2018 BMW M550i

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2018 MODEL

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2018 BMW M550i Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

If you’re in the market for a luxury sports sedan that elegantly gives you the best of both worlds, the 2018 BMW M550i Xdrive Sedan should be your list-topper. Following a complete redesign in 2017, the M550i Xdrive is BMW’s flagship car in its 5 Series range. The 5 Series is one of the Bavarians’ most coveted assets as it has consistently been the company’s second bestseller right behind the 3-series.

Being the top trim of the 5 Series, the 2018 BMW M550i Xdrive packs in a mammoth 4.4L Twin-Turbocharged V8 engine backed by an 8-speed automatic transmission system. This fiery engine delivers an unmatched performance and certainly lives up to the BMW motto, “ultimate driving experience”.

See detailed review »

Pros

Great acceleration and engine response

Adaptable driving dynamics

High-tech yet sleek dashboard

Premium seating comfort

Cons

All too familiar design concept

Below par city fuel economy

Soft suspension

What's New?

The M550i Xdrive is a completely new model brought into the 5 Series and it takes its spot right at the top of the family. The makers also claim that the M550i Xdrive is capable of giving the dedicated sport trim of the 5 Series, the M5 a run for its money.


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2018 BMW M550i in Almandine Brown Metallic color  2018 BMW M550i in Alpine White color  2018 BMW M550i in Atlas Cedar Metallic color  2018 BMW M550i in Azurite Black Metallic color  2018 BMW M550i in Bluestone Metallic color
Almandine Brown Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Engine

6.6

Fuel Economy

6.6

Interior

8.5

Exterior

6.6

7.4

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2018 BMW M550i xDrive

xDrive

power
456 hp @ 5500 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
19 combined

$73,900


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $73,900 MSRP (16/19/25) 456 hp @ 5500 rpm, 4.4 L, V8, premium unleaded (required)
See Full Specs
8-speed automatic all wheel drive 5   Almandine Brown Metallic
  Alpine White
  Atlas Cedar Metallic
  Azurite Black Metallic
  Black Sapphire Metallic

Top BMW Cars

2017 BMW ALPINA B7
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2017 BMW 6 Series
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MPG: 23 combined

2017 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe
8.8/10

Engine: 248 hp @ 5200 rpm, 2 L I4

MPG: 27 combined

2019 BMW 5 Series
8.9/10

Engine: 248 hp @ 5200 rpm, 2 L I-4

MPG: 27 combined

2018 BMW ALPINA B7
8.7/10

Engine: 600 hp @ 5750 rpm, 4.4 L V8

MPG: 19 combined

2017 BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid Sedan
9.0/10

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MPG: 27 combined

2017 BMW M760i
9.0/10

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MPG: 16 combined

2019 BMW 7 Series
8.7/10

Engine: 320 hp @ 5500 rpm, 3 L I-6

MPG: 24 combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial September 21, 2018

7.4

Overall Rating


With the 5 Series starting at around $50,000, the top hand M550i Xdrive slots in at $73,900 with plenty of optional and customization packages to add on. With familiar competition all around including Mercedes’s E43 AMG, the Audi S6, and the Cadillac CTS V-Sport, the M550i holds its own with its powerful driving dynamics and old-school BMW finesse.


 

6.6/10
Engine

 

6.6/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.5/10
Interior

 

6.6/10
Exterior

 
 
 
 

2018 BMW M550i Features

When selecting the perfect 5 Series model, one can start by narrowing down your price range and performance needs. To be precise, the BMW 5 Series is available in five trims (530i, 530e, 540i, 540d,  and M550i). Each is accompanied by a distinct powertrain. Starting prices ranging from $52,650 to $102,600. All 5 Series sedans come with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Trim BMW M550i xDrive Sedan
MSRP $73,900
Features Front Seatback Storage
  Cruise Control yes
  Leather Steering Wheel
  Keyless Ignition
  Climate Control
  Dual Illuminating Vanity Mirrors
  Front And Rear Cupholders
  Electrochromic Inside Rearview Mirror
  Front And Rear Door Pockets
  Front And Rear Parking Sensors
  Universal Remote Transmitter (For Garage Door, Security System, Etc.
  Transmission, Cruise And Audio Controls On Steering Wheel
  Interior Air Filtration
  Extended Cabin Heating/Cooling
  Anthracite Alcantara Headliner
  Power Rear Sunshade W/Manual Rear Side Window Shades
  Heated Front Seats
  Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System

We recommend

$73,900 for the M550i is quite a steal, complete with a twin-turbo 456-horsepower V8 and all-wheel drive. Other standard features include an adaptive M Sports suspension, M Sports brakes, parking sensors, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, and a power trunk lid.

2018 BMW M550i Engine

6.6/10

"The M550i willingly dives into the tight hairpins and decreasing-radius turns of the Rockies. If you enter a corner too quickly, dial in more to the steering and let the active all-wheel drive system move torque around to keep oversteer at bay."- CNET

Engine and Transmission

For the segment and price range, the BMW’s engine is quite close to perfection. The beasty 4.4L Twin-Turbocharged V8 gives a power of 456 hp and generates an unmatched 480 lb-ft of torque. it all goes through an 8-speed ZF automatic gear arrangement. This car comes standard with all-wheel-drive which gives good traction to go will all the power. When revving up, the engine also gives out a very comforting and sporty sound.

Models BMW M550i xDrive Audi S6 Mercedes E43 AMG Cadillac CTS V-Sport
Starting MSRP $73,900 $71,900 $71,600 $62,190
Engine 4.4L Turbocharged V8 4.0L Turbocharged V8 3.0L Turbocharged V6 3.6L Turbocharged V6
Transmission 8-Speed Automatic 7-Speed Dual Clutch Automatic 9-Speed Automatic 8-Speed Automatic
Power 456 hp 450 hp 396 hp 420 hp
Torque 480 lb-ft 406 lb-ft 384 lb-ft 430 lb-ft

As far as the competition goes, the BMW is right there at the top. The torque generation is by far the best in class and the power is comparable to Audi’s S6. It may, however, be noted that the Mercedes E43 AMG and the Cadillac CTS V-Sport have a V6 engine compared to the BMW’s V8.

Acceleration

In a nutshell, the BMW M550i Xdrive is fast; and quick from the start too. It accelerates from 0-60mph under four seconds. The only other sub-4 0-60mph car in the segment is Audi S6 at 3.9 seconds. The fat yet sturdy steering wheel, a feature of M550 being a sports model, gives a good grip throughout the ride.

Models BMW M550i xDrive Audi S6 Mercedes E43 AMG Cadillac CTS V-Sport
0-60 MPH 3.8 Seconds 3.9 Seconds 4.2 Seconds 4.5 Seconds
Quarter mile 12.3 Seconds @  115 mph 12.4 Seconds @ 113 mph 12.8 Seconds @ 109 mph 12.9 Seconds @ 112 mph
Engine 4.4L Turbocharged V8 4.0L Turbocharged V8 3.0L Turbocharged V6 3.6L Turbocharged V6
Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year) 9.3 8.4 8.4 9.3

Even over a quarter mile, the BMW is the fastest in the segment clocking in at 12.3 seconds. However, comparing with the Audi S6 and the Mercedes E43 AMG the carbon emissions of the BMW are quite high. Given the rock-solid engine, higher emissions is also a price one will have to pay.

Ride and Handling

All-wheel drive is standard in the 540d, M550i, and M5 trims – and available in all other trims for $2,300. So there is plenty of traction control to go with the power of M550i Xdrive. On the road, the well-tuned steering makes the M550i Xdrive a pleasure to drive, and its handling provides a comfortable ride in a nimble package.

However, the suspension is slightly soft and, despite the presence of adjustable dampers, it struggles to maintain body control over rougher road surfaces. One can also adjust how the car handles using the Driving Dynamics Control, which offers Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport modes.

Cruising refinement is almost too good to be true, with the M550i being no louder or harsher than a standard 5 Series. The overall acoustics of the cabin is also impressive with the passengers being comfortably isolated from the outside noises.

Braking

To accompany the impressive acceleration, BMW has done well with the M550i Xdrive’s deceleration as well. It comes to a halt from 60 mph in a comfortable 106 feet, which is believed to be the best braking distance when compared it its class.

Model BMW M550i xDrive Audi S6 Mercedes E43 AMG Cadillac CTS V-Sport
Brake Front(in) N/A 15.7 14.2 12.6
Brake Rear(in) N/A 14 14.2 12.4
Curb Weight(lbs) 3878 4497 4145 3992
60-0 MPH (ft.) 106 112 110 107

Audi S6, which has a comparable acceleration to the BMW, fares last in this comparison. It is the heaviest here, which works against it. The Cadillac is a little heavier than the Beemer, and a little sluggish in shedding speed as well.

2018 BMW M550i Fuel Economy

6.6/10

This is one of the few departments that the BMW M550i Xdrive falls short in. The fuel economy of the car is well below par, especially in the city. The BMW rides only 16 mpg in the city. Despite having a respectable mileage on highways at 25, the combined fuel economy at 19 mpg is again the lowest in its segment.

Model BMW M550i xDrive Audi S6 Mercedes E43 AMG Cadillac CTS V-Sport
MPG (City) 16 18 19 16
MPG (Highway) 25 27 25 24
MPG (Combined) 19 22 22 20

The Audi S6 fares quite well when fuel economy is concerned with the best mileage on highways at 27 mpgs. Its city economy is also decent and only bettered by the Mercedes E43 AMG.

2018 BMW M550i Interior

8.5/10

"I love this test car's sumptuous Cognac Dakota leather interior, highlighted by contrasting blue stitching. There's shiny black trim on the dash, but it's tempered by open-pore wood and brushed aluminum pieces that look and feel awesome."- CNET

Seating and Comfort

It’s a pleasure to spend time inside a 5 Series sedan with that familiar sophisticated aura. First-class materials are plentiful. Examples include synthetic or genuine leather trimming on the dash, and wood trims with a matte or gloss finish. The woodwork is abundant and quite pleasing. Build quality is similarly top-notch.

The plush leather upholstery gives the passengers that luxury ride with many convenience features such as rear cup-holders and 16-way adjustable front seats. To add to the many comfort features, the front seats are massaging and also heated. In the M550i Xdrive, the rear seats are also heated.

Model BMW M550i xDrive Audi S6 Mercedes E43 AMG Cadillac CTS V-Sport
Passenger capacity 5 5 5 5
Passenger Volume(ft cube) 98.8 98 N/A 97
Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) 38.8/58.7/41.4 37.2/57.5/41.3 37.9/57.8/41.3 40.4/56.9/45.7
Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) 37.5/55.9/36.5 37.8/56.3/37.4 38.2/56.9/35.8 37.5/54.8/35.4

Infotainment System

BMW iDrive system’s clear graphics, logical organization, and easy-to-use control knob make it intuitive to navigate. A large, 10.2-inch high-resolution central display is standard on the M550i model and is controlled by BMW’s signature iDrive rotary knob.

Highlights of the Infotainment System are:

  • Harman Kardon Surround Sound Audio System with a powerful 600-watt amplifier
  • 16-speaker system includes 7 tweeters, 7 midrange speakers and 2 bass speakers
  • Real-time weather
  • Hand gesture control
  • 4, 12-Volt outlets
  • 2, USB ports
  • BMW iDrive system

Cargo Capacity

The BMW M550i Xdrive is head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to cargo volume. Its trunk has a very healthy capacity of 18.7 cubic feet which makes it ideal for various lifestyles. The storage inside the cabin, however, is limited with there being only a few storage pockets here and there namely the front arm-rest and the glove compartment.

Model BMW M550i xDrive Audi S6 Mercedes E43 AMG Cadillac CTS V-Sport
Volume (ft cube) 18.7 14.1 13.1 13.7

The competition offers significantly less cargo space than the M550i, and as such, they are barely adequate for their size. A week's worth of groceries would will the entirety of the trunk.

2018 BMW M550i Exterior

6.6/10

The kidney-shaped grilles and four-ring headlights make the 5-series instantly recognizable as a BMW, but only those with a keen eye will be able to tell this all-new version from its similarly styled predecessor. - CarandDriver

Dimensions and Weight

Despite having that V8 Turbocharged engine, the M550i Xdrive is relatively light at just under 3900 pounds. The other dimensions of the M550i Xdrive are standard with respect to the 5 Series with a rather substantial ground clearance of 5.1 inches. The BMW also has a fairly long wheelbase at just over a 117 inches.

Model BMW M550i xDrive Audi S6 Mercedes E43 AMG Cadillac CTS V-Sport
Curb weight(lbs) 3878 4497 4145 3992
Length(in) 195.4 194.4 194.6 195.5
Width(in) 73.5 73.8 73.2 72.2
Height(in) 58.2 56.8 57 57.2
Ground clearance(in) 5.1 4.57 4.5 5.1
Wheelbase(in) 117.1 114.8 115.7 114.6
Track width(in) F/R 63/63.9 63.6/63.2 64.1/62.9 61.4/61.7

The other V8 car, Audi S6, being the heaviest of the lot at close to 4500 pounds. The CTS-V sport is the longest in size but by an insignificant margin. It also has over 5 inches of ground clearance, quite good for the segment.

2018 BMW M550i Safety

The M550i Xdrive is fully loaded with safety features which is a welcome reassurance given its stature as one of the leading sports cum luxury sedans in the segment. Here are some standout features:

  • Adaptive Brake lights
  • Programmable LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Front and rear Head Protection System (HPS)
  • Driver’s and passenger’s front airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS)
  • Dual-threshold, dual-stage deployment; and front-passenger-seat sensors designed to prevent unnecessary airbag deployment
  • 3-point safety belts with force limiters and head restraints at all seating positions
  • Seat-mounted front side-impact airbags
  • Acoustic safety-belt warning
  • LATCH attachments for child-restraint safety installation
  • Automatic-locking retractors (ALR) on all passenger-seat safety belts
  • Impact sensor that activates Battery Safety Terminal disconnect of alternator, fuel pump and starter from battery;
  • Central locking system on driver and front passenger doors
  • Anti-theft alarm system
  • BMW Assist eCall includes Emergency Request (SOS button) and Enhanced Automatic Collision Notification
  • BMW Remote Services includes Stolen Vehicle Recovery, Remote Door Unlock, and BMW Connected app
  • BMW’s Active Protection System

NHTSA and IIHS ratings are unavailable for the car.

2018 BMW M550i Competition

BMW M550i vs Audi S6

Just like the M550i Xdrive, the Audi A6 gets you the finest in German engineering, but it costs a few thousand dollars less. It has one of the nicest interiors among luxury midsize cars and outstanding performance. Additionally, it has a few more standard features than the BMW, including heated front seats and leather upholstery.

The Audi’s ride can occasionally feel jarring over rough pavement, but it’s mostly smooth. The engine designs are similar with both sporting 4L V8’s and both delivering similar figures of power and torque. The major differences between the two are pretty much design based.

BMW M550i vs Mercedes E43 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a posh interior and a plethora of advanced safety technology, with available near-self-driving features. The M550i Xdrive and the E43 are similarly priced. Still, the 5 Series is the better value. It delivers better all-around driving performance and rates higher for predicted reliability.

Engine and general performance wise the BMW is ahead with its Turbocharged V8 in comparison to the Mercedes’ V6. One simply has to choose between sportiness and luxury when it comes down to these two.

BMW M550i vs Cadillac CTS V-Sport

The Cadillac CTS V-Sport is a substantial $10,000 cheaper than then BMW M550i Xdrive yet it has a respectable power and torque delivery. Its edgy and aerodynamic looks are a good competitor to the BMW’s repetitive exteriors. The Cadillac uses a V6 engine compared to the BMW’s V8.

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the CTS V6’s fuel efficiency. The 5 Series Sedan doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

2018 BMW M550i Final Verdict

Whether you are driving or being driven, the 2018 BMW M550i Xdrive is a delight. Its engaging performance adds flavour to the chore of everyday driving. With its 4.4L V8 engine being the standout feature, it surely delivers the “ultimate driving experience”. Inside, the cabin is replete with first-class materials and user-friendly technology, treating travellers to a quiet, comfortable ride.

The starting price is higher than most in its segment, but it is nothing short of a bargain when compared to a dedicated sports model. Under six figures even when fully packed with add-ons, this automobile is worth every penny.