BMW M5 review

Category: Luxury car

Section: Introduction

Available fuel types:petrol
Star rating
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RRP from£98,100

Introduction

What Car? says...

Ever since the covers were pulled off the original BMW M5 at the 1984 Amsterdam motor show, it has been the yardstick against which all other super-saloons are judged – and that’s a trend that BMW would obviously like to continue with this sixth-generation model.

So, what has its M division come up with to prepare the class-leading 5 Series luxury saloon for battle with what can only be described as weapons-grade competition, in the form of the Porsche Panamera Turbo, Mercedes-AMG E63 and Audi RS6?

Well, under the M5’s bonnet sits a heavily tweaked 591bhp version of its predecessor’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine. But, as they say, power is nothing without control; this goes some way to explaining BMW’s decision to eschew the traditional rear-wheel drive layout for a new four-wheel drive system – a first for the M5. The benefits are obvious; increased traction for improved all-weather usability and a frankly bonkers 0-62mph time of 3.4sec.

However, while four-wheel drive can temper the lunacy and waywardness of a saloon with as-near-as-damn-it 600bhp, it comes at a price. The extra mechanical gubbins adds weight, and weight is bad; the standard 5 Series is already a pretty portly chap and adding yet more kilos would, in theory, make it less wieldy in corners. And the purists out there love a powerful rear-wheel-drive car simply for its lunacy and waywardness because, in the right doses, that can be bally good fun. Let’s face it, fun is much of the motivation for spending £90k-odd on an M5 instead of a 520d, is it not?

So, in the world of supercar-slaying saloons, is the M5 still king? That's what we're going to explore in this review.

At a glance

Number of trims1 see more
Available fuel typespetrol
MPG range across all versions26.1 - 26.1
Avaliable doors options4

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