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MY 13 550i Review

10682 Views 66 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  tadtaggert
I am going to give my limited review of the 550i I justpicked up. Due to traffic, construction, etc, plus the fact that it is in the break in period, I did not use much in the way of throttle input, etc.

Ride is smooth, very smooth. In sport mode, it is a little bit tighter, but you don't lose the smooth feeling of the car, even over railroad crossings. Sport+ will wait until I have more experience with this car. As it is RWD and 450 ft-lbs of torque, it has more than 125 ft-lbs more than I am used to and 100 more HP. I want to be cautious and learn the car better before engaging all of the power or disengaging any of the nannies.

Engine is responsive - even given the limited throttle input, the engine was very responsive. Sticker says double VANOS and valvetronic. This could be a misprint by BMWNA, or it could be an engine difference, but that is unknown.

Transmission is touchy. If you blip the throttle, it stays in a higher gear for longer than I think it should, especially if you are slowing down (for instance, turning onto a street, then stopping at the next light)

There was no pull to the right observed. Steering was firm and felt responsive. I believe it has good road feel, providing good feedback from the road surface.

Cornering and handling capabilities are more than I will ever need. I am a fairly conservative driver, but I was able to take corners even faster than I could in my Lexus GS. Body roll was minimal with no squeeling

The multi-contour seats are amazing. I was able to find the perfect setting to drive. In previous cars, that has always been a slight compromise. Adjustable side bolsters would have been nice, but this was still a high A. One slight complaint is that the adjustable head bolsters don't quite line up with the way I sit in the drivers seat.

They took away the second USB in the glovebox for drivers with Nav, so that is missed. Also, I can not comment on the Nav as BMW was not able to provide the dealer with the activation code in time. This is a BMWNA problem.

I will upload pictures as I can.

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Good review and thanks for sharing. So no indication of the new motor with 445 hp? Does the car have the updated Idrive/Navigation system?
The car does have the New Idrive/Nav system. I know this because it was the first time my dealer had seen it and could not really explain the changes.

As for the engine, there is no indication it has the 445hp motor, but honestly, I am not familiar enought with the 400hp motor to be able to tell. I could barely get the turbos moving, much less open it up. I think I averaged 10 mph on my way home.
If the engine has a valvetronic sticker then it must be the new engine.

Does it have an eco-pro mode?
Good review and thanks for sharing. So no indication of the new motor with 445 hp? Does the car have the updated Idrive/Navigation system?
On the Nav I know you have the new one, but can you please post a screenshot of the home screen to be sure.

In fact a whole bunch of photos would be great!!

Congrats on the car.
It does not have an ECO-PRO mode, nor does it have auto Stop/Start.

One thing I would say is this. With Auto Hold, do not worry about getting a stick....I could even teach my neice and nephew to drive a stick with this feature.

If you ever thought about getting a manual, but are worried about being on hills, etc, this takes that issue away. Makes me almost wish I had gotten a manual.
The manual doesn't have AUto-H does it?
It does not have an ECO-PRO mode, nor does it have auto Stop/Start.

One thing I would say is this. With Auto Hold, do not worry about getting a stick....I could even teach my neice and nephew to drive a stick with this feature.

If you ever thought about getting a manual, but are worried about being on hills, etc, this takes that issue away. Makes me almost wish I had gotten a manual.
My manual 335 already has a feature where it engages the rear brakes for 2-3 seconds when you step on the clutch. I'm sure all the modern day bmws have it.

Alan
Congrats! Thanks for the review. I'm also curious about the NAV.
Need pictures or even a video of the NAV :)

Alan
They do, but it is not the same as Auto Hold function on automatic cars. As another poster wrote, with the 6MT, the brakes hold for 2 seconds without pushing any button to engage the feature. As long as you press the brake pedal with the clutch depressed, the hold feature is active, when you subsequently release the brake pedal. If you want to roll (avoiding the feature), you need to put it in neutral, let out the clutch, then re-apply the brake until it's time to move off. What's cool is, it works in reverse too, keeping the car from rolling forward when reversing with the front facing downhill.
My manual 335 already has a feature where it engages the rear brakes for 2-3 seconds when you step on the clutch. I'm sure all the modern day bmws have it.
Just to be clear I would like to know what your window sticker says. The sticker for my 2012 550 at the top right under "Standard Features" in the first bullet describes the engine. The last line says "Double-VANOS steplessly variable valve timing". Also might be interesting - what is the fuel mileage? Mine is listed as 15/23. BTW, on two 550 mile trips recently I averaged 27.4 on both trips.
OK- new guy on the block. Picked up my 550i M Sport this morning in Dallas. From the window sticker: 4.4 liter BMW Twin Power turbo V-8, 32 valve engine with high-precision direct injection, Valvetronic and Double-Vanos steplessly variable valve timing. My CA said 440 HP engine. Fuel rating of 20mpg city and 25mpg highway. NAV system worked flawlessly on my 3 hour drive home and I will not say what my top speed was but this car is a beast. Plugged in my home address and took a different route than the original NAV setting. With each change in direction the system took less than 3 seconds to correct where I was heading and give a new route. No complaints here yet. No pull to the right. Michelin RFT's on my car. You guys will love the car when delivered.
Mine said 17 city, 25 highway, 20 combined for MPG

As for the engine:
4.4-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo V-8, 32-valve engine with high-precision direct injection, Valvetronic and Double-VANOS steplessly variable valve timing.
Mine is on the California Highway on its way to PCD. S-H, you're going to have to take the engine apart and look for Valvetronic (LOL). Seriously, it amazes me that we still don't have an answer. I doubt we will know for sure for another month, unless someone gets a mechanic to actually look at the engine, not some piece of paper.
Thanks for the review!

On my 12, with the single VANOS IIRC, after 1100 miles i have absolutely zip in terms of carbon build-up on the exhausts, unlike the N54 and N55 engines. I know, just a statement.
Exactly what I have been saying.
I doubt we will know for sure for another month, unless someone gets a mechanic to actually look at the engine, not some piece of paper.
OK- new guy on the block. Picked up my 550i M Sport this morning in Dallas. From the window sticker: 4.4 liter BMW Twin Power turbo V-8, 32 valve engine with high-precision direct injection, Valvetronic and Double-Vanos steplessly variable valve timing. My CA said 440 HP engine. Fuel rating of 20mpg city and 25mpg highway. NAV system worked flawlessly on my 3 hour drive home and I will not say what my top speed was but this car is a beast. Plugged in my home address and took a different route than the original NAV setting. With each change in direction the system took less than 3 seconds to correct where I was heading and give a new route. No complaints here yet. No pull to the right. Michelin RFT's on my car. You guys will love the car when delivered.
Mine said 17 city, 25 highway, 20 combined for MPG

As for the engine:
4.4-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo V-8, 32-valve engine with high-precision direct injection, Valvetronic and Double-VANOS steplessly variable valve timing.
Very interesting. VERY INTERESTING. Unless they screwed up the window stickers at the same time they screwed up the specs on the BMW web-site, it is beginning to look like it might have the new engine.

One thing to consider though is that earlier this year the highway rating was 25, then they downgraded it to 23. But based upon my mileage I think it should have been 25 all along because I get way over 25. In fact, I'm probably averaging 24 overall in the 5500 miles I have on my car (I do a very large mix of freeway driving).
Time to line a couple of them up! It truly is amazing that we have two owners on the forum now and we don't know what their hp is.
Mine is on the California Highway on its way to PCD. S-H, you're going to have to take the engine apart and look for Valvetronic (LOL). Seriously, it amazes me that we still don't have an answer. I doubt we will know for sure for another month, unless someone gets a mechanic to actually look at the engine, not some piece of paper.
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