Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 BMW 7 SERIES VS 2013 Audi A8 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2013 Audi A8

Safety Comparison

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the 7 Series xDrive’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The A8 doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

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 A8 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’ driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The A8 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The 7 Series has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The A8 doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 7 Series and the A8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 7 Series for 3 years and 45000 miles longer than Audi pays for maintenance for the A8 (4/50,000 vs. 1/5000).

There are over 33 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 7 Series has a standard 210 amp alternator. The A8’s 190 amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 16th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

The 7 Series has more powerful engines than the A8:



ActiveHybrid 7 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

350 HP

360 lbs.-ft.

750i 4.4 turbo V8

445 HP

480 lbs.-ft.

760Li 6.0 turbo V12

535 HP

550 lbs.-ft.

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

540 HP

538 lbs.-ft.

A8 3.0T 3.0 supercharged V6

333 HP

325 lbs.-ft.

A8 4.0T 4.0 turbo V8

420 HP

444 lbs.-ft.

A8 L W12 6.3 DOHC 12 cyl.

500 HP

463 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the ActiveHybrid 7 gets better fuel mileage than the A8 3.0 T (22 city/30 hwy vs. 18 city/28 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 740i xDrive gets better fuel mileage than the A8 3.0T (19 city/28 hwy vs. 18 city/28 hwy).

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Alpina B7’s 245/35R21 front and 285/30R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A8’s optional 40 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Alpina B7 has standard 21-inch wheels. The A8’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available 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 A8 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

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 A8 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 7 Series SWB offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the A8.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is longer than on the A8:

7 Series


SWB Sedan

120.9 inches

117.8 inches

LWB Sedan

126.4 inches

122.9 inches

The 750i handles at .89 G’s, while the A8 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Road & Track skidpad test.

The 750Li goes through Road & Track’s slalom faster than the A8 L 4.0T (68.7 vs. 67.9 MPH).

The 750Li performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 7.6 MPH faster than the A8 L (68.3 vs. 60.7 MPH).

The 740i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the A8 (25.8 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.2 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 7 Series SWB’s turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the A8’s (40 feet vs. 40.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The 7 Series is shorter than the A8, making the 7 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces:

7 Series


SWB Sedan

199.8 inches

202.2 inches

LWB Sedan

205.2 inches

207.4 inches

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the 7 Series is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the A8 is rated a Mid-size.

The 7 Series SWB has 4.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A8 (106 vs. 101.9).

The 7 Series SWB has 3.4 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 1.2 inches more rear legroom than the A8.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 7 Series SWB has a larger trunk than the A8 (14 vs. 13.2 cubic feet).

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 A8 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left down on the 7 Series the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the A8 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

When the 7 Series is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The A8’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 A8 doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The 7 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The A8 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 7 Series is less expensive to operate than the A8 because it costs $854 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 7 Series than the A8, including $151 less for a water pump, $335 less for a starter and $626 less for front struts.

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