Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 BMW 7 SERIES VS 2011 Lexus GS Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2011 Lexus GS

Safety Comparison

An active infrared night vision system optional on the 7 Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then projects the image on the windshield, near the driver’s line of sight. The GS Series doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The 7 Series’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The GS Series doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 7 Series offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The GS Series only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The 7 Series’ optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The GS Series doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

Both the 7 Series and the GS 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.

Warranty Comparison

The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the GS Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 7 Series for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, tire rotation, lubrication and any other scheduled maintenance. Lexus doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the GS Series.

There are over 77 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

The 7 Series has more powerful engines than the GS Series:



740 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

315 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

750 4.4 turbo V8

400 HP

450 lbs.-ft.

Active Hybrid 750i 4.4 turbo V8

455 HP

515 lbs.-ft.

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

500 HP

515 lbs.-ft.

760Li 6.0 turbo V12

535 HP

550 lbs.-ft.

GS350 3.5 DOHC V6

303 HP

274 lbs.-ft.

GS450h Hybrid 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid

340 HP

GS460 4.6 DOHC V8

342 HP

339 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the 740 is faster than the GS350:

7 Series

GS Series

Zero to 60 MPH

5.5 sec

5.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

101.5 MPH

99.6 MPH

As tested in Road & Track the 750 is faster than the GS450h:

7 Series

GS Series

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

2.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.9 sec

5.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

8 sec

8.6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

11.8 sec

12.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.4 sec

13.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

106 MPH

105.4 MPH

For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the 7 Series’ engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM’s than the GS Series:


740 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

1600 RPM

750 4.4 turbo V8

1750 RPM

Active Hybrid 750i 4.4 turbo V8

2000 RPM

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

3000 RPM

760Li 6.0 turbo V12

1500 RPM

GS350 3.5 DOHC V6

3600 RPM

GS450h Hybrid 3.5 DOHC V6


GS460 4.6 DOHC V8

3600 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 740 RWD gets better fuel mileage than the GS460 RWD (17 city/25 hwy vs. 17 city/24 hwy).

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the 7 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Lexus only offers a regenerative brake system on the GS Series Hybrid.

The 7 Series has 4.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the GS Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 17.2 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 7 Series has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the GS Series’ standard fuel tank (21.7 vs. 18.8 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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



GS Series

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

12.2 inches

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the GS Series:

7 Series

GS Series

80 to 0 MPH

207 feet

220 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the 7 Series has larger standard tires than the GS Series (245/50R18 vs. 225/50R17).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 7 Series has standard 18 inch wheels. Smaller 17 inch wheels are standard on the GS350. The 7 Series’ 20 inch wheels are larger than the 18 inch wheels on the GS460/450h.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 7 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. Run-flat tires cost extra on the GS Series.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 7 Series offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The GS Series doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 750i offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Lexus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the GS Series.

The 750i has a standard automatic load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The GS Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 750i’s wheelbase is 8.7 inches longer than on the GS Series (120.9 inches vs. 112.2 inches). The 750Li’s wheelbase is 14.2 inches longer than on the GS Series (126.4 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 7 Series is 3 inches wider in the front and 4.4 inches wider in the rear than on the GS Series.

The 750i handles at .89 G’s, while the GS350 AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The 750Li goes through Road & Track’s slalom 8 MPH faster than the GS450h Hybrid (68.7 vs. 60.7 MPH).

The 750Li performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 6.5 MPH faster than the GS460 (68.3 vs. 61.8 MPH).

The 740i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the GS350 (25.8 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Road & Track while under full throttle, the interior of the 750Li is quieter than the GS450h Hybrid (67 vs. 68 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The 7 Series SWB has 2.8 inches more front headroom, 2.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and 2.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the GS Series.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 7 Series Li’s available rear seats recline. The GS Series’ rear seats don’t recline.

Ergonomics Comparison

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the GS Series, the 7 Series has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The 7 Series offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts onto the windshield, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The GS Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the 7 Series and the GS Series have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 7 Series is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The GS Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The 7 Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The GS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 7 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The GS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 7 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The GS Series doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The 7 Series’ standard power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GS Series’ standard power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

Both the 7 Series and the GS Series offer available heated front seats. The 7 Series also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the GS Series.

To help keep rear passengers entertained, the 7 Series offers optional rear seat controls for the radio. The GS Series doesn’t offer rear seat audio controls.

Optional BMW Apps for the 7 Series allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations, tagging songs to buy them later, following twitter accounts and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The GS Series doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 7 Series is less expensive to operate than the GS Series because it costs $497 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 7 Series than the GS Series, including $256 less for front brake pads, $108 less for a starter, $17 less for fuel injection and $1571 less for a fuel pump.

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