2020 Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet vs. 2020 BMW 8 Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The BMW 8 Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The S-Class Cabriolet has standard NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the NECK-PRO Front Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the S-Class Cabriolet and the 8 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors and available night vision systems.

Warranty

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There are over 10 percent more Mercedes dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the S-Class Cabriolet’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mercedes vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes 12th in initial quality. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th.

Engine

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The S-Class Cabriolet’s 4.0 turbo V8 produces 128 more horsepower (463 vs. 335) and 148 lbs.-ft. more torque (516 vs. 368) than the 840i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S-Class Cabriolet’s fuel efficiency. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The S-Class Cabriolet has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 8 Series (21.1 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Mercedes S-Class Cabriolet, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 8 Series.

Tires and Wheels

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For better ride, handling and brake cooling the S 560 Cabriolet has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the 8 Series.

Suspension and Handling

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The front and rear suspension of the S-Class Cabriolet uses air springs for a smoother, controlled ride than the 8 Series, which uses coil springs. Air springs maintain proper ride height and ride more smoothly.

The S-Class Cabriolet has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

The S-Class Cabriolet’s drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The 8 Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class Cabriolet’s wheelbase is 4.8 inches longer than on the 8 Series (115.9 inches vs. 111.1 inches).

For better maneuverability, the S 560 Cabriolet’s turning circle is .2 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (38 feet vs. 38.2 feet). The S 560 Cabriolet’s turning circle is 1 foot tighter than the 8 Series xDrive’s (38 feet vs. 39 feet).

Passenger Space

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The S-Class Cabriolet has 7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 8 Series (88 vs. 81).

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Mercedes service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Mercedes fifth in service department satisfaction. With a 23% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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The S-Class Cabriolet’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children in the rear seat from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower all of them with the lock engaged. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the 8 Series’ standard power windows.

In case of a sudden change of weather, the S-Class Cabriolet has a standard remote convertible top that can be raised from a distance to protect the interior of the vehicle from damage. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a remote top, so the driver will have to run to the car, get in, turn the ignition on and raise the top to prevent the interior from being damaged.

Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class Cabriolet to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The 8 Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the S-Class Cabriolet has standard extendable sun visors. The 8 Series doesn’t offer extendable visors.

A power rear sunshade is standard in the S-Class Cabriolet to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

Both the S-Class Cabriolet and the 8 Series have standard heated front seats. The S-Class Cabriolet also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the 8 Series.

The S-Class Cabriolet has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The S-Class Cabriolet has standard massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the 8 Series.

The S-Class Cabriolet has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

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 2020/09/21

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the BMW 8 Series by almost six to one during the 2019 model year.

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