2019 BMW 7 Series vs. 2018 Lexus GS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/12/08

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 GS Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 7 Series has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The GS Series doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

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 GS Series doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The 7 Series offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The GS Series 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’ 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 GS Series doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 7 Series and the GS Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, available all wheel drive and night vision systems.

Warranty

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The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the GS Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

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. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the GS Series.

There are over 43 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Reliability

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The camshafts in the 7 Series’ engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The GS 300’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the GS Series’ cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The battery on the 7 Series is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the 7 Series’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The GS Series’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 15th, below the industry average.

Engine

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The 7 Series has more powerful engines than the GS Series:

 

Horsepower

Torque

740i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

320 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

740e 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. hybrid

322 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

750i 4.4 turbo V8

443 HP

479 lbs.-ft.

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

600 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

M760i 6.6 turbo V12

601 HP

590 lbs.-ft.

GS 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

GS 350 3.5 DOHC V6

311 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

GS 450h 3.5 DOHC V6 hybrid

338 HP

n/a

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW 7 Series is faster than the Lexus GS Series:

 

740e

750i

GS 350

GS 450h

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

4.3 sec

5.5 sec

6 sec

Quarter Mile

13.6 sec

12.7 sec

14 sec

14.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

102.9 MPH

111.9 MPH

100.9 MPH

101.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 740e on a full charge gets better fuel mileage than the GS 450h (62 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 29 city/34 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 740i gets better fuel mileage than the GS Series:

 

 

7 Series

GS Series

 

RWD

740i/Auto

21 city/29 hwy

20 city/28 hwy

350/Auto

 

 

n/a

19 city/27 hwy

350/Auto F Sport

AWD

740i/Auto

20 city/29 hwy

19 city/26 hwy

350/Auto

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

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

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.) Lexus only offers an automatic engine start/stop system on the GS Series Hybrid.

The 7 Series’ standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the GS Series (20.6 vs. 17.4 gallons).

Transmission

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The 7 Series’ launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The GS Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

740i/740e

750i

750i opt.

GS Series

GS Series F Sport

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

15.5 inches

13.1 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.5 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the GS Series:

 

7 Series

GS Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 7 Series has larger standard tires than the GS Series (245/50R18 vs. 235/45R18). The Alpina B7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GS Series (F:255/35R21 & R:295/30R21 vs. F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19).

The Alpina B7’s optional 255/35R21 front and 295/30R21 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 GS Series F Sport’s 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 7 Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the GS 300. The Alpina B7’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the GS Series.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available 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 GS Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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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 GS Series 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 GS Series, 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. Lexus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the GS Series.

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 GS Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is 14.2 inches longer than on the GS Series (126.4 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 7 Series is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than on the GS Series.

The Alpina B7 handles at .97 G’s, while the GS 350 pulls only .88 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 750i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the GS 450h (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.9 seconds @ .68 average G’s).

Chassis

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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 GS Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the 750i xDrive is quieter than the GS 350:

 

7 Series

GS Series

At idle

38 dB

40 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

79 dB

Passenger Space

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

The 7 Series has 15 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GS Series (114 vs. 99).

The 7 Series has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 7.6 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the GS Series.

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

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

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The 7 Series has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The GS Series doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

A Condition-Based Service Display is standard on the 7 Series to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes and vehicle inspection based on actual driving conditions. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Lexus doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the GS Series.

Ergonomics

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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 GS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the 7 Series’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The GS Series 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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 7 Series is less expensive to operate than the GS Series because typical repairs cost much less on the 7 Series than the GS Series, including $107 less for a starter, $124 less for fuel injection and $430 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

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Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW 7 Series and the Lexus GS Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The BMW 7 Series outsold the Lexus GS Series by 19% during 2017.

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