2011 BMW 550 Overview
Rarely does one come across a car that blends world-class luxury, race-track power and cutting-edge technology like the redesigned 2011 BMW 550i full-size sedan.
Now in its sixth generation, BMW’s 5 Series still features 528i, 535i and 550i trims. The wagon model has been discontinued in the United States leaving only the sedan. For 2011, the 5-series adds three inches of length to an already spacious vehicle, which BMW says leads the luxury sedan class. Power has been increased in the new 550i, with a 400-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that is mated to a standard eight-speed automatic, while a six-speed manual is available. The 550i comes with standard rear-wheel drive, while BMW’s all-wheel-drive system (xDrive) is an available option.
Even though the new twin-turbo engine produces more power and acceleration than the 2010 version, fuel efficiency has surprisingly improved to 15-17 mpg in the city and 22-25 mpg on the highway. With the way the 2011 550i is going, it will be hard for the Audi A6, Infiniti M and Mercedes-Benz E-Class to keep up.
If you yearn for a closer, tighter ride, BMW’s Adaptive Drive utilizes Active Roll Stabilization and Dynamic Damping Control, which gives the 550i greater contact with the road when cornering, allowing the 550i to maintain traction through curves. BMW’s Active Steering system adds to the driving experience by adjusting how much the car turns for a given turn of the steering wheel.
After giving the exterior of the 550i a more radical look with the last generation, the new 5-series BMW has mellowed it out a bit for 2011. The trademark kidney grille is lower and the eyebrow-laced headlights have been scaled back. Adaptive Xenon headlights are surrounded with LED lighting, while the rear adds LED taillights. These changes combine to make the 5-series look sleeker and more contemporary.
On the inside of the 2011 BMW 550i, you’ll find countless luxurious and technological amenities such as a colossal 10.2-inch center display with 1280-by-480 pixel resolution. The available iDrive system is updated and available with the optional navigation system has been revamped with more shortcut keys, better graphics and improved menu functionality. 10-way power front seats, dark wood trim, HD Radio, a 12-speaker audio system, 2-way power moonroof and engine start/stop button are standard. Heated front seats and steering wheel, premium audio system, ambiance lighting, power tailgate, iPod/USB adaptor and navigation system are all available via the different option packages.
When it comes to safety, the 2011 550i has everything you need to keep you and yours safe. Antilock brakes, electronic stability control, front, side-impact and side curtain airbags, hill start assist and hill descent control come standard. Additional safety features include rear side-impact airbags and a lane-departure warning system that alerts you if your car starts to veer from its lane. Night vision with pedestrian detection, park distance control, a rear-view camera plus an anti-theft alarm and automatic high beams and BMW Assist (which connects you with roadside assistance) are optional.
Enjoy the increased power, cutting edge technology, fuel-efficiency and space in the safe and extremely fun to drive 2011 BMW 550i.