2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS

Compare insurance prices:
Save an average of $440
Free Quote

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Review: Benzin' Like Bezos

by Michael Butler

Back in the 1980s and 90s, luxury SUVs weren't a real concept, and if you wanted luxury, you bought a Mercedes-Benz S-Class. But now, well into the 21st century, machines like the Maybach GLS are the equivalents to penthouses and corner offices on wheels. The market is flush with SUVs catering to excess luxury, and the Maybach-branded large luxury SUV faces stiff competition from the Rolls-Royce Cullinan and Bentley Bentayga. Based on the already-luxurious Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class, the Maybach variant turns the excess up to 11. Powered by a twin-turbo 4.0-liter V8 engine producing 550 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque, the Maybach GLS is no slowpoke, but that's not the point: drive one, or rather, be driven in one, and you'll understand. It's a serenely disconnected experience equivalent to a sensory deprivation tank on wheels, one with reclining and massaging seats that announces to the world, "You've made it."

Read in this review:

What is BuzzScore?

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Changes: What's the difference vs. 2020 Mercedes-Maybach GLS?

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is the second offering from Mercedes-Benz' ultra-luxury brand Maybach, and is all new for 2021. It uses the most recent GLS-Class as its basis, but with more power and most importantly, more luxury.

Pros and Cons

  • More subtle than a Cullinan
  • It's a six-star hotel on wheels
  • Effortless power
  • Bumpy road, what bumpy road?
  • Exorbitant price tag
  • Not as practical as you'd think
  • Gaudy exterior styling

Best Deals on 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Maybach GLS600 4MATIC
4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
9-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Trims and Specs

2021 Maybach GLS Exterior

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Front View Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Rear View Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Front Angle View Mercedes-Benz
See All 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Exterior Photos


  • Length 204.9 in
  • Wheelbase 123.4 in
  • Height 72.4 in
  • Max Width 79.9 in
  • Front Width 66.9 in
  • Rear Width 67.8 in

Exterior Colors

  • designo Cardinal Red Metallic +$360
  • designo Diamond White Bright Metallic +$795
  • Black
  • Polar White
  • Obsidian Black Metallic
  • Iridium Silver Metallic
  • Emerald Green Metallic
  • Mojave Silver Metallic
  • Brilliant Blue Metallic
  • Selenite Grey Metallic
  • Lunar Blue Metallic

2021 Maybach GLS Performance

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Front View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Rear View Driving Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Engine Bay Mercedes-Benz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engine
    4.0L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas
  • Transmission
    9-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrain

Handling and Driving Impressions

Sure, the Maybach GLS offers a ton of performance, and it's technically an all-wheel-drive SUV, but this vehicle wasn't designed to take the family on a camping adventure in the rocky mountains. The Maybach GLS exists to pamper its occupants in the city and on long-distance journeys. The standard Mercedes-Benz GLS is already an extremely comfortable luxury SUV, but the Maybach version is better still. Its standard air suspension smoothes out most road perfections and makes this one of the most relaxing cars to pilot, period. If you thought the Maybach GLS couldn't get any smoother, wait until you try the Maybach drive mode. This ultra-luxurious driving mode forms part of the ingenious Mercedes E-Active Body Control system which makes use of camera and radar readings to actively adjust each individual spring in preparation for bumps and road imperfections. The GLS uses its 48-volt electric system to make these changes in less than the blink of an eye. In this configuration, the ECU softens the throttle response, tones down the exhaust note, and makes the gear changes and suspension even softer, but it primarily focuses on making sure that all body movements are at their lowest for the rear-seat occupants. The CURVE drive mode makes the GLS lean into bends at 3 degrees to reduce lateral forces. In this mode, few SUVs compare.

2021 Maybach GLS Interior

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Infotainment System Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Central Console Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Interior Details Mercedes-Benz
See All 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 40.3 in
  • Front Head Room 40.4 in
  • Rear Leg Room 43.4 in
  • Rear Head Room 40.2 in

2021 Maybach GLS Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Front Seats Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Rear Passenger Seats Mercedes-Benz
2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Front Bumper Mercedes-Benz

2021 Maybach GLS Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS A Good car?

Since the Maybach brand no longer builds bespoke models and relies on a standard Mercedes-Benz to provide a workable platform, there have been concerns that they could never match the standard set by Rolls-Royce and Bentley. After all, an S-Class is good, but even polished, it's just an S-Class, right? Wrong. In the case of the Maybach GLS, it takes on a completely different personality to the standard SUV. It's not just about losing the third row of seats and giving the second-row occupants a ton of luxury - which it does - but it's the consideration that's been given to the powertrain and chassis that completely transform the experience. It has power, but it's tuned to be deployed in such a manner that you wouldn't spill the ice-cold champagne in your silver flute in the back seat, while the suspension's active compensation for bumps and curves works exceptionally. The exterior can get a little gaudy, and if you look for it in the details, there's some regular GLS still present in the cabin, but in every other fashion, this is high society motoring at its finest, and it doesn't even require you to break the bank.

Check out other Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class Styles

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Comparisons

Bentley Bentayga CarBuzz
Rolls-Royce Cullinan CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Mercedes-Maybach GLS550 hp15/20 mpg$170,000
Bentley Bentayga 542 hp14/21 mpg$197,300
Rolls-Royce Cullinan 563 hp12/20 mpg$348,500

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS vs Bentley Bentayga

The Bentley Bentayga has been available in the USA since 2016, and it is still one of the best-selling prestige SUVs around. It brings a level of style and refinement that sits above traditional luxury SUVs. Under the hood, you can get a 6.0-liter W12 with two turbos, 626 hp, and 664 lb-ft of torque, making it considerably more powerful than the Maybach in top-spec, but there's also a hybrid version and one with a 4.0L twin-turbo V8 with 443 hp and 516 lb-ft which is a close price match for the Maybach at $180,500. The exterior of the Bentayga isn't exactly subtle, but we think it's easier on the eye. On the road, the Bentayaga is a beautiful thing to drive and is as comfortable as the GLS, despite lacking some of the German's fancy tech. The interior is sublime: the choice of materials is up there with the best of them, and there's tons of space, but the Maybach does offer more modern tech features. The Bentley has more customization and hails from a brand where the badge has a little more prestige, but we think either of these are spectacular. We'd stretch for the Bentayga, but we'd also go big and get it with the W12, but we wouldn't fault anyone for choosing the Merc.

See Bentley Bentayga Review

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS vs Rolls-Royce Cullinan

Rolls-Royce introduced its first-ever SUV back in 2019, and we were pleased to see that the company had not strayed far from its core values. Simply put, this is the most luxurious SUV you can buy. Sure, it costs more than double the price of the Maybach, but you get what you pay for. Under the hood, the Cullinan features a 6.75-liter twin-turbo V12 engine producing 592 hp and 664 lb-ft in Black Badge configuration. Both SUVs are rapid in an effortless way, but the Cullinan sounds a little better while doing it. The British SUV glides over road imperfections just a little better than the Maybach does, and its transmission is a little more intuitive.

Inside, both are utterly divine, with tons of space and even more tech and luxury. The CUllinan feels vastly more opulent while the Maybach is more tech-focused. Rolls-Royce charges you $350,000 before options, but the Cullinan is luxury like nothing else. The only problem is when you park it, you have to look at it.

See Rolls-Royce Cullinan Review
To Top