Here’s a big question: In a world where powerful sedans are practically available everywhere , can the 2018 BMW M5 hold on to its crown?
Before we answer that question let us start off by saying, everyone loves a great comeback story and the BMW M5 has an amazing one. This is the second M5 generation we’ve tested, and the first thing that stood out to us is the insane level of customization you can make to the driving characteristics of the 2018 BMW M5. For example, while this is the first M car equipped with all-wheel-drive, you can disengage the front wheels for some straight up hooning foolishness. That’s just one of the many things you can change to fit your driving style. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting facts and details on the 2018 BMW M5.
2018 BMW M5 Exterior
Now, BMW didn’t just take the regular 5-Series and throw on a body kit. The 2018 BMW M5 receives a host of exclusive design features that make this a true M car. The BMW M team redesigned the front bumper and the front side panels to allow for larger openings that let more air in to cool the brakes and the engine. Even the aluminum hood is specifically designed for the M5. The contoured roof is made from carbon fiber reinforced plastic and designed to cut weight. If you want to save more weight, you can cash out an extra $8,500 for M Carbon Ceramic Brakes which shaves another 45 lbs off this 4,370 lbs beast. Still, the 2018 BMW M5 is one of the heaviest in the segment – the Cadillac CTS-V weighs 4,141 lbs and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S weighs 4,515 lbs.
There is also a quad tailpipe M exhaust system, an M rear spoiler, and an M rear apron with diffuser. My favorite design feature on the M5 (and other BMWs) are the Icon Adaptive LED Headlights, which are standard on the M5 and probably should be since you’re paying well over $100,000. One interesting bit, the adaptive cruise control sensor is actually heated so you can still use it in heavy snow and you won’t get a disappointing warning telling you it’s not available – that’s just BMW showing off the fact that the M5 now has xDrive. And if you’re wondering, those side mirrors are designed that way just to look “dynamic” and more “M.”
2018 BMW M5 Interior
The interior of the 2018 BMW M5 is magnificent. Honestly, when compared to its rivals like the Cadillac CTS-V and the Mercedes-AMG E 63 – the BMW M5’s cabin has a great balance of sportiness and luxury.
The first thing you’ll notice is the standard Extended Merino leather M Multifunctional sports seats which feature an illuminated M5 logo. Other comfort and convenience features you’ll find as standard option are heated front seats, heated steering, the BMW Extended ambient lighting system, and more. Tech wise, standard options include navigation with a 10.2-inch touchscreen display, iDrive 6.0 with a touchpad controller, an M-specific 12.3-inch display for the driver, gesture control, M-specific heads-up display, Apple CarPlay, rearview camera, a Harman Kardon sound system (you can upgrade to the Bowers & Wilkins Diamond sound system for $3,400), Bluetooth, 2 USB (2.1A) ports, and more. A $4,000 Executive Package adds a wireless charger, WiFi hotspot, ventilated and massaging front seats, heated rear seats, soft-close doors, 4-zone climate control, the amazing 3D surround view camera system, and a few additional of driver assist technologies. If you want to add a suite of driver assist tech, there is a $1,700 Driver Assistance Plus Package.
Space wise, you get 41.4-inches of legroom in the front and 36.5-inches in the rear. Cargo capacity comes in at 18.7 ft³.
Overall, most of the interior action is built around the driver and rightfully so. All the driving dynamic customization buttons and accessibility are right within the driver’s reach. BMW did a great job of building on the interior of the standard 5-Series and giving the M5 a little more something special.
2018 BMW M5 Performance
The 2018 BMW M5 is powered by a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine making 600 horsepower and a peak torque of 553 lb-ft. The engine mated to an 8-speed M STEPTRONIC automatic transmission that allows zero to 60 mph to arrive in just 3.2 seconds.
Now, while the BMW M5 is fastest to 60 mph compared to its core competitors in the United States, the CTS-V is actually fastest with a top speed of 200 mph. The Mercedes-AMG E63 S has a top speed of 186 mph while the BMW M5 can hit 190 mph when equipped with performance tires and increased top-speed limiter. Also, the BMW M5 and the Mercedes-AMG E63 S are both AWD while the Caddy sticks to RWD.
As mentioned above, the most impressive thing about the BMW M5 is the various levels of customization you can make to the driving dynamics.
Drivers have a wide range of options including adjustments to the M xDrive where you can go from 4WD to 2WD. You can also make changes to the speed of the transmission shifts right from the gearbox – 3 lines indicate fast shifts and 1 line indicates slow/smoother shifts. Suspension settings can be adjusted via the M Variable Damper Control which includes three modes – Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus. The M Servotronic steering feel can also be customized and includes those three different modes. Now, while the sound from the exhaust depends on the settings you’ve made, there is also an M Sound Control button that allows further customization of the exhaust acoustic. Interesting note – even if you turn off the M Sound Control button in case you want a quiet ride, it will automatically turn back on every time you start the car.
Of course, you don’t have to make all those adjustments every time. Since this is an M Car there are two red M buttons on top of the steering ‘M1’ and ‘M2’. You can set up M1 to be the sportiest of the settings and M2 to be the most comfortable. Depending on the driving style you desire, you can simply press one of the M buttons and go!
Fuel economy wise, the 2018 BMW M5 averages an EPA-rated 15/21 mpg* (city/highway).
2018 BMW M5 Safety
Besides the standard safety options, the 2018 BMW M5 comes with a long list of driver assist technologies including lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, park assist, a full 360-degree camera system and much more.
2018 BMW M5 Overall
Overall, the 2018 BMW M5 lets the driver tailor every aspect of the driving dynamics. On one hand, the M5 lets you let loose on the track and on the other hand, it becomes a very refined daily driver that will let you take long cruises or enjoy your daily commute. M5 owners can pick between five different configurations based on the combinations of the DSC modes (DSC on, MDM, DSC off) and M xDrive modes (4WD, 4WD Sport, 2WD). If you’re in the market for an advanced all-wheel-drive sports sedan, the new BMW M5 should certainly be on your shopping list. Prices for the 2018 BMW M5 start at $102,700**. Visit your local AutoNation BMW dealer for a test drive today.
*Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.
**MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.