I bought a 2011 550i Xdrive in late 2010, within the last six weeks I have had; 4 runflat tires (on 19inch wheels) go bust over fairly minor pot holes. they were 4 unrelated incidents. Cost to replace, just shy of $2000. Last week my car with about 10,500 miles on the clock, broke down on the highway, message 'transmission malfunction'. One tow and 5 days, later I got it back with the rear differential replaced. One day after I got it back from the local BMW dealer, new warning '4 by 4 chassis stabilisation malfunction contact your BMW dealer , do not brake hard' Given that this fully loaded, nearly $70,000 car is completely unreliabe, I am seriouly thinking of getting rid of it.
While my salesman was one of the most knowledgeable salesman I have ever encountered, I was reassured that this very expensive investment would receive any service and support it needed. I drove the car off of the lot with a warning message regarding the electrical system. Two trips back to the dealer I finally get a new battery. Second trip back I explained that the road noise and pulling to the right was excessive. Their response was, "well its just the sports suspension", and nothing we can do. Third trip was concern about a quart of oil added every 7,000 miles. Nothing they can do. Now I need $2200 in tires, and the car leaks. No support for this lemon of a car.
I would think twice about purchasing this vehicle. I have had a big problem with surging and hesitation at low speeds. The dealer has insisted that it is normal with the adaptive transmission, but I can assure you it is not normal! (Google BMW F10 transmission problems and you will see the problem is widespread). The sad thing is that I really love the rest of the car, but after spending $50,000+, I don't think I should be dealing with this. It really takes the pleasure out of owning the car.
If you're considering buying this car, please look into the N64 customer care program for this car. There are about 20 engine components that were essentially recalled. Depending on when, or if, your 550i went through this program will determine the number of components you may have had replaced. Initially, BMW changed out these components, one at a time and each time you had a check engine light come on the would replace the next most commonly malfunctioning part. Eventually, they started flat out replacing all the components since they would eventually fail (I believe due to the heat and pressure they are placed under with the twin turbo. This added up to owners paying for their vehicle while they spent months in the shop. While BMW did cover the costs of the replacement and extend the warranty, having engine issue undoubtedly will lead to transmission issues. This was the case of the most recent 550i owner I met at an German auto shop while getting another vehicle pre purchase inspected. He said he spend over 10k on transmission work and eventual replacement while he owned the vehicle for only 6 months, 2 of those months was spent in the shop. These repair costs were not covered by BMW. Some sleazy owners, will not mention this program/issue at all to you when selling the car (which was what happened in my case). Luckily the deal fell through in the 11th hour at the bank when the vehicle failed state inspection (due to worn out tires and brakes in this case). Owner claimed that both tires and brakes were replaced within the last 6 months. Some owners and used car salesmen are doing whatever they can to u load these problematic vehicles. Buyer beware!!!
I just picked mine up after waiting for several months. The body style is sleek and much improved over the old style. Inside the car is designed with the driver in mind. Stereo System is top notch, and the car is extremely quiet. What is amazing is the power, it's actually subtle, you feel like your driving a nice luxury sedan and the when you press the gas it turns into a monster! This car is powerful. I love it, after a few months I will report back