The 7 Series’ pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The 7 Series has standard child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer child safety locks.
The 7 Series has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The 7 Series offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Flying Spur doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.
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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer a night vision system.
The 7 Series’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer a lane departure warning 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 Flying Spur 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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
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 Flying Spur 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 Flying Spur 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 Flying Spur have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and front and rear parking sensors.
The 7 Series comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Flying Spur’s 3 year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.
The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 9 years longer than the Flying Spur’s (12 vs. 3 years).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 7 Series for 4 years and 50,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Bentley doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Flying Spur.
There are almost 10 times as many BMW dealers as there are Bentley dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 7 Series’ warranty.
To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 7 Series has a standard 210-amp alternator. The Flying Spur’s 190-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.
On the EPA test cycle the ActiveHybrid 7 gets better fuel mileage than the Flying Spur V8 (22 city/30 hwy vs. 14 city/24 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the 740Ld gets better fuel mileage than the Flying Spur V8 (23 city/31 hwy vs. 14 city/24 hwy).
On the EPA test cycle the Alpina B7 xDrive gets better fuel mileage than the Flying Spur W12 (16 city/24 hwy vs. 12 city/20 hwy). The 760Li gets better fuel mileage than the Flying Spur W12 (13 city/20 hwy vs. 12 city/20 hwy).
Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the 7 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Bentley only offers a regenerative brake system on the Flying Spur V8.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 7 Series (except 760Li)’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Flying Spur doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The 7 Series stops shorter than the Flying Spur:
60 to 0 MPH
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 Flying Spur’s 35 series tires.
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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
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 Flying Spur 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. Bentley doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Flying Spur.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series SWB’s wheelbase is .2 inches longer than on the Flying Spur (120.9 inches vs. 120.7 inches). The 7 Series LWB’s wheelbase is 5.7 inches longer than on the Flying Spur (126.4 feet vs. 120.7 inches).
The 740i handles at .91 G’s, while the Flying Spur W12 pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.
The 740i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Flying Spur W12 (25.8 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.2 seconds @ .71 average G’s).
The BMW 7 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1050 to 1500 pounds less than the Bentley Flying Spur.
The 7 Series SWB is 8.6 inches shorter than the Flying Spur, making the 7 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The 7 Series LWB is 3.1 inches shorter than the Flying Spur.
For excellent aerodynamics, the 7 Series has standard flush composite headlights. The Flying Spur has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the 7 Series is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the Flying Spur is rated a Mid-size.
The 7 Series SWB has 4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Flying Spur (106 vs. 102).
The 7 Series SWB has 2.5 inches more front headroom and .5 inches more rear headroom than the Flying Spur.
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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.
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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.
While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 7 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.
To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 7 Series has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Flying Spur doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 7 Series also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.
The 7 Series’ power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Flying Spur’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.
Standard 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 connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Flying Spur 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 Flying Spur doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The BMW 7 Series won the Check it Out award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The Bentley Flying Spur didn't win any award.