In our continuing series of ‘Head to Head’, we look at the ultimate challenge for Maserati, going up against the most highly regarded UK car brand in recent years – Bentley. The stylish and hot-blooded Italian automaker is pitched against the fiery exclusive carmaker from England. But, let’s be honest, Bentley vs Maserati is not a fair fight.
While the Modena production line of Maserati sets a high standard for high performance luxury vehicles, Bentley takes this several stages further in all categories – including the price! Both companies focus on a tight range of automobiles with Maserati just offering 4 models (not including the limited edition of the MC20) while Bentley manufactures just three varieties under their iconic badge.
But let’s see how close Maserati can keep to Bentley’s coattails, as we dive into some of the key aspects of both illustrious brands.
Bentley vs Maserati On Power & Speed
In recent years, Maserati have been blessed with having their engines designed and produced by their fellow-countryman, Ferrari. These impeccable powertrains produce strong numbers for the whole lineup.
Their two, four door, sedans are fitted with strong output. The Ghibli, with a length of 195,7 inches, is fitted with either a 3.0 liter V6 or 3.8 liter V8 twin turbo engines. Which gives the sedan 326 hp or 572 hp and top speeds of 163 mph and 203 mph. Acceleration propels the sedan from 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds or just 4.3 seconds.
The bigger Quattroporte sedan, with a length of 207 inches, shares the same engine as the Ghibli though its “base” performance numbers are stronger. Horsepower begins at 345 hp and matches the Ghibli’s 572 hp while top speeds range from 168 mph up to 205 mph. Great numbers, though these are, it still falls short of Bentley.
Bentley’s offering of a four door sedan, the Flying Spur, to their two door grand tourer, Continental, have monstrous engines under the hood. The two main engine setups are a 4.0 liter V8 or a 6.0 liter W12 twin turbo. The output they generate are 542 hp for the V8 and an enormous 626 hp from the massive W12. Both engines blast to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of 211 mph.
Even if we introduce the Maserati GranTurismo into the equation, the outcome is still the same. The GT offers two sizes for its V8 engine, a 4.2 liter or 4.7 liter. They produce 399 hp or 454 hp and top speeds of 177 mph and 188 mph.
Comparing the larger vehicles, as we look at the Bentley SUV vs Maserati SUV, the numbers are slightly closer but the outcome is the same. The Maserati Levante offers the same engine configurations as the sedans with either a 3.0 liter V6 or 3.8 liter V8. But these engines have better output as they generate 345 hp up to 590 hp with top speeds ranging from 156 mph to 189 mph. For a time, this was the fastest SUV on the road but the Bentley Bentayga has taken that crown.
The Bentley SUV, sadly for Maserati, also offers the same engine blocks as the rest of the lineup. The Bentley Bentayga has a choice of 4.0 liter V8 or 6.0 liter W12 twin turbo engines. They also produce output of 542 hp up to 626 hp and a top speed that hits a record-breaking 190 mph.
With bigger engines all round, it is no surprise that Bentley win this challenge.
Handling & Performance
When looking at the driving experience of all seven automobiles, it is a very close result. It must be said that both Bentley and Maserati are excellent on the road. Whether hurtling along a straight highway or attacking twists and turns of corners and bends, both brands will leave you breathless.
No matter what iteration is used, grand tourer, SUV or full-size sedan, all cars run as if riding on rails. To be fair, we would have to conclude that this comes out as a worthy tie.
Design Inside & Out
When we turn our attention to design, Bentley vs Maserati is a very interesting contest. Reflecting their innate personalities, Maserati offer an artistic automobile that wears its passion on its sleeve, while the Bentley takes luxury to new heights. Although the level of expense is definitely marked between the two, this could still come down to personal choice.
Both car makers offer a plethora of interior fixtures and fittings in multitude of fabrics, textures and materials that make each vehicle bespoke and unique. Maserati creates an air of stylish panache while Bentley takes a more refined attitude but with an attention to detail that Maserati simply can’t match. While every knob and dial in the Bentley is designed to perfection, the Maserati’s reliance on borrowed switchgear lets it down. Interior design has to go down to Bentley in this challenge.
Exterior bodywork for both brands is just exquisite. These are, probably, the two best designed motor cars on the road today. Their flowing and sinuous lines used for their sedans and grand tourers are totally seductive and make them stand out in a crowd. Their SUVs are both striking though the Maserati Levante is the better one. So, this tips the balance to Maserati for external design.
So, with design split between the two, this challenge is a tie, as well.
Price & Reliability
As is the case with all luxury vehicles, there are big reliability issues for Bentley vs Maserati. When each model and spare part are bespoke items, quality control becomes precarious. Added to which, the location of service centers and availability of spare parts, ensures it is always a time consuming and expensive process every time you need to visit the workshop. This is a tie for both brands but not in a good way.
The Bentley vs Maserati price challenge is much more defined, however. In almost every situation, the price of a Bentley is twice that of a Maserati. Considering Maserati’s starting prices are hovering around the US$100,00 mark, it makes the Bentley incredibly expensive. If buying a luxury auto brand on a constrained budget is your problem then the Italian is the one for you. Though realistically, if you are even contemplating either of these illustrious brands then money is the least of your considerations.
Bentley vs Maserati All In
In conclusion, perhaps this might be a little closer than at first thought, and may come down to personal preference. The allure of each iconic emblem may sway your own choice as to which brand is better. Though the overall quality for the higher price you pay might lead most to thinking the Bentley is the King of the Road.