2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 Review


The limo has grown up, fairly actually: the place as soon as the peak of luxurious was an extended, glossy sedan, now it’s the elevated presence of a six-figure SUV which signifies you’ve actually made it. Witness, then, the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 because it goes grille to grille with latest successes from Rolls-Royce, Bentley, and others, the German automaker leaning into its cosseting sub-brand within the hope of replicating the sporting successes of AMG.

As with Mercedes-AMG, the Maybach division doesn’t precisely concern itself with subtlety. The overall recipe for aesthetics right here is to embrace chrome, after which double-down on that. The GLS proportions are already outsized, after which Mercedes’ luxurious arm provides a bolder grille, some borderline-OTT mesh within the decrease fascia, and a sprig of the double-M badging that no person I requested may acknowledge with out a little historical past lesson.

22-inch wheels – giant by any measure – are normal. The 23-inch Maybach Multispoke Solid Wheels are a $5,500 possibility, although, and one I can’t assist however approve of. Twin-tone paint can also be accessible, and it’s shocking simply how gentle or melodramatic you may make your SUV relying on this mixture of colours.

It appears slightly ridiculous to be contemplating frugality on the subject of a car fairly as lavish as this one – I believe few individuals contemplating including the Maybach GLS to their storage can have funds issues. Nonetheless, within the grand scheme of extreme SUVs, Mercedes’ entrant is unexpectedly aggressive.

Probably the most conspicuous rivals are Rolls-Royce’s Cullinan, Bentley’s Bentayga, and Lamborghini’s Urus. None of that trio is missing in efficiency, nor visible drama, and all three have a sticker worth that begins someplace north of the Maybach’s. Within the case of the Bentayga, that delta – earlier than choices, anyway, of which Bentley has loads to decide on between – isn’t huge. You would have two Mercedes for the worth of a single Cullinan, nevertheless.

Like these counterparts, Maybach takes a capacious cabin and fills it with luxurious reasonably than seats. As normal, the GLS 600 has lodging for simply 4, the rear dominated by two articulated thrones that go away you in no uncertainty as to who’s a very powerful passenger. Mercedes will, for those who desire, swap that second row for a extra simple bench and within the course of nudge the overall seating to 5.

Skipping that appears wise, as does checking off the bins which assist elevate the Maybach from its common GLS cousin. That’s an issue the Cullinan, Bentayga, and Urus needn’t take care of, distinctive of their respective line-ups: Mercedes, in distinction, has to work slightly more durable to tell apart this most lavish of SUVs.

It’s extra profitable the extra funds you have got. Delicate-close doorways, multi-color ambient lighting, heated and cooled therapeutic massage seats entrance and rear, a Burmester 3D Encompass Sound system, panoramic roof, 4-zone local weather management with perfume system, and leather-based are all normal. So, too, is Mercedes’ strong infotainment system, throughout twin 12.3-inch wide-aspect shows and with contact, trackpad, and voice management.

Rear seat passengers get a detachable pill of their middle console, from which a broad subset of the MBUX infotainment choices can be found for distant management. If they need the champagne fridge that’s $1,100, nevertheless. The folding rear tables are $1,800, and the rear seat leisure system clocks in at over $2,500. A set of Maybach champagne flutes is $800.

Once more, this isn’t a section the place funds is the first concern, however there’s nonetheless a whole lot of common GLS right here even after you splash out. That’s no missing SUV in its personal proper, in fact, however at $174,520 all-in for my Good Blue assessment automotive there was nonetheless slightly an excessive amount of overlap for my liking.

As for the engine, the 4.0-liter V8 biturbo with EQ Increase is one other known-quantity in Mercedes’ line-up, although no much less particular for that. With 550 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque it’s not probably the most potent tune of the eight-cylinder that we’ve seen – AMG coaxes extra from it in some functions – however that looks like nitpicking if you’re nonetheless speaking about efficiency extra akin to sports activities vehicles.

Flooring it, and 0-60 mph arrives in 4.8 seconds, the 9G-TRONIC 9-speed computerized transmission someway managing to mix snug slush with speedy cog-shifting too. Whereas the engine could get prime billing within the drivetrain usually, I feel it’s the Maybach’s computerized that contributes extra magic everyday. Its distant whirring even has a particular Maybach drive mode that – within the title of guaranteeing the mechanicals aren’t intruding in your zen time – begins out in second gear and tamps down on throttle response for a suitably silky expertise.

There’s, in fact, a Sport mode, although don’t anticipate issues to be fairly as lithe and keen because the AMG model of the SUV may be. Maybach’s air suspension tuning at all times errs on the aspect of consolation; there’s a Curve mode for twisting routes, which guarantees to lean into the corners in order to trim among the over-cushioned bounce. Even so, the journey can really feel slightly like that of a ship cresting waves at occasions, notably when the street floor is missing, because the GLS makes an attempt to blur what’s exterior into respectful distance.

Higher, then, to settle again and cruise. It’s a temper that fits the massive SUV effectively, and in Maybach kind much more so. Even with the huge alloys, there’s a remoteness to the hubbub of the world past the glazing which lends itself superbly to street journeys. Solely having to pause to refuel – one thing that, with 15 mpg within the metropolis and 19 mpg on the freeway, Mercedes no less than tries to delay with an nearly 24 gallon tank – will interrupt.

EQ Increase contributes some electrical shove, in addition to smoothing out the cease/begin system. It’s a mild-hybrid, thoughts, reasonably than a plug-in. We’ll want extra endurance earlier than we see a fully-electric Maybach, although it’s definitely one thing the automaker is contemplating. September’s Idea Mercedes-Maybach EQS was a thinly-veiled preview of that electrical SUV, although it’ll have to attend for the usual EQS to launch first in 2022.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 Verdict

Whereas status and street presence are undoubtedly key features of the luxurious automotive expertise, at their core SUVs like these are about isolating these inside from the rudeness of the actual world. In the important thing mechanical methods, the Maybach does that with aplomb: its seductive mix of V8, gearbox, and air suspension serving to generate a wafting bubble stuffed with leather-based and tech.

If there’s an issue, it’s maybe that the common GLS does such job of that already. A GLS 580 is potent and lavish, however it additionally begins at round $100k. You’ll be able to see why the Maybach staff didn’t really feel the necessity to throw out all the things in the usual SUV consequently, however it additionally means what stays is a periodic reminder of the GLS 600’s origins.

It’s a psychological reset that Cullinan, Urus, and Bentayga house owners don’t encounter, although they pay handsomely for that privilege. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is exceptionally refined and – assuming you’re keen on chrome – definitely doesn’t lack presence, however it looks like a extra rational selection than its SUV competitors. Whether or not that’s a dealbreaker will rely on how a lot uniqueness components into your individual interpretation of true luxurious.

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