Used car buying guide: Maserati Granturismo

You can take advantage of the Maserati Granturismo’s exceptionally long 12-year production run by picking up an early car for less than £15,000 that’s almost visually indistinguishable from a run-out example costing more than five times as much.

Obviously, that’s a rather flippant attitude to take, and older cars come with their own unique set of risks and quirks, as we’ll explore, but even in its more expensive forms, the Granturismo represents outstanding value next to the closely related Ferrari California (and arguably it comes without the ‘entry-level’ connotations).

So let’s kick off at the princely sum of £13,500, which at the time of writing would buy you a recently written-off 57-reg coupé that, the seller claims, would be “very cheap” to repair. Hmm, we’re not sure about that: unblemished panels can hide structural horrors, and even seemingly trivial Maserati problems come with full-fat Maserati repair costs. But irrespective of its unspecified damage, you should also worry about potential headaches that arise from long-term neglect: oil leaks, electrical gremlins, poor-quality consumables and a knackered clutch.

The Granturismo’s accessibility is a gift and a curse, because some owners – lured in by the prospect of a bargain Italian thoroughbred – aren’t so keen on upkeep and provenance. We’d spend as much time poring over the paperwork as we would scouting the car itself, especially with an example this cheap.

If you’ve decided a less expensive but slightly riskier early car is for you, more power to you – or, actually, a bit less. A year after its launch, the Granturismo gained a spicier S range-topper that upped capacity from 4.2 to 4.7 litres for boosts of 35bhp and 22lb ft, to 434bhp and 361lb ft, making subtle performance improvements and gaining suspension, brake and gearbox upgrades for enhanced dynamic behaviour. This range-topper soldiered on until the model line bowed out in 2019 – becoming the slightly more powerful Granturismo Sport in 2012 – and you can buy one from as little as £22,000.

Performance aside, a big part of the Granturismo’s appeal is the addictive bark of its eight-cylinder heart – especially delectable in 4.7-litre form – which is enjoyed no better than in the open-roof Grancabrio. Go gives best to show in the drop-top due to the added heft, and rolling refinement and boot space also suffer, but few of its open-air rivals can seat four so comfortably and convey them at such pace, and you’d do very well to spot the dynamic shortcomings in everyday driving situations. Prices are slightly higher, given the added appeal of a folding roof and the relative newness of the bodystyle (it was introduced in 2010), but mileages are generally lower and service folders thicker as a result.

How to get one in your garage