2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600: A Taller Ride for Your Chauffeur

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600

Has your driver been complaining lately about how difficult it is to see the road ahead when they’re in a sedan and everyone else seems to in an SUV? Well, maybe it’s time to ditch that staid sedan for the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 SUV, offering you all the luxury of a traditional Maybach sedan — with extra height.

Related: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS450/580 Review: Panache at a Price

Using the Mercedes-Benz GLS SUV as a base, the Maybach GLS takes what was already a luxurious SUV to borderline-ridiculous new heights with a particular focus on the comfort of the rear passengers. This is, after all, something to be driven in rather than drive yourself.

Exterior

Maybach-specific touches to the exterior include vertical chrome slats in the grille, 22-inch wheels (a 23-inch set is optional), lots more chrome exterior trim and, probably the best thing about it, a standing Mercedes-Benz star hood ornament (claimed to be the first for a Mercedes SUV). It’s also available in eight different two-tone paint schemes, a Maybach signature.

Interior

Here’s where all the magic happens. Available in either four- or five-occupant configurations, the standard seating arrangement is two seats up front and two executive seats in back. And, sure, there are two dual 12.3-inch screens up front for the gauges and infotainment system, but in back there’s also a 7-inch tablet to control the MBUX infotainment system. Also available are folding tables, a refrigerated compartment and champagne flutes.

All seats in the Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 are heated and ventilated, and the rear seats include massage functions for those stressful days of making the sorts of decisions someone who can afford a driver makes (How about a 10 a.m. tee time? What amount of moose cheese for supper? … etc.). 

Rear-passenger comfort is also bolstered by the standard E-Active Body Control, which constantly scans the road ahead and preemptively adjusts the suspension to handle bumps and imperfections as smoothly as possible; it can even make the car lean into corners. The Dynamic Select driving modes also work to reduce body roll and keep the champagne from spilling.

Additional cool and ridiculous features include wireless device charging front and rear, a Nappa leather headliner, a wooden parcel shelf behind the rear seats and a Mercedes-Maybach signature fragrance for the Air Balance cabin fragrance system. The scent features “the light and floral white osmanthus blossom, rounded off by gentle notes of leather and spicy tea.”

Engine and 0-60

Don’t think you’re going to have to sacrifice speed for all that comfort, either. The twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system and 550 horsepower and 538 pounds-feet of torque can propel the SUV from 0-60 in a claimed 4.8 seconds. Like other Mercedes mild-hybrid engines, it also includes the EQ Boost feature that can provide an extra jolt of 21 hp and 184 pounds-feet “for short periods.”

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Pricing and Release Date

So what’ll it cost for all this luxury? A lot, but maybe not as much as you think. With a starting price (and emphasis on “starting,” as there are a ton of customization options that can send the price from stratospheric to mesospheric) of $161,550, including the $1,050 destination fee, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 is the priciest Benz SUV. That price is also firmly in Bentley Bentayga territory but still well below the house-on-wheels Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

If you’re in the market for a high-riding limo, look for the Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 to go on sale by the end of 2020.

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