The days of the rich and famous being chauffered about in limousines or extra-length sedans are in the past, and these days, opulence, luxury, and status rest in the expansive back seats of an ultra-premium SUV like the Bentley Bentayga and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Barring exorbitant price tags (which likely mean very little to the One Percent), neither of those is particularly nice to look at – at least in our opinion. For something a little more suave and less shouty, there is the Mercedes-Maybach GLS. Not only is it much less divisive in appearance, but it offers similar levels of comfort and class at a much more palatable price. It’s motivated by a burly 4.0-liter V8 with 550 horsepower, and it has all the mechanical bits and bobs to make the ride feel like you’re floating – and at nearly half the price of the unpretty Roller SUV, we can’t imagine why you’d choose anything else.
New for 2024
The Mercedes-Benz GLS class got a makeover for 2024, and the Maybach version benefits from the update, too. The updated front bumper has separate air intakes that flank the grille, and they feature Maybach patterning inside and chrome surrounds. The Maybach-specific grille with slim vertical slats helps it to stand out, and there are new 23-inch forged wheels on the options list, unique to this model. Other updates include some new colors, namely Twilight Blue Metallic and Manufaktur Alpine Grey Non-Metallic, a new steering wheel, standard ambient lighting with animated projection of the Maybach logo, and new seat upholstery with diamond quilting.
2024 Mercedes-Maybach GLS Price: Which One to Buy
The price of the 2024 Mercedes-Maybach GLS starts at $174,350; this is the MSRP, so it excludes the destination and handling fees, which is no small thing. However, with all the opulence, power, and status the Maybach has to offer – and among company like the $375k Rolls-Royce Cullinan and the $200k Bentley Bentayga – it can be considered reasonable for what it is.
There’s just one model to choose from, and it comes fully stocked with everything from diamond-quilted, high-quality leather, heated and ventilated front seats with massage functions, and four-zone climate control to dual 12.3-inch displays, a premium sound system from Burmester, and that social media-trending ‘bounce’ feature that makes this car so unique. It also offers one of the most luxurious backseat experiences in the segment.
Interior and Features
The Maybach GLS doesn’t have to take a back seat to others in the segment, and its interior remains one of our favorites on the market.
The interior of the latest Mercedes-Maybach GLS is most certainly its key selling point. It’s not only spacious and comfortable, but jam-packed with cutting-edge technology that benefits passengers in terms of safety, convenience, and entertainment. It can seat up to five, although keeping to the dual captain’s chairs at the back suits the nature of the car much better, and configured like that, you can add pop-up tray tables and a champagne cooler and simply luxuriate in the Rolls-Royce-like opulence. The dashboard houses dual 12.3-inch displays that cover infotainment as well as the driver’s information cluster, and there are modcons like four-zone climate control and heated and ventilated front seats to underscore the luxury inherent here.
The point of the Maybach GLS is to provide a comfortable and serene haven for those who have to brave the outside world, so naturally there is ample space, thanks to doing away with the third row you’d usually find in the GLS lineup. To make the best use of this seating space, the rear seats have been repositioned 4.7 inches further away from the front seats to maximize legroom.
The rear seats can be configured as either a three-seater bench or as two captain’s chairs split by a full-length center console. In either configuration, there is ample space, although the ideal setup is the four-seater option where rear-seat passengers can stretch out, make use of the footrests, recline their seats, and relax. The front passenger seat can also fold forward in the ‘chauffeur’ position, providing a massive 52.8 inches of legroom in the seat behind it.
The regular GLS has 17.4 cubic feet of cargo space, but since the Maybach version does away with the third road, it gets a bit more cargo volume to play with – not much, though, since the rear seat has been pushed back to optimize legroom. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS has 18.4 cubic feet available in the trunk, and the rear seats will not flip down to open more space – even considering this feels like heresy. It’s worth noting that should you add the optional mini-refrigerator for your bottle of bubbles, it will reduce the available cargo space quite a bit.
Inside the cabin, there are numerous storage nooks and crannies, and when you opt for the rear captain’s chairs, there’s a full-length center console dividing the seats for stowing your valuables away. It also houses a tablet, and in place of an armrest, you can install that champagne cooler we mentioned before. Up front, you get the usual: a glovebox, central storage console, and door pockets. The cupholders in the GLS are also heated and cooled.
Materials and Colors
There are new upholstery options this year, with the Nappa leather seat centers featuring diamond quilting with perforations. The standard fare is of the highest quality, and you can expect trim options like open-pore wood. Once the configurator goes live, we’ll be able to see what other options are available to buyers.
Among the interior color schemes for the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS SUV are Manufaktur Crystal White/Silver Grey Pearl and Manufaktur Mahogany Brown/Macchiato Beige. These are pricey extras available over standard black.
Features and Infotainment
On the regular GLS, many features have to be added by ticking options boxes, but at the apex of the range, the Maybach GLS gets most things equipped as standard. Four-zone climate control, heated and cooled seats with a massage function (added to the captain’s chairs if you opt for those), heated front and rear armrests, ambient lighting, and soft-close doors. The GLS comes with two-way in-car communication capabilities, allowing the driver to talk to passengers in the rear without shouting. The captain’s chairs recline and have footrests for added comfort. Optional extras you can have on top of that include the folding tray tables for the captain’s chairs and a champagne cooler.
The MBUX infotainment system lives on a 12.3-inch display screen that’s set under a solid glass plane alongside the driver’s digital gauge cluster of the same size. The user-friendly system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality, SiriusXM, and HD Radio. You also get navigation with augmented video. For those in the back, there is a seven-inch tablet that gives them control over infotainment settings, climate control, and ambient lighting settings. Rear-seat passengers also get dual 11.6-inch monitors.
The standard audio setup in the Maybach GLS is a high-end Burmester 3D surround sound system with 27 speakers. It features Dolby Atmos sound quality, which is well-suited to the grandeur the cabin tries to convey.
To move the Maybach GLS along with any semblance of speed requires a potent V8 – with 550 hp on tap, the Maybach GLS’s performance is impressive.
The same engine is found in the 2024 Mercedes-Maybach GLS that we know from the previous model year, but fortunately, it’s a good one. A 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 makes 550 hp and 538 lb-ft of torque, which gets routed to the 4Matic all-wheel drive system via a nine-speed automatic transmission. Despite this being a hefty SUV, the engine is powerful enough to hustle the Mercedes-Maybach GLS from 0-60 mph in 4.7 seconds. It will reach top speed at 155 mph, and it can tow up to 7,700 pounds, but neither high-speed driving nor hauling are its forte, despite it being capable enough at both.
The Maybach GLS is designed to cosset and pamper its occupants, and it does so on the move thanks to standard Airmatic air suspension and E-Active Body Control. There is also a Curve mode that, when you’re in a turn, primes the outside wheels to mitigate body lean. And, by using onboard cameras to scan the road and adapt the suspension to meet the terrain needs, the GLS ensures bumps and undulations don’t unsettle any passengers while simultaneously isolating them from any road, wind, or tire noise. The bigger wheel sizes do tend to pick up smaller road imperfections, though, so we recommend sticking to the smaller sizes.
We have to mention the Off-Road Mode that we tested in our drive review of the 2024 Mercedes-Maybach GLS, which only really makes sense to buyers who will have to face sandy or uneven terrain regularly, as in Dubai. The much-talked-about ‘bounce’ feature is actually designed to dislodge the Maybach GLS should it get bogged down in sand or mud and is part of the Free Driving Assist you select when in Off-Road mode. It’s become a popular feature to show off the Maybach GLS on the road, however.
Given the mighty powertrain and heavy, feature-laden body, the Mercedes-Maybach GLS was never going to offer up good gas mileage figures. It’s thirsty, and the EPA ratings of 14/19/16 mpg city/highway/combined underscore that. This is slightly worse off than the outgoing model, probably due to added weight from upgrades for the new year. It’s likely that buyers shopping in this segment don’t have to consider fuel economy, however.
With a fuel tank capacity of 23.8 gallons, the Maybach GLS will only manage around 380 miles in a full tank.
Despite having no official safety ratings, the sturdy SUV comes with a long list of safety features, supplemented by the most advanced driver aids, to ensure occupants are kept safe.
Nobody in their right mind would crash test a car in this price bracket, and with the regular GLS on which it’s based also not evaluated by the IIHS and NHTSA, there is no official safety review for the Mercedes-Maybach GLS in the USA. But, with an incredibly long list of safety features and driver assists, you can rest assured you and your passengers will be protected.
The safety suite includes a comprehensive airbag suite with coverage for all occupants, including knee protection up front. You also get adaptive braking and auto emergency braking, driver attention alert, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane keep and lane change assist, route-based speed adaptation, active steering assist, and speed limit assist, all as standard. That’s not all, though, and traffic sign recognition, parking assist, a surround-view camera, and a head-up display complete the list of inclusive features.
US NHTSA Crash Test Result
NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.
There aren’t any recent reliability ratings for the Mercedes-Maybach GLS from JD Power, but if recalls are anything to go by, we can expect good things from the SUV. So far, all recent models are recall-free with the last problematic models being those from the 2022 and 2021 model years.
The standard warranty for the 2024 Mercedes-Maybach GLS includes four years or 50,000 miles of cover and roadside assistance for the same period.
The exterior of the new Mercedes-Maybach GLS has seen some tweaks for 2024, and while we’re not personally fans of large, cumbersome-looking SUVs, we think the automaker has done a great job with this one. Especially in one of the more understated color schemes, the Maybach GLS isn’t an in-your-face kind of car, which is impressive considering the distinctively Maybach grille, the model-specific air intakes, and massive 22-inch wheels. Two-tone paintwork and bigger wheels are naturally on the options list, but standard features include a panorama roof and power-retractable running boards. Of course, the exterior lighting is of the LED variety.
Verdict: Is The 2024 Mercedes-Maybach GLS A Good SUV?
It’s not as easy as it sounds to laud a specific car over rivals, but in this case, it’s a simpler affair than usual. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS is a brilliant package. As a cruiser, it’s equal parts powerful and serene, pulling effortlessly while absorbing every bump the road offers up, thanks to the standard air suspension and E-Active Body Control. It’s also sublime from a passenger comfort and convenience perspective, with every luxury you could want right at your fingertips. It comes with loads of gadgets and tech, not just in terms of sound systems, infotainment, and driver assists on the safety front – there’s also the Free Driving Mode or ‘bounce’ mode that will see this demure gentleman unbury itself should it ever get bogged down in sand. While some may lament its bland, old-world looks, there’s not much else one can find fault with. It will cost a veritable fortune, but that can hardly count against it in a segment where competitors start in the $200k region.