VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — I’m undecided there’s one other latest vehicle on the market that permits you to make an entrance comparable to the 2024 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600. When ostentatiousness and an expression of wealth are king, absolutely nothing does the trick higher than pulling up within the Maybach’s “Free Driving Assist” mode. For the uninitiated, that’s the bounce mode that uses the SUV’s advanced E-Lively Body Control tech to quite literally bounce you up and down in quick order for a pre-determined period of time.
In fact, there’s a slim-to-zero probability anybody uses this mode as originally intended: to free their Maybach from a wheels-deep sandy death. No, it’s best used for situations like, oh I don’t know, pulling as much as the valet at a flowery wedding, your icy white mega SUV bouncing like a brilliant ball, urging every last person in the final vicinity to look your way. Perhaps the parents of the bride are even sitting within the back seat, egging you on to do it. (I swear, it was totally their idea!) A Ferrari is neat; Aston Martins will grab loads of onlookers, but can any of those cars drive and bounce at the identical time? Yeah, I assumed so.
This $201,400-as-tested Maybach is after all ideal for lots greater than just peacocking as much as your fancy wedding locale. I only arrived on the Historic Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach – the proper old-money architectural pairing with a automotive as classily designed as this one – after a 12-hour jaunt from metro Detroit, which was good enough time to get very well acquainted with this mega-luxury yacht.
Truly effortless driving is a component touted by some, but few embody it higher than probably the most recent crop of Maybachs. Graceless climbs as much as the back seat thrones are eliminated because of the illuminated, Maybach-logo-adorned auto-deploying running boards. The 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 starts with a quiet and opulent hush from contained in the noise-insulated cabin, but stand near enough to the pipes out back, and the proletariat can be informed of your V8’s might and power.
Flick the electronic column shifter all the way down to Drive, and the magic carpet ride begins. The genteel nature of its primary controls is straight away striking and sets the Maybach aside from other luxury cars, including regular Mercedes models. There’s no mistaking that the throttle and brake pedal tuning were designed with smooth driving in mind – you don’t need to slosh the silver-plated champagne flutes of mom and pop within the back. You won’t discover a more progressive or easy-to-modulate brake pedal within the business, and the throttle in “Maybach” mode may as well be called “Chauffeur” mode with how incredibly smooth and measured it’s. You’ll only make a sudden movement in case you really need to, and the E-Lively Body Control suspension prioritizes rear passenger comfort on this mode, too. I used to be only lucky enough to experience the Maybach from the front seat, but I didn’t hear a single grievance from any of the numerous passengers I chauffeured around in my weekend of Virginia Beach wedding events.
As a substitute, the feedback was constant amazement on the automotive’s tech, the comfort of its individual rear captain’s chairs (pillows included), and a lot of “oohs” and “ahhhs.” The tech absolutely killed during our Autoblog Technology of the Yr award testing, too, because the Dolby Atmos-powered audio system won last yr’s first prize. I spent literal hours traversing the Appalachian Mountain range listening to countless tracks in Dolby Atmos spatial audio on the 27-speaker Burmester audio system. I’m fairly certain it’s ruined every other automotive audio system in existence for me. So, audio snobs: Apply here.
There’s loads of credit on account of this Maybach solely on account of its ability to make 12 straight hours behind the wheel feel like a calming day. Mercedes-Benz knows make long-haul, ergonomic and body-supporting seats in addition to anyone, and at the top of the day, I’m not in the least sore or uncomfortable. The nigh-on countless adjustment and diverse massage programs might be thanked for this extreme comfort. I can legitimately say that I’ve tried every massage program from start to complete, and it’s a tie between “Hot Relaxing Back” and “Wave Massage” for probably the most rejuvenating and relaxing experiences. This Maybach’s heated are one other beautiful feature that makes chilly drive days all of the more cozy – it’s an actual shame that more vehicles haven’t adopted such extra heated surfaces as optional add-ons.
Mercedes’ excellent driver assistance systems make long treks like mine less of a mental burden, too. It’s clear from the outset that the tuning is exclusive for the Maybach model, because even when the system gets slightly confused on the lane markings or someone cuts you off, the programming and movements remain just as smooth and creamy because the ride. It’ll never panic-stab the brakes or jerk on the wheel while you edge as much as a line marker. That said, it’s essential to remain an lively participant in driving. Other, more advanced hands-off systems like Super Cruise from GM or BMW’s latest hands-free highway assist are simply higher for such long hauls, but I actually have a sense Mercedes will catch the GLS up soon enough.
On the subject of feeling dated, though, we arrive on the GLS 600’s MBUX infotainment system. Mercedes updated the GLS-Class’s infotainment for 2024, however it’s still rocking the old widescreen format and touchpad in its place control to using the touchscreen. Swiping through the (admittedly pretty) Maybach-skinned MBUX system is trying at times, and using it makes Mercedes’ latest “Zero Layer” infotainment system feel that rather more advanced. Similar complaints might be lodged in regards to the Maybach’s removable tablet that controls most functions within the rear. It has an abnormally long warm-up period before you possibly can turn on items just like the massaging seats or play with the countless ambient lighting options. Such a high-dollar rolling palace deserves probably the most advanced technology, and I think it’s only a matter of time until the GLS gets redesigned with an identical setup to the present S-Class.
The rear seat’s excessive wood trim, reclining functionality, heated and cooled cupholders, fridge, fold-out tray tables and high-pile carpets definitely make it the place to be for an extended journey just like the one I undertook. Nonetheless! I made a decision to take the mountainous scenic route on the return from Virginia Beach to Detroit to see if this 6,000-plus-pound SUV had any form of dynamic prowess. And in typical Mercedes fashion, after all, it totally rules.
Mercedes claims a 0-60 mph time of just 4.8 seconds from the 550 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque this Maybach-specific powertrain puts out (that’s 40 horses greater than the non-Maybach GLS 580), and it feels every bit that quick as I steamroll through steep uphill passes. “Strain” isn’t a word within the GLS 600’s vocabulary, since the whole point of the thing is to be excessive, in every sense of the word.
As my foot’s fully buried to the ground within the middle-of-nowhere West Virginia with no cell signal to be found for miles, I’m also glad to be within the GLS 600 and never the Maybach EQS 680 stressing about my next stop at what could thoroughly be a dicey Electrify America station. Highway range is roughly 381 miles per the EPA’s figures, though I’m handily beating the somewhat sad 19-mpg highway fuel economy figure and pushing well past 400 miles on the long stretches between the Atlantic coast and the Midwest.
Sport mode doesn’t exactly live as much as its billing, however it does eliminate roll and transforms the chassis into something that resembles a fun-to-drive SUV, letting me somewhat effortlessly sustain with some fellow sports automotive drivers out for a Sunday afternoon jaunt through the mountains. The remaining of the time in Comfort or Maybach mode makes the existence of the 23-inch wheels no need for concern (though I used to be sad this test automotive didn’t include the new-for-2024 monobloc forged wheels). Seriously, outside of a Maybach sedan, you’re not going to search out one other vehicle with the three-pointed star that rides and comports itself higher than the GLS 600.
Funnily, I discovered a fellow GLS 600 owner on my journeys (photo directly above) and got to check the pre-refresh design to the 2024 in person. Admittedly, the two-tone paint scheme chosen by this owner is way superior to my fittingly wedding-spec all-white Maybach, however the refresh’s toned-down bumper and Mercedes-Maybach logo-filled intakes are a step improvement in the appropriate direction. That said, I wouldn’t exactly rush out to purchase the updated model in case you have already got a GLS 600 within the garage. Its downsides – the trunk-shrinking fridge and aged infotainment – are the identical as before. And in case you didn’t know, here’s your reminder that the Maybach version of the GLS is barely a two-row on account of the manager second-row design and big bulkhead in place behind it that heavily chops down on cabin road noise. It’s a compromise in utility that I’d be blissful to make each time considering how silent and refined the drive is. And for the record, every thing needed for a week-long trip for 2 people fit within the cargo area, and we were capable of keep our beverages and leftovers cold within the fridge as well.
I float back into metro Detroit awash within the Maybach-specific fragrance eliminating the gnarly smells of industry that plague every southern entrance to town, one way or the other feeling just as fresh as I did after the primary 12-hour stint behind the wheel. I’d be blissful to do all of it yet again the subsequent day, too. The GLS 600 is perhaps a bouncing, LED light show party trick when the occasion calls for it, however the substance behind its glittering pearlescent outsides continues to be setting ridiculously high standards for long-haul luxury motoring.
This Article First Appeared At www.autoblog.com