2019 BMW 7 Series vs. 2019 Bentley Mulsanne

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 7 Series has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 7 Series has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Mulsanne doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The 7 Series has standard Post-Crash Braking, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The 7 Series’ lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 7 Series offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Mulsanne 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’ 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne 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, blind spot warning systems and rearview cameras.

Warranty

The 7 Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Mulsanne’s 3-year basic warranty expires 1 year sooner.

The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 9 years longer than the Mulsanne’s (12 vs. 3 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. Bentley doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Mulsanne.

There are almost 8 times as many BMW dealers as there are Bentley dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Reliability

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the engines in the 7 Series have an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of the engines in the Mulsanne.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 7 Series second among large premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Mulsanne isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The M760i’s 6.6 turbo V12 produces 71 more horsepower (601 vs. 530) than the Mulsanne Speed’s optional 6.8 turbo V8.

As tested in Motor Trend the 750i is faster than the Mulsanne Speed:

 

7 Series

Mulsanne

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

5 sec

Quarter Mile

12.7 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111.9 MPH

103.3 MPH

As tested in Car and Driver the Alpina B7 is faster than the Bentley Mulsanne (base engine):

 

7 Series

Mulsanne

Zero to 60 MPH

3.4 sec

4.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

7.8 sec

12 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

11.6 sec

13.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

122 MPH

105 MPH

Top Speed

193 MPH

193 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 740e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne (62 city/68 hwy MPGe vs. 10 city/16 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 740e running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne (25 city/29 hwy vs. 10 city/16 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 7 Series gets better fuel mileage than the Mulsanne:

 

 

 

MPG

7 Series

 

RWD

740i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

21 city/29 hwy

 

 

750i 4.4 turbo V8

18 city/26 hwy

 

AWD

740i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/29 hwy

 

 

750i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/25 hwy

 

 

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/25 hwy

 

 

M760i 6.6 turbo V12

13 city/20 hwy

Mulsanne

 

RWD

6.8 turbo V8

10 city/16 hwy

 

 

Speed 6.8 turbo V8

10 city/16 hwy

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

Regenerative brakes improve the 7 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 7 Series’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Mulsanne doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW 7 Series higher (3 out of 10) than the Bentley Mulsanne (1). This means the 7 Series produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Mulsanne every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the Mulsanne:

 

7 Series

Mulsanne

 

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

165 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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 Mulsanne’s optional 40 series tires.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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 Mulsanne 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. Bentley doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Mulsanne.

The Alpina B7 handles at .97 G’s, while the Mulsanne pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 750i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Mulsanne (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.8 seconds @ .69 average G’s).

Chassis

The BMW 7 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 950 to 1800 pounds less than the Bentley Mulsanne.

The 7 Series is 1 foot, 10.7 inches shorter than the Mulsanne Extended Wheelbase, making the 7 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the BMW 7 Series amounts to more than styling. The 7 Series has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .27 Cd. That is significantly lower than the Mulsanne (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 7 Series get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the 7 Series has standard flush composite headlights. The Mulsanne has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the 750i xDrive is quieter than the Mulsanne (38 vs. 39 dB).

Passenger Space

The 7 Series has 8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Mulsanne (114 vs. 106).

The 7 Series has 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Mulsanne.

Cargo Capacity

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 7 Series easier. The 7 Series’ trunk lift-over height is 27.2 inches, while the Mulsanne’s liftover is 29.8 inches.

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

Ergonomics

The 7 Series offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Mulsanne doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

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 Mulsanne 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 Mulsanne doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

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

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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