Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2011 Porsche Panamera VS 2011 BMW 7 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2011 Porsche Panamera

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2011 BMW 7

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Porsche Panamera are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 7 Series doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the Panamera and the 7 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all wheel drive.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Panamera third among large premium cars in their 2010 Initial Quality Study. The 7 Series isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2010 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in initial quality, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ surveys of the owners of three-year-old cars provide the long-term dependability statistics that show that Porsche vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche first in reliability. With 55 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 17th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche Panamera S is faster than the BMW 750Li:


7 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

4.6 sec

5.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.2 sec

12.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

13.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

109 MPH

103 MPH

Top Speed

176 MPH

150 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Porsche Panamera Turbo is faster than the BMW Alpina B7:


7 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

3.3 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.2 sec

10.1 sec

Quarter Mile

11.7 sec

12.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

119 MPH

113 MPH

Top Speed

193 MPH

177 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Panamera gets better fuel mileage than the 7 Series:


7 Series



18 city/27 hwy

17 city/25 hwy


16 city/24 hwy


Turbo V8/Auto

16 city/24 hwy

15 city/19 hwy



18 city/26 hwy



16 city/24 hwy


Turbo V8/Auto

15 city/23 hwy

14 city/20 hwy

Turbo V12


13 city/19 hwy

The Panamera S4/Turbo’s standard fuel tank has 4.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 7 Series’ standard fuel tank (26.4 vs. 21.7 gallons).


Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Panamera’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the 7 Series:


Panamera Turbo

Panamera Turbo Opt.



Front Rotors

14.2 inches

15.4 inches

16.1 inches

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

The Panamera offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 7 Series doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The Panamera stops much shorter than the 7 Series:


7 Series

80 to 0 MPH

204 feet

210 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

115 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Panamera’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 7 Series (F:255/40R20 & R:295/35R20 vs. F:245/45R19 & R:275/40R19).

The Panamera S’ standard 275/45R18 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 7 Series’ standard 50 series tires. The Panamera’s optional 255/40R20 front and 295/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the 7 Series’ optional 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Panamera is 1.9 inches wider in the front and .1 inches wider in the rear than the track on the 7 Series.

The Panamera Turbo 4 handles at .97 G’s, while the 750Li pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Panamera Turbo 4 goes through Road & Track’s slalom faster than the 750i (69.1 vs. 68.2 MPH).

The Panamera S executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 750Li (25.7 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 26.2 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Panamera’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the 750i’s (39.3 feet vs. 40 feet). The Panamera’s turning circle is 3.4 feet tighter than the ActiveHybrid 750Li’s (39.3 feet vs. 42.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Porsche Panamera may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 700 pounds less than the BMW 7 Series.

The Panamera is 4.2 inches shorter than the 750i, making the Panamera easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Panamera’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The 7 Series doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Panamera offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The 7 Series doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Panamera’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge – which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 7 Series has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Panamera offers an optional rear wiper. The 7 Series doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Panamera will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The Intellichoice estimates that the Panamera will retain 53.86% to 54.35% of its original price after five years, while the 7 Series only retains 30.11% to 36.64%.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Porsche Panamera will be $2455 to $27199 less than for the BMW 7 Series.

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