With the growing global demand for SUVs and crossovers, some of the world’s most prominent automakers have moved their focus to SUVs. Lamborghini, for example, released the high-performance Urus SUV, and now Rolls-Royce has followed suit with the Cullinan, an ultra-luxurious SUV. Its name is taken from the Cullinan diamond, the world’s largest and most valuable. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is based on the Mercedes-Benz GLS SUV, however, it receives several designs and interior improvements over the basic GLS.
The Maybach GLS 600 and the Rolls-Royce Cullinan are market-driven vehicles. These vehicles are the ultimate of luxury and a fashion statement. Buyers rarely search for anything other than these two when purchasing premium, opulent SUVs. These SUVs ride high off the ground but lack most of the usual SUV criteria, such as off-roading and taking a hammering, because they are designed for an urban setting. Below is a comparison between the two most sorted-after luxury SUVs in the market today.
When you spend the amount of money required for these automobiles, you expect a step up in performance. The powertrain must be both smooth and strong, and the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 will include a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 with EQ Boost and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system. The Rolls-Royce Cullinan keeps things traditional with a 6.7-litre twin-turbo V12 engine that delivers quiet, steady torque.
When it comes to power, the Maybach produces 550 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, while the Roller produces 562 horsepower and 627 pound-feet of torque. The Maybach GLS will go from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 130 mph.
The Maybach GLS is based on Mercedes’ flagship SUV, the GLS, and shares the majority of its safety and technical components with it. The Mercedes MBUX system is used in the Maybach GLS 600, which has two 12.3-inch screens. The GLS comes standard with 11.6-inch screens for the back passengers, which feature a variety of multimedia capabilities. A 27-speaker Burmester 3D sound Surround System is also included in the vehicle. The Maybach GLS has a slew of safety features, including pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, lane adaptation, and semi-autonomous driving.
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan features a big touch screen infotainment system that is also controlled via toggle switches on the centre console. Because they share the iDrive system with BMW, the button arrangement and touchscreen interface are comparable. The 12-inch screen is equipped with multimedia, navigation, and other vehicle dynamics. In addition, the Cullinan includes an 18-speaker sound system, a Wi-Fi Hotspot, and rear-seat entertainment. The colouration provides a forward-collision warning, autonomous emergency painting, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control for safety.
The Rolls-Royce Cullinan is said to resemble the result of the Grand Theft Auto video game franchise’s decision to include a Rolls-Royce-style SUV in the game. The Cullinan’s look divides opinion, whilst the Maybach GLS appears more appealing at first view. The GLS is already a stylish SUV, but the new unique grille and exceptional 21-inch wheels lend a touch of old-school sophistication, especially with the two-tone colour scheme Mercedes has shown us. We’d go so far as to suggest the Maybach is a more svelte-looking vehicle, whilst the Roller is more of a social statement.
We haven’t seen the Maybach GLS’s interior, but we know it’s bespoke, with distinctive finishes and plenty of high-end technology and standard equipment. The Maybach GLS comes standard with a panoramic sunroof, seven-inch tablets, a 64-colour ambient lighting system, a Burmester sound system, a wireless charging station, heated and cooled cupholders, and a hardwood parcel shelf, as well as a separate air conditioning system.
There’s a Rolls-Royce level of comfort and convenience in the back, but the Maybach takes it a step further with a split two-seat layout with a fixed centre console that’s available on special request.
There will be no lack of quality or style in either of these SUVs. Rolls-Royce has prioritised luxury over technology in its interior design. There is technology, such as digital gauges, but it is based on the old Rolls-Royce clusters. Even the climate wheels appear to be from the 1980s.
There is no evidence of plastic in the Cullinan, and the overall concept is real leather and wood. That is most evident in the coach doors at the back, which have built-in umbrellas ready to be opened and delivered to you by the chauffeur. When the car is driving, the interior is extremely isolated, and the radio has been meticulously adjusted by Rolls-Royce sound engineers.
Neither of these SUVs will be inexpensive. The Mercedes-Maybach GLS price has yet to be published, but the sedan starts at $199,900, and we estimate the SUV will cost more than $200,000. It’s unlikely to cost more than the $325,000 base price of the Rolls-Royce Cullinan, but nobody will buy an un-optioned “base” model anyhow. Customers in both models will pay whatever it takes to acquire exactly what they desire. When you factor in Rolls-bespoke Royce’s tailoring programme, that figure easily doubles or triples.
Rolls-Royce claims that clients are just as likely to drive themselves around in its SUV as they are to be chauffeured, but the Maybach GLS is designed to ensure that the back seats are the best place to be. The Cullinan has also shown to be more off-road capable and utilitarian than Rolls-Royce vehicles in many decades. The GLS is more capable off-road than anyone thought, although it lacks the Cullinan’s capabilities.
The suspicion is growing that the Maybach GLS will become the Rolls-Royce of SUVs, despite the fact that Rolls-Royce produces its own SUV. That shouldn’t be taken as a knock at the British automaker, as the Cullinan isn’t meant to replace any of its current models. Instead, it performs SUV things while also providing the elegance and refinement that the brand is known for.