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BMW M5 CS green driving

BMW M5 review

With looks like a luxurious executive saloon and the handling of a sports car, the BMW M5 will tick a lot of boxes for everyone.

BMW M5 – read before buying your next car

Wow and wow again. They’ll be the first words to cross your lips when you experience the BMW M5. It’s the car that looks like a large and luxurious executive saloon and drives like a car designed for the racetrack. It might have rivals from Audi and Mercedes, but this is the real deal.

green BMW M5 CS driving

BMW M5 design and looks

At first glance, the M5 seems to be a pretty ordinary 5 Series car. Look a little more closely, however, and you’ll see some tell-tale signs that this is a little more special than the standard 5 Series with its headlamps inspired by the even more exclusive 7 Series and carbon fibre roof.  

Then there are the 20-inch alloy wheels and the big BMW kidney-shaped radiator grille, plus the black mirrors complete with aerodynamic wings. It all adds up to a pretty serious set of wheels.

Are used BMW M5s good to drive?

Make no mistake about it, the BMW M5 is a big, powerful machine capable of raising your pulse with its thunderous V8 engine note and thumping performance. Despite its scale and bulk, 600hp and xDrive all-wheel drive ensure the M5 can cover ground rapidly. If that's not enough, you can, at the click of a button, scare yourself silly by turning the car into a rear-wheel drive machine (where power is sent only to the back wheels), for maximum playfulness at speed.

By contrast, thanks to the adjustability of the surrounding setup, the M5 can also be made to glide along motorways and cruise calmly through city streets without much fuss, automatic gearbox doing the hard work for you. It's a brilliantly rounded performance saloon. There are plenty of driving and steering modes to choose from and you can even programme your favourite combinations and activate them from buttons on the steering wheel.

green BMW M5 CS side

Despite its scale and bulk, 600hp and xDrive all-wheel drive ensure the M5 can cover ground rapidly.

BMW M5 interior – space, storage and style

If the M5 was a plane, you’d be travelling first class. You just have to climb aboard and let the quality Merino leather seats envelop you with their great side support. Then adjust them to perfection simply by using the buttons on the two-spoke steering wheel. The offset stainless steel pedals add to the sporty feel, if the burble of V8 engine soundtrack weren't enough of a signal.

Most features such as the sat-nav and the four-zone climate control use the BMW iDrive system, so they're altered with touchscreen buttons. There’s also a heads-up display, so you don’t need to take your eyes off the road for a moment. Passengers in the back enjoy a similar level of luxury, although the central transmission tunnel does limit use of the middle seat to shorter passengers willing to squeeze their legs wither side of it.

Cars equipped with BMW's optional large glass sunroof flood the cabin with light, adding to the sense of space, and even when it’s speeding along the motorway, the M5 is incredibly quiet inside. 

BMW M5 CS interior

BMW M5 – practicality and boot space

Open up the boot and you’ll be greeted with a wide, deep storage area easily capable of swallowing a small family's worth of luggage. Fold down the rear seats and the length of the M5 (it's five metres long!) and you'll have enough space to swallow an over-enthusiastic trip to IKEA.

As for the front of the cabin, narrow door pockets aside, there is plenty of storage space in the cabin, including a pretty big glovebox and a couple of cupholders for front-seat passengers. There’s even a wireless charging point for your mobile in this decidedly tech-heavy car. Rear seat passengers should also easily get comfortable thanks to the large amounts of legroom on offer.

green BMW M5 CS rear

BMW M5 running costs and reliability

We won’t beat around the bush hereThe BMW M5 is not a cheap car to run – its powerful engine and high insurance group see to that. Driven carefully, you might just get 28mpg. If you start to take more advantage of its power and performance this figure is going to drop considerably.   

While careful driving can improve economy, there’s nothing you can do about the insurance group. Even if you’ve never so much as had a speeding ticket, it’s still going to be in the highest possible group with most insurers. 

Servicing costs are also going to be on the eye-watering side, especially if you’re driving the car hard and getting through brake pads, discs and tyres. Add on high road tax, plus the luxury car premium and we’re talking major moolah.

What we love

“No compromise” seems to have been the motto that BMW has used in creating the M5. It’s fast, powerful and very luxurious so it really does seem like it has managed to excel itself in every single department.

Our verdict

The BMW M5 is a rare combination that will be popular with anyone looking for a large executive saloon that also thinks it’s a sports car. It's brutish, comfortable and well-equipped - and it also has the BMW seal of quality.

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What else to consider? BMW M5 alternatives

If you can’t find it in yourself to mark the M5 with an A1 grade, maybe one of these will pass the test: 

Perfect for


Town and country drivers



It’s impossible to find any real faults with the M5, apart from the expense of running one. And when has that ever stopped a car from getting full marks from drivers and experts alike?

This review was