2020 BMW 7 Series vs. 2020 Mercedes E-Class Sedan

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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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 E-Class Sedan 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 E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

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

Both the 7 Series and the E-Class Sedan 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, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

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The 7 Series’ corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the E-Class Sedan’s (12 vs. 5 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. Mercedes doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the E-Class Sedan.

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. The E-Class Sedan only offers a 850-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 21 points higher than the E-Class Sedan.

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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 7th in reliability, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 13th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 9 places higher in reliability than Mercedes.

Engine

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The 7 Series has more powerful engines than the E-Class Sedan:

Horsepower

Torque

740i 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

335 HP

330 lbs.-ft.

745e 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder 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.

E 350 Sedan 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder

255 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

E 450 4MATIC Sedan 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the 745e running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the E 350 4MATIC Sedan (52 city/61 hwy MPGe vs. 22 city/30 hwy).

The 745e can drive on battery power alone for up to 16 miles. The E-Class Sedan must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regardless of its engine, regenerative brakes improve the 7 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. Mercedes only offers a regenerative brake system on the AMG E 53 Sedan.

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 E-Class Sedan 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 E-Class Sedan:

740i/745e

750i

E-Class

E 450

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.5 inches

13.5 inches

14.2 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.5 inches

11.8 inches

14.2 inches

The 7 Series stops much shorter than the E-Class Sedan:

7 Series

E-Class

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

161 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 7 Series offers optional 20-inch wheels. The E-Class Sedan’s 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. Run-flat tires aren’t available on some tire packages on the E-Class Sedan.

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 E-Class Sedan; 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. Some models of the E-Class Sedan don’t even offer run-flats.

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 E-Class Sedan 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 E-Class Sedan, 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. Mercedes doesn’t offer an active suspension on the E-Class Sedan.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 7 Series’ wheelbase is 10.7 inches longer than on the E-Class Sedan (126.4 inches vs. 115.7 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the 7 Series is .2 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the E-Class Sedan.

The Alpina B7 handles at .97 G’s, while the E 350 Sedan 4MATIC pulls only .90 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 E 350 Sedan (25.4 seconds @ .75 average G’s vs. 25.8 seconds @ .7 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 E-Class Sedan 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 E-Class Sedan is rated a Mid-size.

The 7 Series has 16 cubic feet more passenger volume than the E-Class Sedan (114 vs. 98).

The 7 Series has 2.6 inches more front headroom, 1.4 inches more front shoulder room, .7 inches more rear headroom, 8.2 inches more rear legroom and .6 inches more rear shoulder room than the E-Class Sedan.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 7 Series’ available rear seats recline. The E-Class Sedan’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The 7 Series has a larger trunk than the E-Class Sedan (14 vs. 13.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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The 7 Series’ instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The E-Class Sedan does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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 E-Class Sedan doesn’t offer rear side window sunshades.

The 7 Series has standard heated front seats. Heated front seats cost extra on the E-Class Sedan. The 7 Series also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the E-Class Sedan.

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

Both the 7 Series and the E-Class Sedan offer optional massaging front seats. The 7 Series also offers optional massaging rear seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging rear seats aren’t available in the E-Class Sedan.

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. Wireless charging costs extra on the E-Class Sedan.

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 E-Class Sedan’s automatic parking system does not offer parking by remote control.

Economic Advantages

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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 E-Class Sedan is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the 7 Series is less expensive to operate than the E-Class Sedan because typical repairs cost less on the 7 Series than the E-Class Sedan, including $73 less for a muffler and $113 less for a starter.

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 2020/01/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW 7 Series, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mercedes E-Class Sedan isn't recommended.

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

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