The Mid-Range BMW for the Midgrade Businessman – 2011 BMW 550i Review

Some things are ahead of their time: iPhones with the black rectangular design, Nickola tesla and his inventions, or Da Vinci for a plethora of reasons. The fourth item on that list should be the 2011 BMW 550i. The 550i’s sleek design will really make you question what year it is.


The 2011 BMW 550i has a 4.4L twin turbo charged V8, and 8 speed automatic transmission. This engine setup isn’t anything new here in 2019, but for 2011 that’s a big deal. What else is a big deal? The power. The V8 delivers 400hp, which is nothing to thumb your nose at. What packs a bigger punch is the torque, of which you get 450 pound feet of. The automatic transmission shifts confidently, like a businessman talking to a client of thirty years. And that’s what the 550i is good for: the businessman. I’ll expand on this later on.


The interior is plush and full of gadgets, of course. My favorite part of the infotainment system is the screen that comes up when you shift between driving modes. Comfort mode is described as comfortable suspension settings, and highlights parts of the car on the screen in blue. Flip it to sport plus and all of the sudden Hades has torched the BMW on screen, dressing it in red to remind you that sport plus is no place to mess around. The rest of the interior is pretty standard BMW. Plush seats, adequate climate controls, and loads of room for the rear passengers. What isn’t super common for BMWs is the rear sunshade which can be drawn and retracted at a push of a button. I had way too much fun playing with this feature.


I mentioned earlier that the BMW 550i was ahead of its time. Take a glance at the car and odds are you would guess it was newer than 2011. I surly did. That is why it is perfect for the average businessman. No, not the millionaire businessman, he would own a 7 series and have a driver. It’s also not for the struggling businessman, as his 2007 Toyota Camry is paid off and still gets him to work. No, the 550i is for the middle businessman. Someone who has felt the success, but can’t be found in Forbes magazine. The 550i is rather understated in terms of modern luxury. It looks sharp and has killer looks, but won’t grab unwanted attention: attention you probably can’t quite afford yet. That being said the middle isn’t the worst. You don’t have to handle millions of dollars going in and out, nor do you have to scrape by for cash. That is what the 550i is. The grass will always be greener on the other side, but at least your current “grass” has heated seats and twin turbos.


Written by Zack Pradel