2007 S550 and 2006 750Li--quick impressions [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: 2007 S550 and 2006 750Li--quick impressions

12-24-2005, 06:46 PM
I was able to take a quick test drive in the 2007 Mercedes S550. I had some immediate impressions comparing the Merc to the BMW:

1. Handling--S550 is VASTLY improved compared to its predecessor. BMW still has better road feel, but steering in the S550 is very precise and accurate.

2. Fast--both cars are fast and easy passing ability at 50 mph.

3. I-drive vs. COMAND--this was the big surprise. All the auto magazine journalists have proclaimed the new COMAND to be superior to I-drive. I found that while the graphics were superior and the operating speed of the computer screen was faster on the Merc, the BMW screens and layouts were more predictable. There were tons of discrete options that popped up on the Merc Menus--there were some general "themes" in the Merc layout, but not as simple or predictable as the BMW. The true test will be when drivers are taking both cars at speed, and then using the computer knob control (I-drive or COMAND).

4. Size and comfort--the S550 is a big car, and easy to get comfortable in. The rear seats are comfortable, but not as much space as the rear of a 750Li. This may be a plus for some, because some passengers feel that there is too much space in the rear of the 7Li versions!

5. Interior quality--vastly improved compared to the old W220 S-class. I would say that very preliminary impressions would render a near-tie, but the BMW looks a bit more expensive. In all fairness to the Merc, this may be a color/equipment issue, as this was a fairly lightly equipped car, and had an all-black interior. (I am sure that the Designo editions will be fantastic, right up there with the BMW Individual selections).

6. Ride--Creamy smooth and controlled in the S550--really the ultimate limo machine! It looks like the engineers in Stuttgart targeted Lexus rather than BMW in their ride benchmarks. The 750Li is more of a driver's car, and you get more feedback from the road. That translates into slightly more road noise and bumps in the BMW as compared to the Merc. The tradeoff, of course, is in handling--the Merc's steering is very precise and accurate, but a bit isolated compared to the BMW. The 750Li's handling is exemplary, but the passengers feel more bumps...

OVERALL CONCLUSION: The previous s-class was a bit soft compared to the 7-series--The W220 was not quite Lexus soft, but close. I think that Mercedes has made vast improvements in the driving experience, and while the Merc's ride is a better experience for it's passengers, BMW remains the preferred driving machine.

12-25-2005, 03:58 PM
The real test imo (beyond the well laid-out comparison above) will be quality control. I drove new Benz cars for the past 20+ years, and just purchased my first BMW. My most recent was a 2000 S-Class. I had every intention of buying the new M until I began reading the Benzworld forums and found the same electrical issues reported as I had experienced non-stop in the S. Enough of that! Claims from the dealers were of vastly improved quality control, but apparently not so. With the price we're paying for top grade luxury, these cars should keep us out of the service aisle.

Hopefully my new BMW will score well in this arena.