French builder Beneteau gave their Gran Turismo 38 a makeover and the resulting new Gran Turismo 40 is likely to prove even more popular than the original. The redeisgned model is sleeker with a more livable cockpit, is packed with new features and has an even better ride with the improved AirStep2 hull.

The refreshed look of the cabinhouse by Nuvolari & Lenard have added some stylish rounded lines to the Gran Turismo 40 and gave it a more appealing profile.

The refreshed look of the cabinhouse by Nuvolari & Lenard have added some stylish rounded lines to the Gran Turismo 40 and gave it a more appealing profile.

Once of the nicest improvements is found at the teak beach, which submerges below the waterline to help load and carry the tender (because there is no more mini-garge as on the 38). It’s also a great place to stand when grilling. Beneteau borrowed the outdoor galley concept from their upscale Monte Carlo line and added a grill, a sink and a prep surface all the way aft where it’s out of the way yet easily accessible.

This opens up all kinds of room under the hardtop, which incidentally comes with an enormous sunroof. When open, the sunroof makes the boat feel like a convertible but with it closed, you keep out the elements so the Gran Turismo 40 is an all-weather vessel.

The helm is on the centerline between the two thick windshield mullions, and that enhances visiblity. The dash has a single (optional) Simrad NSS 12” multifunction display (upgrades include autopilot and radar) throttles, a joystick, and all the guages and switches needed to run every system aboard. You can also get an optional backup camera, but it’s not really necessary on a boat this open to the transom. The helm seat is a double but there’s also a single companion seat to starboard that swivels to face the cockpit.

Beneteau completely reconfigured the cockipt in the remodel and it works very well for entertaining in the slip and lounging on the hook. A straight settee is to port and the opposite L-shaped lounge wraps around a hi/lo table, which can also be made into a sunpad. You can enclose the cockpit with canvas (and run the optional air conditioning) or keep everything open with plenty of sun and breeze throughout.

The side decks are narrow but the handholds are good, so it’s not hard to move foward to the bow where an electric windlass makes anchoring easy. A sunpad with folding backrests and cupholders graces the bow; it’ll be a toss up as to where to relax with a good book but in a peaceful anchorage, you can’t beat the appeal of the wide open bow.

Beneteau added a lot of luxe touches in the redesign that give this model a nice yachty feel. A cockpit refrigerator, leather-wrapped handholds, upgraded fabrics, indirect lighting, underwater lighting and a choice of sophisticated color schemes really make the Gran Turismo 40 a boat you’ll want to share and show off.

Not much has changed inside the boat and the layout will be familiar to anyone who knows the Gran Turismo 38. To port is an L-shaped settee and table for four. The galley is to starboard and has a two-burner ceramic stove, a microwave, a single sink and an 80-quart Waeco under-counter refrigerator. Much of the functionality of the galley has been camoflouged, tucked away as if nothing really goes on inside but luxurious lounging. The sleek effect is the work of Andreani Design. Clean lines, hidden functionality, and a minimalist approach is what you see on this boat and is the trend in most European boats today.

Accommodations inlcude two cabins and one head, which is to starboard behind the galley. The master is forward with a large center island bed and three soft-close drawers below. The guest cabin is aft and below the cockpit. It’s an ideal layout for a couple with a kid or occasional guests.

The guest stateroom in the Gran Turismo 40 has two single berths, but they can convert into a double berth.

The guest stateroom in the Gran Turismo 40 has two single berths, but they can convert into a double berth.

Round opening ports in the saloon and galley both port and staboard provide light and ventilation. The finish on our boat was a walnut Alpi wood with brown oak laminated flooring and cream upholstery, which contrasted well. The interior is very nice, but by definition, when on a sport or express cruiser, you’ll want to spend most of the time on deck in that open cockpit. With the second galley and wet bar up there, you’ll lack for very little and can even sleep under the stars on that cockpit sunpad.

In the pursuit of a soft ride, stepped hulls have become very popular and Beneteau’s version is called AirStep. The Gran Turismo 40 benefits from the evolution of this concept, now called the AirStep2. Air is funneled through two vents on the hull sides and channeled to the hull, to cut down water adhesion and enhance performance and fuel efficiency. Our sea trial was smooth, the boat didn’t skip or stutter in turns, was quick getting up on plane (six seconds) and didn’t have much bow rise when starting from a dead stop.

Twin Volvo Penta D4 300 HP diesels with stern drives provide the power and you can opt for an upgrade to D6 370 HP engines. Truth be told many boaters will opt to save the money for other things, since this 17,000-pound boat doesn’t really need much more than the standard propulsion. Top speed was 32.7 knots at 3650 rpm, and the joystick with the integrated bow thruster provides maneuvering ability similar to that of pod drives.

The base model for the Gran Turismo 40 starts under $400,000. Standard equipment is plentiful and includes electric trim tabs, the hardtop, a 1,000 watt electric windlass, a cockpit shower, an 80 quart interior refrigerator, and more. Options that really give this model an edge a include a 5-kW genset, the electric swim platform, Simrad electronics, an ice maker, cockpit air conditioning, and underwater lighting. A well-equipped model will run an additional $150,000 or so, but that includes just about everything you’ve ever dreamed of having on a 40’ express cruiser—and then some.

Other Choices: Interested shoppers may want to look at the Cruisers Yachts 390 Express Coupe. The Cobalt A40 may also be of interest. For more information on choosing the right model for you, read Choosing the Perfect Express Cruiser.

For more information, visit Beneteau.

See Beneteau Grand Turismo 40 listings.
Displacement17,489 lbs
Fuel capacity172 gal.
Water capacity53 gal.

Written by: Zuzana Prochazka
Zuzana Prochazka is a writer and photographer who freelances for a dozen boating magazines and websites. A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana has cruised, chartered and skippered flotillas in many parts of the world and serves as a presenter on charter destinations and topics. She is the Chair of the New Product Awards committee, judging innovative boats and gear at NMMA and NMEA shows, and currently serves as immediate past president of Boating Writers International. She contributes to and, and also blogs regularly on her boat review site,