2017 Mercedes-Benz Maybach Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2017 Mercedes-Benz Maybach is the ultimate of the ultimate. It is the long-wheelbase version of the S-Class, already one of the finest automobiles money can buy, outfitted with virtually every comfort, convenience, entertainment, safety and unabashedly opulent feature available in the extensive Mercedes catalog. Throw in a few styling tweaks, some Maybach badging and several special features of its own (silver champagne flutes, anybody?), and you've got yourself a distinctive upgrade to the S-Class.
Really, the Maybach is a car to be driven in rather than to drive yourself. Besides the extra room afforded by its 7.9-inch wheelbase stretch, the Maybach comes with the full gamut of rear-seat indulgences. That includes rear seats that recline, have adjustments for the shoulder and side bolsters, heating, ventilation, six massage functions and comfy pillow head restraints. There's a standard dual-screen entertainment system and available pop-up tables. If there was ever a car to be driven around in, this is it — even the best from Bentley and Rolls-Royce can't match the Maybach's feature content.
If you do drive your Maybach yourself, you'll similarly enjoy a cabin ambience and quality that rivals Britain's best. True, the design and materials are no different than what you can get in a loaded S-Class, but is that actually a bad thing? The serene way it transports you down the road should be difficult to match as well, especially with the S600's predictively adjustable Magic Ride Control suspension.
For 2017, there is a greater amount of choice. Joining the Mercedes-Maybach S600 is the new Mercedes-Maybach S550 4Matic, which features a V8 engine and all-wheel drive in place of a V12 and rear-wheel drive. The result is a lower price tag, better fuel economy and superior all-weather traction. Then again, the S600 is still the ultimate of the ultimate of the ultimate S-Class.
Regardless, this is truly one of the best cars in the world and worthy of consideration alongside the Bentley Flying Spur, Bentley Mulsanne and Rolls-Royce Ghost — all of which cost considerably more. But with the Maybach, you're getting opulence and value all in one.
Few vehicles on Earth can rival the Maybach's standard safety feature set. Besides the typical airbags and traction aids, it comes with a driver knee airbag, front side pelvic airbags, rear side airbags, rear cushion airbags that prevent submarining under your seat belt, rear-seat belt airbags, a forward collision warning and automatic braking system (detects cars and pedestrians), a rear collision detection and mitigation system, a drowsy driver warning system, active lane-keeping and blind-spot assistance, front and rear cross-traffic alert, and a night-vision display. Also included is a six-month free trial of Mbrace Secure emergency services, which includes automatic collision and alarm notification, stolen vehicle locator and an emergency call button.
In Edmunds brake testing, a Mercedes-Maybach S600 stopped from 60 mph in just 112 feet, a strong showing for a large luxury sedan.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
The 2017 Mercedes-Maybach comes in S550 4Matic and S600 versions. Both seat four people.
Besides the expected array of feature content you'd expect to find in an elite luxury sedan, the Maybach S550 4Matic comes standard with 19-inch wheels, an adaptive air suspension, full LED exterior lighting (including headlights), a panoramic sunroof, a power trunklid and soft-close doors.
Inside, you are treated to leather covering the seats, doors, armrests, console and ceiling — all but the latter two are heated. All outboard seats are heated and ventilated and have memory settings, adjustable side and shoulder bolsters, multiple lumbar settings and six massage programs. The front seats offer 12-way adjustment; the rear seats provide four-way power recline. Other notable interior features include four-zone climate control, a cabin air fragrance system and power rear sunshades.
Technology features include full-speed adaptive cruise control (with stop-and-go capability and steering assist), a night-vision display, an automatic parking system, surround-view parking cameras, a variety of accident prevention technologies (see the Safety section), a head-up display, the Mercedes COMAND interface with two 12.3-inch displays (one for infotainment, the other for instruments), a navigation system, a rear-seat entertainment system (two screens, separate COMAND controllers, wireless headphones, a DVD player and auxiliary audio and video inputs), two USB ports, and a 24-speaker Burmester surround-sound system with a six-CD/DVD changer, satellite and HD radios, and a media player interface.
The S600 gains a more powerful engine and Magic Ride Control, which scans the road ahead for pavement imperfections and preemptively adjusts the suspension.
The optional Executive Rear Seat Package Plus adds heated and cooled rear cupholders and pop-up tables that rise from the rear center console as they would in a first-class airplane seat. Other options include 20-inch wheels, a dimming panoramic sunroof, a split-view front COMAND screen (allows driver and passenger to see different things), in-car Wi-Fi, upgraded leather and wood trim selections, a rear console refrigerator box and handcrafted Robbe & Berking silver champagne flutes with specially designed rear cupholders. You can also get a lesser 13-speaker Burmester surround-sound system.
The Mercedes-Maybach S550 4Matic comes with a turbocharged 4.7-liter V8 that produces 449 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque. A nine-speed automatic transmission and 4Matic all-wheel drive are standard. Mercedes says it will go from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds, which makes it one rapid limo. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 19 mpg combined (16 city/24 highway).
The Mercedes-Maybach S600 has a turbocharged 6.0-liter V12 good for 523 hp and 612 lb-ft of torque. It has a seven-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. Because power goes only to the rear wheels, it went from zero to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds during Edmunds testing due to traction limitations. Rest assured, though, it will definitely feel like a much stronger engine than the S550's. It will also be thirstier with EPA estimates of 16 mpg combined (13 city/21 highway).
Effortless. That's how the 2017 Mercedes-Maybach S600 and S550 4Matic feel when you're behind the wheel. The steering is fairly light, and with lane keeping assist and/or Distronic Plus cruise control activated, it will even subtly steer the car for you. This quite obviously isn't a sporty car, but you'll be surprised at how adeptly this very large sedan will hunker down and go around a corner.
You may think you've enjoyed a comfortable ride before, but it most likely pales in comparison to the adjustable air suspension in the S550 4Matic. And yet, it actually gets better with the S600, which features Mercedes' trick Magic Body Control that actually detects bumps ahead and preemptively adjusts the suspension to compensate. The system doesn't work at all speeds and in all drive modes, but most of the time it makes bumps on the road virtually imperceptible.
As for power, well, there's no shortage of it. Both engines actually get the Maybach up to 60 mph at the same time in a sprint, but that's due to the increased traction provided by the S550's 4Matic all-wheel-drive system. In actually, the V12-powered S600 will feel like the stronger car. You won't hear much from either, however: All noises are reduced to a whisper inside the cocoon-like cabin. Mercedes claims this is the quietest sedan in the world, and it's an easy boast to believe.
The 2017 Mercedes-Maybach's S-Class roots may suggest a cabin that should compete with the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series, but its interior actually sits a healthy notch or two above those (very fine) vehicles. Think Bentley or even the Rolls-Royce Ghost.
The Maybach delivers a sensory experience like few other automobiles. Rich leather upholstery, replete with beautiful decorative perforations and stitching, resides everywhere the hand falls and seemingly stretches from floor to ceiling. A pair of massive, 12.3-inch widescreen displays appear to float in their mounts, with one acting as a gauge cluster and the other keeping tabs on infotainment functions and advanced vehicle settings. At night, driver-adjustable multicolor lighting bathes the cabin in a soothing glow. Even the air can be ionized and perfumed to the owner's specification.
Thanks to a 7.9-inch wheelbase stretch relative to the S-Class, the rear seats are the place to be, with pampering accommodations that wouldn't be out of place in a custom-outfitted Gulfstream. There's abundant room to stretch out, and with the rear center console, it's easy for a pair of occupants to get work done on the optional foldout tray tables or watch a movie using the twin rear screens. With the seats' power recline function and pop-out calf support and footrest, it's also possible to catch a few Z's or indulge in a quick "hot stone" massage en route to your next appointment.
Up front, all of the Maybach's many vehicle functions are controlled by the latest iteration of the Mercedes COMAND system. And we do mean many, as it is quite easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things to control on the car. As a result, it takes a long time to familiarize yourself with everything — even on a test drive — including the redundant control setup of a traditional knob controller and a more modern capacitive touchpad. You can essentially use whichever you prefer.
The trunk differs based on whether you stick with the standard 24-speaker Burmester sound system (12.3 cubic feet) or opt to save some cash and cargo volume by going with the 13-speaker system (16 cubic feet). That's a significant difference.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.