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2012 BMW 7-Series vs. Its Competition

2012 BMW 7-Series 4-door Sedan 750i RWD Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The BMW 7-Series has its biggest beefs with the likes of the Audi A8 and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, but the Jaguar XJ, Porsche Panamera and Aston Martin Rapide are all legitimate prey, too.

The S-Class still looks imposing in its last years of life, and its AMG-gone-wild editions are numerically superior to BMW's Alpina-tuned 7er.

Double the rear-seat room, and add on impossible amounts of tire-smoking performance, and you arrive at the rather lumpy-looking Porsche Panamera, which obliterates all these cars with a 0-60 mph time of about 3.3 seconds for Turbo models.

The new Audi A8 looks less convincingly different than we were promised, but it's a swift, stable performer with a marvelous interior--despite our serious reservations about its Palm Pilot-like controller for audio and navigation.

The Jaguar XJ sexes up the class with an aero body and a swinging interior, but the new shape zaps rear-seat room and not all of the new interior bits feel rich and expensive.

Remove half the backseat room from the XJ, make it even more gorgeous and expensive, and you have the utterly fantastic but impractical Aston Martin Rapide.

2012 BMW 7-Series 4-door Sedan 750i RWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 BMW 7-Series
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2011 Audi A8 L 4-door Sedan Angular Front Exterior View2012 Audi A8
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2012 Jaguar XJ 4-door Sedan XJL Supercharged Angular Front Exterior View2012 Jaguar XJ
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2012 Mercedes-Benz S Class 4-door Sedan 3.5L V6 Hybrid RWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 Mercedes-Benz S Class
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2012 Porsche Panamera Turbo S2012 Porsche Panamera
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Quick Specs
9.4
The 2012 BMW 7-Series is the Bavarian automaker's flagship model, and it cleverly wraps vast interior space, industry-leading tech, and the expected BMW fleet-footedness.
8.8
The 2012 Audi A8 models might still be fighting for the most prestige among flagships, but they're in the top tier from inside, thanks to their impeccable cabin, innovative cabin tech, and a lean, athletic driving feel.
8.8
Cutting its ties with its illustrious and not so charmed past, the 2012 Jaguar XJ now rocks a swinging style that really suits its dynamic handling.
9.2
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has a wide range of personalities--all of them superbly comfortably, some of them outrageously powerful.
8.2
Bucking tradition and the ordinary, the 2012 Porsche Panamera mostly succeeds in being an excellent large fastback sedan.
MSRP From    
$71,000$78,750$73,700$91,850$75,200
Gas Mileage    
13 MPG City / 25 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 23 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy15 MPG City / 30 MPG Hwy
Engine    
Turbocharged Gas I6Gas V8Gas V8Gas/Electric V6Gas V6
EPA Class    
LargeLargeLarge CarLargeLarge Car
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan 740i RWD4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan S 400 Hybrid RWD4-Door HB
Drivetrain    
Rear Wheel DriveAll Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
55554
Passenger Doors    
N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Body Style    
4-Door SedanSedan4 Door Sedan4 Door SedanHatchback
Transmission    
AutomaticAutomatic w/Manual ShiftAutomatic w/ODAutomaticAutomatic w/Manual Shift
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 BMW 7-Series vs. 2012 Audi A82012 BMW 7-Series vs. 2012 Jaguar XJ2012 BMW 7-Series vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz S Class2012 BMW 7-Series vs. 2012 Porsche Panamera