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2013 BMW 550 Overview
The five-seat 550i is offered with a twin-turbo V-8 with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Competitors include the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and Infiniti M.
New for 2013
For 2013, the 550i can now have the BMW Individual Composition Package, which includes extended leather upholstery, 19-inch alloy wheels, Alcantara headliner material and Shadowline trim. Standalone BMW Individual options include wood inlays on the steering wheel, and unique paint and wood trim. Updates to the navigation system include revised submenus, weather information and optional Google search.
The 5 Series shares its platform with the bigger 7 Series sedan. Up front, the car's signature kidney grilles sit low and are upright. 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, power sunroof, and heated side mirrors.
Drawing cues from the 7 Series, the 5 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 in the center console instead of flipping from the dashboard as on the previous generation.
The optional navigation system includes a massive high-resolution 10.2-inch center display. 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. Interior features include 10-way power front seats, automatic dual-zone air conditioning, and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel. Options include a head-up display, and heated/ventilated front seats.
Under the Hood
The 550i has a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 that makes 400 hp and an eight-speed automatic transmission; a six-speed manual is also offered. Rear- or xDrive all-wheel drive.
BMW's available 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.
A blind spot monitoring system, a self-parking assist and a lane departure warning system 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.
*Overview courtesy of Cars.com