Car Reviews, Comparison

Face Off: Mercedes Benz S-Class vs BMW 7 Series

Cars in India have mostly been reduced to tools for locomotion. While the budget models do bring in the big bucks, automakers such as Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki have completely departed from the upper segments to focus solely on dominating the A, B and C segments of the Indian market. This trend is now being carried over into luxury car makers such as Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW as well with each manufacturer launching sub 30 lakh hatches and crossovers to woo the Indian buyer base. However, the Germans have not given up on the ultra luxury section of the automotive industry with Mercedes Benz launching what it calls the “Greatest car ever made”. Released in India late last year, the 2015 S-Class is one of the most advanced luxury cars opulence has to offer. Although the all new 7 Series is yet to arrive, how well does the current model stack up against the Benz’s Golden Chariot?

Design:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

Although Benz has implemented its new design language with finesse on its lower models, the S-Class is on an entirely different plane. Serving as the car maker’s flagship, previous iterations of the luxury sedan have always been quite formal in character lacking any frills and embellishments.However, the new design language calls for a bit more flair. While this may have worked well with cars lower in the German car maker’s range, the new design philosophy simply won’t do. The S-Class may be striking, but one may not term it beautiful. It’s ungainly posture, bloated headlights, flashy grille and the odd combination of organic elements make for an incoherent design.

2014 mercedes benz s class sedan
The new S-Class is rather ungainly in character

BMW 7 Series:

The current gen 7 Series is more of an evolution in design rather than a complete makeover. As a result, the 2014 BMW flagship wears a finely tuned, refined shell characteristic of big Bimmers. With its understated presence and no nonsense styling, the 7 series is a far more elegant offering than the S-Class.

2013 BMW 7 Series front three quarter
The 7 Series’ somber tone and sophisticated presence suits the character of the car quite well

Winner: BMW 7 Series

Interior:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

For all its exterior design flaws, the S-Class’ cabin is a beautiful place to be in. A blend of quilted leather, aluminum and bewitching ambient lighting envelop its passengers in a cocoon of opulence and magnificence. While the S-Class battles it out with the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 in terms of pricing and size, the interior of the Benz flagship is comparable to ultra luxury cars such as the Bentley Mulsanne and the Rolls Royce Ghost Series II. Few cars make its occupants feel so special.

2014 mercedes benz s class interior
The Mercedes Benz S-Class is the ultimatum when it comes to interior design and comfort

BMW 7 Series:

Similar to the luxury sedan’s exterior, the interior of the new 7 Series adopts an understated look. An ergonomic, business like cabin greets its passengers. However, while the 7 Series’ cabin is just as functional as its Benz rival, passengers may not feel as exclusive as they do in the S-Class.

bmw 7 series cabin
The unimpressive cabin of BMW’s flagship is rather disappointing

Winner: Mercedes Benz S-Class

Under The Hood:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

The big Merc is offered with some seriously big engines. Offered in both petrol and diesel, buyers have an options between a 3.0 l oil burner and the more potent 4.6 l petrol mill. The 3.0 l diesel unit churns out 255 hp @ 3600 RPM and a peak torque of 620 Nm @ 1600 RPM.
The mammoth 4.6 l petrol engine puts out an impressive 453 hp @ 5250 RPM and a shocking 700 Nm of torque at 1800 RPM. Power is sent to the rear wheels via Benz’s 7G-TRONIC gearbox on both variants.

2014 mercedes benz s class engine
The big Merc is offered with some impressive firepower

BMW 7 Series:

BMW too offers both petrol and diesel engines for the 7 Series here in India. The diesel variant is powered by a 320 hp 3.0 l engine that produces 450 Nm of torque. The 7 Series petrol twin houses a 4.4 l turbocharged unit that churns out 450 hp at 5500 RPM and 650 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM.

2013 bmw 7 series engine
BMW offers more “sensible” engine options for its 7 Series

While both cars offer potent engines under the hood, the S class offers the more entertaining petrol mill.

Winner: Mercedes Benz S-Class

Verdict:

While the 7 Series may seem like the more civilized of the two, the S-Class is the last word on luxury. Although the 7 Series enjoys the privilege of honing years of dseign expertise, the Bavarian flagship fails to impress on the inside. The dull interiors and lack of exotic and bespoke touches lends a pedestrian feel to what should be the very best from BMW.

The S Class however, is God’s own chariot. The epitome of luxury, Mercedes Benz’s flagship wraps its occupants in an exorbitant cloak of wood, leather and aluminium. With the optional AMG madman under the hood, few can match what Benz has to offer with the S-Class.

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Psst! Weekend Warrior isn't really his name. Chirag is an automotive journalist for TurboZens, one of the fastest growing autoblogs in India. if you can't find him tearing up clubs (his backyard) every weekend, you can always try Google+