Car of the Year 2016 | #12: Mercedes-Maybach S600

  • Photo by Cordero Studios/corderostudios.com
    Mercedes-Maybach S600 Photo by Cordero Studios/corderostudios.com

Like riding inside a 6,000-pound marshmallow

Engine: 6-liter twin-turbocharged V-12 | Power: 523 hp at 4,900 rpm | Zero to 60 mph: 5 seconds | Top Speed: 130 mph (electronically limited) | Starting Price: $189,350
Maybach, a brand that Daimler revived from 2002 until 2012, has been reborn again, this time as Mercedes-Maybach. The inaugural model is the S600, and it’s essentially a Mercedes-Benz S-Class that has been sent to finishing school to add more technology, length, and luxury.

With a starting price under $190,000, the S600 represents considerable value compared to the last Maybach models: The 57 cost about twice as much as the S600 when new, and the 62 was priced even higher. Those prices, coupled with the recession, contributed to poor sales and led to Maybach’s demise. Nevertheless, some judges expressed a preference for the old marque. As Russ Faulk wryly observed, “This is not my ’Bach. Maybe it’s your ’Bach.” 

Regardless of how the car is branded, many judges held the S600—especially its interior—in high esteem. The rear seats, according to José Luis Nazar, provide the “best nap outside of a mattress.” Wanda Gierhart compared riding in the cabin to visiting a Chanel boutique, and Rich Soja equated the experience with “riding inside a 6,000-pound marshmallow.”

Rudy Albers was impressed with the behemoth’s power and precision, calling the S600 “quick like a Tesla and refined like a Patek Philippe,” and Michael Rubin said it was “as smooth as silk.” 

“I’ve never felt so much disparity in the cabin of a luxury cruiser. In the backseat, I felt like a princess. Behind the wheel, I felt like a bus driver.” —Laura Burstein, Robb Report contributing writer

mbusa.com

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