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Mercedes-Benz S 350 d Vs BMW 730Ld M Sport: Road Test Comparison Review


The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has always had the distinction of being the best luxury limousine money can buy. But has the status quo changed?

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Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 740Ld

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been given a facelift and a new BS-VI ready diesel engine. Mercedes-Benz claims this is their most powerful diesel engine ever but is also very efficient. How does the S-Class facelift compare to the top-of-the-line BMW 7 Series diesel? Let the battle of the luxo-barges begin!

Looks like tens of millions of rupees?

Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The exterior design of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class is a great example of how to make a car look like it costs a million rupees without resorting to the excessive
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The BMW 7 Series looks as athletic as any of its smaller sporty cars, but with the long bodyshell of a limousine
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The 7 Series gets laser projector headlights, while the S-Class makes do with 84-element LED projectors
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The S-Class has a welcome function, which lights up the road in an orchestrated show
  • Being an M Sport variant, the 730Ld gets underbody LED projectors which form a ‘speedwave’ around the car
  • Interior themes on both cars follow their respective exterior designs.
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The S-Class is more about class and sophistication
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The 7 Series is all about exciting features and a hint of sportiness mixed in with the luxury elements

Stretch your legs, boss!

  • Both cars have dedicated business class-like recliner seats. But they are limited to the passenger side.
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • Press and hold the dedicated button on the S-Class, or push it once on the 7 Series, and the seat transforms into a comfortable recliner
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The BMW’s recliner allows you to stretch more than the Mercedes’ (kneeroom of 1245mm on the 7 Series vs 1205mm on the S-Class)
Measurements Rear S 350 d 730Ld
Cabin Width 1435mm 1405mm
Headroom 940mm 940mm
Seat Base Width 1350mm 1325mm
Seat Base Length 490mm 500mm
Seat Base Height 630mm 645mm
Knee Room 595-1000mm,
1205mm in sleep mode
820-1035mm,
1245mm in sleep mode
Floor Hump Height 160mm 170mm
Floor Hump Width 320mm 365mm
  • The S-Class has a dedicated calf support which folds up from below the seat, making it more comfortable to rest one’s legs on than the one on the 7 Series, which folds down from the front passenger seat
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • Both get cooled, heated and massage function for the rear seats, adding to the comfort levels tremendously
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • S-Class has the rear seat experience nailed. The choice of lighter colours, noticeably brighter and customisable ambient lighting and extra width make the cabin feel more special and spacious
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • 7 Series compromises on front passenger space to allow more kneeroom and legroom for the rear passengers. Choose a lighter roof liner colour to fully enjoy this sensation
  • While both cars can seat three people at the back, a large transmission tunnel and the pronounced contours of the seat make this strictly a place for two

Comfortable back there?

Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • At standstill, the S-Class is considerably less noisy on the inside than the 7 Series, especially in the way it manages to keep the engine noise at bay
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The S-Class is surprisingly bouncy, even though it has adjustable dampers and air suspension
  • The bouncy suspension even at low speeds means you have to be extra careful while driving over speed breakers. Rides in the S-Class will be slow in the interest of keeping the underbody free of dents
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The Ride becomes noticeably stiff if the drive mode is shifted to ‘Sport’ in the S-Class. The only way to keep the ride from becoming too bouncy is to drive slowly in the city while making sure to keep the ride height set to its highest position (there is a dedicated button for this)
  • Highway ride quality gets stable post 100kmph. Get ready to be pulled over regularly in the interest of comfort (or maybe not)
  • The noise insulation advantage of the S-Class is diminished considerably on the move, with a lot more road noise and suspension noise making their way into the cabin
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • Despite riding on larger 19-inch wheels, the 7 Series wins the ride quality battle here!
  • Even in the sportiest setting, the 7 Series glides over bad roads but does not become bouncy

Gadgets and gimmicks galore

Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The 7 Series wows even before you get into the car with its ‘display key’, which is a smartphone-like key that lets you pre-cool the cabin, move the car in and out of a parking spot and give you vital statistics about the car (amount of fuel left for example)
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • Both cars get large multimedia displays - the 7 Series gets a touch-enabled 10.2-inch unit while the Merc gets a larger 12.3-inch non-touch unit
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The touch unit on the 7 Series is easier to use if you plan on connecting your Android or Apple smartphone to the system. Both support Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  • The 7 Series has gesture controls for the multimedia system, though these are far more cumbersome to use than the touchscreen/touchpad/rotary dial inputs
  • Both cars get multi-colour ambient lighting, but the S-Class is just a whole lot more dazzling. Do you need such a dazzling ambient lighting? Probably not. Does it make you feel special? Definitely.
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • A 7-inch tablet placed in the rear centre armrest doubles up as a remote control for almost everything inside the 7 Series. S-Class passengers will have to make do with TV-remote like...remotes
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • Rear seat entertainment packages on both cars consist of dedicated high-definition 10.2-inch screens, Bluetooth headsets (the ones in the S Class are beautifully crafted) and Blu-ray/DVD players

Drive like a boss?

Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • Being designed to be driven enthusiastically if need be, the 7 Series feels more fun than S-Class
  • In a straight line drag, there wouldn’t be much to choose between the two
Road Test Figures S 350 d 730Ld
Tested 0-100kmph 6.58s 6.35s
Tested 20-80kmph 4.27s 4.14s
Tested 100-0kmph 39.31m 37.76m
  • 245/50 R18 tyres all around on the S-Class are tuned for comfort rather than handling. Drive too hard into a corner and the tail will step out. Recovering a sliding 5.2-metre long limousine requires a lot of skill
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • With fatter 275/40 R19 tyres at the rear, the BMW holds its lines around corners and is supported tremendously by its well-tuned suspension
  • The BMW’s slimmer M Sport steering and well-contoured paddle shifters come into their own when driving hard
Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld
  • The 7 Series’ engine is more eager in any mode you choose, especially if you put your foot down
  • The S-Class scores some brownie points with the inclusion of radar-based safety and driving aid systems

Light (relatively) on the pocket?

Road Test Figures S 350 d 730Ld
Tested City FE 8.02kmpl 8.57kmpl
Tested Highway FE 15.53kmpl 16.03kmpl
  • Both cars are on par here, with the BMW eeking out a slight advantage both in the city and on the highway. The Merc’s new engine is indeed more efficient than before, and along with 9-speed automatic transmission, compensates for the more than 150kg weight disadvantage it suffers from.

It’s all down to your taste

 

Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld

 

Go for the 7 Series, the S-Class is just not as well rounded a package. Sure, it may look more stately inside-out, but it’s thoroughly beaten in all aspects of owning a super luxurious barge by the Bimmer. The BMW 7 Series will get more eyeballs and has more gadgets that you could show off. It is fun to drive if you ever feel like it, without compromising on luxury even a bit.

Mercedes-Benz S 350d vs BMW 730Ld

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class may look luxurious and in many ways feels it too, but the 7 Series does all that better.