What is the best 4-seater F-car? | FerrariChat

What is the best 4-seater F-car?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by sjb509, Jan 24, 2004.

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  1. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    For all those who have experienced/owned a 2+2 Ferrari, which one is the best? I plan to use the car on weekends, short trips, and some commuting. I'd say 6k miles/year, with two adults and a small child. Listed below are a few, and I'd appreciate your opinions and experiences with the following models.

    308GT4: Probably too old/impractical for what I want to use it for, although I've heard that they are nice to drive. They look to be a little cramped for a real 2+2. I don't think my wife would go for it based on looks, but they definitely are affordable, if such a thing exists in Ferrariland.

    Mondial 3.2 Coupe: Very similar to the GT4, IMO. Maybe more reliable, certainly newer, and not much more to buy. Don't care for the interior, it still looks cramped.

    Mondial T Coupe: I like the interior much better, but they are very rare. Finding one which would be in good condition may be a challenge. Why buy a coupe if you can get a convertible for about the same $$.

    Mondial T Convertible: I know the the back seats are much more cramped than the coupe. I don't plan on any adults sitting back there, so it may not be a problem. How much luggage space does it really have though? Would three people be able to pack for an overnight trip? I'm used to packing for a motorcycle, where 3 days luggage fits in a one cubic foot volume. My wife, however, is more like Mrs. Howell from Gilligan's island, bringing things just in case she needs them. Of all the ones listed so far, this would be my pick.

    Ferrari 456: I've read that early cars had window problems, and to correct it was $11k or some absurd amount. What other problems do these have? It seems that the front-engined layout would lend itself to easier maintenance. Maintenance bills should be lower, aside from 50% more cylinders for valve adjustments, right? So what is involved with a 15k and 30k? Love the understated looks of the 456, Sera Blue with Tan Interior please. Unless these are time-bombs with inherit flaws, it would be worth waiting an extra year to save for the higher initial purchase price. They look to have more trunk space than any mid-engine also.

    Ferrari 456 GTA: The automatic would allow my wife to drive it if she wanted, although I've read that rebuilding the transmission requires a second mortgage if you can find parts. On second thought, I'd rather there not be a debate about who was driving the Ferrari today, so scratch this one, gimme a stick.

    2003 Maserati Coupe: It doesn't sport a Cavallino Rampante, but it appears to have all of the advantages of the 456 with less of the downsides of ownership. They seem to depreciate in value faster than candy canes after Christmas, so wouldn't it be best to wait a couple of years and buy one for $50k rather than $90k new? What is the maintenance schedule? They look relatively maintenance-free by Ferrari standards. Does the Cambriocorsa transmission have some of the same clutch wear issues as the early Ferrari F1's? If so, I'll stick with a stick, although they seem to be more difficult to find.

    Thanks in advance for the information and opinions. F-chatters are the best.
  2. GrigioGuy

    GrigioGuy Splenda Daddy
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 26, 2001
    E ' ' '/ F
    Full Name:
    Trailer Swift
    I don't have any direct experience with any of the 2+2s. I did notice that you left a few options off your list. The 365 GT4 2+2/400/400i/412 family is an earlier car that filled the same niche as the 456. Most of the later ones come with automatics, and they fall into the cheap-to-buy-but-expensive-to-maintain category.
  3. sparta49

    sparta49 F1 Veteran

    Mar 3, 2001
    Full Name:
    If you get a mondial go with the T Cabriolet otherwise I 'd go with the 400 series , the 456 (now this is my opinion ) looks like a Ford Contour
    Don't waste your time with the Mondial 8 , or 3.2 (once again my opinion) they are too ssssslllllllooooooowwwwwwwww
  4. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    The back seats in the GT4 are certainly usable! I was "stuck" back there for several hours at a time and it wasn't ungodly uncomfortable. The front seat passenger has to scoot the seat up quite a bit but she claimed she was fine up there too. Having driven one also, I can tell you that they really are a blast to drive! The cockpit-like console is very low on the dash, giving you GREAT forward visibility. I have to admit that the GT4 was the best handling Ferrari Ive driven yet and the sound is just amazing!

    So, if a 456 is out of the option, I would very seriously consider a good GT4!

    Edit: BTW, you said you had a small child. The GT4 owner I know has to stick child seat in the front passenger seat, move it all the way forward, and have his wife sit in back. That might be a bit uncomfortable to you, so make sure you pay attention to where you can stick a child seat when you look at Ferraris.
  5. Seve

    Seve Rookie

    Nov 6, 2003
    I have a 3.2 cab and love it. 2 kids fit in the back, one in a baby seat. I had originally wanted a T cab, but this one came along in great shape, close by, right color combo and perfect PPI--so I bought it. I saved $10-15k over the T and its plenty fast in most scenarios. Golf clubs even fit in the trunk.
  6. allanlambo

    allanlambo F1 Rookie

    Jun 9, 2002
    Full Name:
    A Cinquecento.
  7. DGS

    DGS Five Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    May 27, 2003
    Full Name:
    #7 DGS, Jan 24, 2004
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017

    The coachwork, the engine sound; what's not to love? (Especially with the optional wire wheels.)

    I don't understand why the prices stay so low. (I just saw one go on Barrett-Jackson for only 40,500, when a GT40 replica went for more, and they're getting 100K for chevys.)

    I've never owned one, but if the prices stay this low, I just might. ;)
    Image Unavailable, Please Login
  8. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    The 365GTC/4 - I think the prices are low because some question its styling and because it was only produced for a couple of years, which could mean rarity but could also mean not many of them are about for people to fall in love with them. As for the styling, the low slung hood is nice, IMHO, but the rear end is rather too angular for many people's tastes. The three horizontal rear lights add to the unusual styling.
  9. Dom

    Dom F1 Veteran
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 5, 2002
    I've got a GT4, and it is a great car. Yes, the back seats are small, but they are OK for kids.

    My daughter's car seat does not fit in the back seat (it is too wide), but other brand car seats will fit. I've also heard of a portable car seat for around $30 that will fit for smaller kids (Tote n' Go Portable Car Seat, for kids under 40 lbs). I am thinking about buying one, but for now, my daughter really enjoys sitting in the front seat when we go out.

    I've taken the GT4 with my daughter in the front seat and my pregnant wife in the back seat. Not the most comfortable situation for my wife, but it worked. Since my son was born, I haven't taken the whole family, so usually it is just my daughter and me when we go out (leave my wife at home with the baby), or if we get a babysitter, my wife and me.

    Infant car seats (rear facing) will probably not fit back there, but I haven't tried yet (And they won't fit most sports cars). So my 4 month old son has not gotten a chance to ride in it yet. Once he graduates to a regular car seat, I will make sure to get one that fits the back seat (or maybe the tote n go seat).

    I usually use my car on weekends, and take it to work once a week. In the past year I drove it about 4000 miles. It's a great car, very reliable. I should point out that it is somewhat spartan and loud, so if you are looking for luxury, this is not your car. The air conditioning is mediocre at best. It is a raw sports car, that just happens to have 2 back seats. But, there is nothing like the feel and sound of it at wide open throttle. I've taken the car to the track (only once so far- It's tough to find time with 2 kids), and it performed like a champ. I can't wait until my next track event.

    For me it was a great decision. I wasn't excited about the looks of the mondial. The 456 and 365GTC/4 were more than I wanted to spend (I'd rather put that money in my kids college accounts). My wife hates the looks of the 365/400/412, so it came down to the GT4.

    If you have any questions, feel free to PM or e-mail me.

    My 2 lira (worth alot less than 2c),

  10. Dino 208gt4

    Dino 208gt4 F1 World Champ

    Jun 24, 2003
    European Union
    Full Name:
    100% agree with Dom........

    My daughter of 4 years can sit very good on the backseat and my 1year old daughter sits in her babyseat on the backseat. Just move the frontseat a little forwards. My wife has space enough.....
    Great rides whit whole family.

    Also on the track its a really great car. Last year I drove about 10 rounds (each about 4.5mls) on the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgian.
    That was a really great experience.

    Best way to get a good disission is to drive them all and test them.
    You have to try a gt4, you will be amazed.
    More info about the gt4 you will find at www.dinogt4register.com
  11. absent

    absent F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Nov 2, 2003
    Full Name:
    mark k.
    Only if they would take an Espada in trade.
  12. mondial85

    mondial85 Karting

    Sep 9, 2003
    Full Name:
    Casey Slattery
    I respectfully disagree with sparta49. I would go with a 3.2 cab. The T's have a different engine and they require more work and attention than the earlier mondials. However I would stay away from the mondial 8. They are slow and, in my opinion, ugly (just my opinion).
  13. snj5

    snj5 F1 World Champ

    Feb 22, 2003
    San Antonio
    Full Name:
    Russ Turner
    "Mondial 3.2 Coupe: Very similar to the GT4, IMO. Maybe more reliable, certainly newer, and not much more to buy. Don't care for the interior, it still looks cramped."

    While I support everyone getting what they like, here's a data point: I am 6' 3", 250#, built like a bear, and our Mondial 3.2 is the roomiest exotic I have ever been in, especially knee and headroom, and I've been in a few. It's more airy than a 456, although dimensionwise the 456 is larger. Have used mine as a daily for years, and my now 11 yo daughter grew up riding in a car seat, then a booster in the back.
    Would agree if the wife ('Mrs Howell') is an issue would look at a t or 456 as they had power steering - the 3.2 is a bit manly to horse around until above 25mph.

    Get what you like, they are all quite fun. Definitely need to try for yourself - Good luck!
  14. sparta49

    sparta49 F1 Veteran

    Mar 3, 2001
    Full Name:
    I'll agree that the engine does require more work ie: engine out major but I think the T more than makes up for that in performance vs the 3.2. And I agree that the 8 is kinda fugly with that big black bumper the 3.2 and t have much more attractive front ends
  15. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Rossa Subscribed

    Jan 5, 2002
    Portland, Oregon
    Full Name:
    I presently own a 456 and a 365GT 2+2, and I used to own a 3.2 Mondial Cab. I can flat-out say that the 456 is the best for what you describe. It is fast, beautiful, child seats fit easily in the rear seat (I have two kids, and had both of them in the 456 with me today).

    It's an incredible touring car, yet it still works well around town. I find myself driving mine more and more, even on mundane around town stuff, because it works so well.

    Expensive to maintain? Yes, a 456 is expensive to maintain. But, don't kid yourself-- a Mondial can be very expensive, too. And, the workmanship, engineering, and overall quality on the 456 is vastly better than the Mondial. Also, from what I have seen, an average 456 is going to be in much better condition than an average Mondial.

    Now, if you are looking for a convertible, then a Mondial Cab can be a fun car. And, if you want a vintage experience, then a 365GTC/4 or a 365GT 2+2 would be a great choice. But, in my opinion, the 456 is without question the best 4-seat Ferrari ever.
  16. Fiats economy car nice, I think the 612 would be the best 2+2 or the 456GTA or the Regular 456.
  17. ForzaFerrari

    ForzaFerrari F1 Veteran

    Jul 25, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Full Name:
    I don't own a Ferrari myself, but (think) I do know something about them. Think the best 2+2 is also depending about the amount of money you want to spent and if you would like a brand new car, or an classic.

    The 612 will defenitly be a good car, if you like it (I do) it will be fantastic. Also the 456GT(M) are fantastic cars!
    When you have somewhat less to spent I would go for a 412. A true 4 seater!
    When you want more a 2+2 and lot's and lot's of fun...go for a 308GT4 (or 208GT4) or a Mondial...lovely cars (now almost classics) and enough space to take more than one person with you...and some luggage!

    Good luck finding your right car! Keep us updated, we love pics :D
  18. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Thanks for the input so far. I agree the 612 would be the best in terms of performance and appearance, but it will be out of my budget for many years.

    I've seen and sat in a 400i, I liked the interior, but honestly didn't care for its exterior. Same with the 365 GTC/4. I'm sure they are great cars, and both are substantially cheaper to buy than a 456, but they seem a little too maintenance intensive and "vintage" for what I'm looking for.

    I certainly appreciate the input from the owners concerning the car seats and rear seat room, that was exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping to receive.

    Normally I'd prefer a coupe for a car I'd use frequently, although the Mondial has always been appealing in convertible form. As of now, I'd probably wait a little while longer and save for the 456, rather than the others mentioned. Still would appreciate any additional info however on all these models.

    I find it interesting that no one has mentioned the Maserati. From the press, the car looks to be very competitive in its market segment. I'd definitely consider it over a standard 911, for example. If they made an AWD version, it could be a year round daily driver.
  19. Mako99

    Mako99 Formula Junior

    Dec 29, 2003
  20. milstanselnino

    milstanselnino Formula Junior

    Jan 8, 2004
    Full Name:
    Jon P.
    I had a Mondial, and in spite of the disparaging remarks here, my wife and I loved it; my son learned to drive a 5 speed in that car. It was dependable, fast enough for me, and sounded great. You mentioned that you were looking at other makes; I looked into Lamborghini Uracco,and it has some possibilities. For dependability and drivability, a BMW 8 series is pretty good, too.

    My 4 seater days are ove; It'll be a 308 for me, I think
  21. saiid

    saiid Karting

    Jan 6, 2004
    London, UK
    I would get a proper 4-seater from Audi or MB for example and have it as the daily driver. E.g. RS6 or E55 or M5, etc. Then have a 360 for your own fun. Just my 0.2c
  22. shelbee

    shelbee Guest

    How about put yourself in line for the new 612??

    All you are excited is when the time comes like this :) :) :)
  23. mondial85

    mondial85 Karting

    Sep 9, 2003
    Full Name:
    Casey Slattery
    Boy, I dont know what to think of the 612. Its a great car and has all the latest ferrari technology and speed, but I think its just too conservative when compared to everything else ferrari is making today. Even the Fcars of the 80s and early 90s can outstyle it IMHO. You just dont get much to look at for all that $$.
  24. rudy

    rudy Formula Junior

    Jan 13, 2004
    Los Angeles California
    Full Name:
    Rudy Hassen
    456 right now. 612 soon. Get an Audi A8.
  25. ernie

    ernie Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 19, 2001
    The Brickyard
    Full Name:
    The Bad Guy
    I can tell you why not to get the 612. Because it is FUGLY. That thing is why too plain, and looks like it was designed by the same guys that designed the Fila clown shoes. I don't care if it is the latest thing out of the factory, it is still lame. Also it is still way to new to know what kind of problem child it is gonna be. Don't EEEEEven try to through in the "warranty" talk either. As other on this site can vouch for, you will have an easier time making a rock fart than you will getting warranty work done on your brand new car. Especially if it is a few years old and the same problem keeps popping up, ala the cracking headers on a 355. I would get a nice 456. That is the nicest 2+2 to come out of the factory to date. As for it costing an arm and a leg to work. Hog wash. If you do the work yourself, you will save thousands and thousand. I work on my 348. The engine has to be removed completely out of the car for a timing belt change, and I did it myself. So speaking from experiance I can tell you that Ferraris are not hard to work on. The engine stays in for the belt change on the 456 so that will make the job easier. Now I haven't ever had a 456, but I think it gets the same undue bad press as the 348 did. If I was to get a 2+2 it would be a 456 with the slush box.

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