Well, another Osheaga Festival is in the books and we made sure to have another killer time. The band lineup wasn’t entirely off the charts this year BUT the city of Montreal in itself is always one that makes me want to revisit and stay longer & longer. Al of the beautiful buildings, the gothic cathedrals, the friendly and laid back people, the incredible shopping and Old Montreal…oh, the Old Port is just the most charming. Reminds me almost exactly of the cobblestone paths of Dublin’s Temple Bar District.
Before I get ahead of myself, let’s backtrack on how the hell I got there this year. Storms seemed to converge at perfect times as my Jaguar was going into the shop to get (another) new water pump just as I reconnected with my friends at Turo to talk about a summer road trip. I had thoughts of making my June trip to Nashville my roadtrip of the summer but the dates came up too fast so I chose to keep it simple at thirty thousand feet instead. If you are now saying “wait, wtf is Turo?”, leap back with me a little further and listen up.
Turo is an app and website service that works quite a lot like Air BNB, except with vehicles. Hosts create a profile for their cars or trucks with associated rental costs, images to showcase, calendars for availability and of course, a place to book. The selection of available vehicles is extensive so no matter what your need or motivation is, there is a ride for you. Groceries locally in town? a super affordable, nimble Mazda 3 would do it. Golf trip up north with 4 sets of clubs? Scoop up a chevy Suburban or a Range Rover. Wedding day? Big date? Photoshoot road trip like me? There’s Corvettes, R8s, Bentleys, S Class sedans and the like.
So what did I pick? The Maserati Ghibli SQ4. An Italian beauty built around a 404HP Ferrari engineered twin-turbo engine in a cool cappuccino brown with a slick tan leather interior. All I did was pick the dates I needed, pick between a few insurance options and simply await drop-off at the scheduled time. The car came showroom ready with a full tank of fuel. That simple.
Now I make no secret of it that I am a car guy so I really soaked in the experience behind the wheel of an SQ4 and really wanted to share the impression it left on me. Like any vehicle, there were pros and cons and while all are pretty subjective depending on the driver and their taste, there was definitely some notable subjects after spending about 12 hours driving to and from Montreal. I paid attention to every detail of it’s performance as the SQ4 is on my very short list of cars I am thinking about switching to when the time comes in the next 6 months or so. Here are a few:
- Suspension was terrific even on Sport Mode when it tightens.
- Seats are large and really quite comfortable with a plethora of adjustment options.
- The sound is beautiful especially in manual mode in 2nd gear. You will need Sport Mode on to really get the crackle and pops that will make you grin with pleasure.
- Cruise control settings were very efficient and easy to use.
- Silky smooth drive. Felt like floating over the open road as it effortlessly shifted gears.
- The looks, the head turns and the stares. This baby commands attention. I could feel everybody at every corner and fuel up station along the way thinking “ooh that’s a nice car, who the hell is this guy?…”
- Pretty much the heaviest, coolest key you’ll ever get your hands on. It’s a statement by itself.
- Just about the jerkiest breaks I’ve ever experienced. Very different than any other car I’ve driven so this is certainly a case of simply being unfamiliar. Could be a good thing to some.
- Dual sunroof would be a nice touch and paddle shifters should be standard, yo!
- The interior is sharp but a little underwhelming seeing how we are talking about a Maserati. The U-Connect infotainment system is efficient and simple but is found in many less sexy Chrysler models.
- The turbo lag. Unnoticeable to many but it made me feel like I was missing out on a little something being in Ferrari powered Maserati.