Ferrari’s decision to call the Purosangue a ‘four-door, four-seat sports car’ instead of an SUV invites ridicule. But it might be right, and is this bulked-up, high-riding V12 supercar really a practical family wagon?
“For the cost of one Purosangue you could buy a Lamborghini Urus and a Bentley Continental GT and still have change for an ice cream”
Nul points on running costs. First, because of the price tag. To put it in perspective, for the cost of one Purosangue, you could buy a Lamborghini Urusand a Bentley Continental GT and still have change for an ice cream. Or, for the pedants, an Urus Performante, which is closer in performance, and walk away with £100,000 for the rest of your collection. Or a used Ferrari GTC4 Lusso, which is incredibly similar to this car. Even a Rolls-Royce Cullinan is cheaper. The second reason for nul points here is the fiscally painful combination of a naturally aspirated V12 petrol engine and the over two tonnes of heft, meaning fuel economy goes out of the window and CO2 emissions go sky high. Thankfully for Ferrari we don’t yet do a “planet costs” section.
Reliability of a Ferrari Purosangue
“Carbon ceramic brakes should last the lifetime of the car, unless you’re spanking it at track days”
If you are a British Purosangue owner, you get a four-year warranty whereas the rest of Europe gets three years. You also get seven years of basic servicing included (excluding wear and tear items), which gives you one service every 12 months or 12,500 miles. Carbon ceramic brakes should last the lifetime of the car, unless you’re spanking it at track days. As for the inherent reliability of the car, there’s no extensive Ferrari data, but owner issues seem no more or less frequent than those of owners driving other high-end supercars.
Expert rating: 4/5
Safety for a Ferrari Purosangue
“The braking system - much needed on a car with this much power - is thankfully phenomenal”
This is one of the easiest Ferraris to drive at low or high speeds, around town or on the motorway. The braking system - much needed on a car with this much power - is thankfully phenomenal. The clever aerodynamic design funnels as much passing air as possible over the bodywork to push the tyres into the ground for maximum grip, and the electronic stability control, with its five settings accessed via the famous manettino switch on the steering wheel, helps correct any silly driver mistakes. Just don’t turn it to “ESC off” unless you’re on private ground. You get adaptive cruise control, a lane-departure warning system, blind-spot light in the wing mirror, a rear-cross traffic alert for reversing out into traffic, and parking cameras and sensors all as standard. There’s also, bizarrely, hill descent control for steep descents when off-roading, which uses the same driver controls as Land Rovers do. We cannot imagine many owners will ever need to use this.
Expert rating: 5/5
How comfortable is the Ferrari Purosangue
“There are two proper seats in the back, with enough legroom for six footers”
Is this a proper four-seater, which would make the Purosangue a genuinely exciting new Ferrari, or is it really yet another 2+2, with just room for two small children on short journeys? The answer, thankfully, is the former. There are two proper seats in the back, with enough legroom for six footers, although headroom if you’re tall is a bit of an issue. You access the back seats via rear-hinged doors, which swing wide open to avoid an awkward clamber, and can shut via a button inside, a la Rolls-Royce. There are two cup holders in the rear and your own little touchscreen between the two seats for comfort settings like ventilation. Front seat occupants get heated and massaging seats.
The Purosangue is impressively quiet, with very little road or wind noise coming in, and almost no vibration. All you really hear, when you want to, is the howl of that operatic engine. On a more practical level the boot will swallow everyday shopping and medium-sized luggage, and the parcel shelf and rear divide both vanish to give you an open load space all the way through the car.
Expert rating: 3/5
Features of the Ferrari Purosangue
“The 21-speaker Burmester surround sound system is quite simply the best out there”
The coolest feature is the passenger’s own display screen, which is large and allows them to see everything bar Apple CarPlay (except for the music, which strangely does show up). So, they can change the music, nag you about your speed, and flick between functions. We didn’t ascertain whether the driver can lock access but we hope so, otherwise children will drive their parents nuts. There’s also a large rotary dial for ventilation which rises up out of the dash, and a tiny electronic four-point pad on the steering wheel which controls the various displays you can have, showing everything from a simple speedo and rev counter to just the Maps display from an Apple CarPlay screen. But it’s not sensitive enough and too small, often requiring you to look down to see what you’re doing. On the other hand, the 21-speaker Burmester surround sound system is quite simply the best out there, replicating every stringed instrument within a symphony orchestra or magnifying the thumping bass in hip-hop.
Expert rating: 4/5
Power for a Ferrari Purosangue
“Is this an SUV, is it a mile-munching grand tourer, or is it a supercar with raised suspension and chunky wheel arches?”
Look, it’s a Ferrari with 725 horsepower, so you can shift the manettino to Sport, blap the massive steering-wheel paddles to shift down the gears, hear the roar of the engine and feel satisfied as you erupt up the road, taking low-speed corners even more tightly thanks for four-wheel steering. All of which is why traditional petrolhead road testers enjoyed driving this car, on the basis they like revving the engine hard, putting it in an aggressive setting and clicking down through the gears.
But if you drive it in Comfort mode like a normal person and decide you want to overtake without going down the gears the car does nothing. And continues to do nothing while your heart is in your mouth mid-overtake. It wants to just sit and cruise. Is that a torque-buffer thing, or a fuel economy thing? We don’t know, but it is weird. And leads us to wonder, is this an SUV, is it a mile-munching grand tourer, or is it a supercar with raised suspension and chunky wheel arches? It just doesn’t seem to fit any bill, but it is a new, very different Ferrari, as well as a last hurrah for V12 engines. So, it will doubtless sell fast to those who have long been craving their first sight of a Ferrari SUV. Just don’t call it that.