The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600: A Spiritual Definition for the SUV

Source: The Financial Express

The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 (also known as the GLS-class) in my opinion is one of the most interesting new cars on the market today, but in a rather paradoxical manner I find it interesting because of its transparency. From the first time I considered this car it was very transparent about its intentions, and I see this as a rarity in the portion of the market it aims to compete in. Over time I’ve come to realize a few things concerning luxury SUVs, mainly what they are truly meant for. Many see the SUV as the perfect combination of sportiness, ruggedness, and practicality- thus the name. While I do find SUVs in a most basic sense to be practical vehicles, I believe that luxury SUVs serve a different purpose. 

A luxury SUV for most is a status symbol, a hot commodity that you get to say you have enough money to purchase. In reality most people do not take their SUVs off-roading or test just how sporty they are, but instead take solace in the fact that they get to tell people they own a Mercedes-Benz or BMW and at the same time they can still use it in their everyday lives. In all honesty, luxury SUVs are generally speaking not for those that take a special interest in automobiles. This being said, I still believe that for a luxury SUV to truly serve its purpose as a status symbol, it has to be two things: a nice piece of design and a nice place to be. Many can discuss statistics such as power output or fuel economy, which I do have opinions on, but in order to remain clear, I must stress these two points as if they are not met you tend to see consumers buying into a brand rather than a product. So moving forward, hopefully you guys understand a bit better the angle I am approaching this car from.  

Maybach are known for taking Mercedes cars and bringing them to the next level in terms of both luxury and comfort, and what they have done with the GLS is no different. They are well known for their work on the S-Class model, so working with an SUV is a new challenge for them that they have never completed before. The market space for the SUV is ever growing, so it made sense for them to claim their space in the industry and compete with the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce. To power this luxurious monstrosity a 4L V8 biturbo engine has been fitted which produces 558 horsepower and propels the car from 0-60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. In addition to this Mercedes has made use of their EQ boost system which they developed in their race cars. This system provides an occasional electrical boost via the hybrid system fitted to the car. So, safe to say you can at least overtake someone in the outside lane while behind the wheel of a GLS. But again, this is not truly the focus of the car.

Source: Mercedes-Benz of Wichita

Where this car truly amazes is the interior. The entire cabin is covered in Nappa leather as well as loads of technology and amenities. The rear seats are both power-adjustable recliners that come with the heated and massage options. Even with acres of leg space for your recliner, you still oddly have the option of pushing the front row seating further out of your way. The car also comes with many tech options and settings such as automatic parking, a head up display, and traffic sign assist to name a few. What’s more, instead of a middle seat you can opt for a center console which lets you toy with all of these exact same settings and options as if you were sitting in the front row. You can even take remote control of the driver’s screen from the back. Least to say, it does seem like a difficult thing to get bored sitting in a GLS.

While all of this is impressive, you can really see the thoughtfulness of design in the little details- of which there are many. Along with your center console in the back you can also get a champagne fridge which has space for three bottles and two champagne flutes. In the glove box you can find a bottle of fragrances which dispense via the air conditioning unit. The air suspension lowers the car 25 millimeters when you open the door just to make ascending into the cabin that much easier. There is even a wireless charging station for your smartphone. All of these features combined with what I think is an exquisite exterior styling check both boxes in terms of what a luxury SUV should be. The car is both a phenomenal piece of design and simply a wonderful place to be. 

I freely admit this is not something for a car lover, but for the sort of individual who is interested in purchasing a luxury SUV, I can think of nothing that fits the mould better. Obviously at upwards of $300,000 this is not going to be a car that you will regularly see on the streets, but at the very least I would like consumers to understand that the spirit and intention of this vehicle should be something that they look for in their own car search. Then only will these consumers have an automobile purpose built for what it is they truly desire. 


“2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS-Class What We Know So Far”. Car And Driver, 2019, Accessed 2 Apr 2020.

Tsui, Chris. “2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS: Out-Chromes And Out-Glams The Competition”. The Drive, 2019, Accessed 2 Apr 2020.

“2021 Mercedes-Benz Maybach GLS Prices, Reviews, And Pictures | Edmunds”. Edmunds, 2019, Accessed 2 Apr 2020.

“Mercedes AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+”. En.Wikipedia.Org, 2020, Accessed 2 Apr 2020.

“2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Video Walkthrough Review”. Silver Star Motors, 2020, Accessed 2 Apr 2020.

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