YOU KNOW YOU WANT TO: MASERATI QUATTROPORTE
Is this the ultimate barge bargain?
The Quattroporte was introduced in 2004 and built on the success of the 3200 and 4200 coupes, offering as much style and performance in a more practical four-door package. It has been a huge success for Maserati, so much so that the next Quattroporte still draws heavily on the design cues of the current car.
But unfavourable reputations take a long time to shake off, so is a high mileage Quattroporte something to fear?
There's no doubt that a combination of the Quattroporte's styling, its V8 engine and a £14,995 price are hugely alluring at face value. To look at, the Maserati saloon remains well-proportioned and as handsome as ever, aided by this example's classy Sebring Blue paint and cream leather interior.
Moreover, it all still looks in fantastic condition, the paintwork still glossy externally and the interior seemingly unblemished. Put simply, this Quattroporte wears its 88,000 miles well cosmetically.
The largest source of potential ruin comes courtesy of the Quattroporte's gearbox. Dubbed DuoSelect by Maserati, it's an automated manual that has its problems. Even new, gearchanges were clunky and slow, but Maserati persisted for three years until 2007 when it introduced a full auto. It soon became the only transmission option, but prices start at £22,000 for an automatic Quattroporte.
Some DuoSelect-equipped cars have been known to chomp through clutches and whole transmissions, and this likelihood will only have increased with age. Having said that, a test drive should reveal any latent issues, especially if changes are particularly obstinate or if any slipping occurs.
Of course, like with any other prospective luxury purchase, check everything electrical works and be prepared for an mpg figure in the teens. And ensure a suitable budget for servicing a Ferrari-derived V8.
But overall it's easy to see the logic behind a modern Maserati with higher than average mileage. Confidence has been instilled in the minds of buyers where once scepticism ruled. Plumping for a £15,000 Quattroporte is undoubtedly a brave move, but perhaps not one as reckless as it would have been in the not-so-distant past.
Maserati Quattroporte (2004)
Why you should: A new Quattroporte is still £100k+, and it arguably looks better than the upcoming replacement.
Why you shouldn't: That F1-style gearbox feels very old-tech now.
See the original advert here