Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 BMW 7 SERIES VS 2016 Acura RLX Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 BMW 7 SERIES

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VS

2016 Acura RLX

Safety Comparison

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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 RLX doesn’t offer a night vision system.

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 RLX doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 7 Series and the RLX have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

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The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the RLX’s (12 vs. 5 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. Acura doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the RLX.

There are over 28 percent more BMW dealers than there are Acura dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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The camshafts in the 7 Series’ engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The RLX’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the RLX’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 7 Series has a standard 210-amp alternator. The RLX’s 150-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2014 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Acura vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Acura is ranked 25th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

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The 7 Series has more powerful engines than the RLX:

Horsepower

Torque

740i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

315 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

ActiveHybrid 7 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

350 HP

360 lbs.-ft.

750i 4.4 turbo V8

445 HP

480 lbs.-ft.

760Li 6.0 turbo V12

535 HP

550 lbs.-ft.

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

540 HP

538 lbs.-ft.

RLX 3.5 SOHC V6

310 HP

272 lbs.-ft.

RLX Sport Hybrid 3.5 SOHC V6

377 HP

377 lbs.-ft.

The 7 Series’ 3.0 turbo diesel produces 141 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 272) than the RLX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6. The 7 Series’ 3.0 turbo diesel produces 36 lbs.-ft. more torque (413 vs. 377) than the RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6 hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Alpina B7 is faster than the Acura RLX FWD:

7 Series

RLX

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

2.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5.9 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

6.6 sec

9.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.8 sec

14.6 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

1.9 sec

2.9 sec

Quarter Mile

12.6 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

113.6 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the 7 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Acura only offers a regenerative brake system on the RLX Sport Hybrid.

The 7 Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the RLX Sport Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (20.1 vs. 15.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 7 Series’ standard fuel tank has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the RLX’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 18.5 gallons).

 

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

740

750/760/B7

RLX

RLX Sport Hybrid

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

12.3 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The 7 Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the RLX are solid, not vented.

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the RLX:

7 Series

RLX

60 to 0 MPH

104 feet

119 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 RLX’s 40 series tires.

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

The 7 Series has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The RLX’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The 7 Series has a standard automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The RLX doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series SWB’s wheelbase is 8.7 inches longer than on the RLX (120.9 inches vs. 112.2 inches). The 7 Series LWB’s wheelbase is 14.2 inches longer than on the RLX (126.4 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

The 7 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50.2% to 49.8%) than the RLX’s (57% to 43%). This gives the 7 Series more stable handling and braking.

The 740i handles at .91 G’s, while the RLX pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The 740i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the RLX (25.8 seconds @ .73 average G’s vs. 27.3 seconds @ .64 average G’s).

Passenger Space Comparison

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the 7 Series is rated a Large car by the EPA, while the RLX is rated a Mid-size.

The 7 Series SWB has 3.9 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RLX (106 vs. 102.1).

The 7 Series SWB has 3 inches more front headroom, 1.6 inches more rear headroom, .1 inches more rear legroom and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the RLX.

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

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 7 Series’ trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The 7 Series also offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper. The RLX doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

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Unlike the driver-only memory system in the RLX, the 7 Series has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The power windows standard on both the 7 Series and the RLX have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the 7 Series is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The RLX prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The 7 Series’ rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The RLX’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 RLX doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

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 RLX doesn’t offer headlight washers.

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 RLX 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 RLX 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.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the 7 Series’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in Summer. The RLX doesn’t offer air conditioned seats in the rear.

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 RLX doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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The BMW 7 Series outsold the Acura RLX by almost three to one during 2014.

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