Luxury and Performance: The Maserati Quattroporte vs. the Jaguar XJ
The new 2016 Quattroporte Maseratis for sale are part of a genre of cars labeled as luxury and high-performance sedans, which combine the comfort and furnishings of a luxury vehicle with the power and performance of a sports car. The 2016 Jaguar XJ is another luxury performance vehicle on the market, and follows the same concept as the Quattroporte, the idea of a luxury performance vehicle being a wonderful driving experience if the idea is executed properly.
The Maserati Quattroporte is back and you will be happy to know that it is just as big, inside and out, as its 2014 predecessor. The exterior of the Quattroporte is made up of the same charismatic proportions we saw on its predecessor, the exterior being dominated by angular accent lines and curving sheetmetal. Maserati also gave the Quatropporte its traditional oval shaped grille with the iconic trident sitting in the center, helping set the prideful tone that sweeps up the curved hood and into the fenders, continuing onto the sleek roofline and flowing off onto the humble and simple rear-end of the vehicle. The overall result is a car that has a refined and classy exterior, providing us with a car that looks a little athletic while still carrying a sense of comfort.
The Inside of the Quattroporte is a simple and elegant design, and well-put together. The inside is made up of a clean two-tone finish, where wood and fine leathers merge with metal accents. These materials contribute to the Quattroporte’s exclusive lounge design, completed by its intuitive on-board controls and sleek dashboard. The dashboard is divided horizontally into three levels, which features a wide band of leather in the center across the width of the car.
Even though the dashboard is sleek, the real center of attention are the materials. The fine wood and stitching are styled with hand-crafted tradition, and continue into the lines of the dashboard. The standard version offers a finish in Radical, which is an open-pore wood that has a knot and vein pattern for an added feeling of exquisiteness. With the idea of luxury in mind, the Quattroporte offers elegant wraparound seats where the fine stitching continues on to the vertical grooves in the middle of the seat and back. The front seats feature the ability to adjust the height, depth and angle of the seats, with lumbar support adjustment also being added in order to provide the most pleasant driving experience possible. The Quattroporte also offers buyers the chance to add a personal creative flair to the interior, by selecting the colors that will define the interior. Also, a neat offer from Maserati is if you want a sportier looking interior you can order trims in carbon fiber with a special gloss finish, along with other additions like aluminum shift paddles and brushed steel foot pedals.
Thanks to the redesign in 2014 that caused the Quattroporte to grow in size, the leg and head room increased as well, and there is no shortage of either in the 2015 design. This four-door sedan will comfortably seat 5 in its well-made leather seats just like the 2014 design, and has 18.9 cubic feet of trunk space if there is ever the need to haul some items around.
The XJ is a departure in design from its previous model, and is lighter to provide more nimble handling with a smaller and sportier feeling car. The fresh design starts at the grille in a pronounced inset, framed with headlights shaped like cats-eyes that incorporate large circular elements. The fenders changed in size and appearance in order to match the newly designed low roofline and the rear-pillars are subdued by gloss back panels, helping them flow effortlessly into the rear glass. Overall, a well-rounded and stylish uprooting from the design of its predecessor, even if the inside is a little over-the-top.
The interior of the XJ is opposite of the Maserati, where the exterior of the XJ is simple the inside is almost over-the-top flashy. The XJ’s interior is equipped with wood and chrome on the inside, which is quite obvious when the light comes through the massive full-length sun roof. While the exterior was altered, the design of the dash is a throwback to other Jaguar models, as well as the round air vents, pop-up transmission controller, and wide bands of wood on the doors and dash. The leather headliner, upgraded leather seats, and laser-inlaid wood contrast with the flashy chrome to help off-set the glitzy theme in an attempt to provide a soft-touch of homely comfort to the vehicle.
Since the XJ is sporting a new design, naturally the spatial comfort is going to feel different as well. This model sports nice trims and decent interior, but the closeness of the new sporty design is definitely a buzzkill. On top of the seats being firmer and flatter, there is less head and leg room in the front and back seats of the vehicle. The limited headroom in back is due to the newly designed low roofline, and in front the legroom is also tight at the knees on both sides of the front console. The longer wheelbase model will have plenty of legroom, but its disappointing that the base model will have buyers feeling a little cramped.
Performance: Under the Hood
The Quattroporte baseline S model offers a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6, the turbos helping it generate 410 horsepower and achieving 0-60 mph in about 5 seconds. Even though that is decent now and days for a modern performance vehicle, what is impressive is the GTS trims spec. The GTS is a RWD vehicle with a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter V-8 that puts out 523 horsepower and achieves 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, .8 seconds shorter than the baseline trim model and still providing the comfort of a luxury vehicle.
Both trims are mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, and the V-8 GTS trim has rear-wheel drive while the S has Maserati’s Q4 all-wheel-drive system. This system sends 100 percent of torque to the rear axle under normal conditions, and up to 50 percent when the system detects a slip in traction, providing a nice added safety feature. As far as gas mileage goes, the 3.8-liter V-8 in the GTS expectantly sacrifices fuel-efficiency for horsepower and the V-6 in the S only does slightly better.
The Jaguar XJ AWD is also paired with a supercharged 3.0-liter V-6 at the base level, but only generates 340 horsepower, achieving 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. This engine achieves 0-60 mph within eight-tenths of the supercharged V-8 that is also available in the XJ RWD model, but gets significantly better gas mileage. The supercharged 5.0-liter V-8 that generates 550 horsepower on the XJR RWD, however, causes this trim to achieve 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds, again expectantly sacrificing fuel-efficiency. The XJ is also offered in a trim that provides a longer wheelbase, and all the trims have the same ZF eight-speed automatic transmission that the Maserati models have, but lack the slip resistant feature that the SQ4 AWD model has.
Price and Conclusion
While both of these vehicles are clearly luxury performance cars, it appears that the Maserati Quattroporte offers more versatility in terms of looks and performance. The Jaguar has more trim levels, four to be exact, and the Quattroporte only has two trims, but it appears that what the Quattroporte lacks in trim options it makes up for in comfort and performance. This is one of those cases where you pay what you get for, with the Jaguar XJ starting at $74,145 it lacks some of the comforts, technology, and safety features that other luxury comfort vehicles like the Quattroporte have. While the Jag is a close contender, this Quattroporte has better safety systems in place, more room inside the cabin and a better engine that causes it to beat the XJ in terms of acceleration and speed, all while maintaining relatively the same gas mileage as the XJ. With the Quattroporte starting at $100,000, about $26,000 more than the XJ, it seems to be worth spending that extra money is well worth the price.