2001 BMW M5 5.0 V8 from UK and Ireland


A very beautiful frustration..


A lot of niggling problems generally have blighted what is otherwise a stunning car.

Most problems have been quality/build related.

July 2003 - Had to have boot-lid and 2 offside doors replaced under corrosion warranty.

July 2003 - Navigation unit lost sound, needed replacement navigation module.

June 2003 - Television stopped working. Replaced Video module.

June 2003 - Tire pressure control function (TPC) constantly blinked up "Tire Defect". Had to have fault codes reset.

June 2003 - Rear tires rubbed arches, damaging both inner and outer arches and scoring tyre walls down to wire!! Again replaced rear springs as they had become "compressed" thus meaning car was 14mm lower at rear then factory spec.

June 2003 - Radio lost all reception. Had new Ariel booster.

May 2003 - Oil leak from nearside rocker cover.

May 2003 - Battery drain, this was traced to wiring fault with Traffic Master.

May 2003 - Alternator packed up on a wet worning!!... it actually broke down this time!!

April 2003 - Air conditioning/heater system went haywire. It would only blow hot air to the windscreen only!!

December 2002 to April 2003 - various gremlins with electrics and fittings.

General Comments:

If it was reliable it would be the best value £30k car in the world...

However its been a constant battle with a difficult dealer who has to see the car in on average 2/3 times to repair the same fault. Servicing and other costs have been very good, it even is fairly economical considering its engine. With better build quality it would be an amazing car rather than a very beautiful frustration that it has become.

I would buy another because my daily driver (E38, 740) really does show that BMW can build a solid car and does feel like it is carved out of a solid lump of stone, its just a pity this E39 suffers from sloppy workmanship.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 7th July, 2003

20th Mar 2005, 19:33

Good to see an honest review on a doubtless fantastic car. I really do not understand why BMW cars have such a reputation for amazing build quality etc, from what I have seen, they cost just as much to keep on the road as an Alfa once out of warranty.

You need to be brave and be prepared to shell out a small fortune every year to run a car of this class without a comprehensive warranty... it might not happen, but often does.