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BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

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BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby blitzed400 » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:11:43 UTC

Evening, looking to spend around 13k on a motor and im very much interested in purchasing a BMW 550i, i toyed with the idea of a Mercedes E55 w211 but after extensive research my understanding is it is best to be avoided due to reliability issues. I understand BMWs are not completely reliable but im thinking a 550i is going to be a lot more reliable than an E55? and better on the pocket if things do go wrong?.

Im after some information if possible because i cant seem to find any information on what to look out for problem wise on the 550i. I take it they are no different to any other e60 5 series? or am i wrong?

So if anyone has one i would be very interested for you to share your experiences on ownership, parts and prices you have had to fork out for it or test drives? Would a 545i be a decent alternative?, 535d doesn't really interest me due to potential turbo issues, injectors, swirl flaps, plus i don't do the mileage to see the benefit of a diesel.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby garrybhoy » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 17:28:38 UTC

I currently drive a 545i and was also toying with idea of going down the 550 route, there is on paper at least very little to choose performance wise and a good spec'd 545 is no different to a good spec'd 550, there isnt any huge issues to be aware of with these cars, not that spring to mind anyway, I've had my 545 for about 16 onths and have covered 25K with no issues other than normal service items.


hope this helps

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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby blitzed400 » Wed, 27 Apr 2011 18:22:28 UTC

Cheers gary, nice motor you have there, looks like you have the spider alloys on yours which i want, covered 25k miles and no issues sounds good to me. I see yours is the SE spec are these generally better spec than a sports model? I would be looking for comfort seats ideally and if possible ventilated seats but i think that is something i will have to skip on as finding one with ventilated seats would be near impossible.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby garrybhoy » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 00:31:41 UTC

Its actually style 123's in 18" flavour in those pics,it's now sporting 19" M3 GTS Reps, my car is loaded with extra's, its basically a sport without the body kit, has sport electric heated leather, sport steering wheel, sport suspension etc etc, its been a really good car but it did take me a wee while to gel with it as I previously had an E39 540 which I must admit was a better built car, but I love my E60 now. I've been swithering on and off since January about changing it and have tried to do a few deals but was never happy with them, I should just bite the bullet and buy an M5 but the horror storys about clutches and gearboxes keep playing on my mind......I reckon no mater what you get 545 or 550 you will love it.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby Lust4Life » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 09:56:37 UTC

Mine is a fantastic car - if you're in the South East and want a ride and a proper look round just send me a PM.

Cheers,

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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby gwatson » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 10:31:17 UTC

I'll let you know on the 7th of May :) Picking up a 57 plates 550i M Sport Touring from a dealer down south... and the best bit is it's a manual !!! Can't wait. I currently have a E39 540i and E61 530d, going to combine both for the 550i, i think it'll be worth it :D

I figure it should be a very reliable car, it's not a turbo diesel and not an auto... what's to go wrong? (thankfully it has a 1 year BMW warranty).
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby manowar » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 11:29:12 UTC

Clutch and rear tyres burning out due to the drivers ability to resist "spirited" driving will be the only potential issue with this car ;)

Sounds like a wonderful car, I too would prefer a manual so long as my town driving is relatively infrequent. My dad's got a 540i which is wonderful, I can only imagine how good a 550i would be with nearly an extra 100 horses under the hood.

I'd be interested to see how the new 550i is on fuel compared to the 540i.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby gwatson » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 11:43:25 UTC

manowar wrote:I'd be interested to see how the new 550i is on fuel compared to the 540i.


I'm thinking it could be slightly better, 1 or 2mpg perhaps. I average 21.5mpg in my 540i. Combination of efficient dynamics and a manual box vs heavier car and bigger engine. We'll see, either way it's going to be an epic all rounder.

Oh and yes rear tyres may be an issue, that said, the sooner I burn up the RFT's the better :)
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby milesr3 » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 15:41:20 UTC

blitzed400 wrote:...535d doesn't really interest me due to potential turbo issues, injectors, swirl flaps, plus i don't do the mileage to see the benefit of a diesel.


As a 535d owner I can see the attraction of a relatively simple, fuel-injected natasp engine and I'd love a 550i, but I can't help but think that adding just short of a hundred quids worth of fuel every 300 miles or so would get tiresome. You'd have to be doing very very few miles at current fuel prices for a diesel not to save enough money to pay for a warranty wouldn't you? (which would be useful on a 550i too given that it's not just turbos, piezo injectors and swirl flaps that go wrong on E60s).

Just curious. Maybe I'm just too much of a 535d fan-boy, but a 330hp/660Nm remapped one that can easily return 42mpg on a steady run is a win-win in my book.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby milesr3 » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 16:36:28 UTC

Just out of curiosity, I worked out that the fuel savings of a 535d would pay for a warranty** in 9953 miles assuming an average of 25/35mpg for pre-LCI 550i/535d and an average fuel cost of 136.53p for unleaded and 142.4p (petrolprices.com).

**£630 p.a. for a BMW comprehensive warranty with £100 excess on an E60 with less than 60K.

So at less than 10K a year it does make sense to drive a big thirsty V8, which is nice.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby Harry » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 17:07:26 UTC

milesr3 wrote: Just curious. Maybe I'm just too much of a 535d fan-boy, but a 330hp/660Nm remapped one that can easily return 42mpg on a steady run is a win-win in my book.


Nothing wrong with being a fanboy. We all like what we like. This is a V8 fanboy thread and no matter what the numbers may say, some of us think you can't beat a V8. As you rightly point our subsequently, low annual miles is a big help. Comparing the cost of running an E65 730d (the twin turbo wasn't available on the E65/6) to running a 750, the pivot point for me was 60k a year. Even then it would have been a matter of how much extra I was prepared to pay to avoid the loss of on road performance and the lack of refinement.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby gwatson » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 17:16:30 UTC

Harry wrote:
milesr3 wrote: Even then it would have been a matter of how much extra I was prepared to pay to avoid the loss of on road performance and the lack of refinement.


Well said! There are some things in life you just can't put a price on, driving enjoyment with a V8 is one of them. My 530d (pre LCI) only averages 30-31mpg, I get 21.5mpg from my 540i, not enough difference to compromise.

If I had a supercar in the garage (or another trackcar) then I'd happily drive a 535d, great cars for what they are, but since I'm going down to one car then the 550i does it all.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby manowar » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 18:00:29 UTC

There's no denying that the .35d is an outstanding engine, but under the right circumstances, a 5.0 v8 could be a better option. Each one has it's pros and cons.

gwatson wrote:
manowar wrote:I'd be interested to see how the new 550i is on fuel compared to the 540i.


I'm thinking it could be slightly better, 1 or 2mpg perhaps. I average 21.5mpg in my 540i. Combination of efficient dynamics and a manual box vs heavier car and bigger engine. We'll see, either way it's going to be an epic all rounder.

Oh and yes rear tyres may be an issue, that said, the sooner I burn up the RFT's the better :)


I'm surprised that the 550i's heavier than the 540i, I doub't there'd be very much in it if that is the case.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby smorris_12 » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 18:12:30 UTC

It's funny, I'd always thought the 550i was a V12 as per the old E32/E38 750s as it seemed rather odd having both a 545 & 550 if they were the same engine configuration although, having had a google, I realise they didn't overlap.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby Harry » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 19:52:27 UTC

Yes. The model nomenclature is almost as confusing as the engine variants. And they're at it again - possibly worse. Fancy a 735d? Only if you buy a 740d. Then again why not take the 540d instead? You can't. That'll be the 535d. The 750 hasn't been a V12 since the E38 and the 740 (540) became the 745 (545), which was a 4.4 and the 750 (550) was actually a 4.8. Although the 40 is now a straight six unless it's a 35 depending on what model it's installed in.

Simple really.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby chubbm » Thu, 28 Apr 2011 20:36:49 UTC

I bought my E39 from a guy who replaced it with a new 550i saloon about 5 years ago. He liked it so much that he bought his wife a used 550i touring. Both cars have been reliable and no big bills. They are thirsty and VED is expensive for >06 cars but they are a fantastic used buy if you view them as a budget M5/alpina equivalent i.e V8 performance with a decent manual or auto box.
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby Lust4Life » Fri, 29 Apr 2011 10:49:13 UTC

Mine is a facelift and I get 26mpg average and 30mpg on a run (80ish) which I can't really complain about. I'm not exactly light-footed!

I would have bought a 535d if I'd found a good one but the 550i just came up and I couldn't resist - I was tempted by an M5 but <20mpg really is awful :(

Cheers,

Phil
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Re: BMW 550i opinions, advice please?

Postby blitzed400 » Thu, 19 May 2011 19:30:43 UTC

Cheers guys, should have one in the next week or two, now need to sort an after market warranty, any advice or best company to opt for?
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