We took the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 for a spin in Mumbai. Here’s all about it.
The German luxury carmaker’s uber-luxe Maybach offering saw all 50 pieces of its new GLS 600 fly off the shelves no sooner was it announced. With this Mercedes-Benz has entered the ultra-luxury SUV segment, which has definitely seen a huge surge in recent times. We spent a weekend test driving this car and we can’t get enough. Besides the fact that it is an absolute head-turner on the streets, the SUV is fitted with the most luxurious bells and whistles we’ve ever seen in recent times.
Drive or be driven?
That’s a very good question and one that got us completely torn between the two answers. While driving the GLS is an absolute dream – more on that later – the backseat is designed incredibly. Two large executive seats in the back lend themselves to a long chauffeured drive. Design-wise, you really do feel as if you are in the first class cabin of an aircraft or on a private yacht. A whole range of customisable creature comforts in the backseat give the experience that ‘wow’ factor. While we did enjoy the drive experience – the car packs in so much power that one does not feel its sheer size when one is driving – and all the different modes, we can conclude that the Maybach truly is a car to be driven around in.
For starters, there is a champagne cooler in the centre console of the backseat. A bottle of champagne fits in perfectly, while other beverages can go in too. If there’s champagne, there’s got to be flutes as well. The carmakers have thought of that too – there is a little cubby to stow your champagne flutes as well as a holder to secure them in the cabin when you are drinking out of them. If you’re in the mood for a beer or a coffee, you can choose to keep your drink cold or hot with the temperature controlled cup holders in the centre panel too. In addition, there are USB type-C chargers generously placed all over the cabin, including a wireless charging stand to place your phone.
Customise your ride
We always rate luxury cars on the customised experiences that it provides. Something that we absolutely loved, but have seen on Mercedes vehicles before, is the customisable cabin lighting. With the ambient lighting you can choose to illuminate your car in up to 64 different colours. This can be controlled through the touchscreens. In addition, each person in the car can customise their own respective climate zone thanks to the Thermotronic climate control setting. We absolutely love the German carmaker’s relatively new MBUX interface and used the 7-inch detachable table to play around with these settings. In addition, the two backseats of this car also came with large attached touchscreens.
The plush leather seats, upholstered to perfection, feature a generous recline – ideal for a quick snooze during a long drive – and memory settings. We also tried out the in-seat massage system, operated from one of the cabin tablets, which really were very effective. This definitely passes our seat comfort test! The carmakers have thought of literally everything – right down to a customised fragrance to set the mood in the car, through an ioniser in the side duct.
Set your favourite playlist on the Burmester 3-D surround sound system and you have yourself the most luxe ride ever!
One thing to highlight is the special Maybach drive setting in the Dynamic Drive options. This, as we learnt, optimises the drive train and suspension. Viral videos on social media have shown the GLS bouncing rapidly. We tried out this feature in the middle of a crowded Mumbai road, and managed to turn many heads. That said, this is the Free Drive Mode, used during off-roading, to get the car out of sand or a ditch, not so useful on smooth city roads. One thing that truly impressed us is just how well the car, with its massive proportions handles narrow bends and turns. It is effortless to drive.
The heads up display is another plus point, and we also spent time tinkering around with the driver display, with multiple display options that you can customise. Our favourite part about the front cabin is the sweeping front screen that spans from the centre of the cabin till the far right, packing in a multitude of information, navigation and entertainment options. The system connected quite smoothly to the iPhone using Apple CarPlay and we even tried out the “Hey Mercedes” feature, which responded promptly but had an above average response rate.
Aesthetically, the driver’s seat truly feels like a luxurious cockpit with a lovely Napa leather-lined sports steering wheel, the Maybach emblem on the pedals and the leather dashboard and door belt lines.
A good looker
The GLS did get a lot of attention on the streets of Mumbai with its imposing, good looks. The Maybach grille with its 28 pin stripes and its chrome accents give it that luxe feel. What’s more this is the first Mercedes SUV ever to feature an upright star logo on the nose, a nice retro design touch. In certain car modes, there is a massive footboard that deploys and retracts, every time you open the door, making it easier to get into this rather elevated vehicle.
Under the hood
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS is powered by an AMG V8 engine pushing out 410 kw of power. The SUV promises a 0 to 100 kmph sprint in 4.9 seconds and can attain a top speed of 210 kmph.
The Mercedes-Maybach GLS is priced at around INR 2.3 crore (ex-showroom).
All images: Courtesy brand & Riaangeorge/Instagram