2008 BMW 550i 4.8 Sedan



  • Year: 2008
  • Make: BMW
  • Model: 550i
  • Trim: 4.8
  • Bodystyle: Sedan
  • Doors: 4 Door
  • Mileage: 133,738 miles
  • Engine: 4.8L V8 F DOHC 32V / REAR WHEEL DRIVE
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive Line: Rear-wheel Drive
  • Fuel Type: Regular Unleaded
  • Exterior Color: Silver
  • Interior Color: Gray
  • VIN: WBANW53548CT48450
  • Model Code: 0853
  • Stock #: 11444A

Fuel Efficiency Rating

City MPG:
Hwy MPG:

Actual rating will vary with options, driving conditions, habits and vehicle condition.

Included Packages

Navigation System
  • Real Time Traffic Information
Cold Weather Package
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • 3-Stage Heated Front Seats
  • Retractable Headlight Washers
  • Comments:

    Leather / Heated Seating 
    Xenon Headlamps 
    2008 BMW 550I
    SEDAN 4 DR 4.8L V8 F DOHC 32V

    2008 BMW 550
    The last-generation 5-Series served with profit-producing distinction for BMW from 1997 to 2003, so when the all-new 2004 model arrived, expectations were high. It delivered. There were some criticisms -- the mildly peculiar styling, the anti-intuitive "iDrive" joystick controller that made simple functions such as changing radio stations a multistep process -- but overall, the car has been a success.

    For 2008, it was time for an update, and as these midcycle makeovers go, this one is moderately extensive. We have new front and rear styling -- inarguably an improvement at both ends -- a revised interior, a couple of new engines, and a substantial number of mostly unseen tweaks and general refinements that make the 2008 5-Series a genuine improvement over the 2007.

    For '08, BMW has replaced the 525i and 530i with the 528i and 535i. The 550i remains. Though the United States still doesn't get the diesel engines that power half the 5-Series models in Europe -- we should get at least one BMW diesel-powered model next year, though -- the 5-Series does get a neat 300-horsepower, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder from the 335i. That engine goes in the 535i; the 528i gets a 3.0-liter six-cylinder without turbos, meaning it's the lowest-powered 5-Series at 230 horsepower. That's certainly better than the 2004 525i, which had just 184 horsepower.

    You can get the 528i and 535i as sedans or wagons. All-wheel-drive versions of the 528i and 535i sedans, and the 535i wagon, are also available -- those would be the 528xi and 535xi.

    The 528i's revised inline-six-cylinder engine has 230 horsepower, 15 more than 2007. The 550i engine is a 4.8-liter V-8 with 360 horsepower, the same as last year.

    I've driven a couple of 2008 5-Series models, but I spent most of my time in a 550i with a six-speed manual transmission. The 550i comes only as a rear-wheel-drive sedan; no all-wheel-drive or wagon version is offered. As nice as BMW's twin-turbo six-cylinder is, this V-8 is profoundly satisfying, with a wonderful exhaust note under acceleration that sounds as though it should come from an American muscle car.

    The biggest surprise with the 550i is one of those unseen improvements: Gone is the grabby clutch that made it difficult to execute a smooth standing start -- finally, the clutch and transmission feel exactly right. For those who prefer not to shift for themselves, a six-speed automatic transmission is offered for the same price. This may be the first time I've preferred the manual over the automatic on the 5-Series.

    Since this is a 2008 model, its window sticker uses the new EPA mileage rating system, which better reflects real-world driving. The test car was EPA rated at 15 mpg city, 22 mpg on the highway. This same engine and transmission was rated at 17 mpg city, 24 mpg highway in 2007. Premium gas is preferred.

    Inside, the 5-Series cockpit feels familiar, but compared side-by-side with a 2007 model, there have been some substantial changes. Remaining is the iDrive, which uses a cookie-sized joystick located in the center console to control multiple functions. Critics, me included, have hammered BMW over the iDrive, but this one does seem a little easier to navigate than previous versions. BMW has added more and more conventional controls to the climate and sound systems that eliminate having to deal with iDrive.

    Seats are typically German -- firm, with good lumbar support -- designed for effortless cruising. Rear-seat room is more than adequate for two adults, passable for three.

    On the road, the 5-Series feels pretty much as it did last year, which is not surprising since there wasn't much updating done, or needed, on the suspension. BMW, better than any manufacturer, manages to blend crisp handling with a smooth ride, and the 550i is no exception. If I had to hop in a new car and drive cross-country tomorrow, the 5-Series would be on the short list of preferred vehicles.

    As you would expect, even the least expensive 5-Series model (which happens to be the 528i, starting at $44,300) comes with plenty of safety equipment, including stability control, traction control, active cruise control (it uses radar to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you), rain-sensing wipers, adaptive brake lights (the more "urgent" the braking, the larger and brighter the brake light area becomes), antilock brakes and even "brake drying," which senses when the brakes get wet, and applies just enough pressure to dry them off.

    The 550i test car represented the upper end of the lineup, with a base price of $58,500. The tester had quite a few options on top of that, including a cold weather package ($750) that added heated seats, steering wheel and headlight washers; a $4,600 sport package that gets you upgraded wheels and tires, a stiffer suspension, a sport steering wheel, an active suspension, some body trim and several other features; a navigation system ($1,900), an upgraded stereo ($1,200) and several other features than brought the price, with shipping, to $69,820. Feature for feature, that's pretty close to 2007 prices -- which is not to suggest that it's cheap.

    The 550i isn't, however, the most expensive or most powerful 5-Series model -- that distinction goes to the M5, which has a 5.0-liter, 500-horsepower V-10 engine. The 2008 M5 starts at $82,900, but save some money for gasoline, as mileage is EPA-rated at 11 mpg city driving, 17 mpg highway, making it thirsty enough to get socked with a $3,000 federal "gas-guzzler" tax.

    Clearly BMW is working hard to maintain the 5-Series as the template for the mid-sized premium category, but it's facing its toughest competition ever. The new 2008 Cadillac CTS is a strong contender, as are the Infiniti M, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS, Acura TL and Audi A6. Sources within BMW wonder if the freshening for the 2008 model went far enough -- some within the company would have liked to see more dramatic exterior changes because, after all, this model needs to carry the 5-Series for at least three more years before an all-new model is ready.

    In the first six months of 2007, BMW sold 23,807 copies of the 5-Series, down about 4,000 from the same period in 2006. With the 2008 models just now reaching the market, we'll see soon enough how the customers feel about the makeover. 

Included Packages

Navigation System
  • Real Time Traffic Information
Cold Weather Package
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • 3-Stage Heated Front Seats
  • Retractable Headlight Washers

Additional Options

  • Power Sunroof
  • Intermittent Wipers
  • Power Windows
  • CD player
  • Power Adjustable Seat
  • Tilt Steering
  • Center Arm Rest
  • Power Steering
  • Alloy Wheels
  • Power Seat
  • Climate Control
  • Premium Audio
  • Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS)
  • Trip Odometer
  • Xenon Headlights
  • Power Brakes
  • Power Door Locks
  • Cruise Control
  • Power Mirrors
  • All Wheel Drive
  • Cup Holder
  • Power-Assist Disc Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Traction Control System
  • Heated Seats
  • Engine: 4.8L 32 Valve V8 Valvetronic
  • Active Cruise Control
  • Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic w/STEPTRONIC
Convenience Features
  • Steering wheel mounted A/C controls
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Air conditioning
  • Garage door transmitter
  • Front beverage holders
  • Speed control
  • Illuminated entry
  • Telescoping steering wheel
  • Rear beverage holders
  • Power windows
  • Passenger door bin
  • Power moonroof
  • 1-touch down
  • Driver vanity mirror
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Auto tilt-away steering wheel
  • Rear door bins
  • Front dual zone A/C
  • Steering wheel memory
  • Memory seat
  • Residual heat recirculation
  • Head restraints memory
  • Automatic temperature control
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Passenger vanity mirror
  • Driver door bin
  • Rear air conditioning
  • Emergency communication system
  • 1-touch up
Entertainment Features
  • Diversity antenna
  • Radio data system
  • Wireless phone connectivity
  • Weather band radio
  • AM/FM radio
  • MP3 decoder
  • 1st row LCD monitors: 1
  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls
  • CD player
Seats and Trim
  • Genuine wood door panel insert
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Power passenger seat
  • Front center armrest
  • Genuine wood console insert
  • Leather shift knob
  • Max seating capacity: 5
  • Rear seats: bench
  • Front seats: bucket
  • Genuine wood dashboard insert
  • Leather upholstery
  • Power driver seat
  • Rear seat center armrest
Specs and Dimensions
  • Compression ratio: 10.50 to 1
  • Engine horsepower: 360hp @ 6,300RPM
  • Front headroom: 958mm (37.7")
  • Rear legroom: 914mm (36.0")
  • Payload: 500kg (1,102lbs)
  • Turning radius: 5.7m (18.7')
  • Passenger volume: 2,806L (99.1 cu.ft.)
  • Exterior height: 1,468mm (57.8")
  • Front shoulder room: 1,455mm (57.3")
  • Wheelbase: 2,888mm (113.7")
  • Exterior body width: 1,847mm (72.7")
  • Engine bore x stroke: 93.0mm x 88.3mm (3.66" x 3.48")
  • Rear headroom: 963mm (37.9")
  • Front legroom: 1,054mm (41.5")
  • Interior maximum cargo volume: 396 L (14 cu.ft.)
  • Exterior length: 4,854mm (191.1")
  • Engine displacement: 4.8 L
  • Engine torque: 360 lb.-ft. @ 3,400RPM
  • Rear shoulder room: 1,453mm (57.2")
  • Interior cargo volume: 396 L (14 cu.ft.)
Body Exterior
  • Door mirrors: body-color
  • Auto-dimming door mirrors
  • Power door mirrors
  • Bumpers: body-color
  • Heated door mirrors
  • Fuel economy city: 15mpg
  • Horsepower: 360hp @ 6,300RPM
  • Fuel economy highway: 22mpg
  • Variable valve control
  • Engine liters: 4.8
  • Sequential multi-point fuel injection
  • Fuel tank capacity: 18.5gal.
  • Cylinder configuration: V-8
  • Engine location: front
  • Recommended fuel: premium unleaded
  • Torque: 360 lb.-ft. @ 3,400RPM
  • Variable intake manifold
  • Drive type: rear-wheel
  • Number of valves: 32
Safety and Security
  • Traction control
  • Brake assist
  • Electronic stability
  • Adjustable head restraints: driver and passenger w/tilt
  • Occupant sensing airbag
  • Dual front impact airbags
  • Power adjustable front head restraints
  • ABS brakes
  • Security system
  • Dual front side impact airbags
  • Anti-whiplash front head restraints
  • 4 wheel disc brakes
  • Panic alarm
  • Overhead airbag
  • Ignition disable
  • Speed-sensing steering
  • Four wheel independent suspension
  • Rear anti-roll bar
  • Front anti-roll bar
  • Power steering
  • Alloy wheels
Lighting, Visibility and Instrumentation
  • Tachometer
  • Fully automatic headlights
  • Trip computer
  • Delay-off headlights
  • Variably intermittent wipers
  • Parking sensors: front and rear
  • Rear window defroster
  • Low tire pressure warning
  • Speed sensitive wipers
  • Outside temperature display
  • High intensity discharge headlights
  • Rain sensing wipers
  • Front fog lights
  • Front reading lights
  • Rear reading lights
* While every reasonable effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information, we are not responsible for any errors or omissions contained on these pages. Please verify any information in question with Ramsey Corp..
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