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2012 BMW 550 Price, Photos, Reviews & Features

2012 BMW 550 Exterior

2012 BMW 550 Overview

Redesigned last year, the sixth-generation 5 Series gained a longer wheelbase, better fuel efficiency and more conventional styling than its predecessor. The 550i is offered with a twin-turbo V-8 (550i) with an eight-speed automatic transmission available. Competitors include the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and Infiniti M.

High-tech options include BMW's Adaptive Drive system, a self-parking feature and lane departure and blind spot warning systems.

Sharing its platform with the recently redesigned 7 Series, the 5 Series' wheelbase was extended about 3 inches with the 2011 redesign. Up front, the car's signature kidney grilles sit lower and are upright. The previous 5 Series' eyebrow-laced headlights have been toned down; the eyebrows are still there, but they don't extend as far back toward the front wheels. Adaptive xenon headlights are standard. The taillights employ three rows of LED lights, and BMW's Adaptive Brake Lights illuminate a larger section under hard braking. Exterior features include available 18- and 19-inch rims, and a standard power sunroof and heated side mirrors. The interior also draws cues from the 7 Series. Climate-control readouts use BMW's Black Panel technology to appear out of dark panels without the brightened look of traditional electroluminescent displays. Cupholders are located in the center console instead of flipping from the dashboard as on the previous generation. The optional navigation system includes a massive 10.2-inch center display with high-resolution. Without navigation, the display still sorts through various audio and setup menus, but it shrinks to a 7-inch display and 800-by-480 pixel resolution. Both setups incorporate BMW's iDrive system. Standard interior features include automatic dual-zone air conditioning, 10-way power front seats, and a power tilt/telescoping steering column. A head-up display, heated and ventilated front seats, and 60/40-split folding backseat are optional.

The 550i has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 400 hp that is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. xDrive all-wheel drive is available. BMW's Adaptive Drive system includes Active Roll Stabilization, which attempts to actively counter body roll, as well as an adaptive suspension and customizable settings for both the drivetrain and suspension. Optional Active Steering varies the steering ratio to render easier turning at low speeds and stable handling at high speeds, while optional adaptive cruise control includes full stop-and-go capabilities to manage heavy traffic.

Blind spot and lane departure warning systems are optional, as is adaptive cruise control with a collision warning system. Standard safety features include side curtain airbags, side-impact airbags for the front seats, active front head restraints, electronic stability system, and four-wheel-disc antilock brakes.

EPA Fuel Economy

  • City: 15 MPG
  • Highway: 20 - 22 MPG

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Vehicle crash and safety data is provided by NHTSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The NHTSA testing was established by Congress to reduce highway deaths and injuries. Read an article on the current NHTSA crash test program.

Safety Rating

  • Overall Safety: *****
  • Frontal Crash: ****
  • Side Crash: *****

Consumer Reviews Summary

Overall Rating:

7 of 7 (100%) consumers said they would recommend this vehicle to a friend.

Read BMW 550 Consumer Reviews