The Mercedes-Maybach S650, along with the Bentley Bentayga, is one of the two most frustrating cars I’ve ever driven. The Bentayga is a hopelessly overpriced Audi with a Bentley front end and engine, while the Maybach S650 is a hopelessly overpriced S-Class Mercedes with a huge V12 engine and a sumptuous interior.
All in all, in my opinion, the Bentley represents the most cynical attempt to pull money out of the pockets of well-heeled and brand-conscious buyers that I have ever seen. The Maybach, on the other hand, is a little more innocent because it is simply silly. The Bentagya made me angry, whereas the Maybach just made me smile and made me shake my head at so much audacity.
The Maybach equipment makes the price of the S-Class soar by over 21,000 euros. For the additional cost of a used A220, you get tons of luxury. I made this experience first-hand when Mercedes lent me a 2020 Maybach S650, which, based on the base price of around 173,000 euros, was around 191,000 euros.
How did it come to this? Well, Maybach was an independent brand name from the early 2000s until 2013, when declining interest from wealthy consumers prompted Mercedes parent Daimler to pull the plug. A few years ago, Maybach returned as a model name, similar to Mercedes-AMG, the high-performance brand of the automobile manufacturer.
Despite the V12, in my opinion the Maybach S650 did not drive any better than other Mercedes, which generally impress me. On the other hand, I could indulge in enumerating iconic features aimed at elevating the Maybach to the same level as the Bentley sedans and the spacious Rolls-Royces luxury cars.
Here is an overview of the classy equipment: