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Daily Debate: BMW 760Li or Benz S600?

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2008 BMW 760Li

2008 BMW 760Li

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It's been a rich few weeks at the TCC HQ South. First came a Bentley Continental GT Speed. A Nissan GT-R is outside right now awaiting a mountain fling. And savored over the past weekend has been the BMW 760Li, the gravy for this latest serving of automotive foie gras.

The $148,620 BMW 760Li in parking spot No. 1 is decked out as handsomely as any 7-Series I've ever seen, with beautiful ruby-black paint, mahogany trim (even behind the rear headrests), Merino leather, and 20-inch wheels. It also sports a $1,700 gas-guzzler tax, thanks to the 438-horsepower, 6.0-liter V-12's thirst for premium fuel. Teamed with a six-speed automatic with manual-shift capability, the big V-12 helps the Bimmer perform like a powerful musclecar that's graduated from post-secondary charm school: it's swift, smooth, and mostly silent, though I wish the electronics controlling the steering and ride weren't so obvious. Inside, the front chairs are heated, cooled, and have a massage feature, but it’s the backseats that feel almost regal--particularly in the long-wheelbase editions like this one. There's also iDrive, but you know our sentiments on that setup already.

Even though "sybaritic" hardly taps the surface of driving or being driven in a BMW 7, it still naturally makes me seek out the greener side of the pasture. The Benz S-Class, which was redesigned for 2007, has some of the same luxurious spoils and styling foibles of the BMW. Some of the bustleback is present on its rear end, too, and it's largely as unsuccessful as on the BMW, and the Benz interior is strangely retro, though upholstered in extravagant suedes and leathers if you like. Its performance numbers are bigger: the V-12 S600 sports 510 horsepower. And certainly, it doesn't want for luxury: it comes with a panorama-style roof, Active Body Control (ABC) suspension, and heated/ventilated front seats with built-in massager, a new infrared night-vision system and concert-hall-quality 14-speaker Harmon Kardon surround sound stereo.

Given the choice, I know which would be my pick for an Autobahn-style blast. What's yours? Tell us in a comment below.

2008 Mercedes-Benz S600

2008 Mercedes-Benz S600

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Comments (9)
  1. Mercedes. It doesn't have i-Drive in it, and it has a nicer tail.
     
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  2. BMW all the way. I've driven both and the BMW in every way is a driver's car. The MB is nice for someone who drives because he "has" to, not because he "wants" to. Big difference there....
     
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  3. Maserati QP. The BMW is too ugly and the Mercedes too plush.
     
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  4. The BMW has the best technology in it and it's just like they say that the BMW is the ultimate driving machine.
     
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  5. Bmw all the way. The ultimate driving machine beats the S600 anyday. Also the S600 has streaks of BMW design language inside and outside. Be it the slight of Bangle butt or the inside set up of interior, BMW is clearly the winner for bringing in the industry first.
     
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  6. I agree about the Maserati. It stands out for being both different, and attractive, compared to the MB and BMW, which just adhere to the "sausages in different sizes" design idiom of the German marques. I like BMWs, but they're a dime a dozen on the road.
     
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  7. I respect both brands, and have owned a far more elegant "magnificent 7" BMW 740iL 1998 which I bought for peanuts in 2005 and still looks like nnew with 123k miles ++ on the odo.
    The current s-CLASS looks better than the current 7, but the previous S-class sucked big time. I liked the 1992-99 S-class behemoths and was looking for one to buy, but by now they are too old and low-tech and lack eseential features.
    The Maserati Q-porte, I am sorry to report, is a total piece of JUNK, and the colleague of mine who bought one new, had to RETURN it to the dealer under the LEMON laWS and was given another brand new one.
    If I bought according to interioro quality and reliability, I'd buy a Lexus LS460, or the prior, far more aqffordable LS430 and LS400, but I drove an early LS400 and it STANK. Worse than a BUICK or any old caddillac.
     
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  8. I generally like Italian cars, but... my experience is that MB has a refinement that no one else can match, even the 7-series.
    You notice it when you get out of the car, after a long trip. And then when you walk back to the car, after your meeting. You are happy to get back in, and relax. I never felt this in a 7series.
    I love the BMW engines though, and a 7-series stimulates you to rev it and drive it harder, which does not match the weight of the vehicle and the stiffness of the suspension once you get to a corner or roundabout, so it just feels uncomposed and more stressy for the passengers.
     
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  9. After owning 2 7 series and 5 s classes, I prefer the s class. If you were spending $150k on a car would you really buy the bmw? BMWs used to be very luxurious but lost their way and they are trying to play catchup now. BMWs corner better, have nicer seats (although I like my dynamic seats in the benz) - but they are always following benz for a reason. They finally starting competing on power but benz still does it better.
     
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