Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2015 Mercedes Benz S-Class VS 2015 BMW 7 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2015 Mercedes Benz S-Class

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2015 BMW 7

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 7 Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class 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.

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The 7 Series doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

To help make backing safer, the S-Class’ 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 S-Class and the 7 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available 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 Mercedes vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 27 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 18th.

Engine Comparison

The S-Class has more powerful engines than the 7 Series:



S550 4.7 turbo V8

449 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

S600 5.5 turbo V12

523 HP

612 lbs.-ft.

S63 AMG 5.5 turbo V8

577 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

S65 AMG 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

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.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the S-Class gets better fuel mileage than the 7 Series:


7 Series



17 city/26 hwy

17 city/25 hwy


13 city/21 hwy

13 city/20 hwy



16 city/26 hwy

16 city/24 hwy

Regardless of its engine, the S-Class’ 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 S-Class has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the 7 Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.9 vs. 20.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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





Front Rotors

14.6 inches

16.5 inches

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.1 inches

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

The S-Class S63/S65 offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The 7 Series doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The S-Class stops shorter than the 7 Series:


7 Series

70 to 0 MPH

167 feet

171 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

115 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the S63/S65’s front tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 7 Series (F:255/40R20 & R:285/35R20 vs. F:245/35R21 & R:285/30R21).

The S-Class’ 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.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The front and rear suspension of the S-Class 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.

The S-Class’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 7 Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 3.7 inches longer than on the 7 Series SWB (124.6 inches vs. 120.9 inches).

The Maybach S600 handles at .88 G’s, while the 750Li pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The S600 executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the 750Li (25.8 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.2 seconds @ .7 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the S65 AMG’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the 7 Series SWB xDrive’s (40.4 feet vs. 41 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Mercedes S-Class amounts to more than styling. The S-Class has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .24 Cd. That is significantly lower than the 7 Series (.28 to .31) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S-Class get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The S-Class has 6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 7 Series SWB (112 vs. 106).

The S-Class has .1 inches more front legroom, .5 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 4.1 inches more rear legroom and 1.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the 7 Series SWB.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the 7 Series (16.3 vs. 14 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The 7 Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid. It’s standard heated washer nozzles will defrost the washer fluid but not the windshield.

To better shield the driver and front passenger’s vision, the S-Class has standard dual-element sun visors that can block glare from two directions simultaneously. The 7 Series doesn’t offer secondary sun visors.

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

The S-Class has a 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

The Mercedes S-Class won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue. The BMW 7 Series only won one award.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the S-Class 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.

The S-Class was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 16 years. The 7 Series has never been an “All Star.”

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the BMW 7 Series by almost three to one during 2014.

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