When you think of the safest cars on the road, the ones that come to mind tend to be from sensible brands like Acura or Volvo.
Conversely, most people don’t buy a Maserati for its crash test scores. Until now, that is. The the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) just named the 2014 Maserati Ghibli a Top Safety Pick.
The Ghibli received the highest-possible rating of “good” in the full battery of IIHS tests, which include side impact, front moderate overlap impact, roof crush, and rear impact scenarios.
The Ghibli was not subjected to the new small front overlap test, so it didn’t get the highest IIHS rating of Top Safety Pick+.
Still, that’s a very impressive performance for a car from a low-volume manufacturer known for exotic GT cars and high-dollar sedans. Exotic cars often aren’t rated by the IIHS or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), because their small sales numbers, and the high costs of crash tests simply, don’t add up for either the agencies or manufacturers.
The Ghibli is different though. It’s Maserati’s first attempt to go mainstream since the ill-fated Biturbo. The Ghibli is meant to compete against more mundane luxury sedans like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. That’s why it has seven standard airbags, including a knee bag for the driver.
It’s not all about safety, though. Just look at that styling, and, if you’re lucky enough to have the opportunity, listen to one of the two twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6s on offer.
The base rear-wheel drive Ghibli has 345 horsepower and can do 0-60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The uprated all-wheel drive Ghibli S Q4 has 404 hp and takes 4.6 seconds to reach 60 mph.
The Ghibli should be shipping to Maserati dealers now, with a base price of around $65,000. In the past, only the bold chose a Maserati over the more practical German and Japanese alternatives, but this car’s blend of practicality, safety, and performance might just change that.