Lexus LS vs. BMW 7-Series

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - June 6, 2018

For 2018, Lexus rolled out an all-new LS. The flagship sedan comes with a new look, more opulent interior features, and a more powerful engine. Lexus' decision to introduce a new four-door model reveals just how important the full-size luxury sedan segment is. It's not enough to have a luxurious car anymore, as luxury vehicles need to be able to do everything well, including getting good fuel economy, which the LS manages to do with a hybrid variant.

The BMW 7-Series has always been recognized for being the luxury sedan that's sporty to drive. BMW's need to inject its vehicles with an athletic nature rings true for even its flagship sedan, which is packed with more technology features than ever.

Can Lexus' new LS overtake the 7-Series as the must-have luxury sedan?

See a side-by-side comparison of the 7-Series & LS »

What the LS Gets Right

The original Lexus LS became an icon because it brought affordable luxury to the masses, which is something the new model continues to do. The entry-level 2018 LS 500 starts at $76,025 (including destination), which is $8,620 less than the most affordable 2018 BMW 740i. The 740i sedan has a starting price tag of $84,645.

Despite being the more affordable option, the LS comes with the more powerful base powertrain. The LS 500 features a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V6 that makes 416 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque. The 740i is fitted with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that's good for 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque.

In addition to having more power, the LS is the more fuel-efficient vehicle of the two. The Lexus is rated to get 25 miles per gallon city, 33 mpg highway, and 28 combined by the EPA. The 7-Series lags behind with a fuel economy rating of 21/29/24 mpg (city/highway/combined).

What the 7-Series Gets Right

Both the 7-Series and the LS are large sedans that offer passengers with a copious amount of interior space. For consumers that value having an airy cabin, the 7-Series is the better option. BMW's luxury sedan has more front and rear head room, front and rear leg room, and front and rear shoulder room than the LS. The difference in front head room is the most noticeable, as the 7-Series has roughly two more inches of space than the LS.

When it comes to all-out performance, the 7-Series is the one that shines. Going up to the top rung of the ladder lands you into the Alpina B7. The range-topping sedan comes with a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that churns out 600 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. With the potent engine, the Alpina B7 can get to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds and can reach 205 mph. Those figures make the LC's V6 engine look like it belongs in a child's toy.

Which is the Better All-Around Vehicle?

The new Lexus LS is a better vehicle in nearly every single category. It looks better, performs better, and has better luxury features. But the 7-Series still manages to do everything a little better. It's quieter, roomier, more agile, and more customizable. BMW offers a dizzying amount of options and packages for the 7-Series and while that would normally deter us, it's nice to be able to create a bespoke luxury vehicle that has everything you want. More importantly, it also lets you skip over things you don't want.

Our Verdict: BMW 7-Series

The LS may be a looker, but its drastically-styled exterior isn't enough to take down the 7-Series. BMW continues to offer one of the best vehicles in the large luxury sedan segment with the 7-Series, as it offers consumers with high-tech features, a plush ride, and all the luxury in the world. Depending on how much you're willing to spend, BMW will even sell you a 7-Series with the performance of a supercar. There's no way to compete with that.

Take a closer look at the 7-Series »

Take a closer look at the Lexus LS »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website