Time never stops moving on, and we need to move with the times. This is what BMW have done with the latest incarnation of the 550, the 2014 BMW 550i. This is a vehicle that deserves its own special mention, as it’s unique among the latest offering in the 5-series range.
The 2014 BMW 550i is a luxury sedan that does what this German manufacturer is famous for: great driving, comfort and overall excellence. This means that, like all five-series Beemer sedans, it looks very, very classy, complete with 19-inch V-spoke alloy wheels, and twin headlights that flank the famous kidney grille.
What sets it apart from its smaller siblings in the 5 series sedan range is the engine. It may share the same transmission as its siblings (8 speed sports automatic, with the gear shift paddles mounted on the leather-wrapped steering wheel) but couples this up to a very impressive powerplant. The powerplant in question is an eight-cylinder 4.4-litre engine (not quite 5 litres, as suggested by the 50 coming after the 5 in the full name) with twin turbochargers, double VANOS (VANOS is the abbreviation for “variable Nockenwellensteuerung” and refers to the valve timing system) and BMW’s special High-Precision Injection. So what do all these technical specs add up to? They add up to 330 kW of power, 650 Nm of torque and the ability to do the 0–100 km sprint in 4.6 seconds. And it’s all ready to spring into life at the touch of the keyless ignition’s Stop/Start button (and you’ve got Stop/Start function for travelling in slower traffic to save fuel).
The 2014 BMW 550i is the high-end version in the five-series range, which means that it has all the fancy stuff that the others don’t. Yes, it’s got the cruise control, the park distance control, dynamic stability control, the rear view camera, the rain-sensing windshield wipers, the contact-free tailgate opening mechanism, the lighting package that allows you to select amber or white for the interior, the electric adjustment for the front seats, the Bluetooth smartphone connectivity, the 10.25-inch multifunction display panel, the navigation system and a snappy surround sound stereo system with 16 speakers. It also throws in some other treats for the driver and passenger: treats like the 4-zone climate control system, the comfort seats with electrically adjustable lumbar support and heating for the driver and front passenger, a glass sunroof and sunblinds for the rear windows.
BMW is really taking on-road safety seriously and has a few features inside the 2014 BMW 550i that merit special mention, in addition to the park distance control and the rear view camera mentioned above. It’s also got a range of crash avoidance systems that work in with the cameras and sensors, including the parking assistant (yes, it can park itself) and the Driving Assistant warning system. Add in the head-up display that flashes up the really important things you need to know onto the windscreen (without interfering with your view of the road), and the Surround View display that’s almost like standing outside the car and being inside it at the same. And, like other BMWs, the 2014 BMW 550i has a speed limiting device that enables you to set the maximum speed limit (a handy thing if you are brave enough to let a younger driver behind the wheel).
Passive safety hasn’t been skimped on either, with the safety body shell with crumple zones, top-notch seatbelts, the Active Protection system that closes the windows and roof while preparing the seatbelts, and airbags just about anywhere that you can think of.
There are a range of trim packages available for the 2014 BMW 550i: Modern, Luxury and the really sizzling M-Sport package (which includes sport suspension and an aerodynamic body kit package). All are very attractive, and it’s up to the individual to decide on which one’s the nicest.
About the only downside of the design of the 2014 BMW 550i is the fact that the 19-inch alloy wheels can’t get snow chains fitted to them. But as this is a vehicle that is designed for open road and urban driving to impress rather than for off-road trekking, do you really need to?
Current model series include:
For any more information on the 2014 BMW 550i, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of BMW dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!