Comparing a family van with its competitors is a simple thing. Either you like the characteristics of a chassis or you are of the opinion that it is too soft, too hard or much too uncomfortable or so. Today's air-springed top-of-the-range models of Audi and Mercedes make it a little bit more difficult. They offer various chassis settings - to select one you like - and, the testers have to attempt to find anything to criticise. The more perfect such cars are, the more decisive individual preferences become. And, the more interesting it is consequently how they come off at more than one test in more than one country. Here comes the ultimate luxury sedan comparison of comparative tests: S-class v A8 v Seven in CAR United Kingdom, AutoBild and Auto Motor und Sport, both from Germany.

The 3 contenders and their specifications concerning driven axle, displacement, performance, torque and price (of which the latter refers to the selling price in Germany)

Concerning the exterior design the editors avoided to assess Chris Bangles' controversial design and commented the new Seven fairly. AutoBild mentioned that it seems BMW's hope, that people will familiarise with the confusing lines of the 7-series body in course of time, didn't come true. On the S-class, they said it looks like a coupe, curiously exactly the same what Auto Motor Und Sport (ams) stated on the A8 whereas CAR found fault with the Audi's more restraining design: ' the car seems to lack any distinctive shape...' but ' least it won't start a public love-hate debate like the new 7-series, which remains very much a matter of taste'. As we already said, they all have done their very best to avoid appraising words on the Seven's exterior styling.

Referring to the interior, the animadversions on the Seven came clearer. Notably the iDrive control system was beneath contempt. And, besides this doubtful gadget, ams and AutoBild criticised the seat adjustment controls which works independent from the iDrive. The seat adjustment is suchlike illogical, as we can confirm too, that this is the first impression without fail when attempting to manage the vehicle, yet before you deal with the iDrive. CAR refers back to 7-series' dilemma at its summary and said that the interior is 'simply too annoying'. In the British magazine, the A8 came off as winner in matters of ergonomics, and the position of Audi's flagship in Germany is the same as in UK. The MMI (Multi Media Interface) of the Audi sets the standards, the Mercedes is on the second place three times and, we rather avoid to mention the results of the BMW.

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