You know the old saying, “If you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it?” Well, say hello to the latest example of that Truth: The Mercedes-Maybach GLS. The uber high-end luxo-SUV will be stuffed with comfort, convenience, and other high tech features. Loaded, in a word. Not so loaded? Your bank account after you write that check.
$160,500 plus $1,050 for the destination charge. That’s the starting price of the big Merc SUV that aims to go up against Bentley’s Bentayga and the Rolls Cullinan. $160,500 also covers the price of this condo just outside of Seattle. You would also have enough left over for an older but mint condition Honda Accord or Toyota Camry that you could drive into Seattle (or wherever you call home).
But why dwell on the problems “those little people”have to deal with. Let’s dwell on what will most likely be the SUV to be seen in cruising down Rodeo Drive.
The Merc-Bach has all the subtle styling and road presence of a Tiger tank outside Bastogne: Big honkin’ grille with vertical chrome louvers, the giant standing Mercedes-Benz star on the hood, fully retractable electronic running boards, bass-drum-sized 22-inch multi-spoke allow wheels, and Maybach emblems and lettering and chrome trim everywhere.
Stealthy, it ain’t.
The standard tech package is, of course, just as impressive. There are dual 12.3-inch digital display touchscreens, the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system, augmented video for the navigation, and a Burmester 3D surround sound system just this side of The Scorpion’s PA system.
Of course, the interior is just as opulent and well thought out as you’d expect. Mercedes says there are generous amounts of space thanks to the unique arrangement of its four-seat configuration, with two individual executive rear seats.
All seats in the Maybach GLS are heated and ventilated and offer active multi-contour adjustment with massage functionality. A five-seat configuration is also available along with fold-out tables. Other niceties are the heated and cooled cupholders, wireless charging in the front and rear, ambient lighting in the roof liner, and the numerous leather embellishments.
Fresh & Sparkly
The GLS 600 4MATIC can be equipped with a refrigerated compartment and custom champagne flutes. The Air Balance cabin fragrance system also includes a signature fragrance for the Mercedes-Maybach GLS: the light and floral white osmanthus blossom, rounded off by gentle notes of leather and spicy tea (that’s how Mercedes describes it).
Oh, and when the doors are opened, the suspension lowers the vehicle for added convenience if you have had too much champagne.
Mercedes-Maybach GLS: Engine & Powertrain
The Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC is motivated by a 4.0-liter V8 bi-turbo engine with EQ boost and a 48-volt electrical system good for 550 horsepower and 538 lb-ft. of torque. The integrated starter generator can create up to 21 horsepower and 184 lb-ft. of torque for short periods. All that grunt gets the fancy Maybach to 60 in just 4.8 seconds.
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS has an extensive array of driver assistance and safety systems, including adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist. It also automatically scans the road to proactively counteract bumps and dips to ensure a smoother ride.
Mercedes-Maybach GLS Availability
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS will go on sale in the U.S. by the end of the year.
Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz.