Photo Comparison: BMW Gran Coupe vs. 2011 Audi A7 vs. 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS

Concepts | July 27th, 2010 by 42
audi a7 bmw gran coupe 750x500

Today, Audi took off the wraps of their latest addition to the family: the Audi A7. Labeled as a modern four-door sportback sedan, the A7 combines the functionality of a hatchback with seating for four or five passengers, similar to what the 5 Series Gran Turismo offers.

The bodystyle is inline with the latest Audi models, modern, sleek, including the signature LED running lamps still present in this design. From the side, the Audi A7 leaves the impression of a child born from the matting of a shooting brake and a coupe.

Some journalists place the new Audi A7 in the same league as the Porsche Panamera, Aston Martin Rapide and BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, but we are more inclined to believe that the Audi is going after a different niche segment, the one where the future BMW Gran Coupe and new Mercedes-Benz CLS will fight over the four-door coupe crown.

Click on the photo for higher resolution

audi a7 bmw gran coupe mercedes cls 655x123

The targeted demographic for these vehicles seems clear to us: four-door coupe buyers looking for an elegant, sort of extravagant design, luxurious interior and driving performance.

A previous BMWBLOG comparison placed the Audi A7 Concept against the Gran Coupe Concept, the Mercedes CLS and the Porsche Panamera.

audi a7 bmw gran coupe mercedes cls 1 655x931

Today, we are taking a similar approach, but with minor changes. The production-ready A7 will go head-to-head still with the Gran Coupe Concept, and to spice up things even more while  pleasing the heated Mercedes-Benz fans, we decided to add some renderings of what many believe the new CLS model will look like.

Your unbiased votes and comments are welcomed below.


Mercedes-Benz CLS rendering by Motor Trend

[poll id=”59″]

42 responses to “Photo Comparison: BMW Gran Coupe vs. 2011 Audi A7 vs. 2011 Mercedes-Benz CLS”

  1. badger says:

    ARGH CMON AUDI think of better designs!!!!! Those tail ligts are so boring…
    but the again we’ll have to wait for the production ready Gran Coupe.

    • Bryce says:

      I find all of Audi’s vehicles, apart from the TT and the A8, to be very boring. Their headlights don’t look good in my opinion, in the same way the X3’s headlights don’t look good; boxy and boring.

    • Tom says:

      Gahh I love this topic!
      I feel the same way. They’re ugly and its getting old. I get it, it was a really good front end design move but to me… That’s about it. No history like bmw and merc.

      Even they’re concept above. The back end looks like a grumpy old man or something. Granted the colors horrible too. I can rant for a while about them shits.

      The Gran coupes effing gorgeous. I love everything tiny aspect of bmw. Its quite an obsession :)

      The benz is very, mercedes. To me, always second best to bimmers

  2. L. Hamilton says:

    I don’t think the bmw as a “4 door coupe”. It a simple sedan…

    • Laszlo says:

      I don’t think the bmw as a “4 door coupe”. It a simple sedan…

      I agree.. its a simple sedan with elegant lines.

      not a bungle child for sure.

      • FreudeKing says:

        From the side, I cannot see the BMW Gran Coupe is just like a sedan. Why call it a coupe?

        Audi is just one hell of a bore! Look at that sorry ass rear. It looks like an upset granny. As for the Merc – that rear looks like the rear of an old woman’s flabby arse.

        btw. one observation: What the hell is BMW doing with these dark colour cars that give it sort of an inferior look? I mean when you mention the E-Class to me – a bright silver/ white shiny car comes to mind. When you mention the new 5 Series, I picture it in this dull dark gray colour. These are the colours that the two brands chose to market their vehicles and in my mind, colourwise, the Merc shines more for me, even though it is an older model. Look at BMW’s promotional video for the 5 Series and you will notice how many shots were taken when the car is shadowed.

        They really need to re-hire some people for the marketing departement that they possibly fired as a result of the new CEO’s “sucking up to shareholders” strategy.

        • Doug says:

          Why would dark colors make it look inferior? They’re more subtle, yes, but inferior?

          If anything, they might want to have dark colors to bring more attention to the lighting details (lamps, etc).

          • FreudeKing says:

            dark colours hide the true details of the car. i.e. if it is an ugly car, it looks relatively nicer in a dark colour and vice versa. I want to see this car in white/silver

  3. Jordan says:

    I gotta say the Merc looks great. Obvs being a BMW fan I have a “duty” to pick the BMW :P

    I’d say the Merc has the nicest profile, the BMW being too sedanish and the Audi having too much of a slope at the rear. The Merc and BMW both look fantastic from the front and 3/4 front view. The Audi in it’s own way looks good too. It’s a good implementation of their current design language, be that a good thing or bad thing. Overall, I think they’re all nicely done. I don’t think I can make a decision on which one I’d buy (if any) just yet. Design wise, it’s a toss up on the BMW and Merc. I really like the new BMW interiors though….!

  4. Ray says:

    Gotta say that the production A7 looks more handsome, but also more boring, than the A7 Concept. I’m personally not a fan of the shooting brake profile either. Overall, I think this would’ve made a good A8, but if it’s supposed to be a “coupe-sedan” design, then it looks too bulky. The Bimmer is still my favorite here.

  5. Mercedes comes third,…. simply because it doesn t look futuristic,.. and in Holland almost every taxi driver has a merc.?!?!?!!!!
    AUDI Number 2,..just because it reminds me of mixed lambo,..a8,..and a5 sport backs.
    BMW comes 1, looks like a wild Shark,..that can easily tare the CLS in pieces,.. and grab the AUDI by it’s huge Lambo WANNA BEE arse :D:D:D:D

    • viper says:

      what? who cares what dutch people think or drive? one cares about u or ur low country. u drive the worst cars in western europe along with belgium and england. but by far the worst.

    • PRAMOD says:


  6. Lariv says:

    I think the Audi A7 was a bit of a wasted opportunity. The concept unveiled last year was very aggressive and modern but the production A7 is more like a stretched Audi A5 sportback. It looks clean but it’s a bit boring. The BMW Gran Coupe looks more aggressive but looks more like a four door sedan than a coupe albeit a very nice sedan, and the overhangs are too long. I think the Mercedes-Benz CLS has the nicest and most coupe like profile but it’s too early to decide which is best until the interior for the BMW and Mercedes are revealed.

  7. arthuro says:

    stop comparing a concept to 2 other cars, start doing that when bmw finally releases the gran coupe in production, its nonsense, i have to say i love bmw, but the car might look different when it will be in production……

  8. Alex says:

    the A7 concept looked much better, and the cls has become really ugly imo

  9. JL says:

    the audi just looks like a glorified a5 sportback

  10. JL says:

    and remember the cls is still just a rendering……….

  11. Roundel Ron says:

    The Audi by far although I love the GC

    Go here and look at all of the Audi pics

  12. Doug says:

    what a strange looking tail on the audi…. very similiar to mercedes styling. I think they ought to have raised it up a little for the sake of convention.

    Does it have an automatic pop-up spoiler? There’s some panel right there.

  13. Mitchell says:

    The rear end of the Merc looks like a Nissan Maxima…at least the tail lights.

    The rear end of the Audi looks very blah, droopy, unhappy and like a Honda Civic. It reminds me of the Panmera rump. Maybe even a 5 Series GT…

    The BMW looks great, but as others have said, more like a sedan than coupe.

  14. Daniel Hoang says:

    The grand coupe should have been the new 5 series, Looks much more sportier.

  15. I dont no how to explain this but the A7 sport back’s Bonnet looks like a TT from the Side, and thats not WOW factor for me.
    BUt the BMW looks EVIL,..I Luvv ittttt!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. JakeM says:

    A pretty lame topic considering the Mercedes CLS photos here are RENDERINGS.

    The bias on this site is incredible.

    • Horatiu B. says:

      It would have been biased if we used the current CSL as a comparison. Clearly an outdated model. But to make it fair, we showed some renderings that are said to be close to the real deal. Please tell me where the bias is cause I clearly don’t see it.

    • Jordan says:

      this is hardly biased. you must be new to car sites… C&D and Motor Trend all do similar comparisons.

      maybe you’re wondering why the BMW has 71% of the 668 votes?! I should mention that this is the “BMW Blog”…. I believe it would be correct to say this was created for BMW enthusiasts so it does have mostly BMW biased readers. C&D and other auto news sites have just as biased readers as BMW Blog, except it’s for a general audience and not a specific vehicle make.

  17. viper says:

    the bull here is just incredible.
    everybody knows how the new cls will look like , the car is seen without any camo and just waiting for the official photos…the car is great.
    audi (has balls) looking great. from the front , the sides , the rear is great (it seperates audi a7 from the rest of A’s)….a true competitor
    while BMW GC , looks like a great sedan , (this is how the 5er should have look like) , the amount of bullshit calling this GC a competitor to CLS and A7 is just incredible.
    what bmw has here is a CONCEPT (looks good for a saloon) , who will look even more saloonish when presented as final product. NO 4 DOOR COUPE THERE. sorry its just another kind of saloon that soon MB and AUDI (already has A5 with four doors) will come up with even better kind of saloon. while no one cares about dull fat & ugly 5gt , A7 and CLS are going SKY HIGH and wherever you look in the future there will be a A7 VS CLS VS PANAMERA and maybe RAPIDE. NO BMW , not even on the map. bmw is full of shit because of the politics behind those doors. they WILL NEVER build a true 4door coupe , a true supercar , a truly nice and beautiful car , whatever that be…AUDI is now bmw. its MB and AUDI who RULE.

  18. RAyS says:

    I am a fan of BMW but when it comes to car designs, I think the Benz CLS Coupe is better looking and pleasing. BMW should have taken the CS Concept to life. Too much inside politics destroying a good product design. CS concept is FAR better designed. Sadly, the designer of CS went to AMG.

  19. Mike says:

    So fucking glad the bangle butt is gone, this BMW looks great.
    Don’t really like the Audi, it sorta looks like a station wagon from the side.
    Though I gotta commend Mercedes for being the most daring with its rear. I don’t like the way this cls looks, but I also said that about the 05-06 cls and ended up loving it, so I’ll hold my tongue til then.

  20. Filip Kozak says:

    Moim zdaniem Mercedes jest najlepszy z tej trójki na drugim miejscu typowałbym BMW, a na trzecim Audi

  21. Thom Willi says:

    Excellent pics…But i want to know the special features offered to this vehicle.

  22. all the three cars don’t have much difference in its exterior, BMW and Audi looks similar. But still Audi A7 is better than the other two models

  23. sfad says:

    I think Audi’s just a piece of shit with their design

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