Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2014 BMW 7 SERIES VS 2014 Mercedes CLS-Class Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2014 Mercedes CLS-Class

Safety Comparison

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 CLS-Class 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.

Both the 7 Series and the CLS-Class 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

The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 8 years and unlimited miles longer than the CLS-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 CLS-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.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Alpina B7 is faster than the CLS550:

7 Series


Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

4.4 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6.6 sec

7.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.8 sec

10.6 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

1.9 sec

2 sec

Quarter Mile

12.6 sec

12.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

113.6 MPH

110.6 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the ActiveHybrid 7 gets better fuel mileage than the CLS550 RWD (22 city/30 hwy vs. 18 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Alpina B7 xDrive gets better fuel mileage than the CLS63 AMG 4Matic (16 city/24 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

Regenerative brakes improve the 7 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CLS-Class doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The 7 Series stops shorter than the CLS-Class:

7 Series


60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Alpina B7 has standard 21-inch wheels. The CLS-Class’ 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 CLS-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 CLS-Class 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. Mercedes doesn’t offer an active suspension on the CLS-Class.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series SWB’s wheelbase is 7.7 inches longer than on the CLS-Class (120.9 inches vs. 113.2 inches). The 7 Series LWB’s wheelbase is 13.2 inches longer than on the CLS-Class (126.4 inches vs. 113.2 inches).

The 740i handles at .91 G’s, while the CLS550 4MATIC pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the 7 Series is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the CLS-Class is rated a Compact.

The 7 Series has standard seating for 5 passengers; the CLS-Class can only carry 4.

The 7 Series SWB has 14 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CLS-Class (106 vs. 92).

The 7 Series SWB has 3.7 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2.4 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear legroom and .9 inches more rear shoulder room than the CLS-Class.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 7 Series LWB’s available rear seats recline. The CLS-Class’ rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 7 Series’ trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CLS-Class doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

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

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 7 Series has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CLS-Class doesn’t offer headlight washers.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW 7 Series won the Check it Out award in Kiplinger’s 2013 car issue. The Mercedes CLS-Class didn't win any award.

The BMW 7 Series outsold the Mercedes CLS-Class by 47% during the 2013 model year.

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