2020 BMW 7 Series vs. 2019 Cadillac XTS

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 XTS 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 XTS 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.

When descending a steep, off-road slope, the 7 Series xDrive’s standard Hill Descent Control allows you to creep down safely. The XTS doesn’t offer Hill Descent Control.

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 and even aims one of the vehicle’s headlights in the direction of the person or object. The XTS doesn’t offer a night vision 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 XTS doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 7 Series and the XTS 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 and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the XTS’ (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. Cadillac only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the XTS.

Reliability

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 7 Series has a standard 180-amp alternator (250-amp - 7 Series optional). The XTS’ 170-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 7 Series has a standard 950-amp battery. The XTS only offers a 660-amp battery.

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 12th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 44 more problems per 100 vehicles, Cadillac is ranked 23rd.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Cadillac vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 20 places higher in reliability than Cadillac.

Engine

The 7 Series has more powerful engines than the XTS:

Horsepower

Torque

740i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

745e 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. hybrid

389 HP

443 lbs.-ft.

750i 4.4 turbo V8

523 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

M760i 6.6 turbo V12

600 HP

627 lbs.-ft.

XTS 3.6 DOHC V6

304 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

XTS V-Sport 3.6 turbo V6

410 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 745e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the XTS AWD with its standard engine (52 city/61 hwy MPGe vs. 17 city/26 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 745e running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the XTS AWD with its standard engine (19 city/26 hwy vs. 17 city/26 hwy).

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

MPG

7 Series

RWD

740i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

AWD

740i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

20 city/28 hwy

750i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/25 hwy

XTS

FWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/28 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

17 city/26 hwy

V-Sport 3.6 turbo V6

16 city/23 hwy

The 745e can drive on battery power alone for up to 16 miles. The XTS 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 XTS 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 XTS doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW 7 Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the XTS.

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 XTS doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

740i/745e

750i

XTS

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.5 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.5 inches

12.4 inches

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the XTS:

7 Series

XTS

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

179 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

116 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The 7 Series’ optional 275/35R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the XTS’ optional 40 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 XTS doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The 7 Series has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the 7 Series flat and controlled during cornering. The XTS’ suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 XTS 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 XTS, which uses coil springs in front. 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. Cadillac doesn’t offer an active suspension on the XTS.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is 14.7 inches longer than on the XTS (126.4 inches vs. 111.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 7 Series is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2.3 inches wider in the rear than the track on the XTS.

The 7 Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the XTS’ (57.8% to 42.2%). This gives the 7 Series more stable handling and braking.

The Alpina B7 handles at .97 G’s, while the XTS AWD pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 750i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.2 seconds quicker than the XTS AWD (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .63 average G’s).

Chassis

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 XTS doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The 7 Series has 9.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the XTS (114 vs. 104.2).

The 7 Series has .9 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 4.4 inches more rear legroom and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the XTS.

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

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 XTS’ liftover is 30 inches.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 7 Series’ power trunk can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The XTS doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Servicing Ease

The engine in the 7 Series is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the XTS. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because there are no rear spark plugs and the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the 7 Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the XTS can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 7 Series has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The XTS doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 XTS’ 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 XTS doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

The 7 Series has a standard heated steering wheel to take the chill out of steering on extremely cold winter days before the car heater warms up. A heated steering wheel costs extra on the XTS.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 7 Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the 7 Series with a number “1” insurance rate while the XTS is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

Recommendations

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

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

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