2020 Mercedes S-Class vs. 2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe

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 8 Series Gran Coupe 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 8 Series Gran Coupe 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 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer inflatable seatbelts.

The S-Class 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. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the S-Class and the 8 Series Gran Coupe 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, 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 8 Series Gran Coupe:

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.

840i Gran Coupe 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder

335 HP

368 lbs.-ft.

M850i Gran Coupe 4.4 turbo V8

523 HP

553 lbs.-ft.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the S 560 4MATIC gets better fuel mileage than the M850i (17 city/27 hwy vs. 17 city/25 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 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

The S-Class V6/V8’s standard fuel tank has 3.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the 8 Series Gran Coupe (21.1 vs. 18 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The S-Class V12’s standard fuel tank has 6.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 8 Series Gran Coupe (24.6 vs. 18 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 8 Series Gran Coupe.

Suspension and Handling

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

The S-Class 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 Gran Coupe doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

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 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the S-Class’ wheelbase is 5.6 inches longer than on the 8 Series Gran Coupe (124.6 inches vs. 119 inches). The Maybach S-Class’ wheelbase is 13.5 inches longer than on the 8 Series Gran Coupe (132.5 inches vs. 119 inches).

Chassis

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The design of the Mercedes S-Class amounts to more than styling. The S-Class offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .27 to .3 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 8 Series Gran Coupe (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the S-Class get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The S-Class has .6 inches more front headroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, .4 inches more rear headroom and 4.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the S-Class’ available rear seats recline. The 8 Series Gran Coupe’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The S-Class has a much larger trunk than the 8 Series (18.7 vs. 15.5 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 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer heated windshield washer fluid.

Optional air conditioned front and rear seats keep the S-Class’ passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The 8 Series Gran Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats in the rear.

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

The S-Class 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 8 Series Gran Coupe.

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 8 Series Gran Coupe 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 2020/02/19

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

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