Mercedes Maybach S-Class review
Unlike a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class is an understated luxury limo on the outside. It’s quick and packed with tech, too, but the Brits are even plusher inside.
What's not so good
Mercedes Maybach S-Class: what would you like to read next?
The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class makes no attempt to hide its origins. It looks almost exactly the same as the standard S-Class on the outside, which may appeal to rich customers that don’t want to draw attention like what they’d get in a Bentley Mulsanne or Rolls Royce Phantom.
From the driver’s seat, there is little to differentiate the Maybach from a regular S-Class, too. It shares the standard car’s large digital displays (one of which replaces the conventional instrument binnacle found in lesser vehicles), has acres of leather and wood, and sports the S-Class’ sporty circular air vents.
The Command control infotainment system is also present and correct, although – as almost every conceivable option comes as standard – there are many more menus to navigate through than in the regular car.
It’s only when you lower your well-heeled posterior into the rear passenger compartment that the extra expense of the Maybach really pays off. There’s extra legroom over the standard LWB S-Class and more headroom too. Buyers get a variety of leather, roof liners and trim finishes to choose from – all of which come as part of the price.
The only option available – ignoring paint finishes – is a First Class Cabin pack. It’s hard to imagine many owners not opting for it given the price of the car. It gets rid of the three-seat bench in the rear in favour of two individual chairs and adds a champagne fridge (integrated of course) complete with silver-plated flutes and temperature-controlled cup holders.
With a 500-litre capacity, the Maybach’s boot is 100 litres bigger than the standard S-Class’ but specifying the First Class Cabin option eats into capacity significantly thanks to the addition of the rear fridge.
The Mercedes-Maybach is designed to appeal to the super wealthy who don’t want to make a statement. If you do, you’ll be better served by a Bentley or Rolls-Royce.
Fitting a 523hp, twin-turbocharged 6.0-litre V12 petrol engine to a 2.3-tonne saloon was never going to be a recipe for low runnings costs and so it follows that the Maybach can return official fuel economy of just 24mpg. Don’t expect your Maybach to hold on to much of its value three years down the line, either.
Let’s face it, though, if you can afford a Maybach none of this will bother you. What you will care about – smoothness, quietness and effortless performance – are exactly what the V12 does best. Its 0-62mph time of five seconds means it’s quicker than most hot hatches too.
Let’s be clear – the Maybach is designed not to be driven, but to be driven in.
For a kickoff, it’s even quieter than the standard Mercedes S-Class and, as standard, it gets the Magic Body Control system that’s optional on lesser S-Class models. Its cameras scan the road, relaying information to a central control unit that then primes the suspension accordingly.
Push on in corners and you’ll find the Maybach keeps body roll in check and steers predictably, but despite the Sport button, this is not a car that has been designed to (or particularly enjoys being) driven hard.
The Mercedes-Maybach S-Class offers enough inside to feel different from a standard S-Class, then, and has a wonderful engine. If you want your wealth to stand out, however, you’d be better off with a Roll-Royce or Bentley.