Now that BMW’s facelifted the 5 Series, reviews of its cars are making their rounds again. The most powerful of standard 5ers is the BMW M550i xDrive, the fastest non-M5 in the range. It’s still extremely fast, it’s just tuned more for comfort than handling. Because of that, though, is it actually better than the BMW M5? Joe Achilles found out in his latest video.
Under the hood, the BMW M550i packs the latest version of BMW’s N63 engine. So it’s a 4.4 liter twin-turbocharged V8, much like the M5’s S63, but it makes 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque. That’s not as much as the M5’s 600 horsepower but it’s the same amount of claimed torque. So the M550i is extremely fast. Achilles mentions that BMW UK claims 0-62 mph in 4 seconds but BMW USA claims 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. So it seems as if BMW UK is even more conservative with its figures, as the M550i is actually faster than both times in the real world.
What makes the BMW M550i such a compelling package, one that’s arguably more compelling than the BMW M5, is that it’s comfortable and quiet. The M5 is incredible but it’s stiffer and louder on the inside. The M5 is the more fun car to drive but the M550i is surely the better daily, while being almost as fast and far fast enough for any sane human. Plus, it’s more of a sleeper, with subtle good looks.
We’re going to be testing our own M550i in a few weeks so we’ll be able to report back with our own test drive but, at least according to Achilles, the BMW M550i seems like a fantastic overall proposition. Especially now that it’s been facelifted and looks even better than before.