2020 BMW 7 Series vs. 2019 Rolls-Royce Phantom

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Phantom 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 Phantom doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the 7 Series and the Phantom have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, post-collision automatic braking systems, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors, rear cross-path warning, driver alert monitors and available night vision systems.

Warranty

The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the Phantom’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 Phantom isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The M760i’s standard 6.6 turbo V12 produces 37 more horsepower (600 vs. 563) than the Phantom’s 6.8 turbo V12.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the 745e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Phantom (52 city/61 hwy MPGe vs. 12 city/20 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 745e running its gasoline engine gets better fuel mileage than the Phantom (19 city/26 hwy vs. 12 city/20 hwy).

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

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

Phantom

RWD

6.8 turbo V12

12 city/20 hwy

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

Transmission

For more complete vehicle control the 7 Series has a manually controlled automatic, with the available convenience of an automatic transmission and the complete gear control of a manual transmission without the inconvenience of a clutch. A manually controlled automatic allows the driver to eliminate unwanted shifts and maximize engine braking by down shifting while cornering. The Phantom doesn’t offer a transmission that allows complete gear control.

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 Phantom doesn’t offer launch control.

Tires and Wheels

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

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 Phantom; 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

For better maneuverability, the 740i’s turning circle is 3.2 feet tighter than the Phantom EWB’s (42 feet vs. 45.2 feet).

Chassis

The BMW 7 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 600 to 1400 pounds less than the Rolls-Royce Phantom.

The 7 Series is 2 feet, 5.1 inches shorter than the Phantom EWB, 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 Phantom 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 Phantom doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Cargo Capacity

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 7 Series’ trunk can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Phantom doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

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 Phantom doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Phantom doesn’t offer extendable visors.

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 Phantom 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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