Sedans & Coupes

The 2020 BMW 7 Series Finally Overtook Its Biggest Rival

Some automakers find themselves in pitted against each other as arch enemies. Competition between vehicles can be so fierce that it rivals the greats of the boxing ring. For BMW and its 7 Series, the view has always been the same, ahead of the pack, but still staring down the tailpipe of one major contender. But 2020 has brought about change. This is the year the BMW 7 Series got it right. And for the first time, it bested its biggest rival for a well-deserved view from the front of the pack.

A dual like no other between two of the best

In the pickup truck world, it’s the Ford F-150 versus the Chevy Silverado 1500. Well, in the luxury sedan segment, there is a similar, entrenched competition between the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series.

Both cars exude luxury and quality. They both rank highly among critics and expert reviews. But in most cases in model years past, it’s the Mercedes-Benz that comes out ahead. There are plenty of loyal BMW enthusiasts in the 7 Series camp. But when it comes to official luxury sedans, with size, power, and posh, the S-Class outpaces the 7 Series.

What Consumer Reports says about the BMW 7 Series

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Consumer Reports is an excellent source for car buyers who want to see data and surveys from actual vehicle owners. But the CR team is also comprised of auto experts who also evaluate new models on individual road tests and driving experience. According to these experts, the 2020 BMW 750i outperforms its rival, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class, in a big way.

They compliment the lightweight carbon construction of the 7 Series that makes it quick and incredibly fuel-efficient. They also cite how balanced it is in the drive and how dominant it is on the road. Consumer Reports also reminds consumers that when you pay six figures for a sedan, it better have all the best in tech, comfort, safety, and refinement. And this year’s BMW 750i delivers on all fronts.

How BMW got it right this year

BMW 7 Series 745e plug-in hybrid luxury limousine on display at Brussels Expo
The BMW 7 Series | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

The 2020 BMW 7 Series got it right and in almost every category. It’s smart, with auto braking and steering assist technology. It’s upscale with every touchpoint, including the massage- and heating-equipped back seats. The controls are ergonomically placed and neatly fitted between fine wood grains, leather, and suede accents.

But the 7 Series isn’t all looks and feels. It’s also a curve-hugging performer on the pavement. The shifting is smooth, and the acceleration is quick. The beefy V8 engine effortlessly punches forward when asked and still delivers 21 mpg. But the smaller 740i engines are peppy too, and options include AWD preferences.

Can it retain its spot in the lead?

Only time will tell how long the BMW will enjoy the lead. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always set the bar high, and, in some of the other expert reviews like The Car Connection’s, it still manages to squeak ahead of the 7 Series sedans. It may boil down to personal preferences for styling and amenities to determine which model remains on the top of the luxury sedan food chain. For now, Consumer Reports is giving the BMW 7 Series the head nod.

If you’re ready to test-drive impressive sedans, there is no question both the Mercedes-Benz S-Class and the BMW 7 Series deserve your attention. To truly critique each, you will need to evaluate the luxury feel from behind the wheel of both. In the end, only your own experience can determine if you agree with the Consumer Reports’ ranking of this luxury class of contenders.