Everyone knows Rolls-Royce and Bentley and the supreme automotive luxury that those makers offer, but do you remember Maybach? If you do, you’ll appreciate today’s Autotrader Find: a 2005 Maybach 57 with a little less than 10,000 miles on the clock. It’s for sale at Executive Auto Gallery in Walnutport, Pennsylvania, with an asking price of $58,900. If you’re thinking that you could just go get a new 2020 Mercedes-Benz E-Class for that kind of money, consider that this Maybach had an MSRP of $315,500 — that’s $414,195.12 in 2020 money. Adjusting for inflation, this used price is an 85% discount compared to when the car was new.
So what is this obscure luxury sedan, and why is this 15-year-old car so expensive? The short-lived Maybach brand, launched in 2002, was Daimler’s ambitious attempt to add an ultra-luxury brand slotted above Mercedes-Benz to compete directly with Rolls-Royce and Bentley. This is a tough arena to play in. Brand recognition and identity matter a great deal — and, unfortunately, the Maybach name just didn’t have much cachet compared to its more established competitors. For that reason, Maybach never took off, and it was discontinued after the 2012 model year. Maybach lives today as a kind of Mercedes-Benz sub-brand, with the Mercedes-Maybach name applied to the fanciest variant of the S-Class sedan.
The Maybach model range consisted of two similar models: the 57 and the 62. The names of these cars were based on their respective lengths, measured in decimeters. As you might have guessed, the 57 was intended to be a full-size sedan driven by the owner, while the longer 62 was more like a limo to be chauffeured around in. Daimler originally planned for Maybach to sell about 2,000 units a year globally, but that number never even came close to materializing. Only about 3,000 cars were built over the brand’s decadelong life.
It’s too bad that Maybach failed to get the recognition it needed to survive, as the brand made supremely luxurious cars that arguably justified their lofty price tags. Every Maybach was powered by a twin-turbo V12 engine — in the 2005 57, it’s a 5.5-liter mill that makes 543 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque — and came with such standard features as 4-zone climate control, premium leather front and back seats with heating, massaging and power adjustable functions, cooled front seats, a back-seat DVD entertainment system, navigation with voice recognition, rear sunshades, heated cupholders, a heated steering wheel wrapped in wood and leather and much more.
The dealer selling this 2005 Maybach 57 claims that it’s a one-owner car, which is easy to believe, considering its super low mileage. Because the car hasn’t been driven much, it’s in excellent condition inside and out. Sure, you could spend almost $60,000 on a new luxury car with more modern technology and a more modern design, but this is a good chance to get a unique high-end sedan with twin-turbo V12 power and a hood ornament you won’t find in any other driveway on your block. Find a Maybach 57 for sale