Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2013 BMW 7 SERIES VS 2013 Mercedes S-Class Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2013 Mercedes S-Class

Safety Comparison

The 7 Series has standard child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The S-Class doesn’t offer child safety locks.

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 S-Class only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

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

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

Warranty Comparison

The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the S-Class’ (12/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the S-Class.

There are over 12 percent more BMW dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the ActiveHybrid 7 gets better fuel mileage than the S400 Hybrid (22 city/30 hwy vs. 19 city/25 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 7 Series gets better fuel mileage than the S-Class:

7 Series



Turbo 6 cyl./Auto

19 city/28 hwy


Turbo V8/Auto

17 city/25 hwy

15 city/25 hwy

Turbo V12/Auto

13 city/20 hwy

12 city/19 hwy


Turbo 6 cyl./Auto

19 city/28 hwy


Turbo V8/Auto

16 city/24 hwy

15 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. Mercedes only offers a regenerative brake system on the S-Class Hybrid.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

7 Series


Front Rotors

13.7 inches

13.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

11.8 inches

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the S-Class:

7 Series


80 to 0 MPH

207 feet

229 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Alpina B7 has standard 21-inch wheels. The S-Class’ 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 S-Class 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 S-Class doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 7 Series is .4 inches wider in the front and 1.8 inches wider in the rear than on the S-Class.

The 740i handles at .88 G’s, while the S350 BlueTEC 4MATIC pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 750Li goes through Road & Track’s slalom 8.6 MPH faster than the S550 (68.7 vs. 60.1 MPH).

The 750Li performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver 8.4 MPH faster than the S550 (68.3 vs. 59.9 MPH).

The 740i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.4 seconds quicker than the S400 HYBRID (25.8 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 28.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The 750i is 6.7 inches shorter than the S-Class, making the 7 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The 750Li is 1.3 inches shorter than the S-Class.

Passenger Space Comparison

The 7 Series LWB has 5.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the S-Class (115 vs. 109.4).

The 7 Series SWB has 2.8 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room and .5 inches more rear shoulder room than the S-Class.

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 S-Class doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 S-Class 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 S-Class doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the 7 Series owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 7 Series will cost $1860 less than the S-Class over a five-year period.

The 7 Series will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the 7 Series will retain a greater percentage of its original price after two and four years than the S-Class.

7 Series


Four Year

32% to 38%

26% to 33%

Two Year

48% to 56%

41% to 50%

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 7 Series is less expensive to operate than the S-Class because it costs $1015 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the 7 Series than the S-Class, including $98 less for a water pump, $260 less for a starter, $109 less for a fuel pump, $804 less for front struts and $189 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the BMW 7 Series will be $16173 to $65547 less than for the Mercedes S-Class.

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