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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For Awe-inspiring performance, boot space, interior room

Against High running costs, road noise

Verdict The most useable Ferrari available

Go for… V8

Avoid… N/A

Ferrari California Open
  • 1. The steering is accurate and the body control excellent, while the ride is comfortable enough to make this a great cruiser, too
  • 2. Visibility is good, apart for an unswept area of windscreen by the driver's screen pillar, while the control and switchgear layout is largely faultless
  • 3. Every California gets a 453bhp V8 engine and an automatic F1-inspired gearbox, allowing for a sub-four second 0-60mph time and a top speed of more than 190mph
  • 4. Average economy is 21.6mpg, but start enjoying the sound of that V8 too much and you’ll see that drop to around 15mpg very quickly
  • 5. There have been a few issues with the electric folding roof and boot, but a quick sensor fix by a dealer will sort this
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Ferrari California Open full review with expert trade views

Despite being heavier than most Ferraris – thanks to its convertible roof – the California is great to drive. The steering is accurate and the body control excellent, while the ride is comfortable enough to make this a great cruiser, too.

These days, Ferraris adapt themselves to their owners rather than the other way round, so you get two-way electric steering adjustment and a multi-adjustable seat.

Visibility is good, apart for an unswept area of windscreen by the driver's screen pillar, while the control and switchgear layout is largely faultless.

You can have your California as a two-seater with space for golf bags or suitcases in the cabin, or as a two-plus-two complete with child-seat mounting points. You can even change your mind and switch between the two after you've bought it.

Being realistic, though, it's a two-plus-one at best. There's a 340-litre boot with through-loading into the cabin and it shrinks by only 100 litres with the folding metal roof down.

Trade view

A Ferrari you can use everyday, but it’ll cost you to do so

Rory White
Used car writer

Every California gets a 453bhp V8 engine and an automatic F1-inspired gearbox, allowing for a sub-four second 0-60mph time and a top speed of more than 190mph. It sounds fantastic, but while the California is useable, don’t expect it to be frugal.

Customers were allowed to personalise the California almost as they liked inside, so there are likely to be a range of colours and textures on the used market.

Touch-screen sat-nav, a satellite tracking system to pinpoint the car if it's stolen, tyre pressure monitoring, electric heated seats and the full gamut of Formula One-derived traction and stability aids, plus carbon-ceramic brakes are all included.

Trade view

Its added practicality and obvious heritage mean used prices remain high. Designed to be driven hard, but check for abuse.

Rory White
Used car writer

Don’t buy a California thinking it’s a cheap way into Ferrari ownership. Its V8 engine emits 306g/km of CO2, which amounts to £475 road tax per year. Be thankful you weren’t the first owner, though, because its first-year road tax was £1030.

Average economy is 21.6mpg, but start enjoying the sound of that V8 too much and you’ll see that drop to around 15mpg very quickly.

It goes without saying the California is a desirable thing, meaning insurance costs are high, too.

Trade view

A Ferrari you can use everyday, but it’ll cost you to do so

Rory White
Used car writer

There has been one recall for the California, regarding its crankshaft. It wasn’t manufactured properly and could suffer thermal and dynamic stress as a result. Make sure this work has been completed.

Considering the California is used everyday by the majority of its owners, reliability has been good. There have been a few issues with the electric folding roof and boot, but a quick sensor fix by a dealer will sort this.

Trade view

Its added practicality and obvious heritage mean used prices remain high. Designed to be driven hard, but check for abuse.

Rory White
Used car writer
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