Not everyone wants, or can afford, a full-blown BMW M5, and for those people, the Bavarian carmaker offers the M550 xDrive, the only other V8-engined 5-Series in the range.
Officially the 2021 M550 xDrive is also a member of BMW’s M Performance model range, which is how BMW designates the next best thing to a proper M model.
Power comes from a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 producing 523 HP (530 PS) and 553 lb-ft (750 Nm) of torque paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive. That’s enough firepower to send this non-M 5-Series to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 3.8 seconds, which, let’s face it, sounds more than enough poke for the vast majority of road users.
The recent facelift of the 5-Series has also introduced subtle refinements to its design which actually make it look better than before, something that cannot be said about most new BMW models these days. The interior has also been updated and now features an up to 12.3-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, in addition to a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and premium quality materials pretty much everywhere you look.
Thanks to the optional adaptive M Sport suspension, the 2021 M550i xDrive can offer good levels of comfort on bumpy roads with the dampers slackened off and excellent body control with them firmed up and combined with the active anti-roll bars. It certainly offers a more comfortable ride compared to the M5.
Add to that the tons of grip from the standard all-wheel-drive system and an engine that has power everywhere and it’s no wonder why Carwow thinks that the M550i is good enough to become a more comfortable alternative to the M5.