On the latest episode of Head 2 Head, Motor Trend’s comparison video channel, editors Johnny Lieberman and Jason Cammisa test the brand-new BMW 750i and the slightly older Mercedes-Benz S550. These two cars, the 7 Series and S Class, have been battling each other for ages. To be honest, it’s been a battle that the 7 Series has seldom won, if at all. The Mercedes S Class has been the worldwide favorite luxury car since forever. But does the new BMW 7 Series have what it takes to take down the king? Motor Trend puts them back to back to find out.
First, it’s a drag race, of course. While these two cars will rarely be driven that hard by their owners, it’s still a crucial bragging-rights test. While the BMW is slightly down on power, with 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque, compared to the Mercedes, with 449 hp and 516 lb-ft, it actually burns the Benz in a drag race. A lot of the reason for that is the S550’s disdain for launching hard. It’s more about wafting gently off the line.
But luxury cars aren’t really every judged by their acceleration. In terms of the interior, both editors prefer the Mercedes-Benz S550 over the BMW 750i. While both say the 750i’s cabin is very nice, it’s just not as nice as the S550’s and that it doesn’t feel as special. The center stack looking similar to the 3 Series’ is part of the reason why. They also poke fun at the Gesture Control system which is hilariously gimmicky.
They also found that the ride is better in the Benz. While the Bimmer rides very nicely, it’s a bit firmer than the Benz and people who buy in this segment like soft, squishy rides. While the S550 has a sort of Rolls-Royce ride quality to it, the BMW 750i sort of just feels like a very nice BMW. That firmness is felt even more in the backseat.
Speaking of the back seat, that’s where a lot of S Class and 7 Series buyers are going to be. The back seats of both of these cars are both incredible, with sumptuous leather thrones, enormous amounts of space and enough luxury features to make it feel more like a spa than a backseat. However, from the backseat, the two Motor Trend editors found the Benz to be the better car yet again. For some reason, there’s almost a stadium-seating type back seat in the 7 Series, which means you sit up higher, closer to the headliner. This gives it a slightly more claustrophobic feeling. Also, the seats aren’t as good and there’s a bit too many gimmicks back there, like the Samsung tablet. Remember, this is hair-splitting on six-figure luxury cars and anyone would be more than happy in the backseat of either.
In the end, they deemed the Mercedes-Benz S Class to be the hands down winner. However, we’re a bit disappointed that they didn’t test either for how they drive. The 7 Series is lighter, if only by a bit, and is supposed to be quite a dynamic luxury sedan. It would have been nice to see them put these two through their paces. Admittedly, that sort of driving isn’t really all that relevant in the real world for either car, but it still would have been nice.
We know the S Class is a phenomenal car and we’d love to test both cars back to back to see for ourselves. But according to Motor Trend, the Benz is the better car of the two.