MotorTrend Comparison: Entry-Level Fullsize Luxury Sedans

7-series | January 19th, 2011 by 17
2011 BMW 740i front three quarters in motion

BMW 740i vs. Porsche Panamera vs. Audi A8 vs. Lexus LS 460 vs. Jaguar XJL vs. Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid vs. Hyundai Equus MotorTrend put together …

BMW 740i vs. Porsche Panamera vs. Audi A8 vs. Lexus LS 460 vs. Jaguar XJL vs. Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid vs. Hyundai Equus

MotorTrend put together a comprehensive and highly detailed comparison between the entry-level high-end luxury sedans from several automakers, including BMW. The US magazine takes out favorite 740i and places it against Audi’s new A8, the controversial Panamera, the luxurious LS 460, the new and improved Jaguar XJL, the new contender Hyunday Equus and the classic competitor, Mercedes S400.

Each car tested had its own pros and cons, but overall, MotorTrend places the 2011 BMW 740i at the top of their list, another indication that the six-cylinder 7er fits the bill for many customers looking for ultimate luxury without sacrificing the driving experience.

entry level fullsize luxury sedan front three quarters 1 655x409PERFORMANCE*
1. Porsche 77
2. Audi 75
3. Jaguar 69
4. BMW 66
5. Lexus 59
6. Hyundai 56
7. Mercedes-Benz 48
*Compilation of acceleration/braking/handling performance

1. Lexus 52%/$1557
2. Jaguar 52%/$1649
3. Hyundai 51%/$1172
4. BMW 48%/$1719
5. Audi 45%/$1904
6. Porsche 44%/$1976
7. Mercedes-Benz 40%/$2016
*ALG 36-month, 10%, $0-down lease

1. Porsche 83 110
2. Lexus 88 115
3. Mercedes-Benz 87 142
4. Hyundai 102 148
5. BMW 113 165
6. Audi 111 182
7. Jaguar 130 175
*Problems per 100 vehicles across entire brand: Initial Quality Survey (90 days) and Vehicle Dependability Survey (3 years). Underscore indicates industry average (109/155)

1. Lexus
2. Mercedes
3. Hyundai
4. Audi
5. Jag
6. BMW
7. Porsche

1. Audi (LED headlights, Drive Select, handwriting input)
2. Hyundai (Lane-Departure, radar cruise control)
3. Porsche (highly customizable cockpit displays, PDK, auto-stop)
4. BMW (active anti-roll bars, iDrive customizability)
5. Mercedes (Hybrid drive, auto-stop)
6. Lexus (self-parking feature)
7. Jaguar

1. Lexus Mark Levinson
2. Jaguar Bowers & Wilkins
3. Hyundai Lexicon
4. BMW base (unbranded)
5. Porsche Bose Surround
6. Audi base (Bose)
7. Mercedes-Benz base (harman/kardon)

1. Porsche
2. Mercedes-Benz
3. BMW
4. Jag
5. Audi
6. Lexus
7. Hyundai

Overall Ranking

1. BMW 740i
2. Porsche Panamera
3. Audi A8
4. Lexus LS 460
5. Jaguar XJL
6. Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid
7. Hyundai Equus

2011 BMW 740i review

2011 BMW 740i front three quarters in motion 655x409

In fact, when we began deliberations on the finishing order in this test, most expected the 740i to finish in the upper middle of the ranking because it didn’t seem to excel at any one thing.
Then we started discussing the priorities for this class of car. Spacious, comfortable seating? Front-seat room ranks second to the Hyundai’s, and rear space nearly matches it, trailing the long-wheelbase Jag and cavernous Mercedes (an extra $4400 buys the 740Li if you’re ferrying NBA forwards); all four headrests boast airplane-style side wings; and the zillion-way adjustable multicontour front seats ($1300) feel sublime.

Cars in this class should be technology leaders, but they need to be user-friendly. After several generations of Sevens, BMW is getting that second part right. The latest button-ringed iDrive infuriated far fewer of us than Audi’s shifter and MMI or Jag’s pokey touch screen, though it trails the big-button/touch-screen Lexus and Hyundai interfaces. As for tech, the active roll stabilization and dynamic damping that comes with the $6500 M Sport package represent the state of the suspension art. Inveterate gadgeteers can add night-vision with pedestrian detection ($2600), a head-up display ($1300), and around-view cameras ($1200).

Full detailed review at MotorTrend.