Mercedes Unveils Its First Maybach SUV

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - November 22, 2019

Now that SUVs of all shapes and sizes are taking off, automakers are starting to explore the upper echelon of the market. SUVs like the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, Bentley Bentayga, Aston Martin DBX, and Land Rover Range Rover SV Autobiography LWB all have price tags that are above $150,000. Heck, the Cullinan starts at $325,000. Clearly, there’s a market for luxury SUVs that cost as much as a house and Mercedes wants in. That’s clear with the unveiling of the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600, the most opulent SUV to wear a Mercedes badge.

Unlike before, Maybach is no longer its own brand. Now, it’s a badge that Mercedes puts on its most expensive and luxurious vehicles, like the Mercedes-Maybach S 560 and S 650 sedans. Just like the other Maybach-badged sedans, the new Maybach GLS is heavily based on a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. In this case, it’s the GLS-Class. But it’s easy to see that the Maybach GLS is so much more.

On the outside, the Maybach GLS gets a vertically oriented radiator grille that shares a family resemblance to the one found on the Maybach sedans. Below the massive grille, the lower air intakes are covered in chrome mesh, while a bumper protector on the bottom of the front fascia is also finished in chrome. At the back, things look mostly like a GLS, except for the Maybach badge rear pillar. The SUV will ride on 22-inch cast-aluminum wheels as standard, while 23-inch forged alloy wheels will be available.

Getting into the Maybach GLS to experience the SUV’s lavish cabin is easy thanks to power-operated running boards and standard air suspension that lowers the SUV’s ride height by an inch for ingress. When not in use, the Maybach GLS’ running boards are concealed in the sills.

Mercedes Maybach GLS 600

The interior gets the majority of the changes, as the Maybach GLS shrinks from having three-rows of seating to two, with a three-seat setup in the back that features adjustable, ventilated, heated, and massaging outer seats. With the third row gone, the rear seats bring much more legroom. A split two-seat setup is also available that is separated by an available center console. Adding the fixed center console brings a refrigerator and extendable folding tables. Even Maybach branded champagne flutes are available.

From the front seats, the Maybach GLS looks a lot like the regular GLS, though the fancy SUV has much nicer materials, which include wood trim and Nappa leather. Ambient lighting with 64 colors, a unique fragrance (white osmanthus blossom) with the available Air Balance package, and a rear MBUX tablet are just a few of the bespoke features that are available on the SUV. Other features include a panoramic sunroof, heated and cooled cupholders, a wireless charging station, and a separate air conditioning system for the rear. With the seats being located further back, cargo space, if you care about that kind of thing in the ultimate luxury SUV, shrinks to 18.5 cubic feet of space.

When it comes to the Maybach GLS’ powertrain, things are a little interesting. Mercedes used to use V12 engines for models with the “600” moniker, but the new SUV doesn’t follow that trend. Instead, the Maybach GLS features a twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that features a 48-volt mild-hybrid electrical system. Output is rated at 550 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, while the electrical system can produce an additional 21 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque when needed. A nine-speed automatic transmission is included in the mix.

Despite being a hefty SUV that weighs in at roughly 6,000 pounds, the Maybach GLS is capable of getting to zero to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds. The SUV also has cylinder deactivation, which allows it to run on four cylinders when maximum power isn’t necessary.

Besides adding an extra boost here and there, the mild-hybrid system also helps power the active anti-roll system that has a Curve mode. The latter can help the SUV lean into corners by up to 3 degrees to help combat any roll. To help provide a scrumptious ride, Mercedes fitted the SUV with a camera that scans the road to look out for bumps and adjust the suspension to accommodate for the imperfections. It’s all about providing passengers in the back with a serene ride.

Pricing for the Maybach GLS hasn’t been announced yet, but seeing as how the AMG GLS 63 starts at over $126,000, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a price tag in excess of $200,000. If anything, the Maybach GLS brings another vehicle to a luxury segment for the 1%.

Explore the Mercedes lineup »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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