Boeing 737 Max 8 Vs 737-700: Key Differences Explained

Let’s explore the main difference in the Boeing 737 Max 8 Vs 737-700 series. The Boeing 737 is one of the most popular commercial airliners, with over 10,000 aircraft delivered. Two of the most common variants are the 737 MAX 8 and 737-700. But what exactly sets these aircraft apart?

If you’re looking for a quick answer: the 737 MAX 8 is Boeing’s latest iteration of the 737, with advanced engines, aerodynamic improvements, and updated avionics and cabin features compared to preceding 737 generations like the 737-700.

In this comprehensive guide, we will compare the key differences between the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737-700 models across areas like design, dimensions, performance specifications, interior layouts, and more.

Background and Development

737 MAX 8 origins and development

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is part of the fourth generation of the Boeing 737 aircraft series. It was developed as an upgraded version of the popular 737 Next Generation (NG) series, with the aim of improving fuel efficiency and reducing operating costs.

The development of the 737 MAX 8 began in 2011, with the first flight taking place in January 2016. The aircraft was designed to compete with Airbus’ A320neo series, which also focused on fuel efficiency.

One of the key innovations of the 737 MAX 8 is the use of CFM International LEAP-1B engines, which provide improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions compared to previous models. The new engines, along with other aerodynamic enhancements and weight-saving measures, allow the 737 MAX 8 to achieve a lower fuel burn per seat compared to the 737-700.

However, it is important to note that the 737 MAX 8 has faced significant challenges and controversies, particularly due to the two fatal crashes involving Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019.

These incidents led to the grounding of the 737 MAX 8 worldwide and a thorough review of its design and safety features.

737-700 origins and variants

The Boeing 737-700, on the other hand, is part of the NG series, which stands for Next Generation. It is the third generation of the 737 aircraft and was introduced in 1997. The 737-700 was developed as a shorter-range version of the 737-800, with a maximum seating capacity of around 140 passengers.

The 737-700 has been a popular choice among airlines for its versatility and efficiency. It has been used for various purposes, including both passenger and cargo operations. Additionally, there have been variants of the 737-700, such as the 737-700C (Convertible), which can be quickly converted between passenger and cargo configurations, and the 737-700ER (Extended Range), which offers increased range capabilities.

In terms of performance, the 737-700 has a slightly shorter range compared to the 737 MAX 8. It also features older CFM56 engines, which are not as fuel-efficient as the LEAP-1B engines used in the 737 MAX 8.

However, the 737-700 has proven to be reliable and cost-effective for airlines operating on shorter routes.

Design and Dimensions


The Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737-700 differ in their fuselage design and dimensions. The MAX 8 has a longer fuselage compared to the 737-700, allowing it to accommodate more passengers. With a length of 138 feet and 4 inches, the MAX 8 can typically seat around 178 to 189 passengers, depending on the configuration.

On the other hand, the 737-700 has a shorter fuselage, measuring 110 feet and 4 inches, and can typically seat around 126 to 149 passengers.

Wings and control surfaces

The wings and control surfaces of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737-700 also have distinct differences. The MAX 8 features advanced technology, including the Advanced Technology Winglet, which improves fuel efficiency and reduces drag.

The winglet design on the MAX 8 is taller and more curved compared to the 737-700, contributing to better performance and reduced fuel consumption. Additionally, the MAX 8 has a redesigned tail cone and tail fin that enhance aerodynamics.

Landing gear

When it comes to landing gear, the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737-700 have similar configurations. Both aircraft have a tricycle landing gear system, consisting of two main landing gear under the wings and a single nose landing gear at the front.

This landing gear system provides stability during takeoff and landing, ensuring a smooth and safe experience for passengers.

Cockpit and avionics

The cockpit and avionics of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 737-700 have undergone significant upgrades over the years. The MAX 8 features the state-of-the-art Boeing Sky Interior, providing a modern and comfortable environment for both pilots and passengers.

The avionics systems on the MAX 8 include the latest advancements in flight management technology, enhancing safety and efficiency. Similarly, the 737-700 also boasts advanced avionics and a user-friendly cockpit layout.

Performance and Capabilities

When comparing the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the 737-700, several key differences in performance and capabilities become apparent. These differences include engine and fuel efficiency, range and seating capacity, and takeoff and landing performance.

Engines and fuel efficiency

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 is equipped with CFM International LEAP-1B engines, which provide improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions compared to previous models. The LEAP-1B engines incorporate advanced technology, such as a new fan design and improved combustion system, resulting in a 15% reduction in fuel consumption compared to older engines.

This not only benefits airlines in terms of cost savings but also contributes to a more sustainable aviation industry.

On the other hand, the Boeing 737-700 is powered by CFM56-7 engines, which have been a reliable workhorse for many years. While they may not offer the same level of fuel efficiency as the LEAP-1B engines, they are still highly regarded for their performance and reliability.

Range and seating capacity

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 has a maximum range of approximately 3,550 nautical miles, allowing it to fly longer routes compared to the 737-700, which has a maximum range of around 3,100 nautical miles. This extended range opens up new possibilities for airlines to operate more direct flights and reach markets that were previously inaccessible.

In terms of seating capacity, the 737 MAX 8 can accommodate up to 189 passengers in a typical two-class configuration, whereas the 737-700 has a maximum seating capacity of 149 passengers. The additional seating capacity of the MAX 8 provides airlines with the opportunity to increase revenue potential and meet growing demand on popular routes.

Takeoff and landing performance

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 features advanced aerodynamic improvements, including new split-tip winglets, which enhance its takeoff and landing performance. These winglets reduce drag and improve fuel efficiency, allowing the aircraft to take off and land with greater ease and efficiency.

Similarly, the 737-700 also benefits from its aerodynamic design, but it may not have the same level of efficiency as the MAX 8 due to the lack of certain advanced features. However, it still offers reliable and efficient takeoff and landing capabilities.

Cabin Interior and Passenger Experience

When comparing the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the 737-700, there are some noticeable differences in the cabin interior and the overall passenger experience. These differences can greatly impact the comfort and satisfaction of travelers.

Seat layout and configurations

The seat layout and configurations vary between the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the 737-700. The MAX 8 typically offers a higher passenger capacity and more seating options compared to the 737-700. With advancements in aircraft design, the MAX 8 can accommodate more passengers without compromising on comfort.

Airlines have the flexibility to choose different seat configurations depending on their specific needs.

For example, some airlines may opt for a high-density configuration to maximize capacity, while others may prioritize passenger comfort with a more spacious layout. The seat pitch, which refers to the distance between seats, can also differ between the two aircraft models.

Airlines have the ability to customize the seat pitch to balance passenger comfort and maximize space utilization.

Passenger comfort and amenities

Passenger comfort and amenities play a crucial role in enhancing the overall travel experience. The Boeing 737 MAX 8 offers several improvements over the 737-700 in terms of passenger comfort and amenities.

The MAX 8 features larger overhead bins, providing more storage space for carry-on luggage. This is especially beneficial for travelers who prefer to bring their belongings on board, as it eliminates the need to check bags.

Additionally, the cabin design of the MAX 8 incorporates larger windows, allowing more natural light to enter the aircraft and creating a more spacious and welcoming atmosphere for passengers.

In terms of technology, the MAX 8 is equipped with state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment systems, offering passengers a wide range of entertainment options during their journey. From movies and TV shows to games and music, passengers can enjoy a variety of entertainment choices to make their flight more enjoyable.

It’s worth noting that the specific cabin interior and passenger experience can vary between different airlines that operate these aircraft. Airlines have the flexibility to customize the interior design and amenities according to their brand and customer preferences.

For more information on the cabin interior and passenger experience of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the 737-700, you can visit Boeing’s official website.


The safety of an aircraft is of utmost importance to both the passengers and the aviation industry. When comparing the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the 737-700, it is crucial to consider the safety features and measures implemented in both models.

737 MAX scrutiny and grounding

The Boeing 737 MAX 8 faced intense scrutiny and was temporarily grounded by aviation authorities worldwide following two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019. The accidents raised concerns about the aircraft’s safety systems and led to a thorough investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and other regulatory bodies.

The scrutiny resulted in several modifications to the aircraft’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), which was found to have played a significant role in the accidents. Boeing implemented software updates and additional pilot training requirements to enhance the safety of the 737 MAX 8.

It is important to note that the scrutiny and grounding of the 737 MAX 8 demonstrated the commitment of aviation authorities and Boeing to prioritize safety and ensure the airworthiness of the aircraft.

Autopilot and warning systems

Both the Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the 737-700 are equipped with advanced autopilot and warning systems to enhance safety during flight.

The autopilot system in the 737 MAX 8 uses sophisticated technology to assist pilots in maintaining control and stability. It can automatically adjust the aircraft’s pitch, roll, and yaw to ensure smooth flight operations.

However, it is crucial to highlight that the pilots are ultimately responsible for monitoring and controlling the aircraft at all times.

The warning systems in both aircraft models are designed to alert pilots in case of any potential hazards or malfunctions. These systems provide visual and auditory alerts to ensure the flight crew can respond promptly and appropriately to any critical situations.

Boeing 737 Max 8 Vs 737-700 – Conclusion

In closing, while the 737 MAX 8 and 737-700 share Boeing’s signature 737 attributes, the MAX 8 brings measurable performance, efficiency, and experience improvements. Airlines can choose between the tried-and-tested 737-700 and innovative 737 MAX 8 depending on route needs and fleet continuity plans.

Looking forward, Boeing faces tough competition from Airbus’ popular A320neo aircraft family which offers airlines alternatives for short-to-medium range routes.

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