Home » You Can Buy A Maserati GranTurismo For The Price Of A New Altima

You Can Buy A Maserati GranTurismo For The Price Of A New Altima

Gavel Gazing Maserati GranTurismo Copy
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Is it just me, or do the poster cars of the 2000s grow more enticing with every passing day? An era before turbocharging and clunky first-generation electric power steering proliferated the industry, it provided us with cars that moved us physically and spiritually, fast enough to excite yet slow enough to enjoy on the road. One of the more underrated examples? The Maserati GranTurismo.

While the new Maserati GranTurismo is a big V6 coupe for genuine supercar money, the old Maserati GranTurismo is a masterpiece, an intriguing extra-large coupe based on one of the greatest sedan of the 2000s. With a Ferrari-derived V8, Pininfarina coachwork, and a cabin that smells like a Louis Vuitton store, it conjures up images of the Amalfi coast, the sweet life, and the sort of lifestyle that’s self-assured and carefree.

Vidframe Min Top
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However, despite a new GranTurismo stickering well into six figures, you won’t have to pay anywhere near that for the old GranTurismo. In fact, you can get into an early model for new Nissan Altima money. While that’s a tempting proposition, you might want to read on, because this once-six-figure car still commands servicing premiums.

What Are We Looking At?

Silver Maserati Granturismo 2

Back in the mid-2000s, Maserati had an idea: What if it took the captivating, sonorous Quattroporte V and turned it into a coupe? To start, Maserati sliced 4.8 inches out of the wheelbase of the M139 platform, then it draped full-bodied Pininfarina sheetmetal on top. The result was a large, glamorous coupe with the same rousing F136 cross-plane crank V8 as the Quattroporte, the same ZF 6HP automatic transmission as the Quattroporte, but flashier sheetmetal and slightly smaller rear seats. So what if it weighed more than 4,000 pounds? This thing was built to glide along the Autostrada in pure glamor, providing a public service as its beauty and soundtrack enriched the lives of passers-by. Oh, and what a soundtrack it was. As per Car And Driver:

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The GranTurismo’s V-8 is built in Maranello and for good reason. It is a 405-hp, 4.2-liter wet-sump iteration of the engine you’d normally locate in the middle of a Ferrari F430. Fitted with a unique induction system, Maserati’s version offers gentle step-off, pulls seamlessly from as low as 2000 rpm, then rips to its 7250-rpm redline faster than you can say “cavallino.” It is as vibrationless as a BMW inline-six. At idle, it engenders not a quiver in the dangling key fob. And the sound it makes is one-third angry cougar, one-third Ducati, and one-third Pavarotti, who, by the way, loitered frequently among Maserati’s 600 Modena-based employees. Eighty dBA at wide-open whack, however, is a lot of sound. But at least it’s a good sound.

Pair that V8 with rifle-shot shifts from the automatic gearbox, and it’s no wonder Car And Driver whipped this thing from zero-to-60 mph in 4.9 seconds, then through the quarter mile in 13.5 seconds at 105 mph. Oh, and it likely did so without ruffling the driver’s coiff. Not only is the cabin of the GranTurismo abundant in real leather, wood, metal, and carpet, it has proper space for four and a genuinely comfortable driving position. If you wanted a V8 grand tourer during the recession, this was hard to beat.

How Expensive Are We Talking?

2009 Maserati Granturismo S 1

When I wrote that you can pick one of these Italian stallions up for new Altima money, I wasn’t joking. A truly midrange Altima SR AWD stickers for $30,840 including freight, and you can absolutely get a Maserati GranTurismo for less than that. Here’s a 2009 GranTurismo S, the 4.7-liter model, that sold last month on Bring A Trailer for $28,001. The best part? It only had 16,000 miles on the clock. Sure, it’s a basic black-on-black spec, but it’s damn near new as far as mileage goes, and it genuinely costs Nissan Altima money.

Silver Maserati Granturismo 1

Let’s say you want to spend even less than that. Well, this 2008 GranTurismo sold on Bring A Trailer back in February for $23,900, and as far as I can work out, it seems perfectly alright. With only 29,000 miles on the clock at the time of sale, a clean Carfax report, and fiery red leather, it’s some serious flair for not a massive amount of coin.

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2009 Maserati Granturismo 1

In the same vein, here’s a 2009 GranTurismo coupe that sold last year on Cars & Bids for $23,500. Not only was it a one-owner car, it only had 42,900 miles on it when it sold, and lived in relatively rust-free Washington state for life. Sure, it might have one minor hit on its Carfax, but you have to admit, this is a ton of car for the money.

Maserati Granturismo Cabriolet Florida 1

Care to drop the top? Here’s a 2011 GranTurismo Cabriolet with 22,800 miles on the clock that sold on Cars & Bids in December for $29,000. The paint may be grey, but it’s got a proper biscuit tan interior, and a wood-rimmed wheel that looks as rich as it did the day it hit showrooms. This is exotic Italian motoring for the price of what is essentially a car made to be rented, and it’s the sort of vehicle that can enrich your soul.

What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Engine

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While a Maserati GranTurismo is likely to enrich your soul, it’s also likely to empty your wallet. One big potential problem is cam variator failure on pre-2011 cars. Basically, the components responsible for variable valve timing fail, the engine can’t keep accurate timing, and catastrophic engine failure may occur. Each cam variator costs around $1,000, and labor certainly isn’t cheap. More expensive shops can charge as much as $12,000, but in reality, you’re looking at around $7,500 at most independent specialists.

Wheel

Then there’s the potential for the Skyhook adaptive suspension to need refreshing. This is a rather robust system, but everything wears out over time, and replacing a Skyhook damper isn’t cheap. Scuderia Car Parts sells a single front damper for $1,704.09, and that’s the sort of pricing that could make you think twice.

 Interior

Otherwise, these cars are quite good, provided they’re serviced regularly. Sure, oil filters and air filters will be on the expensive side, but the GranTurismo is fairly robust, with Maserati having worked most of the kinks out through the continuous redevelopment of the fifth-generation Quattroporte.

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Should I Buy A Maserati GranTurismo For Altima Money?

 

Maserati Granturismo Cabriolet 2

No, no, please no. Look, these are fantastic cars, brilliant grand tourers with surprising practicality, but nothing about a used Italian exotic car makes any sense as an alternative to a normal car. From vastly more expensive repair costs to fuel bills to insurance, ballin’ on a budget requires care, and this isn’t exactly a careful choice.

However, if you’ve always wanted one and are able to keep around $7,500 in an account in case the cam variators go bad, absolutely buy one. They’re not the sharpest performance cars out there, but they’re wonderful grand tourers from a time when it felt like Maserati knew exactly what it was doing.

(Photo credits: Bring A Trailer, Cars & Bids)

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Is Travis
Is Travis
2 months ago

ADAPTIVE DAMPERS ARE SO EXPENSIVE YOU PRETTY MUCH HAVE TO INSTALL THEM YOURSELF.
But man, when you upgrade them from stock to a Bilstein B6 setup, they operate like magic.
The change between comfort and sport+ is pronounced, which is awesome because I am getting the best of both worlds from a 10 year old BMW 3 series.

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
2 months ago

Looking at cars like this makes me really wish it wasn’t stupid to buy cars like this.

Matthew Skwarczek
Matthew Skwarczek
2 months ago

This is still one of the prettiest cars ever sold for me. I know they’re money pits, but the heart wants what the heart wants

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
2 months ago

Oh, Hell no!

Aardvark775
Aardvark775
2 months ago

A Maserati is the car to get to show people that you made so much money on cryptocurrency, little things like massive depreciation and insane repair bills mean nothing to you.

Space
Space
2 months ago

For that price you could buy 5000 lbs of copper. Or about 17,300 lbs of circus peanuts “candy”.

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
2 months ago

Also all the interior buttons dissolve into a sticky mess, the interior leathers, headliners, etc are all prone to pealing, and yeah basic maintenance, not even getting into major dailies, is gonna be 4 figures all the time. Yikes. I love Italian stuff but Masers are Ferrari level bills on Altima budgeting.

GumpertApolloGuy
GumpertApolloGuy
2 months ago

For $30k, I’m going to buy a single owner S2000 from an old man who’s owned it since 2007 and only drives it on sunny Sundays. Even if it had 250k miles, it would be more reliable than a 10 mile used Maserati

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
2 months ago

Not only is it priced like an Altima but the kind of person who buys a cheap Maserati would probably drive it like an Altima too. Beware the cheap Maserati in more ways than one.

EVDesigner
EVDesigner
2 months ago
Reply to  Rusty S Trusty

And it’ll be maintained like an Altima.

Sklooner
Sklooner
2 months ago

Guy near my cabin has one, we call it the driveway Buick

Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
Jesus Chrysler drives a Dodge
2 months ago

You Can ENTER INTO A TOXIC DEPENDENT RELATIONSHIP For The Price Of A New Altima

FIFY.

Data
Data
2 months ago

A supervisor at work had one of these and I asked him about it; a warehouse supervisor in Memphis is not a six figure job. He said a friend gave it to him as a gift. I replied I needed friends like his.

I’m not really a fan of the Buick portholes, especially after stick ons becamse such a huge thing last decade. You’d see Altima’s with 10 stuck on each side, usually not lined up very well.

Roofless
Roofless
2 months ago
Reply to  Data
AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
2 months ago

Personally I prefer the earlier generation. That said, they sound ACE.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago

These always tempt me. That V8 is a work of art and a genuinely exotic experience. I’ve heard it at full return to monke before and it’s an absolute delight for the senses. We are literally never going to get cars like this again either, so I get the desire to scoop one up while you can, especially at what’s “fuck it” money for the well off and doable money for most of us.

But don’t. Please don’t. If you need to avert your gaze go read some Maserati message boards. It’s a tale as old as time and the cycle is as follows:

1). I got my dream car and I can’t believe how cheap it was!

2). I am absolutely smitten, this thing is an aphrodisiac.

3). Does anyone know a good indie mechanic that’ll work on these? The Maserati dealership quoted me $11,000…

4). The indie mechanic quoted me $8,000. I can eat this cost but I’m going to be in rough shape for the next few weeks…

5). Selling my Maserati, $35,000 no low ballers, I know what I got!

6). Selling my Maserati, $30,000 OBO.

7). I sold my Maserati for $20,000. I’ve sunk $30,000 into this car and my partner left me.

8). How a Maserati ruined my life

Last edited 2 months ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Lockleaf
Lockleaf
2 months ago

My thought process goes something like “Can I fix that timing issue myself, before it destroys the engine?” “Maybe I can just build a custom set of airbags to replace that suspension, since it costs way too much per corner”

Brakes, tires, and other maintenance likely still super suck, but…

Jack Beckman
Jack Beckman
2 months ago

This. If you can’t afford a Ferrari, then you can’t afford a Maserati. The initial cost is just the down-payment. After that you’ll be paying the same rates as for a Ferrari.

AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
2 months ago
Reply to  Jack Beckman

Absolutely. What is often overlooked is that depreciation doesn’t apply to parts or service costs, which basically stay at the sticker level.

AlfaWhiz
AlfaWhiz
2 months ago

Story checks out. Also, if you’re a do-it-yourself kinda person, you can skip directly to point 7. Don’t ask me how I know.

Peter d
Peter d
2 months ago

The variable timing replacement labor costs and implied time required seem a bit ridiculous – this is an overhead cam engine, and usually the cam phasing stuff is bolted onto the end of the camshaft, so you should be able to do this job without removing the engine by just removing the valve covers – at say $200/hour the $10,000+ of labor would indicate 50 hours – which should be enough to pull the engine and entirely rebuild the thing. I think even from the dealer a VANOS replacement is only a few thousand dollars (not that BMW costs should be the same as for a Maser, but in the same ballpark?/). A guy I work with did have to do his VANOS work twice because the first one was screwed up somehow.

Thank you for posting your horror stories – this is the type of car that I could be sucked into. I really want a true modern GT to do touring with, but there are far too few choices out there. I do think this GT is maybe a bit smaller than I would ideally want. And I think the generation discussed here is the generation of this car that you want – the newer ones seem to have even more problems.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
2 months ago
Reply to  Peter d

LC500 is always the answer

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