Mercedes-Maybach GLS: an SUV with all the toppings

Published: 21 November 2019

► Maybach name returns
► With a dressed-up GLS
► All the luxury, price TBC 

Think of the already luxurious Mercedes GLS, the SUV-shaped S-class that sits at the top of Merc’s ‘GL’ range. And then add a bunch of extra, extravagant toppings; that’s basically the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS. 

Just unveiled in Guangzhou, China – and that should give you an idea as to which market this car is primarily aimed at – the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is the SUV with all the trimmings – and the price tag to go with it. If you want one, you’ve got until the second half of 2020 to save up.

Best luxury SUVs

It looks, antique?

Mercedes have persevered with an interesting two-tone paint job, which makes this Maybach look like something you’d find on the Antiques Roadshow. It’s like Victorian GLS, isn’t it?  

In terms of actual details, you’ll find the usual Mercedes grille replaced with vertical chrome struts, creating an almost pinstripe-effect. Maybach brand emblems are also dotted around the car, with other unique features around the tail pipe trim, just to remind people you’ve paid for much more than a standard GLS.

The Maybach also has electrically-extended, illuminated running boards, to help passengers more easily alight this moving, stately home. Oh and of course, there’s lashings of chrome all over the thing, and it’ll run on 22- or even huger 23-inch wheels. 

And the interior?

This is where the Maybach GLS pulls well ahead from the standard car. At the rear, both outer seats can be reclined and come with massage capability – giving those at the back an even better review of a panoramic sunroof with an opaque roller blind. If you’re more into drinking or working than relaxing – or a combination of the three – the centre console can be turned into a desk or fridge with matching champagne flutes. And yes, there is an accessory range available for this car. We’ve seen the pics.

Extra noise insulation means the outside world is seen not heard, while Mercedes have poured on even more lux materials to make sure you never want to leave anyway; The dashboard and all padded areas are finished in nappa leather as standard, though Mercedes are open to requests for a fee. And as you’d expect, those in the rear have their own dedicated A/C, with zone settings – and passengers in the rear get an MBUX to themselves, too.  

One more thing, Mercedes says it’s developed a special fragrance for inside the new Maybach GLS: it begins with white Osmanthus blossom, but ends with a subtle leather note combined with spicy tea. Fantastic.

How does it move?

The Maybach GLS uses a 4.0-litre V8 with 550bhp, 538lb ft of torque and 48v EQ Boost system. While that may sound familiar to Mercedes fans, this powerplant has been tweaked specifically for Maybach, so it’s more effortless and torquey in this guise. 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast