The Car I Learned About Today: 2004-2012 Maserati Quattroporte
This article appeared on the CarCynic Google+ Page before CarCynic.com existed. It is being included here for completeness. Not because I can't think of anything else to write about today.
Photo: Wikimedia Contributor
Every true car enthusiast likes a high performance luxury sedan. So what do you do if you're not at the point in the wealth curve that allows you to drop $125,000 to $200,000 on a sedan? You buy used. Fortunately for those in this category, large exotic sedans don't hold their value well. Case in point: Maserati Quattroportes sell new for over $125,000, but if you find one that is 6-8 years old, and you have some decent negotiating skills, you can buy one for about what a new Hyundai Genesis, or Toyota Avalon would cost. Better yet, that Maserati is reaching the shallow point of it's depreciation curve, and may loose less value over the next 2 years than that new Hyundai Genesis. Wait long enough, and that curve may actually reverse. If you think a Hyundai Genesis is going to start appreciating, you'd do better to invest in cryogenic life extension. It may also be a better value than other used luxury performance sedans. You can get a BMW M5 that is the same price and age, but it is either going to have far more miles on it, or be cosmetically pretty poor. Of course any car this old that may have been driven "aggressively" should be checked over carefully, and make sure you think about what repairs and parts are going to cost you. The Quattroporte (which, as you may know, simply means 4-door) uses a conventionally aspirated Maserati GT 90 Degree DOHC V8 engine that can trace it's ancestry back many years to Maserati race cars. The engine of yesteryear was known for valve train failures, but with proper maintenance, and modern synthetic oil, the distrust in these cars that causes their depreciation can be kept in the realm of perception, not reality. The modern engine will only get 12-15 MPG, and far less if you dare use it's 440HP more than just very occasionally, but you can fill the tank many times before you make up the difference in what a BMW M5 in the same condition will cost you. Of course, being a true exotic, the cars feature almost every luxury imaginable. Rear seat tray tables,and power sunshades are examples. The lifestyle of the wealthy playboy can sometimes leave it's mark on the interior, and it's probably best not wonder too much what those marks are, but budget in a thorough, professional cleaning/restoration, and that interior can be brought back to it's former levels of luxury (and sanitation).
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