LA Auto Show 2019

Look out Bentley, the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is coming for your Bentayga customers

Mercedes has introduced a new, high-end SUV that should make Bentley shake in their boots.

Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

For when a $126,000 Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 just won't do, there's a new, even higher priced and more luxurious model for buyers to consider, the 2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600.

The model takes the look and feel of a high-class sedan and combines it with the family and celebrity hauling capability of a three-row SUV. At the front of the SUV is a grille featuring fine, vertical chrome struts. Chrome extends around the sides of the vehicle highlighting the side windows. There are also chrome sill panels.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS The model features a fresh take on the signature Mercedes-Maybach grille. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

GLS 600 rides on the buyer's choice of 22- or 23-inch wheels. The SUV's tailpipe trim features a small cross rib to remind those sitting in L.A. traffic that they're sitting behind any not just any SUV. A two-tone paint job is available in eight different combinations.

Mercedes has given the SUV electronically extending running boards that deploy in about one second. However, should this be too quick for the owner, the timing can be controlled via the car's MBUX infotainment system.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS engine Mercedes has developed a new 4.0-liter V8 engine to power the model. Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The SUV is propelled by a newly developed 4.0-liter V8 engine that achieves 550 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. It features a 48-volt EQ Boost system, which helps propel the SUV at the start making it more fuel efficient. The system also gives the SUV extra oomph temporarily by way of an additional 184 pound-feet of torque and up to 21 horsepower. That boost gets it from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

The GLS 600 comes standard with all-wheel drive.

Inside the cabin, there are high-quality appointments at every turn. The dashboard is finished in Nappa leather but if that's not good enough, richer materials are available. Chrome-lock louvres sit inside the air vents while the leather-lined instrument panel keeps luxury in front of the driver. The model features the buyer's choice of high-gloss or open-pore wood trim elements.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 The luxurious auto features the latest in Mercedes-Benz infotainment technology.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Interior upholstery is available in Nappa Magma Grey/Black or Nappa Mahogany Brown/Macchiato Beige combinations. The same color combinations are also available with the standard Designo Leather package. A Crystal White/Silver Grey Pearl color option will be available in the future.

Drivers can choose from Sport, Progressive, Discreet, or Maybach Classic display modes for the instrument cluster, which is divided into three separate zones. The model features rose instrument bezels.

A 12.3-inch infotainment display is standard. A touchpad in the center console controls many of the vehicle's creature comforts and convenience features. The console features two leather-covered grab handles, climate controlled cup holders, and a handset with a Maybach emblem.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 The SUV was built for those who have a chauffeur.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

There is a panoramic sunroof with an opaque blind. The SUV also has a standard Burmester High-End 3D Surround Sound System with 27 high performance speakers and 24 separate amplifier channels.

LED lights are integrated into the door panels and in the middle of the rear seat. They surround the 7-inch MBUX rear tablet, which can control of many of the vehicle's interior functions, and the panoramic roof.

Mercedes has designed the GLS to be comfortable and practical as either a people-hauler or an office space. Its cabin features some of the finest creature comforts money can buy in a SUV. Digital devices are integrated into every seat in the Executive Rear thanks to high-resolution touch screen displays.

2021 Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 The SUV has a finely appointed interior with seats that specialize in comfort.Photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

The SUV seats four of five, depending on how the buyer configures it. Four-seat models have a fixed console between the rear seats. The car's long wheelbase allows for gobs of legroom and a true chauffeured vehicle experience.

There is a standard massage system for the rear Executive seats and the two front seats. It delivers to ten pressure points in each backrest, which can be combined with heating elements for the Mercedes version of a hot stone massage. Front seats have an additional four pressure points for additional massaging possibilities.

With all the refinement, Mercedes hasn't neglected the ride or drive quality of the model, equipping it with the latest in curve control, drive mode, and a chauffeur mode that features flat acceleration curve, transmission tuning for fewer shifts, a second-gear start, and no stop-start functionality.

Mercedes equips the model with a long list of standard safety and driver assistance technology including:

  • Active Distance Assist Distronic
  • Active Speed Limit Assist
  • Traffic Sign Assist
  • Route-based speed adjustment
  • Active Steering Assist with Active Lane Change Assist and "emergency corridor" functions
  • Evasive Steering Assist
  • Active Lane Keeping Assist
  • Active Blind Spot Assist with exit warning
  • Active Brake Assist with turning maneuver function and cross-traffic function
  • Pre-Safe Plus

The Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 is made exclusively in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, home of the University of Alabama. It is expected to go on sale at the end of 2020 and cost around $200,000 though pricing has yet to be confirmed.

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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is an off-road ready family hauler.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Pathfinder is the company's three-row crossover, sitting below the Armada and above the Rogue in the company's lineup. It's a rival to the Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Toyota Highlander, and Honda Pilot. Check out the Nissan's most compelling features by scrolling down.

Every Pathfinder comes loaded with safety technology.

The Nissan Safety Shield 360 suite of safety and driver assist technology comes standard on the Rogue. It includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, rear cross-traffic alert, land departure warning, high beam assist, and rear automatic braking.

Additionally, the company's Intelligent Driver Alertness and Rear Door Alert technologies are standard.

ProPilot Assist takes the wheel.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan's ProPilot Assist technology doesn't allow for hands-free driving and it's not self-driving, but it does fuse together many functionalities that make daily drive functions easier, especially when your children are doing their best to distract you.

ProPILOT Assist combines steering assist and Intelligent Cruise Control to help control acceleration. It can be used in heavy traffic and on open highways.

For 2021, ProPilot Assist has been enhanced. It has next-generation radar and camera technology that is designed to allow for smoother braking, better steering assist, and improved detection performance when vehicles cut into the lane.

There's a removable second-row center console.

Between the second-row captain's chairs in the seven-passenger Pathfinder, there's a thin center console (enough storage space for two cupholders and some small items) that is removable without using any tools. Removing this console allows for easier access in/out of the third-row for small children and adults. With the console in place, the seats can still be tipped and moved forward for quick ingress/egress to/from the third row.

The second row is spacious.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Sitting in the second-row captain's chairs is very much like sitting in those that you'd find in a full-size SUV. Adults will find that hip-room is plenty big enough while children will relish the opportunity to feel like they're being treated to upscale accommodations.

Three people fit across the back seat.

Second-row captain's chairs are being offered for the first time on Pathfinder with this new model. Nissan has added rear seating flexibility with the ability to fit three across the back seat. While three adults are a tight fit in the third row, children, tweens, and some teens that don't have long legs won't likely have a problem with it.

Pathfinder's drive modes are designed to inspire confidence.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Nissan has made the Rogue available with all-wheel drive. Those models also get five drive modes: Off-road, Snow, Standard, Eco, and Sport. The modes are engaged using the drive-mode selector mounted on the center console. The all-wheel drive system uses new technology that is designed to respond quicker when slippage is detected.

It has a 6,000-pound towing capability.

Nissan boasts that the 2022 Pathfinder has best-in-lass available 6,000-pound maximum towing capacity. That's enough to allow boats, ATVs, camp tents, or trailers to be connected out back. Trailer Sway Control is standard on the Pathfinder and allows for more towing confidence, especially when winds pick up.

Moving the second-row seat is as easy as the push of one button.

Nissan has equipped the second-row bench seat in the Pathfinder with EZ-Flex one-touch mechanics. It takes just one press of a button to activate fold and slide functionalities for the second-row seats. The button can be reached from both the driver and passenger sides of the vehicle for ease.

The cargo area is plenty spacious.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America


Behind the SUV's third-row seats Pathfinder can fit a 120-quart cooler or four golf bags - all with the third row full of occupants. The interior can also accommodate 4x8-foot plywood sheets.

The ride is sublimely quiet.

Nissan has equipped the Pathfinder with acoustic laminated front glass, thicker second-row glass, increased door and floor isolation, and a 60-percent increase in engine noise absorption materials. The result is a vehicle that provides a quieter ride, meaning less likelihood parents will have to should to be heard by third-row passengers.

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Red light camera usage in the U.S. has declined over the last few years.

Photo by Mathieukor/Getty Images

New research shows that communities across the U.S. are not using as many red light cameras as they used to while implementation of speed detection cameras is increasing. Both have been shows to reduce the occurrence of automobile crashes.

A new checklist devised by AAA, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Safety Council (NSC) was designed to serve as a roadmap for communities that are establishing or expanding automated enforcement programs and to dispel myths surrounding the use of the cameras.

"Research by IIHS and others has shown consistently that automated enforcement curbs dangerous driving behaviors and reduces crashes," says IIHS President David Harkey. "We hope this document developed with our highway safety partners will help communities take full advantage of this tool."

From 2011 to 2014 more than 500 communities across the U.S. operated red light cameras. Today that number stands at 340. The systems are costly. In 2003, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimated the cost as $67,000 to $80,000 per intersection. That number doesn't include the manpower hours, ticket mailing fees, court costs, or maintenance time and money associated with the ticketing. Today, the cost of the system is estimated to be in the $100,000 range per intersection.

Running red lights kills hundreds and injure tens of thousands of people every year, according to IIHS. In 2019, 846 people were killed and an estimated 143,000 were injured in red light running crashes. Most of those killed were pedestrians, bicyclists and people in other vehicles and not the red light runners or passengers riding with them.

"Red light running and speeding are known killers on our roads," says Advocates President Cathy Chase. "Well-designed and implemented automated enforcement programs can deter these hazardous driving behaviors and reduce crash deaths and injuries. They can also provide an equitable, neutral option for upgrading safety. We urge states and localities to use this checklist together with road safety infrastructure improvements to help protect motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and other vulnerable road users."

Nearly one-quarter of all traffic fatalities in 2020 (9,478 deaths) occurred due to high speed. Crashes that occur at higher speeds tend to have more severe results.

"We know from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's research that more than two people are killed every day on U.S. roads by impatient and reckless drivers blowing through red lights," says Jill Ingrassia, AAA's executive director of advocacy and communications. "Automated enforcement can play a role in a comprehensive strategy to address dangerous driving behaviors and improve traffic safety for all road users. This new set of best practice guidelines is an excellent starting point in helping jurisdictions ensure these programs are well-designed, data-driven, transparent and equitably implemented."

Camera laws vary from state to state. Currently, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia prohibit both red light and speed cameras. Montana and South Dakota disallow red-light cameras, and New Jersey and Wisconsin have outlawed speed cameras.

The checklist features first-, second-, and long-term steps including many common sense action items including:

  • Identifying problem intersections and roadways
  • Make engineering and/or signage changes
  • Establish an advisory committee
  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Utilize safety data to determine camera locations
  • Require regular evaluations
The full checklist is available now at IIHS.org.

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