This luxurious SUV is a good package overall but sits in a weird niche of its own

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 is based on the standard Mercedes GLS SUV. It costs twice as much as the GLS but is a lot more premium and plusher. The Maybach-affiliation to the SUV puts it right at the top with the likes of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and the Bentley Bentayga. It isn’t as expensive as the British brands, but comes with enough tech and luxuriousness to keep you happy if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. It comes with a V-8 engine under the hood to help it propel to 60 mph in less than four seconds. The looks, however, isn’t the GLS600’s strong suit.

While it seems a good package overall, will a Bentayga or a Cullinan customer consider the GLS600? Or will a standard GLS customer upgrade to it, for that matter?

  • 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    Nine-speed Automatic
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    550
  • MPG(Cty):
    15
  • MPG(Hwy):
    19
  • Torque @ RPM:
    538
  • Displacement:
    4.0 L
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph
  • 0-100 time:
    3.9 sec.
  • Price:
    161550 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Drivetrain, Fuel Economy, and Towing Capacity

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 980030

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 comes with a 4.0-liter, bi-turbo V-8 engine that makes 550 horses between 6,000 and 6,500 rpm, and 538 pound-feet of torque between 2,500 and 5,000 rpm. Power is sent to all the wheels via a nine-speed 9G-Tronic automatic gearbox.

The SUV also comes with EQ Boost that can add an additional 184 pound-feet of twist. Despite the weight, the GLS600 takes around 4.8 seconds to hit the 60 mph mark from a standstill. The top speed is restricted to 130 mph.

What Is The GLS600’s Fuel Economy?

You don’t expect these big SUVs to be fuel-efficient, but the GLS600 is actually quite bad when compared to the competition. It comes with a V-8 as opposed to the Cullinan’s V-12 and the Bentayga’s W-12. However, it is the heaviest of the lot. The GLS600 delivers 15 mpg in the city, 19 mpg on the highway, and 16 mpg combined.

As for the Cullinan powered by a 6.75-liter, V-12 engine, it returns 12 miles in the city, 20 on the highway, and 14 mpg combined. The Bentayga with its 6.0-liter, W-12 engine delivers 14 miles in the city, 23 miles on the highway, and 17 miles combined for every gallon of fuel consumed.

The GLS600 comes with a 23.8-gallon fuel tank. The Cullinan and Bentayga Speed, on the other hand, have 26.4- and 22.4-gallon fuel tanks.

How Much Can The GLS600 Tow?

The GLS600 can tow up to 7,700 pounds. This is on par with the Bentayga which can tow 16 pounds more, and significantly higher than the Cullinan and its rating of 7,275 pounds.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Exterior Design

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 980047

The Maybach GLS600 is big and bulky, but not so attractive. Looks are subjective, but Mercedes has better-looking SUVs in its arsenal. The GLS600 is imposing and intimidating, but not so smart or handsome. There is oodles of chrome here. The Maybach grille looks fine dripping in it, but the honeycomb mesh on the bumper doesn’t look very tasteful.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 980045

Step to the side and you’ll realize how long this SUV is. The A- and D-pillars are finished in the body color, B-pillar in chrome, and C-pillar in black. The only Maybach logo you see on the body is on the D-pillar. The SUV rides on 22-inch multi-spoke wheels, also in chrome, as standard wrapped in 285/45 section tires at the front and 325/40 section tires at the rear. You can also opt for bigger 23-inch forged wheels which cost $5,500.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 980044

The rear comes with a nice set of taillights. The tri-tone bumper is body-colored with black bottom to break the monotony and chrome slapped on top of it. Had the chrome bits been finished in black, I’m sure I’d have a different opinion about the SUV’s looks.

The Maybach GLS600 comes in 11 different shades:

  • Black
  • Polar White
  • Obsidian Black Metallic
  • Iridium Silver Metallic
  • Mojave Silver Metallic
  • Lunar Blue Metallic
  • Brilliant Blue Metallic
  • Emerald Green Metallic
  • Selenite Grey Metallic
  • Designo Cardinal Red Metallic
  • Designo Diamond White Metallic

How Big Is The GLS600?

The GLS600 measures 204.9 inches in length, making it 2.5 inches longer than the Bentayga Speed, but 5.1 inches shorter than the Cullinan. It is the widest of the lot at 79.9 inches. The Cullinan and Bentayga Speed are 79- and 78.7 inches respectively. It is also the tallest, measuring 72.4 inches. The Cullinan measures 72 inches in this department whereas the Bentayga measures 67.4 inches.

The wheelbase measures 123.4 inches on the GLS600, 130 inches on the Cullinan, and 117.8 inches on the Bentayga Speed. The German’s front and tracks are 66.9- and 67.8 inches wide, making it slightly wider than the Bentley’s 66.5- and 66.7-inch wide tracks.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Exterior Dimensions Comparison
Mercedes Maybach GLS600 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Bentley Bentayga Speed
Length 204.9 in 210 202.4
Width 79.9 in 79 78.7
Height 72.4 in 72 67.8
Wheelbase 123.4 in 130 117.8
Front Track 66.9 in TBA 66.5
Rear Track 67.8 in TBA 66.7

How Much Does The GLS600 Weigh?

The GLS600 weighs 6,139 pounds, which makes it the heaviest of the three. The Cullinan weighs 5,864 pounds, whereas the Bentayga is over 600 pounds lighter and weighs 5,474 pounds.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Interior Design

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 980041

The GLS600, as expected, comes with a luxurious interior. You can have it as either a four-seater or a five-seater. The company offers the cabin with black exclusive Nappa leather or Mahogany/Macchiato beige exclusive Nappa leather upholstery. A Crystal white/silver grey pearl Nappa leather option will be made available in the future, too, and this will be a $13,500 option!

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 980036

The GLS600 works even better as a chauffeured vehicle. The four-seater version feels uber-luxurious with a dedicated console between the seats that also has a refrigerated compartment. Three 0.75-liter champagne bottles can be stowed away here. There is a lockable closure here with a heated armrest on top. The wood trims and other such touches are countless.

The SUV comes with some other features like:

  • 64-color LED ambient lighting
  • Heated 12-way adjustable front seats with memory
  • Four-zone climate control
  • Panorama roof
  • Heated steering wheel

The layout of the cabin makes it looks wider than it is. Everything on the dash is horizontally stacked. The digital instrument cluster and touchscreen system are conjoined. An XL-sized steering wheel sits in front with the Mercedes logo. A Maybach logo here would’ve felt special, but there is an engraving, if it makes you feel any better.

The SUV comes with five different trim options to choose from:

  • Natural Grain Grey Oak Wood
  • Natural Grain Brown Walnut Wood
  • Natural Grain Black Flamed Ash Wood
  • Brown Linden ‘Flowing Lines’ Wood
  • Black Piano Lacquer ‘Flowing Lines’ Wood

Is The GLS600 Spacious?

The GLS600 is a four/five-seater SUV with the dimensions of a seven-seater. Naturally, you would expect it to be mighty spacious on the inside. The center console in both the rows sure eats up some space, but it still offers more space than you’d need.

In the first row, the GLS600 offers a headroom of 39.4 inches, a legroom of 40.3 inches, and a shoulder room of 59.3 inches. In the second row, it offers 40.2 inches of headroom, 43.4 inches of legroom, and 56.1 inches of shoulder room.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- table 980966
Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Interior Dimensions Comparison

How Much Cargo Space Does The GLS600 Offer?

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 979954

Behind the rear seats, the GLS600 offers a cargo space of 18.4 cubic feet. The Cullinan and the Bentayga Speed, in comparison, offer 19.8- and 17.1 cubic feet of space. With the seats flipped down, the Mercedes offers a maximum cargo space of 84.7 cubic feet, which falls almost four cubic feet short of the Cullinan’s 88.4 cubic feet of space, but is much more than the Bentayga’s 62.6 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Cargo Room Comparison
Mercedes Maybach GLS600 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Bentley Bentayga Speed
Minimum Cargo Room 18.4 cu ft 19.8 CU-FT 17.1 CU-FT
Maximum Cargo Room 84.7 cu-ft  88.4 CU-FT 62.6 CU-FT

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Technology

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 980005

The GLS600 comes with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel and a 12.3-inch touchscreen, both placed together.

The touchscreen runs on the fantastic MBUX infotainment system and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It also features Augmented video for navigation. For you audiophiles, there’s a mind-blowing 27-speaker Burmester high-end surround system. The second-row passengers get their own seven-inch tablet that also runs on the MBUX system. It’s portable and can be removed from its slot whenever needed. There are charger ports, 115V sockets, and a wireless mobile interface here.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 979986

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Pricing

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 980026

There is only one trim available here and it starts at $160,500 plus a destination charge of $1,050, which brings the minimum cost to $161,550. It is based on the standard GLS SUV, which starts at $76,000. Equip the Maybach GLS600 with packages and accessories and the cost will get closer to the $200,000 mark. It is still quite cheaper than the Bentley Bentayga and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.

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Is The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Better Than The Rolls Royce Cullinan?

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan

The Rolls-Royce Cullinan needs no introduction. The automaker’s first and only SUV so arguably the plushest and the most luxurious SUV you can buy today. There is nothing modest about it. Starry headliner, Lambswool mats in the top model, carbon fiber trims, etc. set the Cullinan apart from the rest of the crowd. The GLS600 might be the automaker’s most luxurious offering, but it can’t hold a candle against the Cullinan.

2019 Rolls-Royce Cullinan Exterior
- image 780071
The side profile is quite attractive, though

It is powered by a 6.75-liter, V-12 engine that dishes out 571 ponies and 627 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. It is exactly as quick as the GLS600 to 60 mph, but can go up to 155 mph, unlike the Merc. All these things obviously come at a cost. The Cullinan starts at more than twice the price of the Maybach GLS600 – $340,350. Opt for the Black Badge model with optional goodies and packages and the price gets dangerously close to half a million dollars.

Is The Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Better Than The Bentley Bentayga Speed?

2020 Bentley Bentayga Speed

The Bentayga, just like the Cullinan, looks out of the box. The face is unmistakably a Bentley while the rear has its own characteristics. It is mighty luxurious on the inside, too, with a 20-speaker audio system, an insane amount of customization options for the cabin, and high-tech features on offer.

2020 Bentley Bentayga Speed Exterior
- image 829467

The Bentayga Speed is powered by a 6.0-liter, W-12 engine that generates 626 horses and 664 pound-feet of torque. Power is sent to all the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The power figures and a lighter curb weight make it a full second quicker than the GLS600. The 3.8-second 0-60 mph time is complemented by a top speed of 190 mph, which makes it the fastest production SUV you can buy today. The Bentayga Speed starts at $235,700, sitting right between the Maybach GLS600 and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Opting for the accessories and packages could push the price into the Cullinan’s range.

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 vs. Bentley Bentayga Speed
  Mercedes Maybach GLS600 Bentley Bentayga Speed
Engine 4.0-liter V-8 biturbo with EQ Boost  6.0-Liter W-12
Fuel Premium Premium
Horsepower 550 hp @ 6,000 – 6,500 rpm 626 @ 5000
Torque 538 lb-ft @ 2,500 – 5,000 rpm 664 LB-FT @ 1500
Transmission 9G-TRONIC automatic 8AT
Drive AWD AWD
Towing Capacity 7700 Lbs 7716 LBS (3500 kg)
Fuel Economy 15/19/16 14/23/17
Curb Weight 6139 Lbs 5474 LBS
Fuel Capacity 18.4 cu ft 22.4 Gal (85 Liters)
0-60 MPH 4.8 seconds 3.8 Seconds
Top Speed 130 mph 190 mph

Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS600 - Driven
- image 980044

The SUV comes with a buttload of safety and driver-assistance features and some of them include:

  • Active Brake Assist
  • Active Steering Assist
  • LED Intelligent Light System with Ultra Wide Highbeams
  • Adaptive Highbeam Assist
  • Trailer Stability Assist
  • Crosswind Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Emergency Stop Assist
  • Blind Spot Assist with Exit Warning Assist
  • Route-based Speed Adaptation
  • PARKTRONIC with Active Parking Assist
  • Surround View System
  • Pre-Safe Plus
  • Nine airbags
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • Leave it
    • The looks!

Source: Photo Credit: Phil Daix

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read full bio
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