Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 BMW 7 SERIES VS 2012 Lexus LS Near Phoenix, AZ

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2012 Lexus LS

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 LS Series doesn’t offer a night vision 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 LS 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 LS Series doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver's blind spots.

Compared to metal, the 7 Series’ plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Lexus LS Series has a metal gas tank.

Both the 7 Series and the LS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, 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 LS 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 LS 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 LS Series:



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.

LS 460 AWD 4.6 DOHC V8

357 HP

344 lbs.-ft.

LS 460 4.6 DOHC V8

380 HP

367 lbs.-ft.

LS 600h L 5.0 DOHC V8 hybrid

438 HP

As tested in Car and Driver the 740 is faster than the Lexus LS Series:

7 Series

LS 460 AWD

LS 460

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

6 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.5 sec

14.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

98 MPH

99 MPH

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



740 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

5800 RPM

1600 RPM

750 4.4 turbo V8

5500 RPM

1750 RPM

Active Hybrid 750i 4.4 turbo V8

5500 RPM

2000 RPM

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

5500 RPM

3000 RPM

760Li 6.0 turbo V12

5250 RPM

1500 RPM

LS 460 4.6 DOHC V8

6400 RPM

4100 RPM

LS 600h L 5.0 DOHC V8 hybrid

6400 RPM

4000 RPM

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 740 RWD gets better fuel mileage than the LS 460 RWD (17 city/25 hwy vs. 16 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 LS Series Hybrid.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

7 Series

LS Series

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.3 inches

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the LS Series:

7 Series

LS Series

80 to 0 MPH

207 feet

251 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

209 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

119 feet

143 feet

Road & Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the 7 Series has larger standard tires than the LS Series (245/50R18 vs. 235/50R18).

The 7 Series’ optional 275/40R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the LS Series’ optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 7 Series has standard 20 inch wheels. The LS Series’ largest wheels are only 19 inches.

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. The LS Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The 7 Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The LS Series’ suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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 LS 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 LS Series.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is longer than on the LS Series:

7 Series

LS Series

SWB Sedan

120.9 inches

116.9 inches

LWB Sedan

126.4 inches

121.7 inches

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 7 Series is 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the LS Series.

The 740i handles at .88 G’s, while the LS 600h L AWD pulls only .75 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 750Li goes through Road & Track’s slalom 8.8 MPH faster than the LS 460 (68.7 vs. 59.9 MPH).

The 750Li performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 13.4 MPH faster than the LS 460 L (68.3 vs. 54.9 MPH).

The 740i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the LS 600h L AWD (25.8 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Road & Track, the interior of the 750Li is quieter than the LS 460 Sport:

7 Series

LS Series

At idle

45 dB

46 dB


67 dB

83 dB

50 MPH Cruising

61 dB

73 dB

70 MPH Cruising

64 dB

77 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The 7 Series SWB has 2.6 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom, 2.6 inches more rear legroom and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the LS Series.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 LS Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The power windows standard on both the 7 Series and the LS 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 LS Series prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 LS Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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

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 LS 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 LS Series because it costs $658 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 7 Series than the LS Series, including $314 less for an alternator, $291 less for front brake pads, $277 less for fuel injection and $686 less for a fuel pump.

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