2011 458 Italia
Purchased in 2013 with 8,000 miles; currently has 26,000 miles.
Why did you want a 458?
A friend of mine was buying a California. That didn’t interest me—the California’s more of a touring car and I already have an [BMW] M6—but the Italia did. Sometimes I just look at the thing and go wow!
What do you use your Ferrari for?
It’s almost a daily driver, about 60 percent of the miles are just driving around town and stuff. I drive it all over: to the movies, to San Francisco, up to Tahoe a lot. I don’t ever look at the car and say, I better not drive it and put too many miles on it. I’m retired and have nothing to do, so I’ll just jump in it, say I’m gonna drive up to Clear Lake for the day, and put 200-250 miles on it just for fun.
When I bought the car, one of the first questions I asked was, If I drive it 8,000 or 9,000 miles year, what do I do to the value? Evan [Shone] and Doug [Dalton] told me to expect around $50,000 in depreciation, and that’s about where it is, in the $160s, $170s, $180s. That’s fine, it’s like leasing a car.
I’ve always had warranties on the Italia. When I bought it, it had maybe three months of original warranty left, so I bought an extended two-year bumper-to-bumper warranty through Ferrari. These cars have lots of electronics, lots of computers, and I just didn’t want to put myself in the position of having to deal with that. When the two-year warranty ran out, I got a lesser six-year warranty that isn’t bumper-to-bumper but covers the big stuff, like the drivetrain.
What did you like most about the 458?
It has a classic kind of design, I like the body style. My car’s silver paint shows the dynamics and the curves and the shadows better than red or black would, so the lines really come out. It has great outward visibility and lots of power; it’s easy to drive, like a little go-kart with a big engine. The cockpit is very wide compared to a McLaren or Mercedes-AMG GT, so it doesn’t feel cramped, and there’s ample luggage space for a weekend trip.
I wish the mirrors had blind-spot detectors. You have to be really careful changing lanes because people ride up right beside me and try to see the engine through the glass or take videos of the car. You also have to be careful that other cars see you, since the Italia is low, only 46 or 47 inches off the ground. Also, I wish the seats were a little more comfortable. I have a minor back problem, so if I drive for long distances in the car I have to get out and walk around a little. I have the 12-way power seats, which is the best they offered.
How reliable has your 458 been?
I had a couple of problems, but they didn’t cost me anything thanks to the warranty. There was a minor issue where the console light went out. That was going to be a $700 job because it would take a few hours to take everything apart and a few hours to put it all
The big problem I had was when two fuel injectors went out on the left bank; I’ve never heard of that happening to anyone else. Ferrari went through a long investigation, then came back and said they were going to replace all the injectors and both fuel rails. I guess they figured as long as the engine was apart it was easier to make sure everything was brand-new, rather than replace the two then have to go back in if another failed.
Would you recommend the Calfiornia to a friend?
Sure, yes. In fact, I recently sat in a 488 GTB and was thinking about trading up, but then I thought, What am I doing? The 488 looks meatier and more robust, but I like the lines of the 458 better, it’s more sculptural. And I’m not a track guy so I don’t need the extra horsepower.
I’d also recommend one to a first-time Ferrari buyer. You can get one at a reasonable price after all the carbon fiber and everything guys put in them has depreciated, make sure you get a warranty, and enjoy the experience.