What is it: This is it — the pinnacle of chauffeur-oriented luxury, at least within the Mercedes-Benz range. The Maybach S560 doesn’t just get a wheelbase stretch; from the killer sound system to the reclining rear seat, it’s designed to make the life of the driven as cushy as possible.
Key Competitors: BMW M760i, Bentley Mulsanne, Rolls-Royce Phantom
Base Price: $169,595 As-Tested Price: $175,595
Highlights: The Mercedes-Maybach S560 doesn’t just get a new badge for 2018 (it was formerly the S550); it’s now powered by a 463-hp version of the twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 we’ve come to know (and love) in the AMG lineup.
Did I spend a good portion of a Friday night parked in a buddy’s driveway blasting music in the back of this Maybach? Indeed I did. Chiefly because the 13-speaker Burmester surround-sound audio system is better than anything I will be able to afford for my home for the foreseeable future, but the seat massage function is nice, too. Plus, you can crank the volume as loud as you want and you can’t hear a darn thing outside the car. I checked: Once those soft-close doors close, softly, you’re sealed in there pretty good.
And come on — how else are you going to review one of these personal limousines? I could go on and on about how this car is quick for a land-yacht, and unexpectedly easy to handle and park despite its extended wheelbase, but that’s all stuff for your driver to worry about. You, the prospective Maybach owner, care about the back seats. And they’re great! The leather Maybach-trimmed throw pillows and deep-pile carpet were a nice touch, too. Necessary? Not really, but this car is in its own quiet way all about excess.
It helps that it’s built on great bones. Strip away all the quilted leather pillows and carpets and you’re left with a longer-wheelbase S-Class (132.5 to 124.6 inches). You could pick a worse place to start. Another welcome feature: The twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 that made its way over to the S-Class from the AMG world for the 2018 model year feels right at home. And 0-60 mph in a stated 4.8 seconds is great for an almost three-ton boat.