2021 BMW M550i xDrive review: All the M5 you really need

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Aventurin Pink is a chef’s-kiss-dot-gif shade.

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The BMW M550i xDrive is ninety% of the auto the M5 is, and in some approaches, it really is actually superior. The M550i offers solid V8 electricity and a very long listing of tech and creature comforts. What it lacks in outright keep track of-assault ferocity it a lot more than will make up for with bigger over-all harmony and a a lot nicer ride good quality. Provided the preference, I would select the M550i as my each day driver.


  • Massive V8 offers huge electricity
  • Chassis is nicely tuned for both convenience and sport
  • Plush inside with loads of features
  • iDrive tech is quick to use

Never Like

  • Numb steering come to feel
  • Driver-aid possibilities price added
  • Weak fuel financial state

The M550i takes advantage of BMW’s twin-turbo four.four-liter V8, with 523 horsepower and 553 pound-toes of torque running by means of an 8-speed automatic transmission. All advised, the all-wheel-drive M550i can accelerate to 60 mph in just 3.six seconds, which indicates it really is quicker than its important rivals, the Audi S6 and Mercedes-AMG E53, both of which use a lot more sedate six-cylinder engines. The BMW even will come with a good launch command functionality, which I’m positive most people will hardly ever use.

Of course, the M5 takes advantage of a tweaked variation of the identical V8 engine, and indeed, it will make as a lot as 617 hp in Levels of competition guise. But the torque output is the identical for the M550i, M5 and M5 Comp, and that brief-release turbocharged thrust is what you can count on most while pulling absent from stoplights and merging on to the highway. The base M5 is .four seconds quicker to 60 mph than the M550i, and that’s not a disparity you can see ninety nine% of the time, if ever.

The M550i takes advantage of BMW’s Steptronic Sport automatic transmission, which is form of a greatest-of-both-worlds gearbox. It shifts with the quickness of a dual-clutch transmission but has a torque converter, which will make it smoother at lower speeds and when participating initial equipment. The gearbox also is effective with the M550i’s conventional navigation program and optional adaptive cruise command to predictively downshift shift for corners or slower cars ahead of you, all primarily based on information the several techniques select up. Metal, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters allow you deal with your very own shifts if you want, but this is but a further case where by the transmission is smarter than I am. I’m properly pleased to allow it do its very own factor.

I won’t price reduction the M5’s ability to hustle all over a race system, but I also refuse to feel that everything a lot more than a tin percentage of M5 purchasers actually consider their cars to the keep track of. The tradeoff for the M5’s sharp reflexes is an usually punishing city and highway ride good quality, even with the adaptive dampers set to Consolation.

BMW’s four.four-liter V8 offers 523 horsepower and 553 pound-toes of torque.

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The M550i, on the other hand, is considerably superior well balanced for daily driving. Place the M550i into its Sport or Sport Furthermore configurations and it really is received sufficient poise on a excellent winding street. The conventional sport rear differential retains the rear end chatting while the xDrive all-wheel-drive program moves electricity where by it really is desired most. M Sport brakes present a whole lot of halting electricity and they are quick to modulate. Meanwhile the Bridgestone Potenza tires are wonderful and grippy. My only beef is that the steering, while appropriately hefty, is thoroughly numb. Identical goes for the M5, however this unlucky steering attribute plagues most new BMWs.

Go away the M550i in its Consolation or Adaptive configurations and the dampers soften up just sufficient to smooth out tiny to medium street impacts while nevertheless delivering a managed and composed ride, even when equipped with my check car’s 20-inch wheels (19s are conventional). Admittedly, you require to solution the $3,600 Dynamic Handling Deal to get the adaptive M suspension and lively roll stabilization, but it really is cash well put in if you want to party.

Definitely, no V8-run BMW is going to be frugal, and the EPA suggests the 2021 M550i xDrive should return 17 miles for each gallon in the city, 25 mpg highway and 20 mpg merged. If that’s an problem, I highly advise examining out the 540i, which offers a turbocharged straight-six with mild-hybrid increase, and will easily conquer 30 mpg on the highway.

This inside is tremendous comfy.

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The M550i will get a number of updates for 2021 that you can uncover on other 5 Series types, which include new headlights and taillights and a couple of updated inside trimmings. You could definitely criticize the 5 Series for becoming on the a lot more sedate aspect of appealing, especially when in contrast to cars like the Genesis G80 3.5T or Mercedes-AMG E53. But I like the M550i, especially in this prosperous shade of Aventurin Pink ($1,950) which appears to be slightly a lot more red or purple based on lighting. Individually, I like to get in touch with it Chillable Pink.

The 5’s inside is wonderful, but yet again, monotonous. There are only a couple of cheap bits of plastic to talk of, but they are on surfaces you won’t contact most of the time. Everything else inside the cabin is good, from the comfortable leather seats to the appealing steel inlays to my check car’s optional ceramic controls. It can be ultra tranquil in listed here, also, making the M550i a good auto for working day-to-working day commuting.

The M550i will come conventional with the 5 Series’ comprehensive multimedia tech roster, starring BMW’s iDrive seven. software program. A twelve.3-inch electronic instrument cluster shows all sorts of suitable auto details, while a 2nd twelve.3-inch touchscreen handles the large lifting atop the dashboard. Touching the display is the simplest way to work this tech, however you can nevertheless use the rotary knob on the centre console or perform by using voice commands. BMW’s stupid gesture controls are component of the $two,one hundred fifty Executive Deal and can thankfully be turned off. Side note: I do believe it really is hilarious that, if you change up the radio volume by using the steering wheel button or tuning knob while the gesture controls are activated, a tiny show will come up on the display demonstrating you the hand movement you could be making. It can be like the car’s refined way of reminding you that you are not working with a functionality in the latest and most fascinating way. How German.

The M550i is a good alternative to the hardcore M5.

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Individually, I choose to use the wi-fi Apple CarPlay interface, which is conventional, along with Android Automobile. Wireless charging will come as component of the aforementioned Executive Deal, as does a head-up show. You can also spec a bangin’ Bowers & Wilkins sound program for an added $3,400, if that’s your jam. A encompass-perspective digital camera and park length command are bundled into the $800 Parking Guidance Deal and state-of-the-art driving aids these kinds of as lane-maintaining guide and blind-place checking are component of the $1,700 Driving Guidance Furthermore pack. The latter also adds BMW’s Extended Targeted traffic Jam Assistant, which will allow for minimal amounts of steering guide on decide on streets below forty mph.

A 2021 BMW M550i xDrive starts off at $77,795 which include $995 for spot, and a loaded case in point like the one particular you see listed here prices just beneath $94,000. Which is a whole lot of cash, but you should not fail to remember, you are not able to get into an M5 for everything significantly less than $104,495. Until you genuinely require the M5’s slight bump in electricity and prowess, I say adhere with the M550i and enjoy a a lot a lot more livable — and affordable — package.