BMW M5 Reviews from North America

2001 BMW M5 5.0L V8

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2013
Engine and transmission 5.0L V8 Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.0 / 10
Distance when acquired150000 kilometres
Most recent distance160000 kilometres
Previous carHonda Accord

Summary:

The ultimate car, but not for everyone

Faults:

Almost every rubber part broke, tore apart or leaks. Steering leak, vibration, engine ticking noise.

General Comments:

Always wanted an M5. I had owned previously a 4 cylinder 3 Series BMW, and I liked the performance and the sporty feel of the car. So finally had the chance to buy this car.

What's good:

- Extremely fast, 4 door, full size, V8, rear wheel drive sedan, with a 6 speed manual transmission. Very few cars can do all that; I can only think of the Cadillac CTS-V.

- Extremely great handling in high speed racing style driving.

- Simple but beautiful interior.

- One of the most beautiful all time cars from every angle you look at it.

- One of the most beautiful engine sounds when at high RPM.

- Amazing computer controlled stability system; makes the car so easy to drive, and can be turned off with one click to unleash the wild animal.

The bad:

- In the real world you don't need all this power. It will take you 4 seconds to get your license suspended. And to enjoy the handling and power of the car, you have to drive above 5000 RPM, and that will be above speed limit. So it's not an every day driving car. It's a track car.

- I find the quality of lots of little parts here and there not that great, as interior buttons fall off, and the seat's plastic moving parts break easily, and they are pain to replace and expensive.

- For some reason I didn't like the different feel of the steering in Sport mode and at different speeds; it feels artificial and not natural.

- The arm rest in the middle was kinda low, and it hurts after a while of driving the car.

The German engineers, to achieve perfection, they over did everything, and ended up with a complicated piece of art machine, but it's frustrating when it starts falling apart. So I guess it's a great car when new under warranty.

Compared to Japanese cars, the Japanese design is more simple with less parts, which makes a car more reliable.

Final result. If you need a luxury car, nothing beats a V8 Lexus. If you need a reliable performance every day car, there's nothing better than a small 4 cylinder Japanese car. If you want something with everything, the M5 is the ultimate machine, but it's not for every one. And now I know it's not for me. I was happier with my old 1988 2 door 5 speed Accord; smoked its tires in every take off, drifted at every corner, had great gas mileage and was a great reliable car. And most important, stayed within the speed limit and kept my license.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th January, 2013

2003 BMW M5 4.9 V8

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2002
First year of ownership2010
Engine and transmission 4.9 V8 Manual
Performance marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired59046 miles
Most recent distance69648 miles
Previous carBMW 3 Series

Summary:

M Series are the real ultimate driving machines

Faults:

When I first got the car, everything was awesome.

The first thing to go wrong with it was the front seats. I found out later that on all 5 series, this problem is kind of common, and they call it twisted seat. I got it fixed with my mechanic, and it was $150.00 per seat. The dealer (stealer) was going to charged me $400 per seat.

I changed the upper arms thrust bushings for power flex urethane ones.

The clutch is slipping in 2 and 3 gear sometimes when I put it in sport mode. But the car has now 69,648 miles, and it is about time to put in a new clutch; I decided to go with stage 2 endurance package.

Just recently my starter when out, and I got it for $254 (OEM) dollars, not bad for an M series vehicle. I also replaced the flex disc (Gibo) that goes between the driveshaft and the differential.

Other than that, the car is a piece of art! Most of the things I replaced are tear and wear parts.

General Comments:

I had a 2003 BMW 330Ci, and I decide that I wanted more space, but at the same time I wanted more performance, and that’s why I opted for the E39 M5. I wanted the E60 M5, but this one was more on my budget! Was a deal of the century.

So far I am really satisfied with the vehicle. The ride is out of this world when in sport mode. It is a real sleeper. It moves like a rocket for a 4 door sedan, despite the car being 7 years old.

I had to replace a few things, but most of them were tear and wear. So I am not complaining.

I do recommend that before anybody buys one of these to check the clutch, bushing, get the carfax and try to find out the kind of maintenance the car received before you buy it, because the maintenance is not cheap.

This vehicle is cheap to buy these days, comparing the original price of $69,970, now you can even buy one for low $20,000, or even cheaper. But here is the catch; this car has an S62 V8 engine that pushes 400-hp and is supremely expensive to own.

Overall, I am very happy with my investment, and I forget about the expenses every time I get behind the wheel! I have owned Volkswagen GTI, Volvo S40, Audi's A4/A6 and BMW 330Ci. This by far is the best car I ever owned!!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd October, 2010

Average review marks: 7.8 / 10, based on 5 reviews