Chris Riley road tests and reviews the 2017 Maserati Quattroporte with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

Maserati has expanded its Quattroporte line-up, adding two models and a powerful V6.

Once the brand's bestseller, the sedan has been eclipsed in recent years by the smaller, cheaper Ghibli. The Levante SUV, due next year, is expected to take over as sales champion but Maserati Australia boss Glenn Sealey says the four-door remains a key model.

"It's so important to us that a vehicle like the Quattroporte, which has been around since 1963, maintains a strong individual presence," he says. "The Quattroporte GTS GranSport is still the pinnacle of the range."

Prices for the new model, which looks remarkably like the old one, start from $210,000 for the diesel, $215,000 for the V6 and $345,000 for the V8.

Rivals include the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series, Benz S-Class, Jaguar XJ and Porsche Panamera — all of which kick off from about $200K.

We sampled the entry level V6 and top of the line V8 GTS GranSport, which was predictably superior in a straight line.

Maserati has sold 458 cars here so far this year, slightly less than in 2015, and 50 of them were Quattroportes.

The range kicks off with a 202kW 3.0-litre turbo diesel that uses 6.2L/100km and can sprint from rest to 100km/h in 6.4 seconds.

It's followed by two twin-turbo petrol V6s, one with 257kW/500Nm, the other with 302kW/550Nm.

The first does the dash in 5.5 seconds, while the second is good for 5.1 seconds.

The 390kW/650Nm V8 ups the ante with a sprint time of 4.7 seconds.

The new V6 commands a $25,000 premium, powering the Quattroporte S from $240,000, with the sport focused GranSport from $274,000 and luxury GranLusso model from $279,000.

As with most high-end cars, no one buys a standard model and options include bespoke paint from $40,000, Bowers & Wilkins audio for $15,000, full leather trim at $13,000 and massive diamond finish 21-inch wheels for $5000.

Driver aids include adaptive cruise, auto emergency braking, forward collision warning with advanced brake assist, blind spot and lane departure warnings, plus a new 360-degree camera.

The touchscreen, now measuring 8.4 inches, incorporates Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

On the road

We sampled the entry level V6 and top of the line V8 GTS GranSport, which was predictably superior in a straight line, with plenty of audible feedback as the baffles in the muffler open wide.

The V6, no slouch, had more grip and better balance in corners — and a half-decent exhaust note, too.

It has more cachet than German rivals and plenty of room in the back.

The Quattroporte has a remapped nine-speed auto and adaptive suspension that's been revised to cope with a wider variety of surfaces. Beefed-up brakes provide better feel and response but the steering remains old-hat hydraulic — Maserati says it's more engaging that way.

The end result is a car that feels more composed, more able to cope with poor back roads and one that can be pushed hard with confidence.