I was invited by BMW to test drive the 2013 BMW 750iL vs. the 2013 Mercedes Benz S550 in a side-by-side test. It was a perfect opportunity to compare both vehicles at the same time.
Here are the quick stats:
|City/Hwy fuel economy
|4.4 liter V8
|Mercedes Benz S550
|4.7 liter V8
Stepping into the Mercedes first, it was large, luxurious and comfortable. The controls on the dash and door mounted window and seat controls seemed a bit dated and chunky. However, materials inside the car were top-notch as expected. While the ride was smooth, it was more limo-like than sporty. Nailing the gas unleashed the massive power from the V8, but motivating this 5,800 pound car wasn’t easy. The transmission kicked the gears down a tad slow on rapid acceleration. 0-60 mph felt around mid 5 seconds, which is amazing for this massive car. Cruising in traffic was effortless and smooth.
Back at the car lot, I got into the BMW 750iL. Night and day difference. It was more modern inside with a larger navigation screen, a better in dash console data center, and controls seemed more current than the Mercedes. I still don’t like the confusing iDrive system, as it is distracting, but the system is improving. Waiting for a traffic light on a freeway on ramp, I floored it and the BMW launched like a rocket. It felt around a 5 second flat 0-60 mph time – super impressive for a 5,700 pound car. Ultimately, it was more sporty than the Benz and drove more spirited. But with so many driving settings, it takes a master’s degree to figure out how to use the car.
Both cars get around 20 m.p.g in mixed driving and requires premium fuel.
Verdict: Two separate cars for two separate personalities. Ultimate Driving Machine = sporty, and the Benz is refined and confident. Both will hit your pocketbook for north of $100K with options. I personally liked how advanced and modern the BMW was, and how it drove like a much smaller automobile.