points; bespoke engineering.

You would be forgiven for thinking that having a bespoke model made to your specific requirements would make the individual models more reliable but this isn’t always the case. More modern, mass-production manufacturing techniques make more reliable models than bespoke engineering.

Also, Maseratis aren’t really your everyday car. It’s unlikely that your Ghibli, Levante or GranTurismo is the car you use for the weekly supermarket shop! Luxury cars aren’t designed for constant use, and if they are used a lot then they do wear down quite quickly and relatively easily.

So there are quite a few reasons why Maserati might be considered unreliable.

It is also worth considering product recalls. Since 2015 there have been 28 Maserati recalls in the UK. These include:

  • The front-wheel bearing can become noisy and if ignored can fail and cause loss of vehicle control
  • The right-hand door of the GranCabrio can open unexpectedly

What are some of the common Maserati problems?

It’s always good to know what problems you may encounter further down the line with your car, so here are some common problems you may experience with your Maserati:

  • Brakes
    • The brakes work, but if the fluid isn’t replaced regularly then they can get a bit wooden
  • Stone chips
    • Due to the fact that Maserati models are quite low to the ground,  this means it’s possible you will end up with stone chips under the wheel arches, especially if you’re going to be driving fast (which, chances are, you will in a Maserati), so when checking for damage and wear, examine the wheel arches for stone chips, especially if you are thinking about buying a secondhand model
  • Problems with the clutch
    • Some Quattroporte owners have only reached 12,000 miles before having to get their clutch replaced.

If you are looking at buying a second hand Maserati, then it’s worth asking about these issues before you buy.

How reliable are surveys and consumer reports?

Consumer reports and surveys are an accurate way of determining how reliable a car brand is. Companies like WarrantyDirect, who sell extended warranties, record when someone makes a claim. This data is collated and used to determine the makes and models that are dependable and which ones aren’t.

Consumer feedback is also very accurate as it gives us a good idea of what the car is like to drive on a daily basis. After all, the owners are the ones that know their cars the best. They are also the ones paying for the repairs.

That said, when you have a brand as exclusive as Maserati, you can run into some trouble. This is mainly due to the fact that there aren’t that many Maseratis on the road, therefore you do have a smaller sample size than you would for a brand such as Ford, for example. If we look at what Which? has to say, we can see that they have very little information about Maserati as they don’t have a sample size big enough to draw conclusions from.

However, we can work with what we have and we can work with what ReliabiltyIndex (a subsidiary of WarrantyDirect) has concluded and from what owners on the likes of AutoExpress have to say. As it stands, consumer reports and surveys are still one of the most reliable ways of determining how dependable a car is, even cars as exclusive as Maserati.

Should I buy, lease or finance a Maserati?

There’s no denying it, Maserati design and build a beautiful car. From the mid-sized Ghibli to the sleek lines of the GranTurismo.

Unlike cars such as the Ford Tourneo or VW Golf, Maserati models have been designed with luxury in mind. They are the sort of car people admire as you drive along the motorway as you head off on a weekend getaway.

Maserati knows the people who buy their cars. They know that the ones who buy or lease their cars are looking for a unique vehicle, one that is designed for the individual. Maserati’s marketing focuses on the fact that their cars are bespoke, for the aficionado.

When it comes to manufacturers like Maserati a lease is ideal. A lease with maintenance plan takes away any concerns you may have about reliability scores and possible costly repairs.  You can have all the luxury with none of the worry. You can drive the car for 2, 3 or 4 years, safe in the knowledge that, should anything happen, you are covered and when the lease contract ends, you can upgrade to the next model.

If you are looking at a Maserati, then you are looking for a beautiful car that doesn’t stand a chance of being ignored when it’s being driven. A Maserati is not easily forgotten.

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Conclusion: How reliable is Maserati?

In conclusion, Maserati isn’t very dependable. At all. Their exclusivity means that they do not have the mass-production set up that many of their competitors have, which goes some way in improving reliability. This also means that they are expensive to repair and the parts can take a long time to source. But, this all comes with the package. If you get a car that is that exclusive, then it will cost you a lot to repair and the bespoke design may mean you run into trouble later down the line. Ultimately, though, if you buy a Maserati, it’s not because you are looking for a reliable car to do your weekly shop in. You buy a Maserati because it looks good, it drives incredibly and it’s about as exclusive as you can get. But, if you are looking for a reliable sports car, then the Maserati is slightly more reliable than Aston Martin and Ferrari.

Reliability ratings and repair costs were compiled in September 2019.

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Rachel Richardson

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51 Comments

  • bharat| 20th January 2020 at 12:27 pm Reply

    I purchased a Brand New Ghibli in 2016. It has been in the garage 4 times within the first Year. Nothing but problems. The steering judders when turned into full lock. The battery drains if not the car is not used for more than 3 days. In past I have driven BMW , Merc , Mits. Never had any issues.

    • Rachel Richardson| 20th January 2020 at 4:18 pm Reply

      Hi Bharat,

      Thank you for your feedback about your Maserati Ghibli. We collate the data from multiple sources based in the UK in order to help those searching for a vehicle make an informed decision.

  • Stefan| 8th December 2019 at 1:34 pm Reply

    Interesting forum and informative, I was looking for a big Deisel GT type car so the Ghibli and a BMW 640d popped into my radar, it’s my Dailey drive and I need it to be dependable. Looks like I have a lot to think about.

    • Rachel Richardson| 9th December 2019 at 12:34 pm Reply

      Hi Stefan,

      Thank you for the feedback. If you are looking for a new vehicle and have questions you’d like answered I know that our team would be happy to help you source your new vehicle. If you would like to call Amanda on 01903 223391 she will be able to help you.

  • Alistair Hutchison| 21st November 2019 at 9:49 am Reply

    I had a 2014 Ghibli and had no problems. Loved the car. I then bought a 2018 Ghibli. Love it (even more). No problems. Very different.

    • Rachel Richardson| 22nd November 2019 at 8:43 am Reply

      Hi Alistair,

      We have used the most recent available data to record the reliability of the Maserati, but there are always exceptions to the data that is available. Thank you for your comment on the reliability of the models you have driven.

  • Gero| 28th August 2019 at 4:08 pm Reply

    I’m not sure how much I trust this. My Maserati has been brilliant, in the years I’ve had it it’s needed very little work, and parts are (high end of) average price, it’s the dealership hourly costs that melt the mind. But exclusive cars are generally much easier to work on, Maserati, McLaren, Ferrari and Aston all use pretty standard size fixing for many reasons.

    1) high-end car clients generally don’t work on their own cars, and most small repair-shops wont risk working on exclusive brands so almost all ultra-rich exclusive brand owners use the main dealer for service without a second thought of the cost. 2) It costs a lot of money to make parts which require special tools, your mid range brands (VW, Ford, Peugeot etc.), have to compete for service as this is where the majority of profits come from (not initial car sale). They protect there markets by making it very difficult to work on these cars (special tools or software often needed) which helps force the owner into main dealer service. 3)Super-cars are designed to be raced, and a key to being a race winner is the ability to quickly replace parts, many super-cars by design are really easy to work on (if you know what you are doing), far easier than your average OEM brand…. It’s just most rich people have zero interest in servicing their own cars. (I LOVE IT!).

    My Audi’s and VW’s which have apparent “fantastic reliability ratings” have cost me a LOT more over the life of the car than my Maserati. VW mostly use a bespoke multi-point bolt heads which require special bespoke tools, which cost a fortune, and the assembly (disassembly) process is often needlessly complex. All the super-cars that I have owned have all used standard metric bolts making a Maserati or McLaren extremely easy to work on compared to an average car.

    Personally, my Maserati GranTurismo has been insanely reliable, over the 89,000 miles I’ve driven, its been one of the most reliable cars I have ever owned. That said the Ghibli and Levante (SUV) are cheap junk which use chassis and parts from other Fiat cars and the quality is pretty crap (I would not even consider them a real Maserati, they are simply re-shelled Fiat brand cars, impossible to work on yourself)… Avoid them! But the real Maseraties, especially anything made after 2007 are on par with German quality, but are far more exciting to own and drive.

    P.S- I work in vehicle development at McLaren at their proving-ground in IDIADA Spain…. So I spend my life working on Luxury cars (and everything in between). So this is not just an opinion, it’s fact based on my years of experience.

    • Vlad Lenon| 29th August 2019 at 7:17 pm Reply

      Gero, how is the Quattroporte diesel for reliability? Is it also a “real Maserati” easy to work on and service or more like the fiat/mid range brands?

    • Tim| 29th August 2019 at 2:04 pm Reply

      Hi Gero. Since I am actually looking very seriously into buying a Granturismo from 2007 with 72.000 km I found your post very interesting, especially because I live in Spain as well. I myself am working in the automotive industry as well and would love to know if there is anything very important to know before actually buying the car? It would be great to have some feedback from a professional that has proper experiences with this car. I have owned quite some sportive cars like BMW M5, Mercedes C63AMG, etc but never owned a Maserati but always been very interested in the brand because of its looks and currently seriously looking at 1 to buy. Your response would be very much appreciated. Thank you in advance!

      • Bill| 8th December 2019 at 9:17 pm Reply

        After owning almost 60 different vehicles, including Porsches and Maseratis. I’ve found both my GT MC’s reliable and reasonable to repair& maintain. I purchased both used and purchased extended warranties, that I have not had to use (knock on wood)! Routine maintenance is performed at a certified Maserati dealership, by a Maserati master mechanic! I’ve been impressed with all aspects of my GranTurismos including the cost to maintain and parts. Perhaps I’m just lucky or my perspective is different because I expect the conditions that are discussed for owning any high end vehicle… I love my Maseratis!! i felt the review was a bit negative.

        • Rachel Richardson| 9th December 2019 at 12:37 pm Reply

          Hi bill,

          Thank you for your comment. With regards the information you found negative, we have only used the information available us from Warranty companies, consumer reports and other sources to write a balanced review that will inform and help people to make a decision on their next vehicle. We appreciate that the information on the Maserati brand isn’t 100% positive however, we put together the data from multiple unbiased reports from the last 12 months and this is the result of that research.

    • Rachel Richardson| 29th August 2019 at 9:08 am Reply

      Hi Gero,
      Thank you for your comments regarding the reliability of the Maserati brand. Our data is taken from multiple resources who look at several elements when it comes to the reliability of the vehicles, starting with repair cost, and time off the road following issues. Of course every model is different, but they also include the two models you mention as being not as reliabile as your GranTurismo, and this has to be taken into account when looking at the brand overall.

      We are in the process of updating the reliability data across our sites at the present time, utilising multiple resources including:consumer surveys, warranty company reports and manufacturer reviews.

      It is always helpful to hear from those who have on the road experience of a particular manufacturer, especially one who has a background in the industry. This information is very useful and I am sure that those who are considering Maserati will find it instructive when they come to make their decisions.

  • Carrolton Davidson| 19th July 2019 at 2:59 pm Reply

    Thinking about purchasing 2008 GT? Thoughts?

    • Rachel Richardson| 23rd July 2019 at 9:21 am Reply

      Hi Carrolton,

      Many thanks for your question. This is not one that we feel confident answering as we aren’t aware of the history of the vehicle. We would recommend you visit various owner forums for more accurate information on purchasing and owning a 2008 GT.

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