If you happen to be the type of individual who prefers vehicles with presence, the Mercedes Maybach is just the car you want. Representing the ne plus ultra of Mercedes’ lineup, the Maybach takes the already impressive S-class and turns it up to eleven. This review is a bit of a departure however due to the nature of the Maybach - it is not a driver’s car, but rather a car to be driven in. So we’ll dispense with the customary road test metrics as they’re somewhat less important than the creature comforts. Which are pretty incredible. (But its 0-60 in 4.7 seconds (Car&Driver) is pretty amazing for a 5,000lb land yacht)
Up front there’s little to differentiate from the pedestrian S-class (is there even such a thing?); acres of wood and leather with two huge digital displays for the driver’s gauges and HVAC/entertainment system. Even the diamond pattern on the seat covers and dash is available on the S-class. But if you need to be reminded that you spent an extra $79k over the S450, the steering wheel has a small engraved Maybach on the bottom spoke.
The back seat of the Maybach is the beneficiary of the 8-inch stretch to the S-class’ chassis, and a real nice place to be on a long drive. Power up the 13-speaker Burmester audio system, recline the seat and activate heat & massage and enjoy the ride. Taking up a good percentage of roof real estate is MB’s Magic Sky Control; a fancy name for the sunroof that dims electronically but doesn’t open. The back doors have control switches for not only windows, but privacy screens on the doors and rear window so cocooning yourself in back is as simple as the touch of a button. Or two.
On the road you’d have to be pretty sharp to pick out a Maybach from a lesser S-class, and that’s the car’s raison d’etre; luxury without being ostentatious. Let those who want to stand out drive a Bentley or Rolls, this car is for flying under the radar - as much as that is possible in something this big.