The 2012 BMW 550i Gran Turismo created a new luxury niche somewhere between a wagon and a crossover. It features a smooth and powerful engine, roomy and upscale cabin, nifty dual-access rear hatch, and sublime seats.
This rear wheel drive Gran Turismo comes with a turbocharged 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 cranking out 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic with manual shift control. In performance testing, the 550i GT accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a brisk 5.4 seconds. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 15/22/18 mpg.
The GT's cabin is up to 7 Series standards, with nearly every surface adorned with supple leather, rich wood trim and textured plastic. BMW's latest-generation iDrive system is standard, offering a well-designed interface for the navigation and entertainment functions. The front seats easily accommodate larger folk and offer seemingly endless seat adjustments, while the rears are just as comfortable.
Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights with washers, foglamps, auto-dimming and heated exterior mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, 14-way "multicontour" front seats, driver memory settings, and sliding, reclining and split-folding rear seats.
Also standard are Bluetooth, BMW's iDrive electronics interface and a 12-speaker sound system with HD radio, a CD player and an iPod/USB interface, a rearview camera and navigation with voice recognition, real-time traffic and online information services.
Safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The brakes also feature brake fade compensation, hill-hold and brake-drying functions.