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2009 BMW 550 Sedan - Overview

Research another 5-Series:

$60,400 – $60,400 MSRP

$55,750 – $55,750 Invoice

15 / 22 MPG City/Hwy

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2009 BMW 550 Sedan

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Overview

What Changed for 2009:

  • Minor updates for 2009
  • First aid kit removed from standard equipment
  • Green band windshield deleted
  • Redesigned standard 17-inch wheels on some models
Overview
The BMW 5 Series is a midsize luxury sport sedan that has been in production since 1972. Now in its fifth generation, the 5-passenger 5 Series is available as a 4-door sedan and a 5-door sport wagon. Slotted in size between the compact BMW 3 Series and full-size BMW 7 Series, the 5 Series is offered with a choice of efficient 6-cylinder engines or a powerful 8-cylinder powerplant. A unique feature of the 5 Series is its available manual transmission-it is one of the few models in its class to offer a standard transmission in the U.S. market. The 5 Series was significantly updated, including a mid-cycle facelift, in 2008. With an all-new model just over the horizon, it continues mostly unchanged for 2009.

BMW provides a 4-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty and a 4-year/unlimited mileage membership in the BMW Assist Safety Plan. The BMW Maintenance Program includes all factory-recommended maintenance items for the first 4 years/50,000 miles of ownership.

Model Lineup
There are six different BMW 5 Series models for 2009: 528i, 528i xDrive, 535i, 535i xDrive, 550i, and the 535i xDrive Sports Wagon. All 528i models have a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder powerplant while all 535i models are equipped with a twin-turbo 3.0-liter engine. The range-topping 550i is fitted with a 4.8-liter V-8 engine. The 6-cylinder models are available with BMW's permanent all-wheel-drive system called xDrive. All-wheel drive is standard on the 535i xDrive Sports Wagon.

All 2009 BMW 5 Series models are equipped with a long list of standard features. These include power windows, power locks, automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, and automatic climate control. BMW has grouped many of the popular options into packages. The Sport package adds a sport suspension, sport steering wheel, sport seats, 18-inch wheels and tires, active roll stabilization, and more. The Premium package adds such options as upgraded leather upholstery, auto-dimming mirrors, lumbar support and dual power seats. The Cold Weather package adds heated seats, heated steering wheel and a ski bag. Stand-alone options include active steering; adaptive Xenon headlamps; adaptive cruise control; night vision; on-board DVD-based navigation; Logic 7 premium sound; satellite radio; and an iPod adapter (some stand-alone options are standard on the flagship 550i).

The 550i offers an optional Sport Automatic transmission that includes steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters and rpm matching during downshifts. In addition, it includes a sport button for more dynamic shifting, according to BMW. The 550i Sport model also features an aerodynamics package, 19-inch staggered-width wheels, and performance-oriented tires.

Powertrain
BMW offers a choice of three different engines on the 2009 5 Series. The standard engine on the 528i and 528i xDrive is a normally aspirated 3.0-liter 6-cylinder rated at 230 hp and 200 lb.-ft. of torque (EPA fuel-economy ratings of 18 mpg city/27 mpg highway with the automatic transmission). The 535i, 535i xDrive, and 535i xDrive Sports Wagon share a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine rated at 300 hp and 300 lb.-ft. of torque (EPA fuel-economy ratings of 17 mpg city/26 mpg highway). The 550i sedan is fitted with a powerful 4.8-liter 8-cylinder engine that is rated at 360 hp and 360 lb.-ft. of torque (EPA fuel-economy ratings of 15 mpg city/23 mpg highway). All models are offered with a standard 6-speed manual transmission, or an optional Steptronic electronically controlled 6-speed automatic transmission.

The 2009 BMW 5 Series sedan and wagon feature standard rear-wheel drive. BMW xDrive is offered on all models except for the 550i (xDrive is a full-time system that utilizes electronic controls to vary front/rear torque split and traction control to offer optimal traction and control under varied road conditions). Depending on model, standard wheels are either 17- or 18-inch aluminum alloy, with 19-inch aluminum wheels optional. Run-flat tires and a tire-pressure-monitoring system are standard features on all 5 Series vehicles. All 5 Series models feature a fully independent suspension with disc brakes front and rear.

Safety
All 2009 BMW 5 Series models include dual front air bags with dual-threshold deployment and 2-stage smart air bags protecting the driver and front passenger. Side air bags and a front- and rear-seat head protection system offer additional protection to occupants. Front and outboard rear seat belts feature automatic pre-tensioners. Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren (LATCH) attachments for infant and child seats are standard at outboard rear seating positions. The extensive list of standard electronic safety aids includes anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). DSC includes BMW's versions of electronic brake proportioning, cornering brake stability enhancement, Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Fade Compensation, Brake Standby, Dynamic Traction Control, and Start-off Assistant. The AWD models include Hill Descent Control. In addition, BMW Assist, BMW's in-car telematics offering, is standard for 2009 models.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2009 BMW 5 Series with side air bags received 3 stars in frontal crash testing for the driver and 5 stars (the agency's highest rating) for the front passenger. It also received 5-star side-impact scores for both front- and rear-seat occupants. The 5 Series received 4 stars for rollover resistance. The wagon received the identical ratings from the NHTSA. The 2004-2008 BMW 5 Series has also been crash tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). They rated the 5 Series "Good" (the Institute's highest rating) in their frontal offset test and "Marginal" in their side-impact testing.

Technology
The 2009 BMW 5 Series is offered with an optional lane-departure warning system. The system utilizes a camera mounted on the vehicle's windshield-near the rearview mirror-to monitor the vehicle's lane position at all times at speed. If the vehicle begins to drift out of its current lane (without the driver activating the blinkers), the steering wheel is gently vibrated as an alert. Another innovative optional feature is Active Cruise Control. It was upgraded for 2008 with a new stop-and-go feature which allows the system to be utilized in heavy traffic as well as highway cruising. Active Cruise Control utilizes radar sensors to scan the road ahead. If the 5 Series approaches a slower vehicle, the system will automatically reduce power and apply the brakes. If the vehicle is brought to a complete stop, a simple touch of the throttle is all that is required to reactivate the cruise control.

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