2018 All-Stars Contender: BMW M550i xDrive
A whole lot of goodness—but enough M?
Notice that letter sitting at the beginning of the model name and affixed to the trunk? Don't expect big doses of typical "M" shenanigans in the 2018 BMW M550i xDrive sedan. Sure, there's pace here—a sub-four-second dash to 60 mph is nothing to scoff at—but it's the chassis and overall exhilaration level that offsets it, especially if you dwell on the badge.
Even though our test car carried the $3,600 Dynamic Handling package, we didn't feel much in the way of exhilaration. The steering offers little feel and has a noticeable dead spot on-center, and the handling isn't as athletic as we've come to expect when we see the "M" designation.
"Cushy chassis, comfortable seats, and a dialed-in powertrain with a smooth, linear, seemingly boundless wave of torque," said contributor Chris Nelson said. "Little to complain about but little to be excited about."
On the other hand, the M550i is a cosseting mile muncher that would be one of the best picks in this field to drive across the country or for any road trip. The interior is lovely and carries the latest tech and features, and the powerful V-8 and ZF eight-speed automatic are as happy as peas and carrots.
No, the M550i isn't a full-fat BMW M like the M3/M4 and the new M5, but it's more than just a comfortable and powerful luxury automobile, too. You'll find out on Saturday, March 10, if the M550i was M enough to be named a 2018 All-Star when we announce the winners at the 2018 Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance—and right here on automobilemag.com.
2018 BMW M550i xDrive Specifications
|PRICE||$73,095/$86,985 (base/as tested)|
|ENGINE||4.4L DOHC 32-valve twin-turbo V-8/456 hp @ 5500 rpm, 480 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm|
|LAYOUT||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD sedan|
|EPA MILEAGE||16/25 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||195.4 x 73.5 x 57.8 in|
|0-60 MPH||3.9 sec|
|TOP SPEED||155 mph|