Mercedes-Benz S-Class 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 - September 17, 2019

No one does large luxury sedans as well as German automakers. Two of the best in the business are the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7-Series. Despite being fundamentally different and having different badges, both follow a similar recipe of having the best their respective brand has to offer in terms of luxury, performance, and technology. Unfortunately, both of these models require consumers to have massive budgets. Still, for those with the money, few can match the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and BMW 7-Series. But which one is the better buy?

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

What the S-Class Gets Right

Both of these heavyweight sedans have massive engines that generate tons of power, but it’s the S-Class that’s the more muscular option. The base 7-Series is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produces 335 horsepower. The S-Class' twin-turbocharged V6 pumps out 362 hp.

At the top of the S-Class range sits the S 65 AMG S that features a twin-turbo 6.0-liter V12 that’s good for 621 hp. The 7-Series’ range-topping M760i xDrive has a 6.6-liter turbo V12 with 600 hp.

While BMW offers the 7-Series in a sedan body style (the 7-Series' coupe variant is called the 8-Series), the S-Class is offered as a coupe, convertible, and, for the ultra luxurious, in a Mercedes-Maybach trim. With more options to choose from, the S-Class is the better option for consumers that want something other than a sedan.

Both the S-Class and the 7-Series can trade punches when it comes to tangible items. But when it comes to design, especially interior design, the S-Class shines. Supremely comfortable, incredibly quiet, well equipped, and impeccably built, the S-Class is a vehicle that’s worthy of its nearly six-figure starting privce. It’s not that the 7-Series is bad, but it doesn’t have the same lusciousness.

What the 7-Series Gets Right

Neither of these machines are exactly affordable, but the 7-Series is the better value option of the two. Pricing for the S-Class starts at $92,245 including destination, while the 7-Series starts at $87,445. Despite the $4,800 price difference, the 7-Series is a feature-packed vehicle.

Consumers that value having a spacious cabin will enjoy the extra space in the 7-Series. BMW’s large luxury sedan has more front and rear head room, front shoulder room, and rear leg room. The last figure is astonishing in the 7-Series, as it offers roughly 10 more inches of rear leg room than the S-Class.

The S-Class may have an advantage in the horsepower department, but it’s the 7-Series that’s the more enjoyable option to drive. BMW managed to get the majority of the 7-Series lineup to have a 50/50 weight distribution, which makes the vehicle feel much more athletic around corners. Multiple driving modes, including Eco Pro, Adaptive, Comfort, Comfort Plus, and Sport, allow drivers to cater the 7-Series to their style.

Brute in a Suit

Both of these cars are awfully close to one another in a head-to-head comparison. The BMW 7-Series is more affordable and handles better, while the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is more comfortable and has more options to choose from. It’s not that the 7-Series is a bad choice, as it'll hit all of the right notes for the majority of consumers, but the S-Class is the benchmark for a reason.

Our Verdict: Mercedes-Benz S-Class

Want ultra-plush luxury in a coupe, sedan, or convertible? Mercedes-Benz offers the S-Class in more flavors than a corner store ice cream shop. With a dizzying amount of options to explore and more luxury features than some homes, the S-Class is one of the best cars on the market period.

Take a closer look at the Mercedes-Benz S-Class »

Take a closer look at the BMW 7-Series »

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

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