After BMW bought Rolls-Royce and Volkswagen Group bought Bentley, Mercedes-Benz traveled back to the 1930s and resurrected the Maybach name to take on these pair of British luxury icons. Despite Maybach’s potent mix of bespoke luxury and cutting-edge technology, Mercedes killed off its standalone brand after the 2013 model year. Just three years later, the brand was reborn as the ultimate expression of rugged S-Class prestige. Mercedes-Maybach is now a sub-brand of the S-Class model, much in the same way that Mercedes-AMG serves as the sporty performance division. S-Class Maybachs run on the long-wheelbase version of the S-Class and are designed to be best enjoyed from the back seat; with a 214.6-inch body on a 132.5-inch wheelbase, the Maybach is 7.9 inches longer in both dimensions compared to a standard S.
What’s new for 2017?
Mercedes-Maybach began its latest venture with just one model, the 2016 S600, offered with a 532-horsepower twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12 engine and rear-wheel drive. As Mercedes continues to phase out its biggest engines for cleaner, more streamlined powerplants, it added the S550 4Matic to the lineup for 2017, with a twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V-8 powering all four wheels. For 2017, Mercedes-Maybach also offers the S650 Cabriolet, a convertible to 300 units worldwide, with 75 coming to the US market. Its engine is a 621-horsepower version of the twin-turbo V-12 and comes with a specific 20-inch wheel design and handcrafted leather seats with a clever perforation pattern. The S650 offers three color combinations: red over porcelain and black interior, blue over porcelain and saddle brown interior, and white over porcelain and blue interior.
Prices and which one to buy
The smooth-running and more exclusive V-12 engine in the S600 sedan makes it the one to get. It’s not as fuel-efficient as the S550’s twin-turbo V-8, but it’s not like any Maybach can be considered truly frugal.
Engine, transmission and performance
The Mercedes-Maybach S550’s twin-turbocharged 4.7-liter V-8 puts out 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque through a nine-speed automatic transmission and will hit 60 mph in five seconds flat. The S600’s V-12 generates 523 horsepower and 612 pound-feet, driving the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic. This model is slightly faster, meaning both variants accelerate like a muscle car wearing an oversized suit. However, the S550 offers a significant improvement in fuel economy over the S600. As one might expect from a Bentley and Rolls-Royce competitor, Maybach’s chassis setup favors comfort and stability.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
EPA fuel-economy testing and reporting procedures have changed over time. For the latest numbers on current and older vehicles, visit the EPA’s website and select Find and compare cars.
Interior, comfort and cargo
The Maybach S-Class is Mercedes-Benz’s most customizable car to date. Even in “standard” form, the interior hides every square centimeter of plastic; everything is covered in leather, wood or metal. Two aviator-style rear seats in the Maybach’s four-passenger configuration have airbags that only deploy if the rear passengers are not upright. Metal folding trays, silver champagne flutes and a rear-seat fridge are among the options. The sedan’s two panoramic sunroofs are offered with variable opacity. The roofline has been tweaked from the standard S-Class with a wider C-pillar that provides more privacy for rear seats. Deployable leg supports have heated, cooled and massage functions. Mercedes claims the Maybach is the quietest car on the road, with acoustic glass and extensive sound dampening in the wheel wells and underbody.
Infotainment and connectivity
The 2017 Maybach S-Class comes with the Mercedes COMAND infotainment system, with a fixed mouse-style controller in the center console. If you like a little theater with your tunes, an optional 1540-watt, 24-speaker Burmester stereo has tweeters that spiral outward from the door panels when you start.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
For more information on the S-Class’ crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Warranty and Maintenance Cover
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to each manufacturer’s CPO program.