Exterior:Obsidian Black Metallic
Interior:Black Exclusive Nappa Leather
The Maybach S-class cars are best enjoyed from the rear seat, where passengers can stretch out and relax on hot-stone-style massaging leather recliners and enjoy the Burmester audio system while an atomizer fills the cabin with one of Maybach’s five signature fragrances. The Maybach models ride on a wheelbase that’s 7.9 inches longer than the Benz-branded S-class cars and nearly all of that extra length is dedicated to the rear seat to create an extra-spacious environment. That’s not to say that the front seat isn’t luxurious. The driver and front-seat passenger are treated to most of the same luxuries—including the massaging seats—and the dashboard’s dual 12.3-inch digital displays provide access to the car’s infotainment system. A host of driver-assistance features are available including an adaptive-cruise-control system that uses navigational data to slow the car down in preparation for corners and an automatic lane-change feature that watches for gaps in traffic and merges the S-class when it’s safe to do so.
The S560’s 463-hp twin-turbo 4.0-liter V-8 and the S650’s 621-hp twin-turbo 6.0-liter V-12 both provide effortless motivation. In our testing, the S560 managed a smooth and fleet-footed trip to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds. The S650 might not be much quicker (we haven’t tested one) but in our experience, its V-12 has proven to be even silkier in its operation than the V-8 in other Mercedes vehicles. All Maybach models come with a nine-speed automatic; all-wheel drive is standard on the S560 but the S650 is only available with rear-wheel drive. Like its lesser S-class brethren, the Maybach has undergone an extensive refresh for 2018. All S-class sedans receive new fascias along with LED headlights and taillamps that better align the car’s looks with those of newer Mercedes products. On the Maybach, fresh details include a small Maybach badge housed within the redesigned grille and a Maybach-specific front bumper that includes chrome-outlined lower air intakes.
The extra length directly benefits rear-seat passengers, as legroom increases from 34.1 inches in the Benz to an even 40.0 inches in the Maybach. The sumptuous rear compartment includes four-way power-adjustable outboard seats with heating and cooling functions, power-operated leg rests, and a built-in massage feature. Those in search of additional splendor can drop $1950 to have the rear bench replaced with a pair of individual seats and a full-length center console with folding tray tables. A refrigerated box in the rear adds another $1100 to the bill, while hand-crafted silver champagne flutes will set customers back $3200. Entertainment screens attached to the front seatbacks are standard and offer rear passengers their own set of infotainment controls as well as individual sets of wireless headphones.
Although the Maybach’s accommodating rear quarters are its proverbial heart and soul, the car is no less enjoyable from the comfort of its 12-way power-adjustable front seats, both of which can heat, cool, and massage those settled in their cozy confines.
As in all S-class models, the Maybach’s dashboard is marked by a pair of 12.3-inch screens. The one mounted directly in front of the driver serves as the instrument cluster but also is able to display other pertinent vehicle information such as the feed from the standard front-mounted infrared night-vision camera. The second screen sits in the center of the dash and covers all infotainment functions. Unlike last year’s model, both screens now rest under a single piece of glass for a sleeker look.
A center-console-mounted rotary knob with a touchpad above it remains the primary means for users to interact with the central screen. Alternately, the driver can interface with both screens by way of touch-sensitive pads located on the reshaped three-spoke steering wheel. The right pad works the center screen, while the left one manages the instrument cluster. The infotainment system also accepts voice commands. Although the Maybach’s familiar styling may not garner the same attention as its British competition, the massive Mercedes provides a similarly cosseting cabin as those found in the pricier Bentley and Rolls-Royce. Be sure to find a good chauffeur, though, because if you’re not going to ride in the Maybach’s opulent rear seat, you may want to stick with the smaller and less-expensive Mercedes-Benz S560 4Matic.