2020 BMW 7 Series vs. 2019 Rolls-Royce Ghost

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Ghost offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

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 Ghost 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 Ghost doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The 7 Series’ blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them and moves the vehicle back into its lane. The Ghost doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

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 Ghost doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the 7 Series and the Ghost have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available night vision systems.

Warranty

The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the Ghost’s (12 vs. 4 years).

There are almost 10 times as many BMW dealers as there are Rolls-Royce dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Reliability

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

Engine

The M760i’s 6.6 turbo V12 produces 7 lbs.-ft. more torque (627 vs. 620) than the Ghost Black Badge’s optional 6.6 turbo V12.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 745e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Ghost (52 city/61 hwy MPGe vs. 12 city/18 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 745e running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Ghost (19 city/26 hwy vs. 12 city/18 hwy).

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

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

M760i 6.6 turbo V12

13 city/20 hwy

Ghost

RWD

6.8 turbo V12

12 city/18 hwy

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

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 Ghost doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the Ghost:

7 Series

Ghost

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

164 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The 7 Series offers an optional 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 Ghost; 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.

Suspension and Handling

The Alpina B7 handles at .97 G’s, while the Ghost pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The 750i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Ghost (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.3 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the 740i’s turning circle is 3.9 feet tighter than the Ghost Extended Wheelbase’s (42 feet vs. 45.9 feet).

Chassis

The BMW 7 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 to 1100 pounds less than the Rolls-Royce Ghost.

The 7 Series is 1 foot, 2.8 inches shorter than the Ghost Extended Wheelbase, making the 7 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

For excellent aerodynamics, the 7 Series has standard flush composite headlights. The Ghost 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 Ghost doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The 7 Series has 3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Ghost (114 vs. 111).

The 7 Series has 2.1 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Ghost.

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 Ghost doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

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 Ghost doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Ghost.

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 Ghost 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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