2020 BMW 7 Series vs. 2020 Lexus GS Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 GS Series doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 7 Series has standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The GS Series 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 GS Series doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The 7 Series has a standard Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The GS Series 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.

Both the 7 Series and the GS Series 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive and night vision systems.

Warranty

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The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the GS Series’ (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 7 Series for 2 years and 26000 miles longer than Lexus pays for maintenance for the GS Series (3/36,000 vs. 1/10,000).

There are over 43 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 7 Series’ warranty.

Reliability

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To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 7 Series has a standard 950-amp battery (660 750i). The GS Series’ 580-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The 740i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 24 more horsepower (335 vs. 311) and 50 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 280) than the GS Series’ 3.5 DOHC V6. The 745e’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder hybrid produces 78 more horsepower (389 vs. 311) and 163 lbs.-ft. more torque (443 vs. 280) than the GS Series’ 3.5 DOHC V6. The 750i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 212 more horsepower (523 vs. 311) and 273 lbs.-ft. more torque (553 vs. 280) than the GS Series’ 3.5 DOHC V6. The M760i’s standard 6.6 turbo V12 produces 289 more horsepower (600 vs. 311) and 347 lbs.-ft. more torque (627 vs. 280) than the GS Series’ 3.5 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 745e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the GS 350 AWD (52 city/61 hwy MPGe vs. 19 city/26 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the 7 Series running on gasoline gets better fuel mileage than the GS Series:

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

745e 3.0 turbo 6-cyl. Hybrid

19 city/26 hwy

750i 4.4 turbo V8

17 city/25 hwy

M760i 6.6 turbo V12

13 city/20 hwy

GS Series

RWD

3.5 DOHC V6

20 city/28 hwy

F Sport 3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/27 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

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

The 7 Series’ standard fuel tank has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the GS Series (20.6 vs. 17.4 gallons).

Transmission

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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 GS Series doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

740i/745e

750i

GS Series

GS Series F Sport

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.5 inches

13.1 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.5 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the GS Series:

7 Series

GS Series

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

174 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the 7 Series has larger standard tires than the GS Series (245/50R18 vs. 235/45R18). The 7 Series’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the GS Series (F:245/45R19 & R:275/40R19 vs. F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 7 Series offers optional 20-inch wheels. The GS Series’ largest wheels are only 19-inches.

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 GS Series doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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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 GS Series 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 GS Series, 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. Lexus doesn’t offer an active suspension on the GS Series.

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 GS Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is 14.2 inches longer than on the GS Series (126.4 inches vs. 112.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 7 Series is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than the track on the GS Series.

The Alpina B7 handles at .97 G’s, while the GS 350 pulls only .88 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 GS 350 (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 26.1 seconds @ .72 average G’s).

Chassis

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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 GS Series doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the 7 Series a Large car, while the GS Series is rated a Mid-size.

The 7 Series has 15 cubic feet more passenger volume than the GS Series (114 vs. 99).

The 7 Series has 1.9 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear headroom, 7.6 inches more rear legroom and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the GS Series.

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

Cargo Capacity

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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 GS Series doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

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The 7 Series has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The GS Series doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The 7 Series’ power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The GS Series’ cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

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 GS Series’ standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the 7 Series and power rear side window sunshades are optional to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The GS Series doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

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

The 7 Series offers optional massaging front and rear seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the GS Series.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW 7 Series has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The GS Series doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

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 GS Series doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 7 Series is less expensive to operate than the GS Series because typical repairs cost much less on the 7 Series than the GS Series, including $114 less for a starter, $129 less for fuel injection and $438 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/01/23

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

The BMW 7 Series outsold the Lexus GS Series by over two to one during the 2019 model year.

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

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