Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Audi A8 VS 2015 BMW 7 Near Phoenix, AZ

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2015 Audi A8

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VS

2015 BMW 7

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi A8 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 7 Series doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

Both the A8 and 7 Series have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The A8 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The 7 Series’ child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The A8 has standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The 7 Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A8. But it costs extra on the 7 Series.

To help make backing safer, the A8’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The 7 Series doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the A8 and the 7 Series 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, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available crash mitigating brakes, night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th.

Engine Comparison

The A8’s 3.0 turbo V6 diesel produces 15 lbs.-ft. more torque (428 vs. 413) than the 7 Series’ 3.0 turbo diesel.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the A8 L TDI gets better fuel mileage than the 740Ld (24 city/36 hwy vs. 23 city/31 hwy). The A8 L TDI gets better fuel mileage than the ActiveHybrid 7 (24 city/36 hwy vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the A8 gets better fuel mileage than the 7 Series xDrive:

A8

7 Series

AWD

3.0T/Auto

19 city/29 hwy

19 city/28 hwy

740i/Auto

4.0T/Auto

18 city/30 hwy

16 city/24 hwy

750i/Auto

On the EPA test cycle the A8 L W12 gets better fuel mileage than the 760iL (14 city/22 hwy vs. 13 city/20 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the A8 4.0T/W12’s fuel efficiency. The 7 Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regardless of its engine, the A8’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 7 Series 760Li doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The A8 has 3.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 7 Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (23.8 vs. 20.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The A8 has 2.7 gallons more fuel capacity than the 7 Series’ standard fuel tank (23.8 vs. 21.1 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the A8’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 7 Series:

A8

A8 L W12

740

750/760/B7

Front Rotors

15 inches

15.7 inches

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

Rear Rotors

14 inches

14 inches

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

The A8 stops shorter than the 7 Series:

A8

7 Series

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the A8 has larger standard tires than the 7 Series (255/45R19 vs. 245/50R18). The A8’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 7 Series (265/40R20 vs. 245/35R21).

The A8’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 740i’s standard 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A8 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the 740i.

The A8 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 7 Series, it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front and rear suspension of the A8 uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 7 Series SWB, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the A8 is 1.3 inches wider in the front than on the 7 Series.

The A8 L handles at .93 G’s, while the 750Li pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A8 goes through Road & Track’s slalom 2.3 MPH faster than the 750Li (68.7 vs. 66.4 MPH).

The A8 L performs Car and Driver’s emergency lane change maneuver faster than the 750Li (60.7 vs. 59.8 MPH).

The A8 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 750Li (25.7 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.2 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A8’s turning circle is tighter than the 7 Series’:

A8

7 Series

AWDSWB Sedan

40.4 feet

41 feet

AWD LWB Sedan

41.7 feet

42.7 feet

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Audi A8 amounts to more than styling. The A8 offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .26 to .27 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 7 Series (.28 to .31) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A8 get better fuel mileage.

The A8 3.0T/4.0T/TDI uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The 7 Series doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the A8 easier. The A8’s trunk lift-over height is 25.9 inches, while the 7 Series’ liftover is 27.1 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

The A8 has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The 7 Series doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A8 has standard extendable sun visors. The 7 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The A8 L offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The 7 Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Audi A8 and BMW 7 Series won an award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

Road & Track performed a comparison test in its October 2011 issue and they ranked the Audi A8 L 4.0T first. They ranked the BMW 750Li third.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A8 first among large premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The 7 Series isn’t in the top three.

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