BMW M5 Competition review

A comprehensive review of the BMW M5 Competition.

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finder score: 89.00%

Avg. critics score: 89.00%
4 critics
How did we calculate this? We analysed and aggregated the scores of Car Advice, WhichCar, CarsGuide and Motoring to bring you the Finder score. This is a comprehensive score that brings together the 4 different expert ratings you see below.
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Critic reviews

WebsiteRatingNotable quotes
Car Advice/Drive92%"The sixth-generation BMW M5 is, arguably, the best car ever built by the Bayerische Motoren Werke. Sure, there are any number of more iconic cars in the company's portfolio, cars that are at once evocative and timeless. But with its blend of practicality, everyday comfort and supercar levels of performance, the M5 stands tall in a land of giants."Read more
Motor/WhichCar90%"And although we drove the M5 on track at Sandown – where, humorously, we had to lift on the straights so as to not drill the back of Steven Richards in the pace car M4 GTS, and he was going as hard as he could – it was more fun on the road."Read more
CarsGuide83%"The new M5 is another masterpiece from the brilliant minds at M. Whether it's better or worse than the E63 is impossible to say in isolation, but I can tell you it's bloody good. All-wheel drive is a very good thing for the M5."Read more
Motoring91%"The F90 BMW M5 is a fabulous machine. The BMW M5 Competition is better. Tangibly better. Cheerfully better. Sparklingly better. It's not necessarily that it's quicker in a straight line, but that it's so much more precise, predictable and fun into, through and out of corners. All corners, all the time."Read more

How does the BMW M5 Competition compare with its peers?

Name Product Maximum Power ANCAP rating Price (from) Finder Score Read Review | Find a deal
BMW M5 Competition
467 Kw
5 stars
$246,900
89%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website
Mercedes-Benz E63
450 Kw
5 stars
$209,239
88%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website
Tesla Model 3
202 Kw
5 stars
$66,900
83.5%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website
Kia Stinger
274 Kw
5 stars
$50,050
82.67%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website
Alfa Romeo Giulia
206 Kw
5 stars
$60,900
82%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website
Mercedes Benz C Class
375 Kw
5 stars
$65,800
82%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website
Lexus GS F
351 Kw
5 stars
$152,980
80.67%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website
Audi RS5
331 Kw
5 stars
$157,700
80.5%
Read Review
Find a Deal
on OnlineAuto.com.au’s website
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The complete BMW M5 review

BMW M5 pricing

There was just one M5 sold by BMW in Australia, the M5 Competition spec sedan.

BMW M5 Competition

Buying an M5 Competition was a relatively straightforward process, with just one standard specification, to which you could add optional extras.

New, the BMW sports sedan sold for $246,203.90 (2018-2019). Wrapped into this driveaway price was a suggested dealer delivery charge of $3,500, $38,796.60 luxury car tax, $411 NSW registration costs, $518.30 CTP and $10,825 stamp duty.

The M5 had a 4.4-litre twin-turbo petrol V8 paired with an 8-speed auto gearbox. As you'd imagine with a rapid performance sedan, everything is geared towards speed, including quad tailpipes for a free-flowing engine, AWD for traction, dynamic suspension, M Division body styling and a high-end interior.

You'd think that in the pursuit of speed, BMW might have ditched many passenger comforts to make the M5 lighter. However, it is extremely well appointed. The 2018 M5 had a Head-Up Display, a Bowers & Wilkins 16 speaker sound system, a leather-upholstered instrument panel, an Alcantara headlining, hands-free power boot lid opening, a 10.25" infotainment touchscreen, ambient cabin lighting, 4-zone air conditioning, LED headlamps, driving assist, wireless charging, DAB, velour floor mats, Merino leather upholstery, heated seats and Park Distance Control – both front and rear.

Click on a model to view M5 finance deals.

BMW M5 Competition
4WD, 8-speed automatic, 4.4-litre V8 petrol, 5 seats: $246,203.90

There were 6 metallic paints and 1 solid colour available for the 2018-2019 model year, at no extra cost. They were:

  • Black Sapphire (Metallic)
  • Singapore Grey (Metallic)
  • Snapper Rocks Blue (Metallic)
  • Marina Bay Blue (Metallic)
  • Donington Grey (Metallic)
  • Bluestone (Metallic)
  • Alpine White (Non-metallic)

BMW M5 used pricing

BMW M5 Competition
4WD, 8-speed automatic, 4.4-litre V8 petrol, 5 seats: $138,100 - $148,000

Used values from RedBook

Overview

With a name that sounds like a weapon, the business-attire outer hides the innards of a supercar.

Journalists poured praise on the M5 Competition. Both on the road and when warping around a racetrack, it was comfortable yet thrilling. BMW offered a complimentary driving course with this car, suggesting it is a serious machine!

If you're still not convinced, watch this video of the M5 setting a world record for the longest continuous drift. One writer said it was the best BMW ever!

WebsiteProsConsNotable quote
Car Advice/Drive
  • Supreme performance
  • Flawless mix of everyday comfort and supercar levels of performance
  • Exquisite interior
  • Confidence-inspiring AWD
  • Downplayed styling
"The all-new sixth-generation BMW M5 is the fastest M car ever built by the German skunkworks. And it's also, arguably, the greatest BMW ever."
Motor/WhichCar
  • Supercar quick
  • Excellent handling
  • Grip
  • Exclusive interior
  • Comparative value
  • Executive car styling
  • Sound could be sweeter at low revs
"Overall, we are very impressed with the new M5. All-wheel drive – while there is something oddly unattractive about it in an M5 context – has injected a bit of sense into the ever-more-powerful M sedan equation."
CarsGuide
  • Extremely fast large sedan
  • Adjustable AWD
  • More polished in town
  • AMG has a better exhaust snarl
  • Subdued exterior
"For those needing to tow things real fast, the new M5 is rated to pull an impressive 2,000kg unbraked. Try all that with a Ferrari Enzo, which is still 0.2s slower 0-100km/h."
Motoring
  • Phenomenal front-end grip
  • Stirring acceleration
  • Handles expertly
  • Modest power gain
"It's a joy to toss around, either on the track or on the road. It can be either cruised around using surprisingly little fuel or driven briskly with a calm assurance or picked up and thrown at corners like it's a fat tarmac rally car."

Engine and performance

For the current generation M5 (known as the F90, which is built upon the G30 5-series), BMW decided to install a modified version of the previous model's engine. Labelled the S63B44T4, BMW engineers reworked the exhaust manifold, bolted in new turbochargers and turned the injection pressure up to 350bar. The engine cooling system was improved to provide increased cold airflow.

As a result, the power measured 460kW(616hp) and torque an astonishing 750Nm! Those numbers translate to the M5 blasting from 0-100km/h in 3.3 seconds. That's verging into supercar territory. For reference, Lamborghini's Huracán EVO is a mere 0.4 seconds faster. Zero to 200km/h is dealt with in the blink of an eye – 10.8 seconds.

BMW electronically limits the top speed to 250km/h, but this restrictor can be removed and then the sedan will travel 305km/h flat out!

Car reviewers' thoughts on the BMW M5 engine and transmission

Car reviewers gushed with admiration for the M5 Competition. Most drove a few hot laps at racing circuits like Sandown in Victoria. But that doesn't mean it's a track car, because, in everyday driving, it is possible for the high-performance M car to be civil and sensible.

However, the reviewers found that the driving modes of the M5 Competition turn it into a fearsome beast when desired. They said it was best to pre-plan accelerator pedal use and that aggressive acceleration can physically take your breath away. They were left flabbergasted when using full-throttle, mainly by the visceral speed of the M5.

One tester said this car was a phenomenon, with little it apparently could not master. Thanks to BMW implementing 4WD for the first time on an M5, journalists felt the car delivered seemingly endless grip and traction. It's still possible to select RWD mode, for a bit of fun. There were some cautionary words for 2WD Sport mode, with at least one writer suggesting it was best reserved for track use only.

BMW also opted to drop in a more traditional automatic gearbox, with 8 gears, rather than a dual-clutch system like the previous M5 used. Critics said the gear shifts were effortless and that the onboard computer selected gears analytically and with minimal response time.

BMW M5 engine and transmission statistics

4.4-litre V8
Engine typeTwin-turbocharged, Double Overhead Cam with Variable Valve timing
Drivetrain4WD (selectable RWD)
Engine size/displacement4,395cc
Fuel typePetrol
Cylinders8 in a vee
Fuel tank capacity76 litres
Max power460kW
Max torque750Nm
Fuel consumption (combined)10.5L/100km
Acceleration (0-100km/h)3.3 seconds
Emissions standardEuro 6 (Green Vehicle Guide)
Top speed (km/h)250km/h*
SecurityCentral locking with electronic immobiliser
Transmission8-speed automatic
Towing capacity (unbraked/braked)N/A

*Could be derestricted to 305km/h with the 7ME BMW M Driver's package.

Fuel economy

The Green Vehicle Guide lists the fuel economy for the 2018-2020 BMW M5 as:

  • Combined: 10.5L/100km
  • Urban: 14.5L/100km
  • Extra: 8.2L/100km
Factory-provided fuel economy numbers are super useful as a comparison figure between different car makes and models. This is because they are determined using strict testing procedures that don't include the several variables experienced in real-world driving. On public roads, you'll negotiate traffic, elevation changes, environmental and weather variables, and differing driving styles that affect fuel usage.

Real-world fuel economy

Only one outlet discussed fuel efficiency for the M5 Competition. They didn't give precise figures but simply said that when cruising around, the car uses surprisingly minimal amounts of petrol. Obviously, if you drive it on a track, fuel usage will increase substantially.

Handling

The BMW M5's handling received heaps of praise. The automotive media determined the M5 will easily cover long journeys in its powerful stride. Despite having a taught suspension set-up that is oriented to twisty race circuits, testers were pleased to report the M5 was admirable on-road too. Often, sports suspension has very little forgiveness, making potholes and speed bumps bone-rattling. However, BMW engineers have managed to pull off a true feat, by creating something that works acceptably on public roads, while excelling on the track.

The steering is sharp, predictable and precise, just like the suspension. Words like perky and nimble were thrown around. It's evident from photographs that many motoring writers were able to drift the M5 sideways and commented on how controlled the car was when this happened.

In-car customisable programs will make you feel like a Formula 1 driver. For example, you can customise the drivetrain torque split bias, as well as make adjustments to the engine, chassis (suspension). It is also possible to alter a valve in the exhaust.

In conclusion, for a big sedan, the M5 is nimble.

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Interior and features

You'd be forgiven for thinking the M5 would have the interior of a V8 Supercar, given its impressive performance and handling.

From the factory, you receive: a lower windscreen head-up display, adjustable ambient interior lighting, heat attenuating glazing, an anti-dazzle rear-view mirror, rain-sensing wipers, supple Merino leather upholstery, a BMW ambient air fragrancing system, 4-zone auto climate control, contactless power-operating tailgate, an Alcantara headlining, keyless entry, power-adjustable and heated front seats, M5 badged floor mats, aluminium and pearl interior trim, an M leather steering wheel, rear-window roller sunblinds, soft-closing doors, BMW Connected+, DAB, smartphone connectivity, a Bowers & Wilkins 16-speaker surround sound system, navigation, a 10.25" touch control display – with voice recognition and a gesture control interface for the infotainment and parking assists (that will make you feel like a Jedi).

In terms of driver assists, the BMW M5 Competition has:
  • Active cruise control (with stop and go)
  • Front cross-traffic warning
  • Steering & lane control assistant
  • Lane keeping assistant (with side collision warning and crossroads warning)
  • Parking assistant plus (with active parking distance control at the rear, surround view, panoramic view and 3D view with gesture control)
  • Speed limiter
  • Tyre pressure indicator

For those looking for further luxuries, there are multiple optional packages, including the Indulgence add-on that brings a massaging function and twin 10" screens for rear-seat entertainment.

You can customise the passenger cabin by choosing different colours, though some of the lighter tone upholsteries are optional extras. You can also pay for a heated steering wheel and have carbon ceramic brakes installed (with matching gold callipers).

Some of the other extras mentioning include active seat ventilation for the driver and front passenger and Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto option – though, this is now listed on the BMW website in September 2021).

If they so wished, owners could switch out the carbon fibre roof for an electric glass replacement for no additional cost.

It's fair to say that most reviewers were impressed by the interior, although one or two said it felt a little behind the times. The seats are reportedly very comfortable both in the front and rear. It's also impressive that the M5 has a 530-litre boot and split-fold rear seats for carrying lengthy luggage.

Exterior

Externally, the M5 is unassuming and elegant. Some reviewers lauded BMW for this, while others wanted their sports sedan to be a little more bling. As such, it's kind of a factory sleeper car.

The BMW M5 also has lightweight 20" M alloy wheels, BMW's trademark kidney grills, plus M Division touches like side gills, an understated rear spoiler and a high gloss rear diffuser flanked by twin exhaust pipes.

BMW M5 safety, security and driver assists

M5 Competition safety features
Active protection
Airbags - Front, full-length sides, head protection on sides and in the headliner, knee airbag on driver's side
Alarm system
Central locking with immobiliser
Complimentary BMW Driving Experience course
Dynamic braking lights
Dynamic stability control (DSC), anti-lock braking system (ABS), braking assistant, cornering brake control (CBC), dynamic traction control (DTC)
Electronic warning triangle and first-aid kit
M compound brakes
Active cruise control
Front cross-traffic warning
Steering & lane control assistant
Lane keeping assistant (with side collision warning and crossroads warning)
Parking assistant plus (includes parking assistant with active park distance control at the rear, surround-view, panorama view and 3D view)
Speed limiter
Tyre pressure indicator
Tyre repair kit
Speed limit info
Adaptive LED headlights with high-beam assistant
Automatic anti-dazzle rear view
Intelligent emergency call
Brake pad wear indicator
Dynamic stability control, plus anti-lock brakes, braking assistant, cornering brake control and dynamic traction control

BMW M5 interior and comfort features

M5 Competition interior features
BMW M heads-up display
BMW gesture control
Ambient interior lighting
Heat protection glazing
Merino leather upholstery
1 x USB ports, 3 x 12V sockets
Ambient air package
4-zone control, automatic climate control
Alcantara headlining
Illuminated M5 door sill finishers
Electric seat adjustment plus memory functions for driver and front passenger, power lumbar adjustments, seat heating
M5 floor mats
M badged gear lever
Interior aluminium-carbon structure trim
M leather steering wheel with control buttons
M seat belts
Roller sunblinds for rear window
Soft-close door function
BMW Connected+
Real-time traffic information
CD player
DAB+ digital radio
Smartphone connectivity
Bowers & Wilkins 16 speaker surround system
10.25" touch control display
Speech recognition
Navigation system

BMW M5 exterior styling features

M5 Competition exterior specification
20" M lightweight Y-spoke style alloys
20" M light-alloy wheels, double-spokeNo cost option
20" M light-alloys, double-spoke in jet blackNo cost option
M carbon engine cover
M sports exhaust system
M xDrive (4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD selector)
Carbon engine cover
Dynamic damper control
Adaptive LED headlights
Anti-dazzle, heated, electrically adjusting side mirrors
BMW individual high-gloss shadow line
Kidney, side gills, (gloss black) mirror caps, rear spoiler and gloss black diffuser insert
Carbon fibre reinforced plastic roof
Gloss black M rear spoiler
Metallic paintwork
Exterior handle area lighting and door exit lighting

BMW M5 mechanical reliability and recalls

The BMW M5 ranked 5th in 2020 as the most likely sports car to reach 240,000km!

Checking the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's Product Safety Australia website, there are 2 recalls on the BMW M5 F90.

Recall 00 12 1505 00 affected 54 vehicles, from 2019. It was discovered that a portion of the transmission wiring harness could short circuit due to improper routing. The failure can cause the transmission to select neutral, potentially suddenly stopping or losing power to the wheels. After restarting, the parking brake can engage. The models were sold between and

Another recall was issued earlier, between and

Verdict

If you're looking for a thrilling, lively performance sedan, the BMW M5 comes very highly recommended by the automotive media. It has stacks of power, heaps of torque and the exact handling you'd expect from a German sports car. Journalists also spoke about how the car also manages to blend those fine attributes with practicality, a premium interior and 4WD. In their eyes, they combine to make the ultimate M5, perhaps even BMW, ever made.

Compare some options to finance a BMW M5

$
Name Product Interest Rate (p.a.) Comparison Rate (p.a.) Monthly Repayment View Details CTA
loans.com.au - New and Dealer Used Car Loan
3.99%
(fixed)
4.53%
You'll receive a fixed rate of 3.99% p.a. based on your risk profile
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Wisr Secured Car Loan
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A flexible car loan from $5,000 - $63,000 with personalised rates and rewards for strong credit customers.

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Plenti Car Loan
From
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Stratton Finance New Car Loan
From
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You'll receive a fixed rate from 3.69% p.a. depending on the lender you are approved with
Apply for up to $250,000 and use cash or trade in a vehicle to use as a deposit. Optional balloon payment available.
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Great Southern Bank Fixed Rate Car Loan
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Name Product Roadside Assistance Accidental Damage Storm Choice of Repairer Agreed or Market Value
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