30 May 2013

Maserati GranTurismo Sport vs Jaguar XKR

I've run a Maserati GranTurismo Sport for four days and 600 miles and I've run a Jaguar XKR for the same time and distance.  The Maserati review is here.  The Jaguar review is here.  This is the:

Round 1 - Does the engine sound brilliant?

In my review of the Maserati I declined to apply any of the usual journalistic superlatives.  It simply sounds like the wondrous, naturally aspirated Ferrari V8 that it is - at any throttle position.  The Jaguar V8 on the other hand is quiet off-throttle and majestically throaty (with a bit of spittle in the back of the throat) with the accelerator pressed to the floor.  At full chat both are equally majestic but the Maserati sounds good all the time.

Winner - Maserati

Round 2 - Does it have the WOW factor?

The Maserati causes jaws to drop wherever it goes.  Men, women, teenagers, children, van drivers, truck drivers, pensioners and even eco-mentalists stare in wonder at it.  The Jaguar attracts attention from those in the know.  It offers a more subtle WOW factor - more wow than WOW.  Maybe this is because there are a lot more XKRs than GranTurismos on UK roads.

Winner - Maserati

Round 3 - Is it a beauty or beast?

Both are beautiful cars but the Maserati would seem to be the standout winner here.  However the Jaguar, whilst it doesn't initially grab you by the heartstrings, is actually just as pretty.  It's that subtleness again.  I've taken over 200 photos of each and the Jaguar is easy on the eye from any angle whereas with Maserati you need to find the right angle.  But when you find that angle - BLAM!  It's a beaut that none can match.  The Maserati's bonnet bulges almost make it the winner but in the long term I think the Jaguar will stand the test of time better.  This may be controversial, but:

Winner - Jaguar

Round 4 - What's the interior like?

The Maserati's interior is bellissimo.  It is exquisitely rendered in the finest leathers and with the most wondrous touches.  The Jaguar's is more purposeful but spend some time in it and it's interior is the equal of the Maserati.  The winner is decided by just two points.  The Maserati's gear selectors are in carbon fibre whilst the Jaguars' are in not very tactile plastic.  Open the Maserati door and the normally hidden section at the end of the dash is clad in leather.  The same area in the Jaguar is cheap plastic.  The winner is decided by those two points alone.

Winner - Maserati

Round 5 - What are the stats?

Jaguar XKR - £78,550, 5 litre supercharged V8, 510bhp, 461 lb ft of torque, 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds, 155mph top speed (limited), 6 speed automatic gearbox
Maserati GranTurismo Sport - £93,720, 4.7 litre V8, 453bhp, 383 lb ft of torque, 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds, 186mph top speed, 6 speed electro manual gearbox

On paper the Jaguar has it with the lower price and higher power.  The limiter can be removed to increase the top speed to 186mph.

Winner - Jaguar

Round 6 - What's it like to drive?

The Jaguar is massively overpowered.  The chassis does its best to achieve a balance between comfort and performance.  At road legal speeds it can handle almost anything you care to throw at it with ease.  On the limit it becomes a handful whose electronics are required to tame it.  The Maserati, with a little less power, is the more finely tuned car.  It is more refined and easier to drive hard.  Yet the Jaguar edges it for its pure, unbridled enthusiasm and performance.  Both are an absolute handful in the wet.

Winner - Jaguar

Round 7 - How likely are you to lose your licence in it?

The Maserati, by virtue of its extra finesse allows the driver's mind and eye to keep a watch on the speed.  The Jaguar, by virtue of its blistering pace and commitment required to tame it does not so much.  The Jaguar is a licence loser.

Winner - Maserati

Round 8 - Is it practical?

The Jaguar has a huge boot but the 2+2 rear seats are miserably small.  Smaller even than a Porsche 911's rear seats.  Smaller even than my old Porsche 924's rear seats.  The Maserati has a small boot but huge rear seats, for a coupe.  Four people can travel in it in comfort.  The Maserati is let down in the practicality stakes by it's vast size.  It is enormous and won't fit in normal parking spaces.  Down country lanes you have to find passing places to allow other traffic to pass.  It is also very low slung.  Speed bumps need to be taken with the utmost care in the GranTurismo whilst the XKR handles them with ease.

Winner - Jaguar

Round 9 - What's the economy and all that boring shit like?

After the same distance on roughly similar roads the Maserati returned 19.9mpg whilst the Jaguar returned 17.5mpg.  Strangely the official figures are 23mpg for the Jaguar and 19.8mpg for the Maserati.  The Jaguar's CO2 figure is 292 g/km and it's tax band is M.  The Maserati's CO2 figure is 331 g/km and it's tax band is M.

Winner - Jaguar

Round 10 - What does Mrs Speedmonkey think of it?

In her own words:

"Maserati - A real head-turner. The curves over the wheel-arches remind me of a woman's hips and shoulders whilst lying down. It has a lovely white leather interior, which smells great but I would be worried about making it dirty! The engine sounds like a caged beast, loved the noise it made.... growl

Jaguar - Understated and uber classy. Not as noticeable or even as noisy as the Maserati but the interior is just lush, beautifully designed with lots of boot space. However, not sure a midget could fit on those rear seats!!!"

Winner - Jaguar

The result

Maserati 4 points, Jaguar 6 points

Jaguar XKR wins