SUVs are currently among the most popular vehicles in the auto industry, so it comes as no surprise that many manufacturers are trying their hand in the segment. So much so, that even ultra-luxury brands that had never had such a model before, like Rolls-Royce, have gotten in on the action.
The newest kid on the block is the Mercedes-Maybach GLS600, but at about half the price, does it have what it takes to compete with Rolls-Royce’s Cullinan? Automotive YouTube channel Throttle House attempts to find out in a side-by-side comparison of the two.
Starting with the exterior, it’s immediately obvious how much more presence the Rolls has than the Maybach. Its large, slab-sided design just carries much more significance than the GLS, which doesn’t look too much different from its regular, $85,000 cheaper variant.
Moving on to the driving experience, the Cullinan wins again, as its sound deadening and ride quality are beyond compare. That being said, despite the GLS being half the price, Throttle House believes its ride is more than three quarters of the Rolls-Royce’s. As for the smoothness of the engines, the Rolls was also found to have the upper hand, although that could just be due to the cylinder count (12 vs. 8) rather than actual quality differences between the two.
Last, and probably most important, is the interior. The Cullinan excels in its materials and overall quality, but the Maybach blows it out of the water in terms of rear seat accommodations, which is quite possibly one of the most essential aspects of these types of vehicles. Unlike the sedans in Rolls-Royce’s lineup, the Cullinan doesn’t have fancy back seats like the GLS, which have heating, cooling, massaging, full reclining, tray tables, and a champagne cooler among other things.
In the end, the verdict was that the Mercedes has outstanding rear seat luxury, but not much else to justify its comparatively low (but still expensive) price over a normal GLS. The Rolls-Royce is just more special, and while the price of admission is high, you certainly get what you pay for.