In the United States, Mercedes-Benz has been synonymous with luxury for generations. Even when homegrown competitors like Cadillac and Lincoln stumbled during the malaise era of the ’70s and ’80s, the Teutonic titan continued to produce advanced, attractive, and luxurious cars which made upwardly mobile Americans bring them home in droves.
In comparison, Maserati’s time on our shores has been, shall we say, somewhat less storied. For example, virtually anyone old enough to drive will be able to identify Mercedes-Benz’s famous three-pointed star, but we’re confident a much smaller percentage would be able to do the same when presented with the Italian marque’s trident. That’s because for most of its existence, Maserati has made niche-market cars which often made their way into the country via the gray market. But the last few years have seen parent company FIAT Chrysler Automobiles making an aggressive push to raise Maserati’s profile, and that means competing in segments like the 100k-plus sedan segment.
So let’s see how its top-of-the-line Quatroporte stacks up against the venerable Mercedes-Benz S Class.
2017 Maserati Quatroporte vs. 2017 Mercedes-Benz S Class Interior Comparison
The interior of the Quatroporte is unquestionably beautiful, and with your eyes closed, the rich smells of leather would make you swear you’re inside a boutique Italian tanning company. Unfortunately, a close inspection of some of the various switches and peripheral controls reveals they’re straight out of its parent company’s parts bin, and the contrast can be somewhat off putting.
Inside the cabin of the Mercedes-Benz, however, no detail has been overlooked. There’s an organic flow to the lines of the dashboard, and the balance between the crisp tech of the huge center-mounted touchscreen, the glossy veneer of the wood trim, and the buttery soft leather make the dashboard a visual treat. While most S Class owners are a little mature for it, the young at heart will be tempted to play with the various colors of LED ambient lighting, all of which make it look like you’re inside a luxury space craft.
2017 Maserati Quatroporte vs. 2017 Mercedes-Benz S Class Exterior Comparison
OK, there aren’t too many vehicles which could give something as pretty as a Tesla Model S body image issues — but the Maserati Quatroporte is that car. The vertical slats of the huge front grill give the front fascia a decidedly aggressive look, and the flowing body lines make it appear like a sheet metal car that could have been crafted by a Renaissance master. Pictures simply don’t do it justice, and it’s sure to stand out anywhere you park it, be it a hotel in Monaco or your local supermarket.
That’s not to say that the Mercedes-Benz is unattractive — it’s just more stately and reserved than it is sexy. Whereas Maserati has crafted a daring piece of runway fashion, Mercedes has gone for more of a classic look, like an elegant black gown. So while it might not set off fire alarms like its Italian competitor will, the S Class won’t ever go out of style either.
2017 Maserati Quatroporte vs. 2017 Mercedes-Benz S Class Performance Comparison
The Maserati comes standard with a twin-turbo 404-horsepower 3.0-liter V-6, but buyers can also opt for a twin-turbo 523-hp 3.8-liter V-8. Both engines were developed with input from Maserati’s corporate cousin Ferrari, and despite the fact that each utilizes forced induction, the engine notes are sublime in a way that only the Italians can do.
Along with the standard 449-horsepower 4.7-liter twin-turbo V-8, Mercedes also offers a silky-smooth 6.0-liter V-12 mill which pumps out 523 ponies. Now, neither of these big machines was specifically designed to tackle twisty roads, as each company makes machines far better suited for such duty. But independent tests have found the Maserati to be more tuned to the enthusiast driver, even at the expense of the cushy, quiet ride you’d expect from an executive sedan.
2017 Maserati Quatroporte vs. 2017 Mercedes-Benz S Class Features Comparison
Just as the Maserati walks away from the exterior comparison, the Mercedes-Benz wins hands down when it comes to technology.
The big Benz is positively awash in electronic wizardry, and boasts some functionality which was probably top secret a decade ago. Along with adaptive cruise and whole host of collision-avoidance nannies, the Mercedes-Benz S Class also features night vision — not kidding — and over-the-top creature comforts like massaging seats and a fragrance dispenser.
So while the Maserati is certainly an attractive package, it doesn’t really sport any tech you couldn’t realistically option on a current Honda Accord.
2017 Maserati Quatroporte vs. 2017 Mercedes-Benz S Class Overall Comparison
In some ways, pitting these two vehicles against each other isn’t really fair. Yes, they’re both $100k executive sedans, but Mercedes-Benz is so entrenched in the segment that virtually any competitor is going to have a tough time stacking up.
While we don’t believe the Germans are particularly intimidated by anything Maserati is bringing to the fight, we think there’s a market for something a little outside the mainstream.
And if you’re not convinced? Maybe some time behind the Maserati’s glorious sounding V-8 might convince you. We’re sure your local AutoNation-affiliated dealer would be happy to arrange it.