Review: 2022 BMW M550i xDrive

The 2022 BMW M550i xDrive maintains its comfort-accessible performance balance, supported by a powerful V8 and tastefully designed exhaust notes. The 5 Series sports sedan is designed for the discerning driver who prefers a little more flavor than the standard 540i but does not need the rigid and shouty ride of an M5. It surprisingly does a better job of striking that delicate balance than the Audi S7, Mercedes-AMG E43, and even more expensive rivals like the Maserati Ghibli Trofeo.

You can refer to the M550i as the "poor man's M5" or the "M5 Lite," but there is no denying its exceptional value. You can get a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 with 523 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque by coughing up $89,990. Its use in Range Rover models by Land Rover is further evidence that it is an extremely efficient powertrain. An 8-speed automatic transmission, which consistently sets the bar for the segment and provides incredibly smooth shifts, runs the show. The M550i has all-wheel drive exclusively, just like the M5, but its front axle cannot be disconnected for drifting maneuvers.

We all know that BMW is always conservative with their estimates, so we anticipate the M550i to easily keep up with dedicated sports cars. Pin the gas and you will reach 0-100 km/h in a scant 3.8 seconds. However, on suburban roads, 523 horsepower is more than sufficient for any driver to facilitate and manage, and pressing the accelerator hard reveals its surefootedness and tremendous four-wheel traction.

The adaptive suspension is excellent, erring on the side of comfort so that you feel like you're riding on a cloud as you push the limits, and is supported by a damper setup that gracefully and easily avoids bumps and broken pavement. Body roll is noticeable when you throw it into corners, and it's at this point that you realize the M550i isn't as aggressive or performance-oriented as the M5. However, the gain of leniency and comfort should be a trade-off that many are willing to make, especially if it's being considered as a daily companion expected to travel hundreds of kilometers.

There isn't a dedicated exhaust button here, unlike other M models, but Sport Mode accomplishes the same thing. Compared to the M5, there are fewer annoying burbles and pops when the throttle is overrun, but the engine still roars as a V8 war drum should. The sleek design and features of our M550i test car are also something we adore. It has a matte Frozen Deep Grey paint job that costs $4,900, 20-inch wheels with a low profile, and new BMW roundel badges that commemorate BMW M's 50th anniversary and cost $300. Without the visual embellishment and vibrant flourish that typically adorn M cars, you could even call it a sinister sleeper spec.

The 2022 M550i's center console layout and switchgear are older, but we actually prefer them to the newer, thinner models found in the 3 and 4 Series. There is less ambiguity when you depress the switchgear because the knobs and rotary dial in the M550i feel much larger and heavier. We have this problem with the newer models, but the button resistance is much more positive so there is no ambiguity as to whether it acknowledged your input or not.

Despite being entirely digital, the driver's gauges are still nonlinear and challenging to read. The layout is effectively reduced to only show the speedometer reading and gear position when in "Reduced Mode," which we have discovered in the display settings. A simple click on the edge of the signal stalk will momentarily bring up the full screen information for a brief glance. It is cleaner and easier on the eyes, reminding us of Saab's "Night Mode."

Many people are quick to claim that the BMW M550i is the superior, more practical, daily-driving M5, and in many ways they are right. However, you must also keep in mind that they are aiming at slightly different audiences. The M550i sits at the top of the pyramid and is obviously geared toward those seeking a more mature and professional sports sedan. The M5 is superior in every way when it comes to all-out performance, but if you're trying to find a balance between accessible power and driver enjoyment, the M550i slots itself at the top of the pyramid. Though it's not a full M product, do not worry. Still the real deal, the M550i.


  • Model: 2022 BMW M550i xDrive
  • Paint Type: Frozen Deep Grey
  • Base Price: $89,990
  • Price as Tested: $110,740
  • Wheelbase(mm): 2,975
  • Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,943 / 1,868 / 1,467
  • Curb weight (kg): 2,058
  • Engine: 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8
  • Horsepower: 523 hp @ 5,500 rpm
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 1,800 - 4,600 rpm
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
  • Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 14.2
  • Tires: Pirelli P Zero

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