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Maserati Quattroporte.

Courtesy of manufacturer

Nothing is normal in 2020, including weddings. Because of COVID-19, gone are the days of big, lavish Italian weddings with 400 guests, eight-course meals and multiple stretch limos to accommodate a massive wedding party. At least, that was the case for my niece. She tied the knot last month in a small, simple wedding. Truth be told, she wanted to drive her old Pontiac G5 sedan to the venue. But I wouldn’t have it. Instead, she was chauffeured by yours truly, her aunt, in a 2020 Maserati Quattroporte sedan with her 91-year-old Nona along for the ride.

Maserati’s flagship full-sized sedan is the Quattroporte, which means four doors in Italian. It doesn’t come cheap, starting at $126,800. My tester is a higher-level model dubbed the S Q4 GranLusso, which starts at $134,800. (As tested, it rings in north of $150,000!) But for an Italian bride on her wedding day, it was the perfect ride to make a grand entrance.

The Quattroporte’s exterior design is unabashedly Italian – elegant and sophisticated. Some say the design is dated, but I disagree. It’s timeless. The front end is bold, daring and impossible to miss with its huge grille and Maserati’s trident logo smack dab in the centre. The deep blue colour is stunning — a welcome change from boring, old black.

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The bold front end, with its massive trident logo, is a showstopper.

Melissa Ward

Inside, the elegance continues with a heated leather-and-wood steering wheel, suede-like Alcantara fabric on the roof and side pillars, and plush leather seats adorned with the trident emblem on the headrests. The front seats are heated, ventilated and power adjustable, moving 12 ways so itʼs easy to find a comfy driving position. Power-adjustable foot pedals are handy, too, especially when wearing six-inch heels.

For the bride, it was all about the back row. Instead of three rear seats, my tester is fitted with two sculpted seats with a centre console nestled between them. Although itʼs an expensive option at $4,800, it transforms the back into a relaxing, spacious retreat.

As for technology, the Quattroporte is a bit outdated compared with the competition, especially its German rivals. The 8.4-inch centre screen resembles the system found in Chrysler and Jeep vehicles. No surprise, since Maserati’s parent company is Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Also absent are fancy tech gadgets such as BMW’s hand-gesture control system in the 7 Series, which lets you perform functions without voice commands or touching a button. Simply raise the volume by circling your index finger clockwise.

Courtesy of manufacturer

The cabin features a leather-and-wood steering wheel, suede-like Alcantara fabric on the roof and side pillars, and plush leather seats.

Courtesy of manufacturer

The engine makes up for the lack of technology. It’s hand-built by Ferrari in Maranello, Italy. The standard engine on my tester is a 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 generating 424 horsepower and 428 lb.-ft. of torque, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It also has column-mounted paddle shifters, which are new for 2020. Despite its large size, the sedan’s ride and handling are impressive and engaging. It’s quiet and confident, and when you want a power boost, you can nail the throttle and you’re off. The exhaust note is also worth mentioning; it’s deep and intoxicating, making pedestrians do double takes when youʼre driving by. A more powerful engine is also available – a 3.8-litre twin-turbo V8 with 523 hp and 524 lb.-ft. of torque. It’ll hit 100 kilometres an hour from a standing start in only 4.7 seconds – not bad for an 1,860-kilogram beast.

That extra power would have come in handy since we were running late for the 5 p.m. ceremony, in typical bride fashion. As we drove onto the grounds of the Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., the Maserati went unnoticed, the bride shielded from view by rear privacy shades. I dropped her off in the field where her dad waited anxiously to walk her down the aisle amid vines bursting with grapes ready for the picking. We continued driving, right up to the makeshift altar, so her Nona could watch the ceremony without having to risk a fall crossing the uneven ground. The priest, groom and guests seemed surprised and amused, though our move did steal a little thunder from the bride’s grand entrance.

Nona stayed in the car during the ceremony, shedding tears as she watched the couple exchange their vows. Afterward, my niece said she felt bad for Nona being “stuck in the car,” but her husband said: “Are you kidding? She had the best seat in the house.” And he was right. The Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 GranLusso was the ultimate ride for Nona and the bride.

Tech specs

2020 Maserati Quattroporte S Q4 GranLusso
  • Base price/as tested: $126,800/$151,460 (plus $2,200 freight and delivery)
  • Engine: Three-litre twin-turbo V6 with 424 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque
  • Transmission/drive: Eight-speed automatic transmission/all-wheel-drive
  • Fuel economy (litres/100 kilometres): 11.9-12.0, city and highway combined
  • Alternatives: BMW Alpina B7, Porsche Panamera, Mercedes-Benz AMG GT 4-door coupe

Looks

Italian flare and style that’s attractive and distinctive in its design and execution. The bold front end with a massive trident logo is a showstopper. And the deep blue colour is breathtaking; depending on the sunlight, it changes shades ever so slightly.

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Interior

Upscale and spacious – fit for a bride on her wedding day. Two sculpted rear seats let you ride in style and luxury. Features rich, supple leather, privacy shades in the rear, and ample leg, head and shoulder room for the bride, her veil and wedding gown. Soft-close doors quietly latch into place without a heavy thump.

Performance

Ferrari knows engines, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The three-litre twin-turbo V6 is powerful and fast with a beautiful exhaust note that’s impossible to miss, especially when you floor it.

Technology

Lacks the modern technology you’d expect to find on a six-figure vehicle, but at least it has plenty of safety technology, including a lane-departure warning system to alert you when drifting out of your lane and adaptive cruise control with a stop-and-go feature that maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead, so the driver doesn’t have to touch a pedal.

Cargo

With 530 litres of space, itʼs ample, with plenty of room to transport dozens of homemade Italian pastries from biscotti to cannoli for the after-dinner dessert buffet.

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