2019 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2019 BMW 7 Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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.

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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, night vision systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the S-Class’ warranty.

Engine

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

 

Horsepower

Torque

S 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

463 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 63 4.0 turbo V8

603 HP

664 lbs.-ft.

AMG S 65/Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

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.

As tested in Motor Trend the S 560 is faster than the 740e:

 

S-Class

7 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

5.1 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

13.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.7 MPH

102.9 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

S-Class

7 Series

 

AWD

560/Auto

17 city/27 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

750i/Auto

 

AMG 63/Auto

17 city/26 hwy

17 city/25 hwy

B7/Auto Alpina

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S-Class 560/63’s fuel efficiency. The 7 Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The S-Class’ standard fuel tank has 9 gallons more fuel capacity than the 7 Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 12.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 7 Series’ standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 20.6 gallons).

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes S-Class, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 7 Series.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

S 450/560

S 63/65

740i/740e

750i

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

16.5 inches

13.7 inches

15.5 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

14.2 inches

13.6 inches

14.5 inches

The S-Class S 63/65 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:

 

S-Class

7 Series

 

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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 Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the 7 Series (132.5 inches vs. 126.4 inches).

The S 600 handles at .90 G’s, while the 740e xDrive pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the S AMG S 65’s turning circle is 3.9 feet tighter than the 740i’s (38.1 feet vs. 42 feet). The S 450/560’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the 750i’s (40.4 feet vs. 42.3 feet).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while cruising at 70 MPH, the interior of the S 560 is quieter than the 750i xDrive (67 vs. 68 dB).

Passenger Space

The Maybach S-Class has 6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 7 Series (120 vs. 114).

The S-Class has .5 inches more front shoulder room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 7 Series.

The front step up height for the S-Class is 1.3 inches lower than the 7 Series (15.4” vs. 16.7”). The S-Class’ rear step up height is .8 inches lower than the 7 Series’ (15.9” vs. 16.7”).

Cargo Capacity

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

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 11% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

Ergonomics

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.

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 quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes S-Class has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console and one for the rear passengers. Wireless charging costs extra on the 7 Series.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Mercedes S-Class has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console and one for the rear passengers. Wireless charging costs extra on the 7 Series.

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.

Model Availability

The Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the BMW 7 Series isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S-Class is less expensive to operate than the 7 Series because it costs $234 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the S-Class than the 7 Series, including $86 less for front brake pads, $43 less for a starter, $155 less for fuel injection, $61 less for a fuel pump, $1341 less for front struts, $972 less for a timing belt/chain and $346 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Mercedes S-Class and the BMW 7 Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the BMW 7 Series by 76% during the 2018 model year.

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

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