2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2020 BMW 7 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 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 7 Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mercedes S-Class are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW 7 Series doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The rear seatbelts optional on the S-Class inflate when a collision is detected, helping to spread crash forces over a much larger area of the body and limiting head and neck movement. This can help prevent spinal and internal injuries. The 7 Series doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

Both the S-Class and the 7 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, night vision systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

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’ 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 has more powerful engines than the 7 Series:

Horsepower

Torque

S 450 3.0 turbo V6

362 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

S 560 4.0 turbo V8

463 HP

516 lbs.-ft.

Maybach S 650 6.0 turbo V12

621 HP

738 lbs.-ft.

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.

As tested in Motor Trend the S 560 is faster than the 745e:

S-Class

7 Series

Zero to 60 MPH

4.7 sec

4.8 sec

Quarter Mile

13.2 sec

13.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

107.7 MPH

105.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S-Class Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the 7 Series:

MPG

S-Class Sedan

RWD

560 4.0 turbo V8

17 city/27 hwy

Maybach 650 6.0 turbo V12

13 city/21 hwy

AWD

560 4.0 turbo V8

17 city/27 hwy

Maybach 560 4.0 turbo V8

16 city/25 hwy

7 Series

AWD

4.4 turbo V8

17 city/25 hwy

6.6 turbo V12

13 city/20 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down some of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the S-Class 560’s fuel efficiency. The 7 Series doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The S-Class V6/V8’s standard fuel tank has 9 gallons more fuel capacity than the 7 Series Hybrid’s standard fuel tank (21.1 vs. 12.1 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 4 gallons more fuel capacity than the 7 Series’ standard fuel tank (24.6 vs. 20.6 gallons).

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is available on the Mercedes S-Class, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the 7 Series.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the S-Class’ standard brake rotors are larger than those standard on the 7 Series:

S-Class

7 Series

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13.7 inches

Rear Rotors

14.2 inches

13.6 inches

The S-Class stops shorter than the 7 Series:

S-Class

7 Series

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

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The S-Class’ 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 7 Series doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the 7 Series (132.5 inches vs. 126.4 inches).

The S 600 handles at .90 G’s, while the 745e xDrive pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the S 450/560’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the 740i’s (40.4 feet vs. 42 feet). The S 450/560’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the 7 Series xDrive’s (40.4 feet vs. 42.4 feet).

Passenger Space

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The Maybach S-Class has 6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 7 Series (120 vs. 114).

The S-Class has .5 inches more front shoulder room and 1.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the 7 Series.

The front step up height for the S-Class is 1.3 inches lower than the 7 Series (15.4” vs. 16.7”). The S-Class’ rear step up height is .8 inches lower than the 7 Series’ (15.9” vs. 16.7”).

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the 7 Series (18.7 vs. 14 cubic feet).

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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Heated windshield washer fluid is standard on the S-Class to defrost the washer nozzles and quickly clear ice and frost from the windshield without scraping. The 7 Series doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

The S-Class 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 7 Series doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Mercedes S-Class comes in coupe, convertible and sedan bodystyles; the BMW 7 Series isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the S-Class is less expensive to operate than the 7 Series because it costs $237 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the S-Class than the 7 Series, including $90 less for front brake pads, $46 less for a starter, $161 less for fuel injection, $65 less for a fuel pump, $1341 less for front struts, $990 less for a timing belt/chain and $350 less for a power steering pump.

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 2020/02/29

The Mercedes S-Class outsold the BMW 7 Series by 50% during the 2019 model year.

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