2000 BMW M5 4.9 litre petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

One of world's all time great cars - lives up to the tagline 'The Ultimate Driving Machine'

Faults:

Differential input shaft seal oil leak (2013).

Pixels on instrument cluster (2013).

Driver's side mirror glass liquid leak (2013).

Interior rear view mirror liquid leak (2014).

Central door locking actuators - driver's side front and rear (2015).

Other than that - normal wear and tear stuff like tyres, brake pads etc.

General Comments:

One of the world's all time great cars, but much like us humans it's not absolutely perfect, but near enough...

Build-wise, it's a typical BMW. Be that as it may, there are some of you who have had bad experiences with these cars, but I am sure there are many more who have shared the same experience that I have with the brand.

I read all the horror stories regarding the M cars, but decided to take the risk and buy one anyway - and I am so glad I did!

My example had done 121k when I bought it, and she gave me over 30k of hassle free motoring before I finally got bored and fancied a change to the V10 version.

So, what's it like to drive, and is there anything that could have been improved?

a) Performance wise the car is terrific, but there has always been one thing that niggled me - BMW cracked the 100bhp/litre some years before, so why could they only cook up 80bhp/litre out of the S62? It's not that 400bhp is weak by no means, but it really should have been 495bhp with the capability they had at the time. (Admittedly they would have had to improve the V10 significantly if they had released the E39 with nearly 500bhp!).

b) The handling is OK for the size of car. I will only say it is OK because from a 'feel' standpoint a E46 330 Sport will show this car a clean pair of heals on a corner. I think this may have something to do with the steering configuration not being rack and pinion. It lacks the precision and feel of a proper steering rack.

c) The gear change - by far my biggest gripe about the car. Despite a fluid change, engaging low gears when cold is difficult, and even when warm I don't like the 'hesitation' posed by the stick when trying to engage gears - very notchy.

d) The servotronic steering is nice and light when not in sport mode, probably a little too light, yet when in sport mode the steering is too heavy!

In conclusion: the inside scoop says that BMW did not intend to make a M5 in this body shape, and only commissioned such a car after competition from Mercedes and Jaguar, so it is amazing what the boys at M division can do at short notice!

The engine is a masterpiece (even if it does only produce 400bhp from 4.9 litres!). Although to the uninitiated it can sound like a diesel at the top end due to VANOS gear tolerances. At the time of production the engine was supposed to be the world's most technically advanced car engine; this is believable.

As far as the rest of the car is concerned, it's not too far removed from a ordinary 5 Series. There is no fancy suspension technology unlike its successor, and to some, this is what has made the car very popular as it is claimed that it is more 'involving' to drive.

Well, having just got my hands on a V10 I can dismiss such talk as hogwash! It's not that the E39 isn't a great car, it's just that BMW rewrote the rule book with the E60 and it's demonstrably better in every way.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd September, 2016

2000 BMW M5 Carbon Black Facelift 5.0 V8 32v Twin Vanos from UK and Ireland

Summary:

It's an M5, what else needs to be said?

Faults:

Clutch went after 3 days of ownership, although the flywheel is fine and has been re-surfaced and polished. Previous owner failed to say it was on its way out, but after a long phone call, he decided to pay half, so not all bad.

Apart from that, the car has been fine; as long as you keep on top of maintenance, you'll be okay.

Not the sort of car to let jobs pile up on.

Doesn't require an oil service for another 11,000 miles, so hopefully I can put some money aside for a rainy day.

General Comments:

I've recently acquired my dream car since I realised what a car was.. The BMW M5!

It's taken me a few years to save, but it's worth it. My car has low mileage and fully stamped BMW service history, which is essential if you want a good price when you come to selling.

These cars from new depreciate quite badly, consider this was a £72k car when new, and I got mine for £8k, at just over 10 years old. The car hasn't been out of warranty long either.

The car's general condition is astonishing. The Black nappa leather interior with grey leather inserts are hardly worn, and the back seats look hardly used, which is good considering it's a family saloon. Brushed aluminium trim and smooth black dash go well together, white dials for the speed info and black suede headlining make the car feel like a mafia saloon, like that of a Lotus Carlton, but more refined.

Paintwork's great too; any black car requires careful maintenance and body conditioner when washing, due to how easy scratches and marks can show, however the carbon black isn't no ordinary black, its Black in the dark, Navy blue in the sun, and dark purple in other shades. When polished, the car's stunning to look at.

The wheels are lovely too, not over the top or too bling for car thieves, just subtle and wide for the cars stance. Mine are gun metal with no marks or scuffs. I also have polished ceramic discs, so they sit lovely behind the wheels.

Practicality can't be faulted, enough boot space to accompany 4 suite cases or 3 sets of golf clubs or a week's shopping, it's a car for many drivers, not to mention that smooth torquey V8 that can propel 4 adults all the way to 187mph comfortably!

Now then, performance.. The M5 is about the best you get from BMW. Top marques such as 911 turbos, DB9s, Ferraris and Maseratis hate M5s because they're half the price, and most the time can more than take on these cars with ease. Many a time iv came up against the odd 911 turbo and gone for it, and came out the winner. My cars been remapped, decat and x pipe and twin induction kits, so my car's pushing about 485bhp over the standard 400Bhp.

Performance figures are astonishing, and still today can easily keep up with the new M5 or M6, due to less weight and a very reliable sustaining engine.

0-60 4.1 seconds (4.8secs book spec but can be achieved)

0-100 10.8 seconds (11.2 book spec but can be achieved)

Obviously my figures are substantially better due to modifications.

Easy to believe it was the fastest production car when released.

The car handles beautifully, similar to a B5 RS4 or a Evo 5 onwards; very nimble and light, considering the car's quite heavy. Genius really.

Understeer is a problem, but if you learn how to drive these cars properly, it shouldn't be a problem.

Now running costs are the main disadvantage, but you don't buy these cars for running costs, it's how they make you feel when you drive them.

Fuel is poor, but again it's a 5.0 V8 32v twin vanos race engine, not a 1.9TDI.

Service costs however are reasonable, a clutch with labour is £897.36 (just had mine done at Sytner Solihull) and comes with 2 year full parts and labour warranty and a stamp :)

Inspection 1 is £414, inspection 2 is £697, and an oil inspection is £153.

My Supra turbo manual 6 speed I had before this car cost more than this to service.

Only draw back on these cars was the clutch and flywheel. A clutch won't last 10,000 miles if driven hard (which the car likes) and the flywheel about 20,000.

If you baby the car and drive like miss daisy, then they'll last longer, but then why buy a M5?

There are however aftermarket clutch and flywheels you can buy eg. the standard clutch and flywheel is about 9.5 inches, and the plates can't take the power.

www.CA-AT.co.uk are a BMW tuning company, they offer a 10.5 inch carbon plated clutch with the SAC removed and dual mass lightweight flywheel for little over £1800 plus vat, which isn't far over a BMW clutch and flywheel, and it's designed for drag racing, gumball rallys and track racing, so will last a long time.

Also performance gains and faster revs through the range can easily be expected.

Well then I hope you all enjoy my review, every car enthusiast should own an M5 at least once in their life, to experience what the car gods offer.

Jamie G Webley.

22 years of age.

Birmingham.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd March, 2011

24th May 2011, 04:59

1 - Your car does not have 485 BHP, the S62 with the mods you've listed will push 440 - TOPS! It's almost impossible to get over 450 from the S62 without higher lift camshafts.

2 - Learn to heal and toe and your clutch with last a lot longer. (Although, you're right about the flywheel, BMW should have used the larger clutch and fly from the 850 to begin with).

3 - A 996 911 Turbo will destroy an E39 M5, yet you seem to think yours is faster?

28th Nov 2011, 17:03

Unless you are abusing the clutch and drive train, you should get much more service from it. 50-60k is quite normal, and 100k+ not unknown. It is underspecced, but with care it can last well enough.

Expensive job too.

21st Jun 2012, 11:29

1 - You're wrong, it would never destroy a E39 M5.

2 - Has a lot of advantage around corners, yeah, but on a straight, pretty level, unless you're talking a 996 x50, which is a different story.

3- It's all about the driver.

21st Jun 2012, 16:44

Trying to work out how someone who pays nearly a grand for a clutch every 10k, goes further than that between oil changes.