What it's like inside Mercedes-Maybach's new ultra-luxury SUV
The Mercedes GLS family-hauler has been given the Maybach treatment, taking an interior that our own Aaron Turpen described as "comfortable, even opulent" and ratcheting things toward the ridiculous. Pop off that top hat, your highness, you can leave the monocle on, and sink into the reclining back seats of an ultra-luxury SUV that aims to equal or beat the Rollers and Bentleys on their own turf.
As we open the doors, you'll notice your carriage wafting down about an inch on its Airmatic suspension. That, your excellency, is an inch you won't have to climb. You'll notice, too, the articulating step emerging from the lower sill. Stand confidently on it, it can accommodate the full 200 kilograms (441 lb) of you and your Gucci accessories combined.
Where poverty-stricken mortals might configure the Mercedes GLS as a seven seater, Maybach recognizes that one needs room to expand one's person. Hence, the "Executive Rear," slathered as it is in Nappa leather, offers but two seats. Rest assured, your eminence, they are seats worthy of an executive rear like your own.
Not only do they recline further than some of the cheaper business class airline seats you may have been subjected to in your character-building years of struggle, but there's calf supports as well, so we can roll you from pedicure to red carpet in a degree of comfort most people wouldn't experience in their own lounge rooms. Those seats, your magnificence, will gently suck away the heat generated by your movement when you're first seated, and can then be set to heat, cool, or run a series of ten-minute massage programs on your tired posterior chain.
Naturally, each back seat gets its own MBUX tablet and entertainment system, but if you recline yourself so far that it feels like you're trying to watch Dancing with the Stars on a postage stamp, you can easily have your driver pop the tablet off and hand it back to you. Your consigliatóre has specified this example with phone charging points, too, as well as this champagne refrigerator and its pair of silver flutes. After all, your bounteous affluence, open container laws hardly apply at your level.
Perhaps you've noticed Maybach's own version of new car smell. It's part of the optional active fragrancing system: "the white osmanthus blossom, floral and light, is rounded off by a gentle leather note and spicy tea." We're only sorry, your radiating munificence, that the car has no way to pamper your taste buds the way it coddles your other senses.
Should you ever be forced to drive this car yourself – and may we never see the day – you should be comfortable in the knowledge that this is possible, and indeed a potentially entertaining diversion. You won't be immune to the charms of its 558-horsepower V8, which is rather more feisty than you'd think if you've never left the back seat or switched the transmission out of chauffeur mode. It's up for some proper gallivanting if and when you are, your plenteous splendor, on-road or off, and wouldn't it be jolly sporting to get the odd bit of mud on it?