2019 Volvo S90 vs. 2018 Maserati Ghibli

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo S90 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Maserati Ghibli doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S90’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.

Both the S90 and Ghibli have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S90 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Ghibli’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The Volvo S90 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Maserati doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Ghibli. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; S90 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the City Safety in the S90 as “Superior.” The Ghibli scores only 1 point and is rated only “Basic.”

The S90 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, which automatically apply 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.

The S90’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The S90 has standard Volvo On Call, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the S90 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, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and around view monitors.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the S90 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 149 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Ghibli has not been fully tested, yet, but doesn’t qualify for 2017 “Top Pick.”

Warranty

The S90’s corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the Ghibli’s (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the S90 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Maserati doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Ghibli.

There are almost 3 times as many Volvo dealers as there are Maserati dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the S90’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the S90’s reliability 20 points higher than the Ghibli.

Engine

The S90 T8’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 44 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 428) than the Ghibli S’ optional 3.0 turbo V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the S90 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Ghibli S Q4 (70 city/72 hwy MPGe vs. 16 city/24 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 T8 running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Ghibli S Q4 (26 city/33 hwy vs. 16 city/24 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the S90 gets better fuel mileage than the Ghibli:

 

 

S90

Ghibli

 

2WD

T5/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

17 city/24 hwy

Base/Auto

 

 

n/a

16 city/24 hwy

S/Auto

AWD

T5/Auto

22 city/31 hwy

n/a

 

 

T6/Auto

21 city/31 hwy

16 city/24 hwy

S/Auto

The S90 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 14 miles. The Ghibli must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the S90’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo S90 higher (3 to 7 out of 10) than the Maserati Ghibli (1). This means the S90 produces up to 47 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Ghibli every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

The S90 stops shorter than the Ghibli:

 

S90

Ghibli

 

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the S90’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Ghibli (255/35R20 vs. 245/40R20).

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S90’s wheelbase is 2.5 inches longer than on the Ghibli (120.5 inches vs. 118 inches).

Passenger Space

The S90 has 4.5 inches more front legroom and 7.2 inches more rear legroom than the Ghibli.

Cargo Capacity

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the S90’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Ghibli doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

With its sedan body style, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the S90 offers cargo security. The Ghibli’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the S90. The Ghibli doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

The S90 has a 3700 lbs. towing capacity. The Ghibli has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the Ghibli, the S90 Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The S90 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and navigation instruction readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the S90 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the Ghibli.

Consumer Reports rated the S90’s headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Ghibli’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The S90 Inscription has standard front air-conditioned seats and offers them optionally in the rear. This keeps the passengers comfortable and takes the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Ghibli doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The S90 has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Ghibli doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

The S90’s optional Park Assist Pilot can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Ghibli doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S90 third among midsize premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Ghibli isn’t in the top three.

The S90 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2017. The Ghibli has never been an “All Star.”

The Volvo 90 Series outsold the Maserati Ghibli by over two to one during 2017.

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

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