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Glamorous Maserati Ghibli challenges BMW and Mercedes for safety

Glamorous Maserati Ghibli challenges BMW and Mercedes for safety Maserati-ghibli-frontal-crash-test
Tristan Honeywill

The Ghibli is Maserati’s glamorous alternative to a BMW 5-Series, Mercedes E-Class or Audi A6. The Ghibli is a slightly scaled down version of the luxury Quattroporte saloon, with brains as well as sex appeal. The car has a diesel engine – and a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. It ticks a lot of boxes, but can it really compete with BMW and Mercedes?

Both the 5-Series and E-Class earned five-star ratings when they launched in 2010. With Euro NCAP’s assessment becoming slightly more challenging in recent years, it’s interesting to see what separates the cars on safety. In terms of protection for adults, it’s incredibly close. The Ghibli matches the high-scoring BMW 5-Series and convincingly outdid the Mercedes E-Class in this part of Euro NCAP’s assessment. The Ghibli excels in side impacts. The car scored maximum points in the basic side impact test and in the more severe pole-strike test, protection of the head was adequate and the rest of the body was good. One minor criticism would be that the Ghibli has electric head supports and somehow just missed out on a good whiplash rating. Maserati must be wondering what went wrong there. Maserati-child-seatWhen it comes to taking care of the kids, the Ghibli does it in style. Maserati used rearward facing seats with Isofix bases for both the 18-month and three-year old dummies and they really did the trick: maximum points for both. The seats were Maserati-branded versions of the Peg-Pérego Primo Viaggio SL for the infant and the Fair G-01 Isofix with headrest. They perform well and, with Maserati tridents on them, they look like they belong in the car. On pedestrian protection, the Ghibli is also excellent. The design of the bumper and front edge of the hood earned maximum points for its protection of legs. The hood itself offers mainly good or adequate protection. This is much better result than the Audi A6. Some drivers in this class may expect to see the latest technologies on board. In the Ghibli, adaptive cruise control is standard and there’s a speed limiter that you can set manually, but there’s otherwise nothing really intelligent – no option packs with other driver assist technologies.

That’s a little surprising when other cars built by Fiat Group have some good camera technologies. The Fiat 500L has a neat system that stops the car rear-ending others at town-driving speeds. BMW, Mercedes and Audi all offer driver assist technologies, so why not Maserati? My guess is that Maserati sees glamour and exclusivity as the main draw for the car. Excluding cool new technologies that will keep the car and driver out of trouble might dull the shine a little for some early adopters, but I doubt it. An autonomous emergency braking system just isn’t the kind of thing Maserati drivers like to show off about. It’s got five-stars and it’s beautiful, what more do you need? Check out other safety assessments for other executive-class cars by Euro NCAP

Maserati used rearward facing seats with Isofix bases for both the 18-month and three-year old dummies and they really did the trick: maximum points for both

Buyer’s guide

  • Prices for the Maserati Ghibli start at £48,830
  • A Mercedes E-Class Coupe with a diesel AMG engine offers style and performance from £39,055. You also get some intelligent safety systems as standard that warn you if you’re tired or about to hit something. For an extra £2345 you can add a Driver Assist package with a load of tech to keep the family out of trouble, including Pre-Safe Brake with Active Pedestrian Protection
  • A diesel BMW 5-Series 520d with luxury trim starts at £34,330. You can fit Night Vision and an emergency brake assist for approximately an extra £3,000 or so

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