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- Highs Rocketship propulsion, rear-drive mode adds spirit, luxe, comfy cabin.
- Lows Performance is felt more than heard, styling is too stealthy, steering lacks the feel and feedback that M cars once featured.
- Verdict The M5’s mind-boggling power, artillery-grade acceleration, glued-to-the-road handling, and posh accommodations make it one of the most formidable luxury-sports sedans sold today.
Some cars are big-bodied and some are thrilling. The BMW M5 is both, with a body based on the regular 5-series and a heart-and-lung transplant courtesy of the brand’s M performance division. Under the hood lives a spectacular 600-hp twin-turbo V-8 bolted to an eight-speed automatic transmission that powers all four wheels. An optional Competition package turns up the heat with 17 extra horsepower, a more soulful exhaust, stiffer suspension, and Competition badging and trim. That version rocketed to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds in our testing. Built to handle the rigors of mountain hairpins, blasts on the autobahn, and everyday life the M5 offers a premium experience with a penchant for fireworks. Unlike its closest competitor, the Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing, the Bimmer’s stealthy packaging isn’t offset by a thunderous exhaust but its impressive comfort and refinement make it among the best in the premium sports sedan segment.
Where This Vehicle Ranks
What's New for 2023?
While the availability of last year’s limited-production 627-hp BMW M5 CS has dried up, the 2023 M5 receives subtle equipment changes. Rather than offering the M5 Competition as a separate model, BMW now offers it as an upgrade through an optional equipment package. San Remo Green metallic and Skyscraper Grey metallic have been added as exterior paint options. Brand’s Hatch Grey metallic, Snapper Rocks Blue metallic, Motegi Red metallic, Donington Grey metallic, Bluestone metallic and Frozen Bluestone metallic are all discontinued. For interior options, Individual Smoke White/Black Full Merino leather and Tartufo Ful Merino leather are now available, but the optional Bowers & Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound System is no longer offered.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The standard M5 with 600 horsepower is the foundation for building a full-size luxury sedan with dizzying oomph. If we were ordering ours, we’d start with the optional Tanzanite Blue II metallic paint. In total, opting for the Competition package allows you to choose between three different 20-inch wheels wrapped in non run-flat tires, as well as the M Sport exhaust system, extended dark exterior trim pieces, and moody M Shadowline headlights. We’d also add the Executive package that comes with massaging front ventilated seats, heated front and rear seats, soft-close automatic doors, and additional parking assistant features to save us from curbing our precious alloys.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The M5 is mighty, boasting 600 horsepower from its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 in base form. In the more track-focused Competition, that figure increases to 617 horses. Believing that the Competition’s V-8 had even more power than that we took that model to a dynamometer, were our suspicions proved true. We've also strapped our testing gear to both the regular M5 as well as the Competition model. Both met our expectations with brutally quick acceleration, sports-car-like cornering grip, and amazing stopping power. Likewise, the Competition proved to be quicker than the regular M5 on Virginia International Raceway's Grand Course at the 2019 Lightning Lap competition. The M5 faithful will lament the discontinued manual gearbox and all-wheel-drive system, but this Bimmer has a high-tech drivetrain that can send 100 percent of its torque to the rear wheels for tail-wagging fun. Driving enjoyment is maximized here with lively and direct steering and a well-controlled albeit stiff ride. That doesn't mean the M5 can't also do duty as a luxury sedan: In Comfort mode, it cruises placidly, the cabin whisper quiet.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The current M5 achieved an EPA rating of 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Both figures are worse than those of the Mercedes-AMG E63 S sedan (16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway). We tested the M5 Comp on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen. It exceeded its government rating by 3 mpg. For more information about the M5's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The M5 has an elegant leather interior with supportive sport seats. Unlike many of its rivals, BMW hasn't gone the all-touchscreen route, so adjusting the air conditioning or radio (via physical controls) is easy to do while the vehicle is in motion. The M5 comes with a slew of desirable features such as customizable ambient interior lighting, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable steering column. BMW offers ventilated front seats with massage functionality, heated rear seats, and four-zone automatic climate control for more coin. As for storage space, the M5 has useful cubbies in the cabin, and its trunk held six carry-on suitcases in our testing.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A 12.3-inch touchscreen sits atop the M5's dash and runs BMW's latest iDrive infotainment software. The driver uses a rotary knob in the center console to control it. The system includes standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration and a Wi-Fi hotspot. There's also a 16-speaker, 600-watt Harman/Kardon audio system and wireless device charging on all models.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The sports sedan does offer a wide variety of standard driver-assistance technology, such as automatic high-beams and blind-spot monitoring. For more information about the M5's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
- Available adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW provides a limited warranty and powertrain protection that align with what rivals allot. The included scheduled maintenance period is shorter than what Jaguar offers, but BMW's plan still ranks among the best.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles
2022 BMW M5 CS
Vehicle Type: front-engine, all/rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 4-door sedan
Base/As Tested: $143,995/$148,995
Options: Frozen Brands Hatch Grey paint, $5000
twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 268 in3, 4395 cm3
Power: 627 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 553 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm
Suspension, F/R: struts/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 15.8-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc/15.0-in vented, cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc
Tires: Pirelli P Zero Corsa PZC4
F: 275/35ZR-20 (102Y) ★
R: 285/35ZR-20 (104Y) ★
Wheelbase: 117.4 in
Length: 196.4 in
Width: 74.9 in
Height: 57.8 in
Passenger Volume: 102 ft3
Trunk Volume: 14 ft3
Curb Weight: 4096 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 2.6 sec
100 mph: 6.2 sec
1/4-Mile: 10.6 sec @ 130 mph
150 mph: 15.5 sec
Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.2 sec.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 3.8 sec
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 2.5 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 2.5 sec
Top Speed (mfr's claim): 190 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 150 ft
Braking, 100–0 mph: 294 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 1.02 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 18 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 17/15/21 mpg