2008 550

Consumer Reviews
2008 BMW 550

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4.6 out of 5 stars

4.6

31 Reviews
2008 BMW 550
4.6 out of 5 starsComfort
4.7 out of 5 starsPerformance
4.6 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4.3 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4.3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4.6 out of 5 starsReliability
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What Drivers Are Saying

1 - 10 of 31 reviews

5 out of 5 stars

550i Sport

by BMW Fan from Ann Arbor, MI on July 31, 2011

I've previously owned a '97 540i and and 2001 540i M-sport. The changes from those E39 models to the E60 550i Sport are tremendous, and mostly for the better. Ride quality and handling have both been improved, which is normally tough to do. I credit some of that to the 550i Sport having Active Roll control (amazing how flat this keeps the car in corners) and non-run-flat tires. Rear seat and trunk space have both been improved, keeping the 5-series on par with it's competitors. The 19" wheels and M5-style bodywork on the 550i Sport make the E60 body style look much better in my opinion, but it is still not what one would call a beautiful car. It is distinctive, just not a design that will be revered years from now. I could not afford a new 550, but the BMW CPO program is great and really makes it practical to get a great car for a great price. For the number of miles I drive per year (30K+) it really doesn't make sense to get a new car anyway, so why not avoid the first and second year depreciation and get an awesome car still under warranty and maintenance coverage? Other thoughts: The sport automatic is ok 95% of the time, but the other 5% it tries to be too smart for its own good. I'm sure my mileage would be better with a manual transmission, but E60 manuals with the options I wanted were very rare, so I settled for the automatic. Next time, I will try for a manual again. Active cruise control is surprisingly useful for stop & go traffic (and note it's not available with a manual trans). Logic 7 audio with USB connection is a must-have. Night Vision is neat technology, and it works, but it's luck if you happen to see a deer on the screen before seeing it in the headlights. Perhaps in heavy fog it would be more useful. Heads-up display is very nice to have, especially with the active cruise and navigation info displayed there too. I have the standard light-colored headliner, but wish I had the anthracite headliner option - should be standard with the black and natural brown interiors. Oh, and don't be scared of Active Steering either - it really is quite seamless in normal driving, but you really get spoiled with the quick steering at parking lot speeds. If you're considering a 5-series, I hope this is useful.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

25 out of 25 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Much better than the 1st Bangle 5

by LexIcon from St. Paul, Minnesota on October 10, 2007

Either the styling has grown on me or the '08 tweaks have matured this car out of its awkward adolescence." When the new 545 debuted three years ago I bought one primarily for the performance. And it certainly performed. The rock-hard seats, the Camry-ish yet blase appearance, and the raft of niggling problems did nothing to diminish my overall enthusiasm. It was fast. It STUCK to the road. It felt solid and sure. I have 1,500 miles on my new '08 550i and can happily report that not only have the defects been rectified but performance, if possible, enhanced. The extra 35 HP is certainly welcome although the extra-low profile 19" Continental tires do not seem as sticky as the old Dunlops. Perhaps they will last longer. The seats have been vastly improved; they are actually comfortable with much softer leather and the 20-way "comfort seat" option has side bolsters that lock you in with almost Recaro-like grip -- yet open up when you shut the car off. The overall look, I think, has been vastly improved. The front gaping maw below the kidneys and the protruding foglamps make the car look as aggressive as it performs. Nice job BMW. A couple other notes: Get the active steering. I had it in my 545 and don't in this car. I miss it. Although this option has been panned by the press it greatly improve the car's responsiveness. Too bad it's not part of the Sport package any more. The iDrive-iPod control works great! After you buy this car make sure to get snow tires if you will ever encounter snow. I got stuck in 1" of powder in a flat parking lot here in Minnesota.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

15 out of 15 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Perfection...for now

by Very happy owner from Milwaukee, WI on February 6, 2010

I've owned my 2008 550 for almost a year and have become a BMW convert. My previous two cars were a MB S500 AMG and Audi A6 4.2. This car performs better, looks better, has a more sophisticated interior and is WAY more reliable. I get a thrill every time I take it for a ride. I added snow tires this winter and can enjoy it year round. This car has peaked my interest in an M5 which is likely to be my next car.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

13 out of 13 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

The best 5-series ever

by Pete from Great Neck, NY on July 3, 2007

I have owned 3 different 5 series BMW's in my life and this one is the best by far!!! Awe-inspiring performance, elegent and refined interior, and punch you in the face exterior styling.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

What a Great Ride

by Vickslaw from Vicksburg, MS on March 26, 2011

Got the 550i with M Sport package. By far the finest car I've ever owned. Really hot looks. No lie, it's really "the ultimate driving machine.". It corners like nothing I've ever experienced. Power is phenomenal - not like big American V-8 but a highly tuned sports car V-8. All the techno gadgets you could ask for. Build quality is excellent - true German engineering. Couldn't recommend more highly.

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

10 out of 10 people found this review helpful. Did you?

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5 out of 5 stars

Just put 1700 miles on it in Europe

by BMW convert from Rhode Island on September 27, 2007

I've only driven it for 9 days - but love almost everything about it! Expensive but the absolute best in driver seat comfort (20-way upgraded seats) and driving experience. HUD - absolutely awesome, esp. w/NAV system Active Cruise Control - almost a "must-have", works great even in stop&go traffic! iDrive - much improved over previous years, voice commands are great too Power & handling - unrivalled except in cars costing >$100K Winter driving: plan to get snow tires if needed since no AWD available and 19" tires are low-profile

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
4 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
3 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Perfect enthusiast's family car

by Jetset from Vancouver, BC on April 5, 2011

I've driven a myriad of higher end sports and imports over the past 25 years, this is by far the best all around experience yet. The most comfortable and adjustable seats in any car and the M Sport, Premium and Tech packages will keep me amused for some time yet. Following a learning curve of maybe 30 minutes, the iDrive system is fantastic. The iPod mated Logic 7 sound system is incredible. No issues in my first four months, surprisingly good fuel economy for a growling V8. Plenty of power, an incredibly responsive auto stick with rev matching downshifts and sublime handling for lone ridge running to and from town -- yet completely unobtrusive to my wife, kids and neighbors in family service. Even the head turning, stirring exhaust notes seem to hide away under the car somewhere on my final approach into suburbia. Bought mine certified with a spotless history for less than I imagined and couldn't be happier. Dealer delivery was impeccable, car was reconditioned to factory specs and delivered as new. Against comparable 8 cylinder sedans and coupes I tested, the 550i put the biggest smile on my face, yet left the most money in my wallet. So happy in fact, I now look forward to surfing cars.com for a good pre-owned 2011 550i in 2014! Only drawback for me is a lack of interior storage in the '08, but I note that BMW seems to be addressing that now...

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

Sports Car for the Mature Guy?

by Mlab from MS Gulf Coast on April 14, 2014

I've driven Nissan Z's and Corvettes my entire adult life. Enjoyed those cars. Bought the '08 550i a year ago because the wife didn't allow me enough seat time in her 535i we had bought for her several months earlier. My 30-year-old son and I made the 250 mile trip to trade in the Lexus SUV and pick up the 550i. What a ride! We both thoroughly enjoyed the trip home. Fast forward to a year later, this car (fully optioned, except for cold weather package) puts a smile on my face every time I back out of the garage. It has ample power, luxury, handling and looks. The only drawbacks I can think of include bad cup holder design, lack of interior storage and the cost of any needed repairs and/or parts. I would advise anyone buying a used BMW to be sure to include a warranty with your purchase. I love driving this car; however, after driving the noticeably bigger 2011 550i I am seriously considering purchasing a "previously cared for" 2011. I had the occasion to drive a 2011 model for 2 weeks and really enjoyed the comfort level. This is my second bmw but probably not my last.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
4 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Just getting around

Does recommend this car!!

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5 out of 5 stars

dream

by pitt pa from pittsburgh pa on October 19, 2010

If you like comfortable, sporty and cool car, there is nothing like bmw 550i. Very luxurious, fast and reliable. Highly recommended!!!

5 out of 5 starsComfort
5 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
5 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
5 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a Used car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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4 out of 5 stars

German GT

by The Car Guy from Marietta, GA on May 18, 2011

Excellent handling for a four door sedan. Comfortable but sporty and fun to drive. The V8 has substantial power in reserve, but the downshifts are delayed when not in sport mode. All of the extras you would expect from a luxury sedan such as blue tooth, navigation, MP3, and CD. The car is very complicated and electronic gremlins can create problems. Overall, an excellent car with great driving characteristics.

4 out of 5 starsComfort
4 out of 5 starsPerformance
5 out of 5 starsExterior Styling
5 out of 5 starsInterior Design
4 out of 5 starsValue for the Money
4 out of 5 starsReliability

Purchased a New car

Uses car for Commuting

Does recommend this car!!

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Our Expert Review: 2008 BMW 550