After a standalone run from 2004 to 2013, Maybach returned for 2016 as Mercedes-Benz’s ultimate luxury sub-brand, offering truly opulent variants of the S-class sedan. Much in the same way Mercedes-AMG represents the automaker’s performance portfolio, Mercedes-Maybach focuses on outright comfort. The Maybach S560 and S650 are both 7.9 inches longer than a standard S-class, with every bit of that extension dedicated to the rear seats. The roofline is also adjusted to offer extra privacy for the uber-coddled. All these changes coalesce in a conservative flagship that lacks the outright theater of a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, better for bankers and diplomats than rock stars and oil sheiks.
What’s New for 2018?
The 2018 Mercedes-Maybach lineup benefits from a mid-cycle update that includes all S-class variants, offering revised headlights and taillights as well as a new rear bumper. The refresh also brings significant upgrades to the S-class’s driver-assist tech, including adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking, lane-changing assist, and route-based speed adaptation. The model names have changed, too; the S500 is now the S560, while the S600 becomes the S650.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The smooth-running and more exclusive V-12 engine in the S650 sedan makes it the one to get. It’s not as fuel efficient as the S560’s twin-turbo V-8, but it’s not like any Maybach can be considered truly thrifty.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Maybach S560 gets its motivation from a 463-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 coupled to a nine-speed automatic transmission powering all four wheels. The S650 carries a 621-horsepower twin-turbocharged 6.0-liter V-12, moving the rear wheels through a seven-speed automatic. Both engines will get you to 60 mph in about five seconds flat, so those seeking hustle can’t go wrong with either model. The ride is quite supple, too, thanks to air suspension and cameras that scan the road ahead, tweaking the damping force to nearly eliminate crusty roads and speed bumps without a persistent floaty feeling.
More on the S-Class Sedan
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 & Compare Cars.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Compared with a standard Mercedes-Benz S-class, the Maybach’s 7.9-inch wheelbase extension equates to an additional 5.9 inches of rear-seat legroom, making the back seat a comfortable place to be for virtually any NBA player. Mercedes claims the Maybach is its most customizable model, and its breadth of options is truly impressive. The rear seat can be had as a three-person bench or with a pair of individual reclining seats with heating, cooling, and massage functions. A Maybach can be decked out further with folding tables, silver champagne flutes, and a rear-seat refrigerator. Two panoramic sunroofs include user-controlled opacity. The front seats aren’t exactly bare-bones, either, with 12-way power adjustment, heating, cooling, and massage.
The Car and Driver Difference
Infotainment and Connectivity
The 2018 Maybach S-class comes with the Mercedes COMAND infotainment system, with a fixed mouse-style controller on the center console. If you like a little bit of theater with your tunes, an optional 1540-watt, 24-speaker Burmester stereo features tweeters that spiral outward from the door panels when starting up.
How to Buy and Maintain a Car
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
For more information about the S-class’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites.
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Some older vehicles are still eligible for coverage under a manufacturer’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program. For more information visit our guide to every manufacturer’s CPO program.
VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
PRICE AS TESTED: $175,595 (base price: $169,595)
ENGINE TYPE: twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 243 cu in, 3982 cc
Power: 463 hp @ 5500 rpm
Torque: 516 lb-ft @ 2000 rpm
TRANSMISSION: 9-speed automatic with manual shifting mode
Wheelbase: 132.5 in
Length: 215.0 in
Width: 74.8 in Height: 59.0 in
Passenger volume: 113 cu ft
Trunk volume: 12 cu ft
Curb weight: 5143 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS:
Zero to 60 mph: 4.7 sec
Zero to 100 mph: 10.9 sec
Zero to 130 mph: 18.8 sec
Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 5.5 sec
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 2.7 sec
Top gear, 50-70 mph: 3.5 sec
Standing ¼-mile: 13.1 sec @ 110 mph
Braking, 70-0 mph: 163 ft
Top speed (governor limited): 131 mph
Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad*: 0.91 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY:
Observed: 18 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY:
Combined/city/highway: 19/16/25 mpg