Like sports cars and economy vehicles, what defines a luxury car is blurred in marketing materials and manufacturers’ whims. An ultra-luxury car easier may be easier to pinpoint since fewer are made. The 2022 Mercedes-Maybach qualifies without any squabble.
After its long tumultuous tenure, Maybach ceased as a standalone manufacturer in 2013. Two years later it became a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz. Beginning in 2021, Daimler began to make ultra-luxury editions of the Mercedes-Benz S-Classic and GLS-Class using the name Mercedes-Maybach.
The 2022 edition is available in S 580 and S 680 trims. The reviewed S 580 features a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 496 horsepower. Both trims have all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission. The S 680 has a 12-cylinder engine, but the siblings share nearly all other equipment.
As a top-line luxury sedan, the Mercedes-Maybach’s standard equipment list stretches the limits of decency.
The air suspension allows the raising and lowering of the car to the proper height. Spa-like comfort reigns with ventilated heated and massaging front and rear seats with memory settings. Four-zone climate control with a fragrance atomizer, a rear neck heater, a heated steering wheel and heated armrests are in the comfort mix. Two front and two back set pillows attach to the headrests.
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Mercedes-Maybach: Champagne, Anyone?
Back-seat passengers gets the best of it. An optional small refrigerator ($1,100) rests between the two seats and can hold two champagne flutes ($3,200).
If eating and drinking on drives is important and further expense isn’t an issue, how about the Executive Rear Seat Package PLUS? It includes a four-place seating for the entire vehicle (two-passenger rear seats), a center console with dual folding tables as well as rear heated and cooled cupholders. It’s another $6,000.
Technology is state-of-the-art, centralized with a 12.8-inch OLED touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel. The navigation system has augmented reality driving directions, a head-up display, a rear entertainment system with individual monitors, six USB-C ports and a 30-speaker Burmester premium audio system.
Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitor, lane-keeping with automated lane-change assist, forward collision mitigation, evasive steering assist and rear and cross-traffic automatic braking are among the more than a dozen added safety features.
Powerful, smooth and quick (0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds), the Mercedes-Maybach defines a plush apartment on wheels. The front seats are spacious, constructed from top-grade materials complemented by upscale painting and wood trim. It’s detailed as silver aluminum fanned walnut wood trim open pore and it adds ($3,200) to the car’s nearly $50,000 of options.
Mercedes-Maybach: Design Nirvana
The manufacturers’ hand-crafted Manufaktur leather package ($8,000) makes a cruise in the limousine-esque beast feel just right. Perhaps the vehicle’s design team consulted with the art director of a glossy architecture magazine?
With its stunning interior, nothing less would be expected for the Maybach’s exterior presence. Two-tone paint palettes may be polarizing. But the combination of the Obsidian Black Metallic body and Cirrus Silver top and six trim is eye-catching, even if it’s an homage to gangster vehicles of yesteryear. The upscale paint costs $12,750.
Mercedes-Maybach: Ultra Wonderful
Driving a 5,300-pound, elongated sedan with a V8 engine and nearly 500 horsepower isn’t for the economically minded. The S 580 is rated at 15 miles per gallon in city driving, 24 mpg on the highway. The tallies seem generous.
Ultra-luxury means ultra-pricing. The 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 cost far less than many competitors. The MSRP is $184,900, with its lengthy list of high-end options pushing the price to $231,100.
Bentley and Rolls-Royce have more prestigious badges and far hefty prices, which gives the second-year S 580 a new title. It’s a value-priced, ultra-luxury sedan.
Article Last Updated: April 14, 2022.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.