BMW M5 2009

2009 BMW M5
Although the M5 is a luxurious and solid performer, reviewers complain that complex interior controls can make driving it a hassle. Altogether, it ranks near the middle of its class.

The M5 is a sporty five-passenger sedan that is powered by an obscenely powerful V10 engine. “There are a lot of great super sedans on America’s dealer lots these days — and none of them holds a candle to BMW’s,” writes AutoWeek. “Sure, some might post very similar numbers when put through a track test, but no company — not Cadillac, Mercedes or Audi — delivers the fundamental feeling of oneness between driver and automobile that BMW does. If you can ever say ‘full-size, four-door sports car’ with a straight face, now’s the time.” Still, the M5 is not perfect. Auto writers consistently complain that its iDrive feature management system and customizable performance settings are too complex. What’s more, many of its super luxury sports car competitors trump it in style.

For 2008, the BMW M5 adds a new front air dam, as well as two new exterior colors.

* “For those aspiring to a 5 series BMW the 3 liter engine is perfectly adequate for 99% of the people. For the remaining — wealthy — 1% the M5 is something very special, especially on or near the limit. Oh, and preferably before lunch.” — The Auto Channel

* “The high price tag on the 2008 BMW M5 is, in part, accounted for by its legion of standard features including, 7-speed sequential transmission, aluminum alloy 19-inch wheels with high-traction tires, fully adjustable seats, hydraulically enhanced energy-absorbing collision protection, and a tire deflation sensor system.” — Carseek

M5 Performance – 8.8 (Very Good)
Test drivers are impressed with the M5’s performance, but find its technologically advanced custom settings too complex to master. “The BMW M5’s performance and handling characteristics can be tailored to suit a wide range of driving styles and preferences,” writes Forbes. “While in theory such customization is a boon to enthusiasts looking to squeeze as much performance out of the car as possible, the sheer complexity of systems required to achieve this can be daunting.” But, with a top speed of 155 mph and a 0 to 60 mph acceleration time of just 4.5 seconds, the M5 still ranks near the top of its class within the category of performance.

M5 Exterior – NA
Despite a freshened design, many auto writers aren’t too enthusiastic about the M5’s exterior. “Ugly, as always, is in the eye of the beholder,” writes BusinessWeek. “A lot of folks, ourselves included, have been non-fans of BMW’s current 5- and 7-Series styling. That said, it’s either growing on us or these updated ’08 5s are improved enough to look much better to our eyes, or both.” Continue with our full M5 Exterior Review or check out the M5 Photo Gallery to see it for yourself.

M5 Interior – NA
Critics find the M5’s five-passenger cabin refined and comfortable, but complain that its complicated iDrive interface detracts from its appeal. According to BusinessWeek, “The overly complex, user-unfriendly and often frustrating iDrive multifunction controller alone requires an evening of manual study to comprehend, after which owners will keep their manuals handy for on-the-fly reference.” Continue with our full M5 Interior Review, or check out the photo gallery.

M5 Safety – NA
The M5 has not yet been crash tested by the federal government or insurance industry, but features a wide array of standard safety features, including front-door-mounted side-impact air bags. “Just as important as the performance features in the new 2008 BMW M5 are its safety features, which are as innovative as they are effective,” notes Carseek. Continue with our full M5 Safety Review.

M5 Reliability – 8.0 (Very Good)
The 2008 BMW M5 reliability score shown is the Predicted Reliability rating provided by J.D. Power and Associates. This score is based on trending the past three years of historical initial quality and dependability data from J.D. Power’s automotive studies, specifically the Vehicle Dependability Study (VDS) and the Initial Quality Study (IQS). BMW covers every 2008 M5 with a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

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