2019 Audi RS 3 vs. 2019 Maserati Ghibli

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The RS 3’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Ghibli doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi RS 3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Maserati Ghibli has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The RS 3 has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the RS 3. But it costs extra on the Ghibli.

Both the RS 3 and the Ghibli have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available crash mitigating brakes and lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

The RS 3’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the Ghibli’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

There are almost 3 times as many Audi dealers as there are Maserati dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the RS 3’s warranty.

Engine

The RS 3’s 2.5 turbo 5 cyl. produces 49 more horsepower (394 vs. 345) than the Ghibli’s standard 3.0 turbo V6.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi RS 3 is faster than the Ghibli S:

RS 3

Ghibli

Zero to 30 MPH

1.3 sec

1.7 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.5 sec

4.7 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

5.7 sec

7.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.7 sec

12 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

5.8 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.8 sec

2.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.2 sec

3.5 sec

Quarter Mile

11.9 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

117 MPH

105 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the RS 3 Auto gets better fuel mileage than the Ghibli S Q4 (19 city/28 hwy vs. 16 city/24 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi RS 3 higher (3 out of 10) than the Maserati Ghibli (1). This means the RS 3 produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Ghibli every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The RS 3 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Ghibli doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

The RS 3’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Ghibli doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the RS 3’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Ghibli:

RS 3

Ghibli

Ghibli S

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.2 inches

The RS 3 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The Ghibli doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the RS 3’s optional front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Ghibli (255/30R19 vs. 245/40R20).

The RS 3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Ghibli’s 45 series front and 40 series rear tires. The RS 3’s optional 255/30R19 front tires have a lower 30 series profile than the Ghibli’s optional 35 series front tires.

Suspension and Handling

The RS 3 handles at .98 G’s, while the Ghibli S Q4 pulls only .91 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the RS 3’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Ghibli’s (36.1 feet vs. 38.4 feet).

Chassis

The Audi RS 3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 to 550 pounds less than the Maserati Ghibli.

The RS 3 is 1 foot, 7.4 inches shorter than the Ghibli, making the RS 3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The RS 3 is 5.7 inches narrower than the Ghibli, making the RS 3 easier to handle and maneuver in traffic.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the RS 3 is quieter than the Ghibli S Q4:

RS 3

Ghibli

At idle

42 dB

56 dB

70 MPH Cruising

70 dB

70 dB

Passenger Space

The RS 3 has 3.5 inches more front legroom and 1.9 inches more rear legroom than the Ghibli.

Cargo Capacity

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the RS 3. The Ghibli doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RS 3 has standard extendable sun visors. The Ghibli doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Recommendations

The RS 3 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” in 2018. The Ghibli has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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