Long-Term Car Review Introduction: 2011 BMW 550i xDrive Sedan

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AutoWeek welcomed a 5-series to our long-term fleet.">2011 BMW 550i xDrive Roger Hart
AutoWeek welcomed a 5-series to our long-term fleet.

By: Wes Raynal on 4/27/2011

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  • 2011 BMW 550i xDrive, Long-Term Car Review Update
If there's a midsize sports education sedan standing on top of the rest, one might quarrel so as to it is BMW's 5-series. So we consideration it dangerous so as to we use a day by means of one. That present was a new 5-series previous day counting too provide us a possibility to see how all of the profits BMW complete counting grasp up in excess of the extended haul. If nothing else, we figured it counting create a fine substitute for our long- word Jaguar XF Supercharged.

Why did we stay approximately a day to get our by means of no trouble on the new car? Because rather supposed snap up one of the primary cars off the boat, we waited more supposed a few months so we might get delivery of one of the primary all-wheel-drive heavy to approach to the United States, the major marketplace for the AWD version.

We in progress by means of a 550i xDrive sedan by means of a bottom cost of $62,875. It moderator by means of oodles of normal equipment, counting adaptive headlamps, a moonroof, routine climate control, navigation scheme and rain-sensing wipers.

To so as to we additional a group of options we just might not live without, genuine as the Dynamic Handling wrap up (including adaptive drive, lively suspension control, lively revolve stabilization); Premium 2 package, counting rearview camera, authority back sunshade, heated front seats, iPod and USB adapter, satellite radio and premium audio; the Sport package, by means of 19-inch W-spoke alloy wheels, leather steering wheel and multicontour seats; rear-seat entertainment; a cold-weather package, counting a heated steering wheel and heated back seats; side- and top-view cameras and a tear fold-down back seat. All told, the cost came to $74,700.

What did we get for the money? A 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 powers the car, use a fat 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to an eight-speed routine transmission. The BMW determination hit 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, and the quarter-mile 12.8 place at 111 mph, so no one on staff is complaining concerning it existence form slow. The car rides on a new aluminum-intensive suspension by means of double wishbones in front (introduced on the fifth-generation 7-series), as,at the same time as the back series by means of multilinks by means of revised geometry. Our car's Dynamic Handling wrap up name three-stage contemporary shocks by means of a switchable agenda offering comfort, normal, game and sport-plus modes and too altering the throttle mapping and shift speed.

Our primary arrange of commerce was to put chill tires on our tester, so we swapped the Goodyears so as to came on the car for a set of Dunlop SP Winter Sport M3s in the store 245/40R-19 dimension and had not any wrap up on our store rims. We've run as,at the same occasion as tires on long-term cars before—our Jaguar XKR adaptable and Audi S6—and in together cases, contain now great. Ride excellence is good, the tires are quiet, and contain turned together of persons cars eager on snowmobiles. (We obviously keep in mind heavy the Jag adaptable house in a blizzard and trucking from side to side the absent lane, by means of no trouble transitory Hummer H2s and Jeep Grand Cherokees.)

The Dunlops are classified as presentation chill tires, so contain be hypothetical to stay BMW's handling prowess up.

It's all high-quality so far: Even by means of the store run-flat tires on, construct a number of of us approximately at petroleum time usually hate, the ride is calmer supposed so as to of the old car. The reworked suspension is supple in soothe mode, soaking up Detroit's nasty growth damage and potholes with no the old 5-series' harsher ride.

“This obsession is unflappable in lousy weather,” one staffer wrote. “It heats up quick and weapons from side to side anything—it just rocks in the snow. I had no problem petroleum weekend. Even by means of the single-digit temps, it warmed up quickly—a blessing.”

“Best 5-series I've driven yet,” one more chimed in. “Yes, the exterior is additional conservative supposed before, but I love the interior, and it drives similar to champ—rock-solid and comfortable.”

Hmmm. “Rock solid.” “Drives similar to a champ.” Will it stay so as to way for 12 grueling months? We're concerning to discover out.

Specs & Data

2011 BMW 550i xDrive Sedan


Base cost (includes $875 delivery): $62,875

As-tested price: $74,700

Options: Dynamic Handling package, by means of adaptive drive, lively damper manage and lively revolve stabilization ($2,700); Premium 2 package, by means of rearview camera, authority back sunshade, back sunshades, heated front seats, iPod and USB adapter, satellite radio by means of one-year subscription, premium hi-fi scheme ($2,400); Sport package, by means of 19-inch alloy W-spoke wheels, game leather steering wheel, multicontour seats, shadowline exterior trim ($2,200); rear-seat entertainment, by means of two eight-inch color screens ($2,200); cold-weather package, by means of heated steering wheel, heated back seats, retractable headlight washers ($1,050); side- and top-view cameras ($800); tear fold-down back seats ($475)


Wheelbase (in): 116.9

Track (in): 63.0 front, 64.1 rear

Length/width/height (in): 193.1/73.2/57.6

Curb weight/GVWR (lb): 4,519/5,600


Front-longitudinal 4.4-liter/268-cid DOHC twin-turbocharged V8

Power: 400 hp @ 5,500-6,400 rpm

Torque: 450 lb-ft @ 1,750-4,500 rpm

Compression ratio: 10.0:1

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Fuel requirement: 91 octane


All-wheel drive

Transmission: Eight-speed automatic

Final drive ratio: 3.077:1


Front: Double wishbone, coil springs, electronically forbidden changeable damping upset absorbers, hydraulically actuated antiroll bar

Rear: Multilink, coil springs, electronically forbidden changeable damping upset absorbers, hydraulically actuated antiroll bar


Vented discs front and rear, ABS; aluminum 245/40R-19 Goodyear Eagle LS2


EPA combined: 18 mpg



0-60 mph: 4.5 sec

0-quarter-mile: 12.8 sec @ 111 mph


60-0 mph: 127.3 ft


490-ft slalom: 42.3 mph

Lateral armed up (200-ft skidpad): 0.84 g


Idle: 37

Full throttle: 68

Steady 60 mph: 66

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