Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW 7 SERIES VS 2015 Bentley Mulsanne Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 BMW 7 SERIES

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VS

2015 Bentley Mulsanne

Safety Comparison

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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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The 7 Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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.

Warranty Comparison

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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 Mulsanne’s 3 year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 9 years longer than the Mulsanne’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 Mulsanne.

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.

Reliability Comparison

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For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the 7 Series have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Mulsanne.

Engine Comparison

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The Alpina B7’s 4.4 turbo V8 produces 10 more horsepower (540 vs. 530) than the Mulsanne Speed’s optional 6.8 turbo V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Alpina B7 is faster than the Bentley Mulsanne:

7 Series

Mulsanne

Zero to 60 MPH

3.7 sec

4.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

8.8 sec

12 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.9 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

12.1 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

105 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the ActiveHybrid 7 gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne (22 city/30 hwy vs. 11 city/18 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 740Ld gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne (23 city/31 hwy vs. 11 city/18 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 750i RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne (17 city/25 hwy vs. 11 city/18 hwy). The Alpina B7 RWD gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne (16 city/25 hwy vs. 11 city/18 hwy).

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

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The 7 Series stops much shorter than the Mulsanne:

7 Series

Mulsanne

70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

108 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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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 Mulsanne’s optional 40 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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne.

The Alpina B7 LWB xDrive handles at .93 G’s, while the Mulsanne pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 740i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Mulsanne (25.8 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 7 Series SWB’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Mulsanne’s (40 feet vs. 41.3 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW 7 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 950 to 1650 pounds less than the Bentley Mulsanne.

The 7 Series SWB is 1 foot, 7.5 inches shorter than the Mulsanne, making the 7 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces. The 7 Series LWB is 1 foot, 2 inches shorter than the Mulsanne.

For excellent aerodynamics, the 7 Series has standard flush composite headlights. The Mulsanne has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The 7 Series LWB has 9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mulsanne (115 vs. 106).

The 7 Series SWB has 2.7 inches more front headroom, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room and .6 inches more rear headroom than the Mulsanne.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 7 Series easier. The 7 Series’ trunk lift-over height is 27.1 inches, while the Mulsanne’s liftover is 29.8 inches.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

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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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 7 Series has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Mulsanne 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.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The 7 Series’ standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Mulsanne’s navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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The BMW 7 Series won the Check it Out award in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The Bentley Mulsanne didn't win any award.

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