In January 2020, the average transaction price for a brand-new full-size SUV or crossover vehicle was $62,743. That’s actually 1.1% lower than the previous year. But despite costs shrinking mildly for luxury SUVs, the year 2021 is bringing us the most expensive Mercedes Benz sports utility vehicle yet: the Mercedes-Maybach GLS.
The GLS 600 4Matic is set to beat records for Benz
The Maybach-branded Mercedes Benz GLS 600 starts at $161,555.
Yes, you read that right.
This includes a mandatory $1,050 destination fee, which is probably chump change for anyone who can afford the whole kit and caboodle.
This luxury SUV is not just the most expensive Mercedes SUV. It was also the first SUV to come out of the legendary Mercedes-Maybach alliance, so you can imagine the model is used to setting the status quo for the German make.
It’s not just any ol’ GLS
The GLS 600 gives drivers the best of both worlds: the ground clearance and off-road capability of a traditional GLS as well as the opulent cabin Maybach is known for. But while this model may honor its lineage in form, the price is another thing.
An entry-level GLS 450 4Matic starts at just $77,950, which is less than half of the asking price for the flagship SUV.
What makes the Mercedes-Maybach GLS worth $200k?
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The new Mercedes-Maybach GLS ultra-premium SUV, shot under the tree lights in the valet circle of the Belmond El Encanto hotel in Santa Barbara. Not that you can tell from this photo, but it’s a lovely car—and a lovely hotel. Props to the valet staff who managed to keep straight faces while I drove around in circles like an idiot for 20 minutes before finally giving them the car.
Clearly, there has to be something that sets the GLS 600 apart to make it carry such hefty figures. Let’s go through the details, headlights to tail lights and everywhere in between.
Headlights on the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600
On the front of the GLS 600 lies Intelligent Light System LED headlights. This headlight system from Mercedes-Benz includes automatic adjustments based on your surroundings, cornering lights, enhanced fog light function and an Active Light System that helps to illuminate bends in the road.
Of course, the tail lights are LED too.
Exterior suited for the eyes
From the exterior, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS is chrome-forward. From a first glance, this touch adds a ton of refinement. Its grille has vertical slats, which differentiates itself from the lower GLS tiers.
An executive-style interior
It’s on the inside where the money really adds up. Not one, but two 12.3-inch infotainment screens adorn the dash for some serious tech capacity. A surround-sound system augments the listening experience.
Meanwhile, two individual seats in the back row come with numerous features:
If your chauffeur is driving — which is rather likely if you’re spending this much money on a car — you can relish in cup holders that either heat or cool your drink. Opt for a three-person bench in the rear if that’s more your style.
Performance & capability
The GLS 600 goes hard on power. Its twin-turbocharged, 4.0-liter V8 engine puts out 550 horses and 438 lb-ft of torque. The nine-speed automatic transmission pairs up with Mercedes’ unique 4Matic all-wheel drivetrain. Reportedly, this model goes from 0–60 MPH in just 4.8 seconds.
For a little something extra, the GLS 600 comes with hybrid technology which adds a bump of horsepower and torque via 48-volt power. This hybrid tech is also responsible for something called E-Active Body Control, a smart safety feature that peers out ahead of you to adjust suspension on the fly. This is helpful if you’re getting ready to land on a pothole or another obstruction. If you’re driving fast around the corners, you’re likely to notice the difference.
— ForbesLife (@ForbesLife) November 4, 2020
Plenty more features are yet to come for the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. As for when you can get your hands on one of these, keep your nose to the ground. The brand said it’s waiting until the end of the year to release the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4Matic to dealers throughout the country. You won’t catch me investing in one of these bad boys, but interested drivers are getting awfully close to crunch time.