The BMW M5 is an icon. It was one of the original super sedans and is generally the one that sets the bar for others to follow. It started with the E28 M5 that debuted in 1986. Back then it was powered by a 3.5L inline-6 that made 256hp and 243 lb-ft of torque and was one of the best-looking cars of its day.
But that was over 30 years ago — and since then a lot has changed. This new M5 is a technical marvel that features a 4.4L Twin-power Turbo V8, a carbon fiber roof, selectable all-wheel drive and a zero-60 time of under 3-seconds. Sure it’s got loads of technology and power, but with that being said, one question remains… Is it better than all that came before it?
For the full 2018 BMW M5 review, specs, pricing and data read on…
2018 BMW M5 Exterior
Let’s get this out of the way from the beginning. This new 2018 M5 is a big car. It weighs over 4,300 pounds, sits on a 117.4-inch wheelbase, is 83.7-inches wide, and has a trunk that holds 18.7 cubic-feet of your stuff. This is a far cry from the svelte super sedans of years past. But times change, and with the influx of new safety regulations, along with consumer wants and needs, it’s no surprise that every sedan in this segment has grown to bovine proportions.
Nonetheless, BMW has done a remarkable job maintaining the M5’s athletic characteristics. It’s just that now instead of a lean sprinter, we’re looking at more of a power lifter.
The cool part about the M5 is that as soon as you see it, you realize it’s something special. Large double spoke bi-color alloys reside under the M5’s fenders (19×9.5F / 19×10.5R) and run a staggered tire set up (275-40F / 285-40R). The front fascia, aside from showcasing BMW’s signature kidney style grille, is now home to large honeycomb encased air-intakes that allow for enhanced cooling. A small “M5” vent wing on the front fenders denotes that this is not a standard 5-series, as does the exposed carbon fiber roof — which will surely garner looks from those driving high-sitting SUVs.
The rear end is also quite clean, and sees a small lip spoiler on the deck-lid, a highly sculpted lower bumper and a blacked-out diffuser that’s flanked on both sides by polished quad exhaust ports. The M5 is not a flashy automobile and instead uses understated design combined with elegance to showcase to the world that it is in fact, a very special vehicle.
2018 BMW M5 Interior
Where the exterior of the 2018 M5 is understated, the cabin is anything but. We’re not talking about gaudy glitz and flash here, but more so about the overabundance of technology, control panels and display screens that make one feel like their piloting the Starship Enterprise. From a materials perspective, everything is on point, as it should be with a 130kk car. The leather is supple, the panel gaps are perfect, there’s alcantara on the ceiling and the stereo, and the outstanding Bowers and Wilkens stereo is something from another planet. Now of course I’m simplifying here, but the truth is, this is an interior that if you had to live in it, you simply wouldn’t mind because yes – it’s that nice.
There’s no question that from a technology standpoint, the 2018 M5 is one of the most advanced vehicles on the road. The dash is free of analog gauges, instead relying on a beautiful (and configurable) digital readout screen. Speed and RPMs aside, one can also toggle through suspension settings and vehicle diagnostics, along with gaining access to many of the M5’s other functions. Glance down at the center console and you’ll notice there’s a lot of action there as well. A tall gear selector lets one cycle through the transmission and is 100% electronic. There’s also a rotary knob with an integrated touchpad for access to the M5’s 10.2” high-resolution screen, as well as haptic touch buttons for the suspension, steering, exhaust, along with a 360-degree display camera system.
Then there are the seats. Those amazing 20-way electronically adjustable seats with heat, ventilation, massage capabilities and an illuminated M5 logo (just in case you forget what you’re in). They’re best seats my butt has ever graced, and will provide one with 1000’s of miles of fatigue free driving. The back seats are insanely comfortable as well and will make your passengers feel secure when you rocket them down the quarter mile in under 11 seconds. Is there more to the interior of the 2018 BMW M5? Yep, sure is, but I’d be here for week explaining each and every aspect of it so let’s just say that if its not there, you probably don’t need or want it.
2018 BMW M5 Performance
With 600hp and 553 lb-ft of torque coming from the 4.4L 32V Twin-Power turbo V8 that lives under the hood, the M5 is seriously fast. 60 mph comes up in just under three seconds, thanks in part to its amazing (and selectable) all-wheel drive system and 8-speed transmission. This system allows one to disable the front drive portion allowing for rear drive only. And while doing this induces hilarious burnouts and tail happy fun, keep in mind that it also fully disables the stability control, which means you’d better be keeping an eye on your trajectory. The power delivery is incredibly smooth without a hint of turbo lag and the M5 accelerates with authority when the go-pedal is pushed.
What’s more amazing than the engine however is the way the car manages its weight. Throwing around over 4,300-pounds is no easy task, however the M5 makes it seem effortless. Place the car in M Dynamic mode and it feels like it instantly sheds 1,000-pounds. It’s well balanced, nimble and thanks to massive carbon ceramic brakes, hauls itself down with authority when you’re hard on the pedal. Sadly the M5 is not available with a manual transmission, and for some this is a deal breaker. However if you not only understand, but also adopt the engineering and technology that BMW has incorporated into this car, you’ll soon realize that it is truly a masterpiece.
2018 BMW M5 Safety
Equipped with the latest in safety technology, the 2018 BMW M5 has such features as all-wheel drive, airbags throughout the cabin, carbon ceramic anti-lock brakes, adaptive brake lights, electronic stability control, traction control, blind-spot monitoring, programmable LED daytime running lights, lane departure warning, frontal collision warning and a rearview camera to name a few.
Additional safety features can be seen at BMWUSA.com.
2018 BMW M5 Overall
This is where I tell you where the BMW M5 got its groove back. For some, new systems like all-wheel drive and a paddle shifted transmission will be detractions, but those in the know will understand that by incorporating all of this technology into the M5 that BMW has actually gone back to basics, and given enthusiasts a car that satisfies on all levels. It’s fast, communicative and more importantly, excites the BMW “M” enthusiast the same way it did over 30 years ago.
Drop by your local AutoNation-affiliated BMW dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $129,795.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.