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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

2018 BMW M550i xDrive: The Brand's Most Powerful Midsize Performance Sedan


Highlight: This is the fastest 5-Series to date, according to BMW; the high-performance sedan zips from 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $88,985 (Base Model: $74,395)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: ABS; airbags; a stability control system; a traction control system; parking distance control- front and rear; a rear camera; and a tire pressure monitor system



Standard M550i xDrive: 19-inch wheels; a sport 8-speed automatic transmission; an all-wheel drive system; runflat tires; power front seats with memory control; a power tailgate; a keyless entry system; an automatic dimming driver exterior mirror; M Sport Brakes; a moonroof; matte wood trim dash; multi-contour front seats; a 10-inch navigation screen; BME’s next-gen IDrive system with a touchscreen, touchpad controller; Dakota leather seats; automatic high beams; a navigation system; a SiriusXM radio system; M-Steering wheel; an aerodynamic kit; a rear spoiler; an anthracite headliner; BMW’s signature ConnectedDrive services; an advanced real time traffic information; three driving control settings: economy, comfort and sport; tailpipes in black chrome; and M-sport exhaust system

Optional Features On Test Vehicle: a heated steering wheel; front and rear heated seats; a heads up display system; active driving assistance plus includes a radar activated cruise control system with stop-and-go, evasion aid and active keep lane assisting; an adaptive M Suspension Plus; active roll stabilization; soft-close automatic doors; wireless charging; a WiFi Hotspot system; ceramic controls; enhances USB and Bluetooth; parking assist plus; surround view with 3D view; AppleCar Play Compatibility; a Bowers & Wilkins Sound System; a night vision system with pedestrian detection; and a gesture control trunk
   
Other Non M Trim Levels:
530i
530ixDrive
540i
540ixDrive

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a Harman Kardon Audio System AM/FM/HD/CD Satellite Radio

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

iPod connectivity:  Yes
                                                                                                        
Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 4 years or 50,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 4.4-liter twin-turbo, 8-cylinder/456-hp

Recommended Fuel: Premium

Standard Fuel Mileage:
16-city/25-hwy

What’s New:  After going through a major redesign in 2017, the M550i xDrive becomes the newest addition to the German brand’s 5-Series portfolio. This is the sixth generation of BMWs to be designated with the M5 alphanumeric label.


Why:  BMW’s midsize luxury, with its supportive seating, underwent a major overhaul in 2017. For the 2018 model year, the 550i xDrive beefed up its German sedan by adding loads of power underneath the hood.

Unlike other 5-Series sedans, the all-new M5 is only available in an all-wheel drive configuration. Yet, this doesn’t impede the driver from adjusting the driving dynamics of the vehicle. Just by simply deactivating certain driving modes, the vehicle can easily operate as if it only had rear wheel drive capabilities.

Moreover, with a mere adjustment of the driving mode, one can easily firm up or soften the suspension system, while at the same time altering the engine noise. This 5 Series, just like a well-qualified tailor fitting a dress or suit, offers one of the sharpest steering responses than any of its predecessors.

The 550i XDrive is powered by a twin turbo, 8-cylinder engine. The five seater sedan, which pushes out 456-horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque, fun factor can be enhanced with the steering wheel paddle shifters. And with a top speed of 155 mph, this BMW is capable of being hell on wheels.

There are also several distinctive styling features that makes this vehicle a standout. Some of those notable components consist of the spoiler, the design patterns on the front intake embedded into the signature kidney grille, illuminated door sills, the floor mats and the pedals.

Lastly, the new 5-Series is outfitted with the latest safety driving advances coupled with the night vision camera that can detect pedestrians.

But: Surprisingly, in this day and time where even mainstream brands such as Hyundai and Kia are offering such features as ventilated front seats, this feature seems to have escaped the all-new 5-Series option package.
And, while we welcomed the advanced navigation system, which included a voice activated system to locate directions to operate the system, it did take several repeated tries before the correct street address was located.



Verdict: For now, this is the quickest 5 Series to date. Its provides all of the accouterments one expects from the German automaker plus the extra ‘sting’ needed to make it one of the segment standouts, at a price tag under $100,000. Look out for an even faster version of the 5 Series in the near to distance future. Like with some of its competitors, we expect that one will tip over the $100,000 mark. So, for now, this new addition to the M family could be considered a bargain.

Competition: 2018 Mercedes-Benz AMG E43 Sedan

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