C&D: 2011 Audi A8L vs. 2011 BMW 750Li, 2011 Jaguar XJL Supercharged

7 Series | April 30th, 2011 by 22

U.S. magazine Car and Driver compares some of the biggest luxury cars on the market: BMW 750Li vs. Audi A8L and Jaguar XJL Supercharged. But surprisingly, the 7 Series ranks third in their comparison test. Here are some of the highlights from their article, along with the decision on why the 750Li came third.

“The ideal big car is a calm and reassuring presence, deliberate and proficient in motion and abundantly powerful. We’ve pulled three such candidates from the luxury-car class, all European—oh, excuse us, one is British—all stretched to the maximum available wheelbase, all with V-8 engines that’ll knock on 100 mph as softly as the knocking that awoke Stalin on Sunday mornings, and all with a base price of about 85 to 90 large.

2011 audi a8l 2011 bmw 750li 2011 jaguar xjl supercharged 102 cd gallery zoomed 655x400Two of them, the Audi A8L and the Jaguar XJL, are constructed primarily of aluminum, while the BMW 750Li’s unibody is a mix of steel and aluminum. The Jag is only 164 pounds heavier than the new Chevrolet Camaro SS convertible despite being more than 17 feet long.

Redesigned in 2010, the all-wheel-drive Audi is the longest car here (207.4 inches), and it packs the smallest-caliber munitions: 372 horses from its 4.2-liter V-8.

The longest BMW in the catalog is the shortest car in this test, with 205.3 inches separating the 750Li’s flaring nostrils from its fluid stern. However, it is the wheelbase champ, outstretching the Jag by more than two inches.

Lastly, we come to the Jaguar. The brand overhauled its flagship last year, finally ditching the four-headlight, flat-roof theme that dated to the original 1968 bombshell. The slinky new lineup includes an XJL Supercharged model that brings forth 470 horses from its 5.0-liter V-8. The only option aboard our $91,950 example: a $375 heated windshield.

So why is the 750Li third?

2011 bmw 750li 101 cd gallery zoomed 655x400

BMW simply seems to have less fun building these luxury liners than its smaller stuff. Every BMW should be the best driver in its class. Otherwise, why pay the premium? This one just elicits a shrug. A wider on-center dead spot in the amply boosted steering gives the car license to wander freeway lanes, and the chassis was judged less lively and entertaining than the Jaguar’s.

When a BMW is outdriven by a Jag, there’s trouble in Munich.

Though we admired the band of matte-finish wood inside, the interior plastics seem no finer than those in lesser BMWs. The doors of the tandem glove boxes sit loosely and create unsightly gaps on the dash. At this price, we want to be pummeled senseless by a fire hose of opulence, and the 750Li merely tinkles.

All of its many features and unique parts somehow conspire to make the 7 feel less like the top-of-the-line BMW than just a 5-series with a long inseam and an inflated sticker price.”

Full review at Car and Driver.