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 S80 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The 7 Series offers an optional backup collision prevention system which use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The S80 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The 7 Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The S80 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 S80 doesn’t offer a night vision 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 S80 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.
To help make backing safer, the 7 Series’ 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 S80 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the 7 Series and the S80 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, available crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.
The BMW 7 Series weighs 506 to 891 pounds more than the Volvo S80. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.
The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the S80’s (12/unlimited vs. 10/100,000).
BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 7 Series for 1 year and 14,000 miles longer than Volvo pays for maintenance for the S80 (4/50,000 vs. 3/36,000).
The battery on the 7 Series is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 7 Series’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The S80’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 21 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 19th, below the industry average.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Volvo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 18th in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volvo is ranked 23rd.
The 740i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 80 more horsepower (320 vs. 240) and 72 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 258) than the S80’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The 750i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 205 more horsepower (445 vs. 240) and 222 lbs.-ft. more torque (480 vs. 258) than the S80’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
Regardless of its engine, the 7 Series’ 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.) Volvo only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the S80 Drive-E.
The 7 Series has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the S80 (20.6 vs. 18.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
For better stopping power the 7 Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the S80:
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 S80 are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the 7 Series has larger tires than the S80 (245/50R18 vs. 235/40R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 7 Series offers optional 21-inch wheels. The S80’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 S80 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.
The 7 Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The S80’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.
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 S80 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.
The front and rear suspension of the 7 Series uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the S80, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.
The 7 Series offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Volvo doesn’t offer an active suspension on the S80.
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 S80’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.
The 7 Series has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 7 Series’ height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The S80 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.
The 7 Series has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The S80 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is 14.8 inches longer than on the S80 (126.4 inches vs. 111.6 inches).
For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 7 Series is 1.3 inches wider in the front and 3 inches wider in the rear than on the S80.
The front grille of the 7 Series uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The S80 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
The 7 Series has 3 inches more front headroom, 1.8 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom, 9.4 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the S80.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 7 Series’ available rear seats recline. The S80’s rear seats don’t recline.
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 has a standard power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button or just by kicking your foot under the back bumper. The S80 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.
Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the S80, 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 7 Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The S80 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.
The 7 Series offers an optional heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The S80 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
The 7 Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The S80’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.
If the windows are left down on the 7 Series the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the S80 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The 7 Series’ available rear sunshade is power operated, allowing the driver to remotely raise and lower it. The sunshade available in the S80 is manual, and has to be raised or lowered in the rear.
The 7 Series has standard automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The S80 has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.
Optional air-conditioned front and rear seats keep the 7 Series’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The S80 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 S80 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.