SUVs are a dime a dozen. But when it comes to luxury and finesse, the selection is poor and there is currently no way around Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan. But now Mercedes wants to know and sends the GLS into the race as a noble Maybach against the fine English style.
The GLS dresses up and in the future will start the mud fight in a tuxedo. As the second model alongside the S-Class, Mercedes is now also launching its SUV flagship as the Maybach. As the German answer to Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Bentley Bentayga, it will go on sale in the spring and start at 156.078 euros.
Unlike the S-Class and even more so in the corresponding Vision Ultimate Luxury study, there is no independent body. But the thick ship with its 5,21 meters has not lacked in presence. And for prestige, the designers have hung so much tinsel on the GLS that even on gray days you can't help but grab your sunglasses: the rims are big and shimmering like the mirrors in a Hollywood cloakroom, the grill fanned out as finely as if it wore pinstripes , and while the Maybach logo is proudly emblazoned on the flanks, the GLS is the only Mercedes SUV to have a star on its bonnet like only the sedans usually do. Add to that the two-tone paintwork reserved for Maybach, and all eyes are caught on the mogul slope.
Where only the trim on the outside makes the difference, Mercedes has rebuilt a lot more inside. Of course, compared to the British, the more modern and, with its large screens, almost futuristic cabin is bursting with lacquer and leather, the woods embarrass every cabinet maker, and you could probably wrap the saddler's thread around the world, so elaborately and decoratively the leathers are sewn. But what really sets the Maybach apart are the two lounge chairs in the rear. Where there are usually up to five seats, two passengers can loll like a king in the heated and massaging cushions, lay their legs on electrically extending calf cushions and, for even more freedom of movement, literally fold the passenger seat into the glove compartment at the push of a button. In addition, there are elegant folding tables and WiFi for productivity, a TV system for entertainment, a fridge with a champagne goblet to quench your thirst and a solid partition to the trunk instead of a simple hat shelf for maximum peace and quiet. This means that you can drive in the rear of the Maybach GLS just as comfortably as in the Maybach S-Class - only that you literally float above it all.
Even under the hood, the Maybach can show a bit of stubbornness. Unlike his British opponents, he was denied the prestigious twelve-cylinder, even if the type abbreviation GLS 600 arouses this hope. But at least it gets a V8 that is more powerful than the normal models and almost comes close to the AMG version: 410 kW / 558 PS and 730 Nm are shown in the data sheet for the 4,0-liter, and the electric booster of the mild hybrid -Systems throws another 22 HP and 250 Nm into the scales, especially when starting.
Sportier than he looks
The result is a driving experience that is in no way inferior to the ease of a twelve-cylinder. Because, unmoved by the 2,8 tons and behind the thick bulkhead, rather suspecting than actually hearing it, he heaves the car forward with such serenity that you almost want to give up your belief in physics: from 0 to 100 in 4,9 Seconds and then effortlessly to 250 things - that makes the GLS the sovereign in the left lane. And what it should lack in power, it makes up for with presence alone: when this luxury steamer appears in the rearview mirror, Cayenne & Co voluntarily clear the way.
In any other car, that engine would be reason enough to compete for space behind the wheel. But no matter how loud the call of the performance may be and as confident the driver feels during kickdown, you should be heard to the rear right in a Maybach. The chassis engineers also know this and have therefore specially programmed a Maybach profile for the electrically activated suspension: Where the GLS otherwise carves through the bends like a skier in fresh snow on a sunny slope and puts a big smile on the driver's face, the 48 Volt-actuators now, in anticipatory obedience, not only erase any lateral inclination, but also erase all vibrations that can be entered from the road into the armchairs in the rear - even if the driver should get a few bumps in the worst case. More sublime than in any S-Class, wrapped in cotton wool and bedded on clouds - it's no wonder that you feel like you're in seventh SUV heaven here.
Despite the proud price, not the most expensive
Mercedes makes the climb to the top of the all-terrain vehicle world surprisingly easy for Maybach customers. Not only in terms of acquisition, because the SUV in a tuxedo is a proud 50.000 euros more expensive than the GLS 580 and you can easily get over 200.000 euros with a few crosses, but it still remains far below Bentley or Rolls-Royce. But also in everyday life. Because where the British gentry have to heave themselves into the car on their own, in the Maybach a massive timeline automatically opens up within a few seconds when the doors are opened, which sets the decisive moment in scene with LED illumination : Stairway To Heaven - it has never been easier in an SUV to get to the top.
Five-door, four-seater luxury class SUV; Length: 5,12 meters, width: 2,03 meters (width with exterior mirrors: not specified), height: 1,84 meters, wheelbase: 3,14 meters, trunk volume: 520 liters
4,0 liter twin turbo; 410 kW / 558 PS, maximum torque: 730 Nm at 2.500 - 5.000 rpm plus 16 kW / 22 PS and 250 Nm EQ-Boost, all-wheel drive, nine-speed automatic, 0-100 km / h: 4,9 s, Vmax : 250 km / h, standard consumption: 11,7 liters / 100 kilometers, CO2 emissions: 266 g / km, emissions standard: Euro 6d, efficiency class: D, price: from 156.078 euros
Why Space, prestige and pomp - no other German SUV offers more of this
Why not Because it lacks the V12 for ultimate luxury
What else Bentley Bentayga and Rolls-Royce Cullinan, no one else gets a turn
When does he come in spring 2021