2018 BMW M550i – Review
When purchasing a vehicle, it’s almost impossible to believe that you are getting a bargain. No matter what that sly salesman might have you believe, they are not doing you any favors. BMW however, is doing us all a favor with the new redesigned M550i. Loaded with a handful of bells and whistles, BMW has packed multiple features and technology inside this sedan.
Dressed in the “M” performance badge, which is a first for the 5-series, the performance was exceptional. The 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 sedan propels you in your seat, going from 0-100 in 4.5 seconds. The tuning of the transmission shifts smoothly and seamlessly. Generating an impressive 456 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque, the M550i is one of the fastest sedans in its class. For comparison sake, the Mercedes E43 AMG has only 396 horsepower output. It may not be a track car (try looking at the m5 and paying more coin.) but, the M550i has a loose suspension due to some weight displacement in the front and rear. When put into modes Sport and Sport+, this tightens up quite nicely and adaptively lowers the suspension. The fuel economy isn’t spectacular, especially in a class where everything adds up. At a modest 14L/100km city and 9L/100km highway fuel efficiency, the BMW M550i ranks in the lower half of its class.
It’s almost as if Lexus has captured Denzel in Man on Fire with its fierceness. The IS 350 looks like it can casually leave a scene of fire chaos and look bold while doing so. The front end has a draped black “netting” outlined in a unique shape. Along with air intake ventilation accompanying the grille, the IS 350 also features a check mark style LED lights underneath the existing headlights. It has a low stance look to the overall vehicle giving a more powerful look. From the backside, the IS 350 has sleek taillights sharply jagged and wrapping around the sides of the vehicle. The exhaust looks substantially larger and produces a decent roar.
Accompanied with some aerodynamics, BMW has kept a classic styling to this 5 series. This is a subtle but, effective move to fans of BMW’s. There’s something visually appealing to BMW, and they didn’t redesign a complicated and busy look for this new sedan. The BMW M550i includes a performance inducing spoiler, vents, and sculpted body styling. The exhaust does its job projecting the amplified V-8 engine letting the Honda Civics’ with aftermarket exhausts know who is boss. A nice accent is the metallic silver trim around the vents and on the mirrors mimicking the cars rotors. Blue brake calipers complete the look entirely.
The interior is spacious for all and looks sharp. Dressed in cream-white leather seating and the carbon fiber accents compliment the inside nicely. Also, BMW has draped some multicolor rope lighting along the dashboard that’s very attractive to the eye. There is plenty of head and leg room in this sedan for people of all body types. The display screen with multiple functions is a great size measuring 10.25 inches wide but, the non-touch screen is a disappointment. The classic scroll dial has me sometimes frustrated when it slips to the wrong desired function. A gesture mode has been added to impress anyone that hasn’t seen it before. Simply roll your index finger in a circular motion in front of the display to turn up the volume.
The drive itself was very comfortable, and smooth. I had myself enjoying the exhilarating power and adrenaline from this sedan. Often found myself bullying my way around other vehicles, but before you judge me, this car made me do it. The drivability, quality, and comfort have continued to satisfy what you expect BMW would produce. Now, I will say it ranks high in a stiff competitive based on its performance and quality. Where it stands out and blows my skirt up is the price. (Yeah, I said skirt.) The tested BMW M550i was priced at $89, 650. Lower than any competitive sedan. The Audi A6 will ring you around $91,000 and the Mercedes-AMG E 43 at around $93, 000.
- Starts at $82,000
- 4L twin-turbocharged V8, 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission
- 456 horsepower, 0-100 in 4.5 seconds
- xDrive (all-wheel drive)
- Four years/80,000kms warranty
If the lack of fuel efficiency has grabbed your concern, BMW has covered their bases by adding a Hybrid model BMW 530e, where you can sacrifice power for fuel savings. The BMW 530 can cover up to 25kilometers on a single charge. You sacrifice significant power obviously, but it is no slouch in its own right. The BMW 530i produces 248 horsepower from a turbocharged-2L inline-4 engine. The combined fuel economy will give you 8.7L/100km (city and highway).