From 2006 to 2010, the E60 generation of BMW’s M5 sedan offered up a slew of performance upgrades to handle the 500-horsepower output of the most powerful factory 5-Series yet.
The M5 isn’t a car for the faint of heart — and high fuel and insurance costs mean a more modest 5-Series model with a smaller engine may make more sense for most shoppers who don’t require the services of one of the fastest four-door cars on the planet.
Ensure all electronics on the M5 you’re considering are working as expected. Note that reports of a ‘frozen’ iDrive central command system aren’t uncommon. Watch for warning indicators that may become illuminated on your test-drive, especially pertaining to the SMG transmission, if so equipped. Many owners have reported some level of problems with the computer brain that controls this sophisticated transmission. Some also report problems with the oil lines and solenoids that operate the engine’s valve timing system in earlier years — so be sure to have these systems verified for proper operation by a BMW mechanic.
A loud creaking noise from the M5’s rear end could be caused by a problem with the differential, which could be remedied by switching to a different type of lubricating oil.
A full check of the M5’s various (and complicated) electronics systems by a BMW service centre is key to confidence ahead of a purchase.
The M5 came exclusively with a 5-litre V10 developing 500 horsepower. Manual or SMG transmissions were available, and all models were rear-wheel drive.
What Owners Like
The last-generation M5 was praised by its owners for looks, exclusivity, performance, thrills, comfort and a high-quality cabin. Supportive seats and the convenience of a sedan were also highly rated.
What Owners Dislike
Many owners report frustration with terrible fuel mileage, and a rough and awkward feel to the M5’s SMG transmission.
Many of its owners will verify that the M5 isn’t a car that’s ideal for those after fantastic fuel consumption or inexpensive repair bills. However, as a four-door rocket-sedan, it has virtually no equals.