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This Is Why We Love The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS 600

HotCars logo HotCars 7/1/2022 Philip Uwaoma
© Provided by HotCars

Perhaps, a little background info on Maybach is in order. In 1909, Wilhelm Maybach left his job as Technical Director at Daimler-Motoren-Gesellschaft (the company that built Mercedes cars) to start a new company, Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH (translated Aircraft Engine Building Company) with his son Karl Maybach as director. It was later renamed Maybach Engine Construction Company in 2012.

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The company developed diesel and petrol engines for zeppelins and rail cars until 1919 when it built its first prototype car. By 1940, Maybach had produced a variety of deluxe classics along with heavy-duty diesel engines for marine and rail purposes. Daimler-Benz acquired Maybach in 1960, but the luxury-oriented brand re-launched as an independent in 2002. That changed again in 2015 when it reintegrated into Mercedes-Benz as a sub-brand, giving it the platform to resume making ultra-luxury editions of the S-Class and GLS-Class Mercedes-Benz nameplates.

It was November 2019, just as the deadly Covid-19 virus secretly reared its ugly head, that the German automotive powerhouse pulled back the curtain to reveal the Maybach GLS600, the first-ever Mercedes-Benz-Maybach SUV. The following paragraphs reveal why we loved and still love this amazing luxury SUV.

Related: The Mercedes-Maybach Project Maybach Off-Roader Is Part Luxury, Part Mad Max

What You Get With The 2021 Mercedes Maybach GLS600

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS600 was – and still is – a tangible embodiment of the word “top-of-the-line.” It wasn't just the high-powered branding, or the premium looks, but also the numerous little details like the electronically controlled running boards, noise-insulated interior, and reclining seats, that made the sum.

Revealed for the first time at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, the four- and five-seater chrome-fitted ultra-luxury full-size SUV combines the “body design and technical basis of the GLS with the luxury of a top-class sedan.” Maybach electrified its V8 engine, a 48-volt onboard EQ Boost with an integrated starter generator that maximizes and raises the horsepower.

Describing the novel powerplant, the head of Mercedes-AMG, Tobias Moers, said in a statement, "We are embarking on another new chapter of our drive technology, which we are also successively extending further to other model series as we move towards electrification and hybridization." The GLS600 was the first time Maybach would do this. To us, though, the interior is where the SUV’s lavish opulence comes to a head.

Yes, we know about the fully adaptive suspension that provides excellent ride quality. We know about the smooth 4.0L 550-horsepower V8 bi-turbo, making 538 lb-ft of torque. We know about the 2-tone exterior paintwork that’s exclusively Maybach and offered in 8 different combos. Not only that, but we also know about the electronically-controlled anti-slip running boards that automatically slide out in a split second of opening the rear doors.

We didn’t miss the pinstripe chromed front grille also on the side windows and sill panels. We know about all that, but the exceptionally comfortable and quiet interior does it for us. It's a true-to-form land yacht with a revised powertrain that optimizes seating comfort for rear passengers as well. That's an intended design, considering the SUVs would be mostly chauffeur-driven. With the 3rd row disappearing to increase interior volume for second-row passengers, the SUV can then comes with a roomy 4- or 5-seat configuration.

The hi-tech gadgetry is not exclusive to the driver and front passenger. In fact, the rear passenger can control the infotainment system via an MBUX tablet. There are also an optional rear cabin 11.6-inch entertainment screens for the rear passengers.

Maybach GLS600's elevated posture gives the driver a command position and an improved view of the road. The reclining seats we mentioned are the two outer rear seats that can be reclined for a more relaxing posture or naps. Amazingly, the front seats are a different story. Maybach described the technology as an “energizing seat kinetics function,” which is part of the Energizing package, that helps keep the driver alert by continuously slightly varying the inclination of the cushions. Imagine that.

As you can imagine, those are heated and ventilated massaging seats made from high-end materials. Near the center console and armrest between the rear seats sits the marque’s custom UX rear table with convenience features like temperature-controlled cup holders and controls for the vehicle’s ride and entertainment functions.

The 4-seat configuration features an optional fixed center console with extended folding tables. More options include a small refrigerator and add-on silver champagne flutes.

These might sound like frivolities to some folks, but they perfectly justify the SUV's three-figure price tag. Imagine a vehicular technology that automatically turns on air recirculation mode and closes the windows on detecting poor air quality or an oncoming tunnel. This feature is part of the SUV’s “Air Balance” system designed to eliminate viruses and bacteria from the vehicle.

It's not just airborne contaminants. The cabin is also noise insulated, with a partition and shelf separating it from the trunk. Ultimately, the 2021 Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS600 is the epitome of luxury best experienced firsthand.

Related: Mercedes-Maybach Haute Voiture Concept Is The Epitome Of Luxury Sedans

How Much Is The 2021 Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS600?

With a starting price of $161,550, this was actually the least expensive GLS Mercedes all things considered. We say that because we no other automaker is offering a matching rolodex of features at the same price point. You might even get more personalization options with the GLS600 than the Bentley Bentayaga. That’s a lot of money, though, more than double the marque’s GLS base model’s $76,000 price point.

Then again, we didn’t expect the SUV to hit the market with a price tag shy of $200,000. Regardless, the Maybach GLS600 was the most expensive mass-produced vehicle assembled in America, slightly topping the $159,495 Acura NSX, but trailing behind the ultra-limited SSC Tuatara. The 2021 Maybach GLS600 comes in a single well-equipped trim level. The only cons worth mentioning are the less-than-spacious trunk space, a worthy sacrifice for the spacious, insulated front and rear cabin.

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