2016 BMW 7 Series vs. 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

7-series | June 11th, 2015 by 42
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The new 2016 BMW 7 Series is ready to tackle Mercedes-Benz and Audi head on in one of the most tightly contested segments on the …

The new 2016 BMW 7 Series is ready to tackle Mercedes-Benz and Audi head on in one of the most tightly contested segments on the market. Falling behind in sales compared to the S-Class, the revived 7 Series is aiming to dethrone the S-Class and take the segment crown for itself. And BMW has given the new G11/G12 all the tools do so — from a weight loss and advanced tech features to a fresh and dynamic design.

When it comes to exterior design, the two limousines take a different approach. BMW continues to emphasize the driving dynamics through its design, while Mercedes goes for the massive and luxurious look that you often see on Bentleys and Rolls Royces. The front-end of the two cars cannot be any more different; S-Class’ grille takes over the entire fascia compared with BMW’s s0fter approach to the front design.

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The rear end design follows the same philosophy: massive for the Benz, sportier-looking for the bimmer. BMW’s 7 Series design stretches horizontally while the S-Class stands out with its vertical approach and lots of lines.

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The interior is where the 7 Series shines, being as opulent and luxurious as possible. With a lovely array of leather, wood and aluminum, the new 7 Series’ interior has a bright, comfortable and airy feel to it. The cabin tech and premium design is now more obvious than ever and it not only fares well against the S-Class, but it seems to be years ahead of any current BMW cabins. Much like the S Class, the gauge cluster has been replaced with a 12.3” screen, displaying different gauges while in different Driving Modes.

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As seen in those image comparisons, the choice between the two high-end sedans is tougher than ever. Customers will likely to have a harder time picking one over the other; the S Class, in typical Mercedes-Benz fashion, relies more on its luxury car roots, while the 7 Series is more about advanced technology and has a more modern feel.

42 responses to “2016 BMW 7 Series vs. 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class”

  1. Alex F says:

    I still think from the exterior, the A8/XJ look better than these two, but the M-Sport pack (especially with that individual red) would probably look killer! Interior wise the S-Class is way more classic luxury while the 7 looks like it keeps up materials wise but is just more modern. I’d probs take the G11/12 but that could just be me being a lifelong BMW fan

  2. Kaisuke971 says:

    Exterior wise, it’s a win for the G1x. It looks more fresh (because it is), more modern (because it is), more dynamic, and sportier. Exterior wise, it’s better than the rivals. The only cars i could see catching up are the Quattroporte and the XJ.
    Once you push the door, you have two different approach: At Stuttgart, they’ve chosen to keep that Mercedes S-Class boat look, which looks more refined and more expensive. The BMW does not look quite as much expensive, and the S-Class can even compete against the bigger english brothers.
    That said, the G1x has very modern looking interior, and that’s what they wanted it to be. It looks awesome to me, and i prefer a modern look. Let’ say it’s a tie.
    When you see the videos, they place the G1x in a modern garage, a modern house, with modern people. And you’ll notice how they drive the 7 series, but still can be driven in it with absolute comfort, while the S-Class is more the car you put in front of a castle and you never drive. They putted great effort to make the car behave like a true BMW, and i’m sure it’ll work.
    I feel like the Bimmer is a more complete car, that can suit more types of people. If they put a performance version, it’s likely to be the best-seller on the segment, just because it can suit everyone. You can be driven in and feel special, but if you drive it you’ll feel special as well, while, with an S-Class, you’re likely to be mistaken for a Chauffeur.

    • Billy The Hillbilly says:

      “At Stuttgart, they’ve chosen to keep that Mercedes S-Class boat look, which looks more refined and more expensive”

      Exactly. I think the bavarians could easily make an interior looking like this, but it simply wouldn’t fit in the 7er and compliment the car’s orientation.

    • Heinz says:

      i dont like the 7 series design, its so sporty, to heavy. the S class looks more elegant, more luxury.

  3. Marcelo Macedo says:

    I am always pro-BMW but this time, for this market, Mercedes looks one generation ahead.

    • Icebreakerr says:

      nah it looks dated already just looks like a normal c class

      • Billy The Hillbilly says:

        c’mon, standard C-class does not look dated, neither does the S. It is just a way different approach to a luxury car, the M-B is more refined and looks just classier, the new 7er looks more dynamic, aggressive and sporty. Same w/ the interior though.

        • Kaisuke971 says:

          What he wants to say is that the 7 series makes other cars of its segment look dated, S-Klasse included, not to mention that when you see a C-Class approaching you’re like: “Not sure if S-Klasse or C-Class… oh car actually is a C-Class”.

          • Billy The Hillbilly says:

            Ok, understood. I don’t think it would be necessarily a bad thing for the C-class, altough I would be a bit…. unsatisfied, if I was, say, an S-class owner :)

        • joseph_rma says:

          If we look at the S-Class without thinking of C-Class, it is fashionable, looks like boat and things like that. Doesn’t look much dated, it’s German approach but there C-Class makes a mess because it just too much wanna be S-Class, like Kaisuke sayed.
          They are even planning C-Class facelift to remove it’s dumb tablet-style infotainment screen and connect the screens like those from S-Class, is it too much

          • Billy The Hillbilly says:

            Ehm, how do you know what the plan for the facelifted C-class is? The car is out not even for a year :). Veeeery interested in this one :)

          • joseph_rma says:

            Yea, I read somewhere, some infos came out. They said a number of customers is not satisfied with it’s tablet screen(which to be honest ruins a little this beautiful interior) and plan is to connect it to the instrument table, like S-Class already does. But, time will show if it’s true :)

        • Icebreakerr says:

          i own a c class. everyone has one im already bored of the merc design they all look the same

  4. IceDree says:

    Tough call!
    • For exterior, the BMW wins, Sporty, yet elegant & classy … The Pure Excellence that is.

    • For the interior, the S wins, I’m not saying the 7er is ugly, its very cool … But Benz did it better, even though its an evolution of the W221 & I don’t like the 2 screens

  5. Tom says:

    At the end, its a question of taste. I personally dont like the interior of the S-Class, its just for old people, like Merc always is, maybe except AMG. The BMW looks more modern. The infotainment of course is two steps ahead. No talk about driving performance. The S-Class is a boat, nothing else. The 7er is also for people who like to drive a car and not just sit in it. Maybe in this segment its tough because 60% get driven and dont drive by themselves, but then I would go for a RR and not a 7 or S-Class…

  6. Rad Dockery says:

    Exterior. Bimmer with the M Package.
    Interior: Mercedes. It looks like Maybach.

    • Kagan Oztrak says:

      the exterior looks like a long wheel base 5 series..I love bmw but this design language is just so bland and boring.

      • Kaisuke971 says:

        If 7 series looks like a long wheel base 5 series what does the S-Class looks like ? A 1.25 scale C-Class ?

        • Kagan Oztrak says:

          you’re taking this the wrong way, the s and c look very much a like. But when the 3 series looks better executed than the flagship; there is a problem. Audi-fying your design is not going to bring success. The i8 was successful 50% because of it tech but the other 50% was because of it’s design. Everyone here on this site loves bmw, probably most love bmw more than you. So no need to get defensive..

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            Do the 3 series look better executed for you ? I mean they are so different… And the 3 series i mean come on, that’s THE BMW. Of course it has to be a success ! In fact, the 7 series has never been for BMW what the S-Class is for Mercedes. That is because Mercedes has more a luxury brand image, and BMW a sporty brand one. So while Mercedes has to really make the S-Class stand out and be the pinnacle of luxury, well, BMW doesn’t. First of all, the aim is to prove, with the 7, that in the very exclusive luxury sedan segment, BMW can have both its DNA and the topnotch luxury. That’s exactly what i see with this car: a BMW for the executive.
            I don’t really think how you see the 7 is how the 7 really is. Because don’t forget that BMW has Rolls-Royce. While Mercedes has only their S-Class, that they use as a base for the Maybach, well, BMW has the Ghost. So again, the 7 doesn’t have to look like it’s more upmarket, because it isn’t. The S-Class, however, has a step on the A8, XJ, Quattroporte, LS, and 7 series segment and another in the Flying Spur and Ghost one.
            I think that’s why maybe the S-Class has a more elegant design, while the 7 is modern, dynamic, and sporty. It’s not shocking, it doesn’t have to be. It just looks good. We see an evolution in BMW’s lineup. When you look at each car, you def see an evolution, and i think that’s exactly what they want. But to say they look the same ? No i don’t think so. When you see them side by side, well you know it’s the same brand, but no.

          • Kagan Oztrak says:

            It doesnt look good, it looks old. The laserlight and couple of led’s are fooling you. Fanboyism doesnt help a brand. If we had all defended the pre-LCI 1-series in the forums, would’ve bmw gone with such a radical front fascia change? Please dont forget that the people on this site are all lovers of the brand, but you are not being objective.

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            I don’t know, it looks good to me. So does the S-Class (as i said, a more elegant approach rather than dynamic like BMW), the Quattroporte (the more i look at it the more i like it). A8 just looks like a bigger A4 (sorry but when i see the A8 nothing special, just a big Audi. We’ll see if next year it’s Prologue-ish or not), XJ looks old… I don’t know maybe you’re right and it’s the brand new effect… Or just that i’m happy to see it’s not as shitty as the leaked photo…
            Most people out there say it’s good. Maybe some are disappointed because it doesn’t look enough like the Vision Future Luxury, or the Gran Lusso. Or just because the car looks 2015 and not 2018, but it still looks good to me.

          • Kagan Oztrak says:

            I agree with you on the fact that it looks MUCH better than the leaked photos, especially the first dark metallic blue ones were hideous, I was happy to see it doesnt look like that. The 360 view is online by the way on bmw.com, if you want to check it out with different color, package and wheel combos. The standard base line is my favorite :)

          • Kaisuke971 says:

            Well you’re also right when you say that it cold have been more modern. When i see the Vision Future Luxury, i’m like “7 sires G1x y u no lok moar like dat”. It does look more executive, sleek, modern, and like a flagship, that’s true.
            But as you said, the 360 view is here, and i already went to see what it’s like. I discovered that the M Sport can get the chrome things, and it does look good ! The Standard one with those fancy 20″ rims is really great, but the real kind is the Individual one. Now the 7 looks just that bit more expensive, luxurious, and executive. And that, especially in Aventurine red with pearl white interior and the individual rims :O

  7. mattbianco says:


    – Front MB wins
    – Rear BMW wins
    – Side, not shown
    – Inside BMW wins

    The MB inside has very strange soft contours that don’t have symmetry or complimentary looks. Those screens look like two bloomberg terminals on a training floor -which is also the Tesla approach, giant screens without consideration for how they fit.

  8. Kagan Oztrak says:

    guys come on lets be objective, we all love BMW a lot, but this design language looks like it debuted in 2010 and as if this is a facelift. If you were spending your hard earned $80-100k that you worked 15hours everyday for, would you really get the new 7? It looks like a 5 year old audi a8.

    So what if the 8 series is planned? In that case the 3series should’ve looked bad because the 4 was coming?

    This should not be the flagship of the world’s best selling premium automotive brand.

  9. joseph_rma says:

    It’ll be again about personal taste. It’s hard to be objective, 7-er looks mighty, but designers had to use a little different approach for the flagship sedan. I personally like this G11/12 but for the people who prefer more liquid, fashion lines it won’t be the first choice. There XJ/S Class/Quattroporte(agressive, but desirable) stands out.
    Interior wise, yea it looks more expensive than the old one, but again, for the flagship I would take more different lines, maybe change air-vent style or something to stand out from the current BMW lineup
    But, it will sell and will make up BMW stats a bit

    • Kagan Oztrak says:

      see I agree with you. The f01 had the perfect proportions, a nearly z4 looking hood in front of the driver and perfect overhangs and a sculpted greenhouse area. I understand the chinese market is very important and they arent a fan of aggressive designs, they like shiny bland designs. But this design language just isnt it..it looks like a LCI facelift..

  10. Efoza says:

    The new 7 is designed by the same guy who designed the 6 series GC. You can see flavours of it in the new 7 particularly next to the S class Benz. Trust me, the 7 just looks a lot better in real life than in photos.

    • Andrewthecarguy says:

      That’s the conclusion I came to after watching the video. I bet this is going to claim spots from the S Class than people are thinking.

  11. Immanuel John says:

    Its a sad comparison, actually from the front, the BMW looks like a 4/5 series and the back it looks like 4 series. While all along the S class looks like an S-class. Both interior and exterior S-class wins hands down. A-8 too looks far better. BMW designer should bury their heads in shame for such a disappointing design. Also, this car can’t match the presence of the S-class. This car by being a boring mediocre design has opened itself up for direct competition from the Cadillac CT-6, Lincoln’s upcoming Continental in the US. Because for roughly the same price, you’d get better looking cars with significant amount of options. As for the S-class, since its launch in end 2013, it has sold over 100K units and more orders coming in, it has set a benchmark too high for the BMW to match. Plus with Merc working on a Maybach version of the upcoming E-class, the BMW 7 has pretty much had it, since the Long wheelbase Merc E will rob the 7 of its fig leaf.
    With Merc lining up Maybach versions, one can’t underestimate them, they are supremely luxurious, beautiful to behold both in & out, have great performance and set new benchmarks. As for addressing any potential threat; Merc just has to up its autonomous value prop, make a bigger HUD, make a better key. All this can be done post 2017 Audi-A8 launch in a mid cycle update.

    • Billy The Hillbilly says:

      Oh c’mon, man! We can have a long discussion about how is the new 7er standing against the S-class, but you can’t possibly say “BMW designer should bury their heads in shame for such a disappointing design” and the ones from Audi shouldn’t, b/c their car looks too far better. The A8/A6/A4 family is all the same design rubbish, as anyone was pointing out “the same sausage, just a bigger package”. They came up with a good looking car in the summer of 2002 and are sticking with it ever since. I am sorry, but talking about the new 7er and be like how is it looking as a 4/5 series (really?? :D) and then mentioning the A8 as good is laughable. If any new car is looking like a mere goddamned update of the previous one, It IS the AUDI A8! Love how everyone is praising the Audi for making the same design for centuries, but BMW designers are crap. I mean, c’mon, this is really ridiculous. Very well then, Bmw should have kept the e65 design till now and everyone would be satisfied. Yeah, right.

      • Immanuel John says:

        I stand by my view, BMW designers should bury their heads in the sand for pretty much the worst looking German cars in the market, the 1/5/4/7 series / X-6/ X-5/X-3/X1/X4 look like they were designed in a sweat shop in China. Atleast the lines on the Audi look good, sure they all look quite similar but at least they have prettier lines and better proven driving dynamics, I mean there is hardly a BMW that is worthy of being called a driver’s car in the last 10 years except the 6 & 3 which are good products. Current Audi A-8 design is better. Worst thing is they managed to make good looking cars like the previous gen X-5 into hulking ugly vehicles. As for the S-class vs 7 discussion, we can have a long one about how the 7 can’t compete with the S, the S and its ultra lux Maybach variants compete with Rolls & Bentleys. The tech on the new 7 isn’t ground breaking and the Maybach version of the upcoming E-class will out class it. As for sales, sure the 7 will sell, not nearly as much as the S, there are plenty of fan boys out there who will go out and buy it.

  12. Tung says:

    The new 7 certainly looks fresh but not as classy as the S class. Particularly its headlamps look not well designed. The dashboard looks a bit cheap in silver. I don’t see how gesture control help when it just offers the same functions the buttons on the steering wheel do. Gesture control looks quite distracting. Why not voice confirmation to take/decline call? Better wait for the facelift.

  13. Dinata_Berlinetta says:

    BMW 7 er should be like a Rapide, more sportier & coupe ish.

  14. Azzam A. Ganadily says:

    Your right! I’ve been studying the features of the BMW 7 Series vs. the Mercedes S63 & S65 sedan. It’s mind boggling lol. No seriously it is! I can’t make up my mind. I’m being patient waiting for the BMW 760. I want one of them, any scale tipping tips?

  15. […] Source: http://www.bmwblog.com/2015/06/11/2016-bmw-7-series-vs-2015-mercedes-benz-s-class/ […]

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