When the least-expensive vehicle in a comparison costs upwards of $160,000, you know it's not going to be a battle for value in the segment. However, that's actually what's happening in this interesting video from Throttle House which features two of the snazziest luxury SUVs currently available today. Of course, we're talking about the Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 versus the Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
With the aforementioned $160,000 price tag, the Maybach is indeed the cheaper of these two but let's be honest – there's nothing cheap about this upgraded Mercedes GLS Class people mover. The real question being asked here is whether the Cullinan with its $330,000 price tag really delivers twice the experience compared to the GLS 600. We're used to seeing drag race videos from the Throttle House duo but this time around the answer doesn't come through performance. Instead, it comes through direct comparisons of what luxury SUVs should do best – pampering their occupants.
We've had our own experiences with both SUVs. The big Rolls-Royce debuted in 2018, and our comprehensive Cullinan review in 2019 confirmed is it exquisite in most every way. As a refresher, its 6.75-liter twin-turbocharged V12 makes 563 horsepower (420 kilowatts) though you get a full 600 hp (447 kW) in the Black Badge version. As for the Maybach, it's the newer competitor on the scene and our GLS 600 review found comfort, safety, and technology to be absolutely epic. Its overall design was a bit too tied to the standard Mercedes GLS for our tastes, and its twin-turbocharged 4.0-liter V8 with 550 hp (410 kW) was plenty snappy, but not jaw-dropping.
Whereas our experiences in each SUV were separated by time, the Throttle House comparison offers some direct observations. Similar to our experience, they didn't find the Maybach to be as distinctive and overtly luxurious as the Cullinan, at least in some areas. Rolls-Royce reigned supreme in the realm of comfort, especially in its plush ride, though the GLS 600's rear seating was a better place for the trip. Some quality issues were more prevalent on the Maybach as well, such as orange peel in the exterior finish. Then again, the bland accelerator and brake pedals on the Cullinan were not befitting a $330,000 machine.
So is the Rolls-Royce really twice the SUV for twice the price compared to the Maybach GLS? The Cullinan certainly claims victories in some areas, but it's hard to justify the jump in costs based on these merits alone. Then again, we highly doubt typical Rolls-Royce buyers are concerned about such details anyway.