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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For It’s fast, with a smooth engine and an excellent ride

Against Its residual values are poor, and wind noise is excessive. Running costs are high, too

Verdict A top-quality coupe that drives superbly

Go for… Models with the paddleshift

Avoid… Later models without the ‘boomerang’ rear lights

Maserati Spyder Open
  • 1. The Spyder handles extremely well for a soft-top
  • 2. The gearchanges on paddle-shift models can be clunky if you haven't mastered the technique
  • 3. Tall drivers beware: the size of the cabin means they might not be comfortable
  • 4. Some of the controls on the centre console are a little similar, which can be confusing
  • 5. The cabin is beautifully trimmed, sumptuous and well laid out
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Maserati Spyder Open full review with expert trade views

If you want to stand out from the crowd, the Spyder's a good buy since it's not quite as common as the GT coupe. Oh, and it's a fine drive, too.

The Spyder has a 4.2-litre 390bhp engine which delivers its power smoothly right through the range. Throttle response is instant at any speed and it’ll whisk you from 0-60mph in 4.9sec and on to 176mph.

Not only is this car quick, it also handles extremely well for a soft-top. Turn in to a corner, and the chassis follows every move of the steering wheel without feeling too skittish. The electronic damping system smooths out the bumps nicely, but it doesn't wallow too much, either.

You have a choice of two gearboxes. The manual shift is acceptable, but the paddle-shift system gives you a much cleaner getaway, although you’ll need some practice to make smooth changes.

The cabin is beautifully trimmed, sumptuous and easy to use, although some of the controls are a little similar, which can be confusing.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Better than the Coupe but still no supercar

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

WIth every car having the same engine, the main issue is the gearbox, as neither of the two options is completely perfect.

Paddle-shift models can be clunky if you haven't mastered the technique. The Sport mode can be jerky and there’s also an auto mode that isn’t very smooth.

The six-speed manual, on the other hand, works well enough, but the gearlever is set too far forward to reach comfortably, and the changes aren't slick when the 'box is cold.

Overall, then, we recommend going for the paddle-shift. This is an F1-style Cambiocorsa gearbox, and the paddles behind the steering wheel do away with the need for a clutch pedal. There are four different modes - normal, sport, auto and low grip - and you swap between the four with console-mounted buttons.

Otherwise, you have no great choice to make beyond finding your preferred combination of colour and trim. Mind you, that's no bad thing, as the standard kit is very good.

The Spyder has four airbags, anti-lock brakes and electronic traction control, as well as the 'Skyhook' damping system. This has a set of sensors that determine the road conditions and adjust each damper accordingly - and very effective it is, too.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Looks best in a light metallic, GranSport version pricey but a future classic

James Ruppert
Used car guru

A Spyder retains only 45% of its original value after three years so second-hand buyers will save serious amounts of cash if they invest in one. It could be a wise buy since they are relatively rare and that exclusivity could catch on and make this a sought-after model, keeping values solid in the longer term.

Few Spyders were imported and buying a used Maserati is not the kind of gamble it used to be 10 or so years ago. Prices appear to be stabilising after the initial depreciation period.

Like any luxury car, it’s not cheap to run. Unsurprisingly, servicing bills are steep, you’ll only get 15mpg and it’s in insurance group 20. But, if you're in the market for a Maserati, that probably won't worry you too much.

Trade view

Kurtis Williams

Better than the Coupe but still no supercar

Kurtis Williams
Buyer,
Lex Vehicle Leasing

Recent Maseratis have had reliability problems, but the Spyder and the GT have been relatively trouble-free. However, you should check for roof damage and leaks, and beware of electrical dramas.

Later models succumbed to American tastes and lost the lovely boomerang rear lights in favour of a more conservative lighting cluster. Purists would argue that the boomerang lights 'made' the Maserati GT and the Spyder, and as a result there's a good chance that the earlier version will achieve cult status and retain its values more strongly.

Having said all this, though, tall drivers should beware: the size of the cabin might cause some discomfort that will certainly become a pain after months of ownership.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Looks best in a light metallic, GranSport version pricey but a future classic

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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