Pros Strong, powerful, fast with amazing handling at higher speeds. Outstanding gadgets and extras, its one of the greatest executive sports saloons ever made.

Cons Very expensive. High running costs. Gadgetry overload for some.


  • Overview

    The BMW M5 is the high-performance version of the popular BMW 5-Series. M5 versions of the E28, E34, E39 and E60 5-Series have been made, all offering something a little different. Early V6 models are highly sought after while the more recent 5 litre V10 engines offering 400bhlus are amazing cars and are simply dreamed about and coveted by most of us. 0-60mph in 4secs, the all powerful V10s are restricted but are capable of at least 204mph. The latest touring version of the M5 has been a new arrival on the scene and equally and widely acclaimed. Basically BMW have made the worlds most exciting estate car, combining the high performance tradition of the M5 with space and comfort associated with a 4 wheel drive. Overall, the secret of the BMW M5s popularity has been this successful synthesis of unobtrusive but powerful appearance. You have a car which is understated in terms of it look and is basically a luxury saloon car offering premium comfort, while at the same time combining a high-performance sports car unit featuring Formula 1 technology. More than 35,000 BMW M5s have been built with a variety of versions and subtle updates so always check spec carefully for any prospective purchase, especially if buying second hand.


  • BMW E28 - (1985-1987)

    In 1985 BMW introduced their first M5. This model was based on the E28 5 series.
    It had a six cylinder engine with 286 HP and a top speed of 245 km/h. An absolute beauty of a car, its still very highly regarded today. There were only 2145 made until 1988 when it went out of production and many still regard them as the best to drive.

  • BMW E34 - (1990-1995)

    Like the previous version these were entirely hand-built. The E34 utilized the 535i chassis and the early E34 M5 used an evolution of the 24-valve I6 engine found in the E28 M5 and E24 M635CSi/M6. The engine also featured an improved flywheel and Bosch Motronic fuel injection. In 1991 engine displacement was improved from 3.5 to 3.8 L.

  • BMW E39 M5 (1998-2003)

    These were assembly line built in Germany. The E39 M5 had a highly tuned V8 engine based on the M62 engine called the S62, which displaced 4.9 L and produced a massive 400 bhp. The E39 M5 is capable of accelerating from 0-62 mph in 4.9 seconds and although electronically limited to a top speed of 155 mph will do much more than that if derestricted. Basically, it was the fastest 4-door sedan in the world at that time. When the 2000 BMW M5 was called the greatest super-saloon car of all time. As well as 400 hp, V8 engine, a six-speed gearbox and 18 inch wheels automatic stability system and traction control (ASC+T) adjusts engine power and braking on later models to maintain a smooth drive even at high speeds.

    BMW M5 E39 V8 Specification[B] [B]

    • Engine - V8, 4941cc
    • Power - 400bhp/6600rpm
    • Transmission 6 speed manual
    • Fuel - 20.3mpg (combined)
    • Acceleration - 0 to 62mph, 5.3secs
    • Max speed -155mph
    • Insurance - Group -20

    BMW E60 M5 V10 Specification [B] [B]

    • Engine V10, 4999cc
    • Power - 507bhp/7750rpm
    • Transmission 7 speed manual
    • Fuel - 19.1mpg (combined)
    • Acceleration - 0-62mph: 4.7sec
    • Max speed - 204mph
    • Insurance Group 20

    BMW E61 M5 Touring (2007)

    Introduced in 2007 this was only the second M version of the 5-Series Touring after an earlier E34 version.

  • BMW M5 Saloon and Touring (2005, 2007-)

    The BMW M5 Saloon was launched in May 2005 to critical acclaim and reset the benchmark for high-performance saloons. The launch of the Touring variant in June 2007 marks the first time that an estate variant of BMW Ms high-performance executive car has been offered in right-hand-drive to UK customers. Basically, what it is amazing about the new M5 Tourer is that it has exactly the same 507bhp 5.0L V10 engine and seven-speed gearbox as the 2005 M5 saloon.

    The only previous version, the E34 M5 Touring, was available to European customers in left-hand-drive only. The model was a niche vehicle before and only had a limited production - a total of 891 cars were sold. BMW UK believes probably quite rightly that the market has now changed in favour of such vehicles.

    New 2007 M5 Saloon and M Sport models offer new front and rear light units and other discreet styling enhancements including monikered side gills which all hint at the high performance.

    Internally the new M5 Touring features the same enhancements as the standard 5 Series as well as offering the Active Seat bolsters from the M5 Saloon that provide additional support when cornering. Other features include spacious body, hi-tech suspension, powerful brakes. The 0-62mph in 4.8secs is just 0.1sec slower than the saloon while all-round performance is the same.

    BMW M5 Touring 2007 Specification

    • Engine - V 90 / 10 / 4
    • Top Speed 155mph
    • Acceleration - 0-62mph, 4.8
    • Combined Fuel Consumption - 18.8mpg
    • Max Torque 520Nm / 6100 revs
    • Transmission - M7
    • Seats/Doors - 5 / 5
  • BMW E60 M5 (2005-present)

    This version was introduced in 2004 at the International Geneva Motor Show It has a naturally aspirated 5.0 L BMW V10 S85 engine redlining at 8250 RPM and developing a peak output of 507 PS (373 kW, 500 SAE hp) with 383 ft-lbs of torque. Other key features include a stiffened aluminum chassis and a 7-speed SMG III manual transmission. Basically, the worlds first V10 high-revving engine in a saloon car this BMW M5 offered the worlds first 7-speed SMG in a saloon car and the best power-to-weight ratio in its market segment.