Mercedes-Maybach GLS Is Rudeness on Wheels

Mercedes has launched its first non-sedan (and non-S-Class-based) Maybach model and it’s about as brash as automobiles get.
It’s almost inexplicable how the Mercedes-Maybach GLS, the brand’s top of the range SUV, looks more opulent and even bolder than models designed from the ground up as range pinnacle models.

Models like the Bentley Bentayga and even the Rolls-Royce Cullinan don’t look as opulent as this mighty Maybach GLS. It might be a combination of its bigger size, in-your-face grille and the GLS’s robust proportions, but whichever the case, there probably isn’t a car out there with as much presence as the Maybach GLS.

Just like those two aforementioned vehicles, though, it attracts a lot of attention; between its unique chrome-finished grille, wheels and window surrounds (among others), the Maybach badges and the available two-tone paint scheme, you won’t miss one if it drives by.

Mercedes doesn’t even seem to care that the two-tone paint job just doesn’t work on the GLS, no matter how many Maybach badges adorn it. While rivals that offer this have been specially designed to work with two different shades of paint on the upper and lower parts of their bodies, in the case of the GLS it looks like a tacky afterthought.

And speaking of Maybach badges, there are so many in and around this GLS that it would e futile to point all of them out and count them. But just to give you an idea, the word Maybach is written twice on each of the rims, and you can also find it on the pedals inside and even on the pop-out Champagne flute holder in the rear; there must be dozens of them scattered around the car.

Step inside the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, for instance, and you won’t see the same kind of smattering of RR logos or script around the car. In the case of the Roller it’s a much more restrained affair - it’s opulent, but it is not vulgar in the same way the Maybach GLS is. And the same could be said of the Bentley Bentayga (although out of the three, it’s the Cullinan that has the most high class interior specifically because it’s not as brash).

Mercedes seems to deem it necessary to have to convince you and me that the Maybach GLS is not your regular GLS. Some of this is translated in the aforementioned assortment of Maybach scrips and logos, but there’s more to it than that - it’s as if it addresses a different kind of buyer than one that would consider either of its two rivals from the United Kingdom.
Perhaps it comes as no surprise, then, that the Mercedes-Maybach was actually launched at the 2019 Guangzhou Auto Show, in China, even though the 2019 L.A. Auto Show is currently underway. Besides, the GLS is even built in the U.S., so launching at a Stateside venue seems quite suitable (plus the fact that it will be available in the States, where most of the world’s millionaires live).

But to my eyes, the Maybach GLS is not that special, even with all of the badges and the unique touches it gets over the standard GLS. To me, any of its rivals that were designed from scratch to be the vehicles they are, and not a modified version of something with a starting price of $75,200 in the States.

It definitely looks more vulgar and rude than its... vulgar and rude direct competitors - I mean owning a vehicle as big as this that only has four individual seats is a statement in and of itself. We’ll have to wait and see if people actually prefer it to all the other $200,000+ uber SUVs out there - it might sell well in China or the Middle East (and in Russia where they are Mercedes-crazy), but it may not make as big a mark in Europe and America.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories