Maserati Quattroporte V (2003-2012) buying guide - checkpoints

Essential checkpoints when buying a secondhand Maserati Quattroporte

Engine

The 4.2 and 4.7 are essentially the same engine, just the bore and stroke differing. They’re largely bulletproof, says Andy Heywood at McGrath Maserati, provided they’re regularly serviced, which usually means annually. The big one comes every four years and costs around £2k for an early car (closer to £2.5k for post-2007 models). As values fall, some owners cut corners, so look for a fully stamped and receipted service history.

‘The only issue is the camshaft variators, which can be noisy,’ says Andy. ‘You’ll hear it from a cold start before the oil’s pumped round. You may also hear random tapping noises as you accelerate from 2000 revs.’ Many owners have been able to get replacements and a later modification under warranty. ‘We priced it up at around five grand, so it’s worth asking!’ says Andy. 

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Transmission

The ZF auto is almost entirely trouble-free. With DuoSelect, shifts can feel a bit clunky, though it depends to an extent how the clutch is set up. ‘The biting point can be set up so that it’s softer or harder, depending on preference,’ says Andy. ‘Also the ’box has fuzzy logic so will adapt to an owner’s driving style. If there are any gearchanging anomalies – say it’s jumping from second to fourth – it’s usually a sign the clutch is wearing out rather than a gearbox issue.

‘Clutch life is usually between 20,000 and 30,000 miles. The more town driving you do, the shorter its life. We usually change the flywheel as well, and the whole job is around £3000. So a recently replaced clutch is well worth having. A pre-purchase inspection with the proper Maserati diagnostics will read the remaining clutch life. We charge around £300 for an inspection.’

Suspension, steering, brakes

‘Wear in the ball joints is nowhere near as bad as on the 4200 Coupe, but it does happen,’ says Andy. ‘A QP weighs two tons, so it’s going to wear the suspension.’ Again, an inspection will show up potential expense here, as will creaks or knocks on a test drive. Also check Skyhook is working if fitted, as replacement dampers are expensive, though it’s generally reliable on the QP.

‘The QP does eat brakes and tyres,’ says Andy. ‘Rear tyres might only last 6000 miles if you’re enjoying the car.’ Brakes are very expensive – over £500 for a set of front pads, while drilled discs are more than £1000 a pair – so again an inspection could easily pay for itself. ‘The 20-inch wheels look good but are a little bit more delicate,’ says Andy. ‘We’ve seen a few bent wheels from hitting potholes.’

Body, interior, electrics

No serious corrosion yet, so you’re checking for signs of accident damage. Make sure all the electrical gizmos work, and that the LCD screen in the centre of the dash hasn’t started to lose pixels – it’s fearsomely expensive to replace. Again, an inspection with Maserati diagnostics should throw up any electronic maladies.

‘I bought one’ - Ewen Clark

‘Following a string of other Maseratis, I bought my first QP V in 2007 and have owned one ever since. After three DuoSelect models, my current car is a GTS. 

‘I have to say that very little has gone wrong with any of my QPs, and I’ve probably done about 70,000 miles in them combined. I’ve not had the GTS long, but certainly my last QP was far more reliable than my colleague’s Merc S-class!

‘The GTS did have a fault with the puddle-light in the door mirror – it would come on occasionally at random when the car was parked and end up flattening the battery. But that’s now fixed.

‘The QP is a car that ticks many boxes for me, being sufficiently fast and fun to be deemed a toy, but large and luxurious enough to carry the family. It’s also, to my eyes, the most stylish saloon car of recent years and with handling to match. Then there’s the aura that surrounds the Maserati marque, and the fun and knowledge available from the Maserati Owners Club and the Sports Maserati forum. 

‘I’d advise potential owners to source a car from a reputable Maserati dealer, whether official or specialist, and at the very least arrange for an independent inspection. Being heavy cars, the brakes and tyres wear quickly, though the clutch on my first QP was still fine at 50,000 miles. The sporty side of DuoSelect worked for me, but for stop-start traffic the ZF auto is a better bet.

‘Overall, the QP is a surprisingly practical car that makes you feel good, whether on a mundane commute or a spirited hack. It’s not cheap to run – I get around 20mpg, and I reckon a realistic annual budget for servicing and consumables is £1500 – but with virtually no depreciation you’d have to search hard to find such pace and grace for less.’

Useful contactswww.maseratiforum.co.uk (forums)www.giallo.co.uk (specialist)www.maseraticlub.co.uk (owners’ club)www.maserati.co.uk (Maserati website)

Specifications

EngineV8, 4244cc
Max power394bhp @ 7000rpm
Max torque333lb ft @ 4500rpm
TransmissionRear-mounted six-speed sequential transaxle or front-mounted ZF six-speed auto
Tyres245/40 ZR18 front, 285/35 ZR8 rear
Weight (kerb)1930kg
Power-to-weight207bhp per ton
0-62mph5.2sec (claimed)
Top speed171mph (claimed)
Price new£69,995 (2004)

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