Like sports cars and economy vehicles, what defines a luxury car is blurred via marketing materials and manufacturers’ whims. An ultra-luxury car 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; the S 680 has a 12-cylinder engine, but the siblings share nearly all other characteristics. Both trims have all-wheel-drive and nine-speed automatic transmissions.
And as a top-line luxury sedan, the Mercedes-Maybach’s standard equipment list stretches the limits of belief. 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 pillows attach to the headrests. Backseat passengers get 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 are important and further expense isn’t an issue, how about the Executive Rear Seat Package PLUS? It includes a four-place setting for the entire vehicle (two-passenger rear seats), a center console with dual folding tables and heated and cooled rear 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 monitoring, lane-keeping with automated lane-change assist, forward collision mitigation, evasive steering assist and rear and cross-traffic automatic braking are among the dozen-plus added safety features.
Powerful, smooth and quick, the Mercedes-Maybach resembles 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 in silver aluminum fanned walnut wood trim open pore, and it adds $3,200 to the car’s nearly $50,000 of options.
The 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 an eye-catching homage to gangster vehicles of yesteryear. The upscale paint costs $12,750.
Driving an elongated 5,300-pound sedan with a V8 engine and nearly 500 horsepower isn’t for the economically minded. And ultra-luxury almost always means ultra-pricing. But the 2022 Mercedes-Maybach S 580 costs far less than many competitors; Bentley and Rolls-Royce have more prestigious badges and far heftier prices. Which gives the second-year S 580 a new title — it’s a value-priced, ultra-luxury sedan.
Facts & Figures
Acceleration: 0-60 mph, 3.9 seconds
Fuel economy: 15 mpg city, 24 mpg hwy
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $184,900
Manufacturer’s website: mbusa.com
Price As Tested: $231,100
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 4 years/50,000 miles; Powertrain, 4 years/50,000 miles; Corrosion, 30 years/unlimited miles; Roadside Assistance, complimentary