2020 BMW 7 Series vs. 2019 Chrysler 300

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 300 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 300 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 has standard Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The 300 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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 300 doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The 7 Series has a standard Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The 300 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 300 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the 7 Series and the 300 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver 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 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The 300’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 7 years and unlimited miles longer than the 300’s (12/unlimited vs. 5/100,000).

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. Chrysler doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the 300.

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 5.7 V8 in the 300.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the 7 Series has larger alternators than the 300:

7 Series

300

Standard Alternator

180 amps

160 amps

Optional Alternator

250 amps

180 amps

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 7 Series has a standard 950-amp battery. The 300 only offers a 730-amp battery.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the 7 Series’ reliability 20 points higher than the 300.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 7 Series second among large premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The 300 was rated third in its category.

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 Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 26th, below the industry average.

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 Chrysler vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Chrysler is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Chrysler vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 16 places higher in reliability than Chrysler.

Engine

The 7 Series has more powerful engines than the 300:

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.

300 3.6 DOHC V6

292 HP

260 lbs.-ft.

300S 3.6 DOHC V6

300 HP

264 lbs.-ft.

300 5.7 V8

363 HP

394 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 745e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the 300 AWD (52 city/61 hwy MPGe vs. 18 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 745e running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the 300 AWD (19 city/26 hwy vs. 18 city/27 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 7 Series gets better fuel mileage than the 300:

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

300

RWD

3.6 DOHC V6

19 city/30 hwy

5.7 OHV V8 V8

16 city/25 hwy

AWD

3.6 DOHC V6

18 city/27 hwy

The 745e can drive on battery power alone for up to 16 miles. The 300 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 300 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 300 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The 7 Series’ standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 300 (20.6 vs. 18.5 gallons).

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 300 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the 7 Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the 300:

740i/745e

750i

300

300 V8/AWD

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.5 inches

12.6 inches

13.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.5 inches

12.6 inches

12.6 inches

The 7 Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the 300 are solid, not vented.

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the 300:

7 Series

300

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

175 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

113 feet

121 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 7 Series has larger standard tires than the 300 (245/50R18 vs. 215/65R17).

The 7 Series’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 300 Touring’s standard 65 series tires. The 7 Series’ optional 245/40R20 front and 275/35R20 rear tires have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile than the 300S/300C/Limited’s 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 7 Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the 300 Touring.

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 300 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 300, 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. Chrysler doesn’t offer an active suspension on the 300.

The 7 Series has a standard driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads. The 300’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

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 300 doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is 6.2 inches longer than on the 300 (126.4 inches vs. 120.2 inches).

The Alpina B7 handles at .97 G’s, while the 300 Limited pulls only .82 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 750i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.8 seconds quicker than the 300 (25.4 seconds vs. 27.2 seconds).

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 300 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The 7 Series has 7.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 300 (114 vs. 106.3).

The 7 Series has 1.3 inches more front headroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and 4.3 inches more rear legroom than the 300.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 7 Series’ available rear seats recline. The 300’s 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 300’s liftover is 30.1 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key and remote trunk release in the glovebox, the 7 Series offers cargo security. The 300’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

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 300 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the 300 (except Touring/Touring L), the 7 Series has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The 7 Series’ standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the 300, and is not available on all models.

The 7 Series offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The 300 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The 7 Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The 300’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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 300 can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 300’s standard intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the 7 Series’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The 300 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 300.

The 7 Series’ Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. Optional Remote Control Parking will park and retrieve your car remotely: press a button and watch it park itself. This is ideal for tight locations. The 300 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 7 Series is less expensive to operate than the 300 because typical repairs cost much less on the 7 Series than the 300, including $709 less for a muffler.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends both the BMW 7 Series and the Chrysler 300, based on reliability, safety and performance.

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

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