Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW 7 SERIES VS 2017 Audi A8 Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2017 BMW 7 SERIES

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VS

2017 Audi A8

Safety Comparison

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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 A8 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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 A8 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning 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 A8 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 A8 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 A8 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger 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 all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, night vision systems, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and around view monitors.

Warranty Comparison

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BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 7 Series for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Audi only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the A8.

There are over 16 percent more BMW dealers than there are Audi dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 7 Series has a standard 950-amp battery. The A8’s 450-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Audi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Audi is ranked 14th, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

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The 7 Series has more powerful engines than the A8:

 

Horsepower

Torque

740i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

320 HP

332 lbs.-ft.

740e 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid

322 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

750i 4.4 turbo V8

445 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

Alpina B7 xDrive 4.4 turbo V8

600 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

M760i 6.6 turbo V12

601 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

A8 3.0T supercharged V6

333 HP

325 lbs.-ft.

A8 4.0T turbo V8

450 HP

444 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Alpina B7 is faster than the A8 4.0T:

 

7 Series

A8

Zero to 60 MPH

3.4 sec

3.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

7.8 sec

9.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

11.6 sec

12.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

122 MPH

112 MPH

Top Speed

193 MPH

131 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the 740e running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the A8 3.0T (25 city/29 hwy vs. 19 city/29 hwy). The 740e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the A8 3.0T (62 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 19 city/29 hwy).

The 740e can drive on battery power alone for up to 14 miles. The A8 must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the 750i’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the A8:

 

750i

A8

Front Rotors

15.5 inches

15 inches

Rear Rotors

14.5 inches

14 inches

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the A8:

 

7 Series

A8

 

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

169 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The Alpina B7 xDrive’s optional 295/30R21 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the A8 4.0T’s optional 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 A8 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 A8 doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The 7 Series offers an available active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Audi doesn’t offer an active suspension on the A8.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is 3.5 inches longer than on the A8 (126.4 inches vs. 122.9 inches).

The 7 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (51.4% to 48.6%) than the A8’s (55.9% to 44.1%). This gives the 7 Series more stable handling and braking.

The Alpina B7 xDrive handles at .97 G’s, while the A8 4.0T pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

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The BMW 7 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 250 pounds less than the Audi A8.

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 A8 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The 7 Series has 5.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the A8 (114 vs. 108.7).

The 7 Series has 2.7 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front shoulder room and 1.5 inches more rear legroom than the A8.

Ergonomics Comparison

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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 A8 can’t use the remote to operate the windows.

When the 7 Series is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The A8’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

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 A8 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 A8 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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The BMW 7 Series outsold the Audi A8/S8 by almost three to one during the 2016 model year.

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