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BMW 7-Series vs. Cadillac STS

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The 7 Series has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The STS doesn't offer a whiplash protection system.


An active infrared night vision system optional on the 7 Series helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera and near-infrared lights to detect heat, the system then projects the image on the windshield, near the driver's line of sight. The STS doesn't offer a night vision system.


The 7 Series has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The STS doesn't offer a front parking aid.


Both the 7 Series and the STS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding and available all-wheel drive.




The 7 Series' corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the STS' (12 vs. 6 years).


As tested in Car and Driver the 740 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. is faster than the Cadillac STS:


7 Series


Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

6.2 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

14.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

103 MPH

97 MPH


For more instantaneous acceleration and better engine flexibility in any gear, the 7 Series' engines produce their peak torque at lower RPM's than the STS:



740 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

1600 RPM

750 4.4 turbo V8

1750 RPM

Active Hybrid 750 4.4 turbo V8 hybrid

2000 RPM

Alpina B7 4.4 turbo V8

3000 RPM

760Li 6.0 turbo V12

1500 RPM


5200 RPM


Fuel Economy and Range


The 7 Series ActiveHybrid's standard fuel tank has 3.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the STS (21.1 vs. 17.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 7 Series' standard fuel tank has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the STS (21.7 vs. 17.5 gallons).




A eight-speed automatic is available on the BMW 7 Series, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the STS.


Brakes and Stopping


For better stopping power the 7 Series' brake rotors are larger than those on the STS:






Front Rotors

13.7 inches

14.7 inches

11.9 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

11.7 inches

14.4 inches


The 7 Series stops much shorter than the STS:


7 Series



70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

190 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

120 feet

Motor Trend


Tires and Wheels


For better traction, the 7 Series has larger standard tires than the STS (245/50R18 vs. 235/50R17).


Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 7 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The STS doesn't offer run-flat tires.


Suspension and Handling


The 7 Series has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The STS' suspension doesn't offer gas-charged shocks.


The 7 Series offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The STS doesn't offer an active sway bar system.


The 750i offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Cadillac doesn't offer an active suspension on the STS.


For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 750i's wheelbase is 4.5 inches longer than on the STS (120.9 inches vs. 116.4 inches). The 750Li's wheelbase is 10 inches longer than on the STS (126.4 inches vs. 116.4 inches).


For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 7 Series is 1.6 inches wider in the front and 2.7 inches wider in the rear than on the STS.


Passenger Space


The 7 Series SWB has 1.9 inches more front headroom, .6 inches more front shoulder room, .6 inches more rear headroom and .1 inches more rear legroom than the STS.


For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the 7 Series Li's available rear seats recline. The STS' rear seats don't recline.


Cargo Capacity


A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 7 Series easier. The 7 Series' trunk lift-over height is 27.1 inches, while the STS' liftover is 30.1 inches.




Unlike the driver-only memory system optional at extra cost in the STS, the 7 Series has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver's seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger's preset preferences.


The 7 Series' standard easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver's seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. An easy entry system costs extra on the STS.


If the windows are left down on the 7 Series the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the STS can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.


The 7 Series has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The STS doesn't offer a locking fuel door.


The 7 Series' rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The STS' manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.


Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 7 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The STS doesn't offer heated windshield washer nozzles.


To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 7 Series has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The STS doesn't offer cornering lights. The 7 Series also has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.


A power rear sun shade is optional in the 7 Series to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The STS doesn't offer a rear sun shade.


The 7 Series' standard steering wheel mounted cruise control is close at hand. The STS' standard cruise control is on an over-crowded turn signal stalk.


The 7 Series' standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The STS' available navigation system doesn't offer real-time traffic updates.




The BMW 7 Series outsold the Cadillac STS by almost three to one during the 2010 model year.