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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A7 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 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Audi A7 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 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the A7. But it costs extra on the 8 Series Gran Coupe.
Both the A7 and the 8 Series Gran Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available night vision systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.
For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A7 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 8 Series Gran Coupe has not been tested, yet.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the A7 third among midsize premium cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The 8 Series Gran Coupe isn’t in the top three in its category.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi 3 places higher in reliability than BMW.
On the EPA test cycle the A7 SMG gets better fuel mileage than the 840i Gran Coupe with its standard engine xDrive (22 city/29 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).
The A7 has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the 8 Series Gran Coupe (19.3 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.
The A7 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A7 higher (5 out of 10) than the BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe (3). This means the A7 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 8 Series Gran Coupe every 15,000 miles.
The A7 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.
For better traction, the A7’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 8 Series Gran Coupe (255/40R20 vs. 245/45R18).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the A7 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the 840i Gran Coupe. The A7 Prestige’s optional 21-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the 8 Series Gran Coupe.
The A7 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 8 Series Gran Coupe; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.
For better maneuverability, the A7’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the 840i Gran Coupe’s (36.4 feet vs. 40.4 feet). The A7’s turning circle is 5 feet tighter than the M850i Gran Coupe’s (36.4 feet vs. 41.4 feet).
The A7 is 4.6 inches shorter than the 840i Gran Coupe, making the A7 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.
The design of the Audi A7 amounts to more than styling. The A7 has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .28 Cd. That is lower than the 8 Series Gran Coupe (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the A7 get better fuel mileage.
The A7 has .1 inches more rear headroom, .4 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Gran Coupe.
For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the A7’s rear seats recline. The 8 Series Gran Coupe’s rear seats don’t recline.
J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Audi service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Audi 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 10% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A7 Premium Plus/Prestige has standard headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the A7 has standard extendable sun visors. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The A7 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable and it can provide a boundary between children. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
The A7 Premium Plus/Prestige offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the 8 Series Gran Coupe.
The Audi A7/S7/RS 7 outsold the BMW 8 Series by 12% during 2019.
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