2 December 2020

Used Car Review: BMW 550i GT (2011)

When you hear the term ‘hatchback’, it sometimes conjures up visions of a small budget car, but the BMW 550i GT is nothing of the sort. This is, for all intents and purposes, an exquisite parlor on wheels.

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BMW 550i GT (2011)
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BMW 550i GT (2011)
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BMW 550i GT (2011)
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BMW 550i GT (2011)
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BMW 550i GT (2011)
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BMW 550i GT (2011)

Between 2010 and 2011 this lavish V8 hatch would set you back an astonishing $194,900, and at the time it was a bold move on BMW’s part to produce such a car. But was there ever really a demand for such an opulent hatch?

Standout from the crowd

The front of the vehicle possesses classic five series styling with its signature BMW kidney grill. Long, flowing accent lines run the length of the car and also across the long bonnet - these styling cues culminate in a swept back look. Glossy 20-inch black performance alloy wheels also create a sharp contrast to the fresh white paintwork.

The BMW 550i GT is rather large at 4998 mm long and 1901mm wide, and the rear of the vehicle has an increased track width of 15mm over the front, giving the coupe a rather stocky appearance from the back.     

Interior Swagger

The interior of this BMW is nice and luxurious, as you would expect. From the moment you step into the cabin, you’re welcomed with premium Nappa leather electric seats, which are both heated and ventilated on each side. Between these front seats is a large storage compartment with two generously-sized cup holders. Interestingly, an elongated tray ejects from the dashboard and is a great space for storing your phone or sunglasses.

The electrics are advanced for a model of this year, even the rear seats can be adjusted backwards and forward, and also recline to help pamper the rear passengers. There’s also quad zone air conditioning, allowing driver and passenger ultimate comfort, and if this wasn’t enough, there’s even electronic blinds that pop out of the door panels for added privacy.

In the front, the instrument panel is crisp with conventional dials and three simple digital displays below the gauges. Despite the fact the car offers the driver a smorgasbord of information, it still manages to maintain a clean look.

As typical in most BMW models of this year, rich dark wood grain finishing adorns the dashboard and side panels, with other areas of accent paneling sporting glossy deep grey paneling.

The high-definition 10.2-inch colour infotainment system and 16-speaker sound system still work fantastically nine years later. The system also includes a bird’s eye view that makes tricky parking easier

There’s an unusual loading arrangement in the rear with a split two door system. The central release handle allows you to open a smaller boot, which is perfect for loading just some smaller items. If you press the boot release on the right side, it opens up the full hatch. Loading capacity behind the back seat is 450 litres of luggage room, which is perfect to fit in a couple of sets of golf clubs.

Punchy Performance

The BMW 550i GT packs 300kW of power and 600Nm of torque. The 4.4L twin-turbo V8 sprints from to 100km/h in just 5.5 seconds flat, and has a combined fuel consumption rating quoted at 11.2L/100km. The rear wheels are driven through a robust eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.

It is also practical in terms of pulling power, with 750kg unbraked and 2100kg braked towing ratings. Although it’s not a 4x4, the 550i GT is more than suitable for towing your beloved jet ski, or even a caravan along on your next roadie.

You can also change your driving mode, which adds additional flexibility for the driver. Most would probably choose ‘Normal’ or ‘Sport’, but if you want to release some of this car’s German muscle, ‘Sport’ and ‘Sport+’ will ignite the driving experience. Regardless of which mode is selected, the handling is controlled and, despite its larger wheels and low profile tyres, it was not jostled by bumps and undulations.


If you lusted over this model back in 2011, but it was well out of your price range - here is your chance to own some enviable German luxury!

Let’s face it, depreciation can be deterrent, but it can also be a benefit for perspective buyers in the used luxury car market.

The BMW 550i GT still looks smart and feels sporty, and in many ways it was way ahead of its time with its coupe/SUV/hatch styling, which is now much more popular in 2020.

At a glance

Model and year

BMW 550i GT (2011)



Date Tested



$24,985 (+ORC)


4.4L twin turbo


Eight-speed ZF

Fuel economy


Towing capacity

750kg (unbraked), 2,100kg (braked)



Seating capacity


Luggage capacity/payload

450 litres (all seats up)

Safety features include:

  • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  • Airbags
  • Parking Sensors with Birds-eye View
  • Traction Control
  • Engine Immobiliser
  • Heads-up Display

For more information on safety ratings visit rightcar.govt.nz

Choosing your next used car?

A good start is to find a vehicle that is stocked by an AA Appraised Dealer. AA Appraised used cars have received a 43-point mechanical check by the AA, which focuses on the mechanical and safety aspects of the car and gives an overall evaluation of the vehicle.

Click here to find an AA Appraised Used Vehicle dealer

Get total peace of mind with an AA Pre Purchase Inspection

When you buy a used car, you may have a number of questions about its condition and safety. An independent AA Pre Purchase Vehicle Inspection will give you complete peace of mind with a comprehensive 100+ point vehicle check by an experienced mechanic.

Click here for more information on AA Pre Purchase Inspections

Thank you to City Motor Group for supplying us with the 2011 BMW 550i GT for review. For similar listings, click here.

CityMotorGroupFind out more on how the AA can help you when buying a car:

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