2020 BMW M5 In-Depth Review From Car and Driver

By Don Jacobs | Posted in BMW on Friday, July 17th, 2020 at 9:00 pm
BMW M5

Car and Driver’s review of the 2020 BMW M5 takes a look at what’s different with this year’s version, pricing, performance, interior, safety and coverage. Link to full article here.

BMW M5

Overview

Don’t call it a comeback. The BMW M5 has been here for years. However, the latest generation is rocking its peers and putting fear in the hearts of other sports sedans. Uncorking 600-plus horsepower from its twin-turbo V-8, the 2020 M5 accelerates with unbridled ferocity. Its standard all-wheel-drive system can even send all that power to the rear wheels for drivers who like to hang out the tail. Indeed, BMW has reinvented an icon that had become almost unrecognizable. While the M5 is still a big luxury sedan loaded with high-tech gadgetry, it now has a maniacal side that lately has been missing from the company’s storied M division.

What’s New for 2020?

For 2020, BMW makes small changes to the M5 lineup that include new standard equipment and a limited-run M5 Edition 35 Years. Every model now comes with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, real-time traffic info, remote services, and wireless device charging. The U.S. will only get 35 of the awkwardly named M5 Edition 35 Years, which is based on the Competition model and includes unique gold interior trim as well as exclusive Frozen Dark Grey II exterior paint.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

  •  M5: $104,695
  •  M5 Competition: $111,995

Those who want the ultimate 5-series should choose the M5 Competition, which we think is the better M5. That choice requires shelling out an extra $7300 for 17 more horses, specially tuned suspension settings, and some unique styling bits. The upgrades don’t compromise the 5’s ride quality or livability. We’d add the 20-inch wheels (19s are standard) and the Executive package. The latter brings luxuries such as ventilated front seats with massage functions, heated front and rear seats, soft-close doors, four-zone automatic climate control, self-parking assist, and more.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Sporting a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 with 600 horsepower and 553 lb-ft of torque, the M5 is mighty quick. At our test track, it launched to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and snapped off a 10.9-second quarter-mile time at 129 mph; top speed is a governor-limited 163 mph. An even more powerful M5 Competition model is now available and makes 617 horsepower. It proved to be quicker than the regular M5 on a real racetrack at our annual Lightning Lap. The M5 faithful will lament the discontinued manual gearbox and unfamiliar all-wheel-drive system, but this Bimmer has a high-tech drivetrain that can send 100 percent of power to the rear wheels for pure rear-drive personality. Driving enjoyment is maximized here with lively and direct steering, a well-controlled (borderline stiff) ride, and heroic cornering grip. That doesn’t mean the M5 can’t also do duty as a luxury sedan: In Comfort mode, it cruises placidly and the cabin is whisper quiet.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The EPA estimates that the regular M5 and its Competition variant will earn 15 mpg in the city and 21 mpg on the highway. Both figures are worse than the Porsche Panamera Turbo (18 mpg city and 25 highway) and similar to the Mercedes-AMG E63 S sedan (15 mpg city and 25 highway). We tested the M5 Competition on our 200-mile fuel-economy route where it exceeded its government rating by 3, with a result of 24-mpg highway.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

The 2020 M5 has an elegant leather interior with supple and supportive sport seats. The driver’s seating position is optimized for performance-style driving, and BMW hasn’t gone the all-touchscreen route that many of its rivals have, so making changes to the air conditioning or adjusting the radio during driving causes little distraction. There’s also a slew of desirable standard features that include customizable ambient interior lighting, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable steering column. Further options include ventilated front seats with massage functions, heated rear seats, and four-zone automatic climate control. Along with useful interior cubby storage, the M5’s trunk held six carry-on suitcases in our test.

Infotainment and Connectivity

The M5’s large infotainment display runs BMW’s latest iDrive software, sits atop the dash to the right of the driver’s sightlines, and is controlled by a rotary knob on the center console. While Android Auto capability isn’t available, Apple CarPlay integration and a Wi-Fi hotspot are standard. There’s also a 16-speaker, 600-watt Harman/Kardon audio system and wireless device charging on all 2020 models. Those who want even fancier features can opt for the optional rear-seat entertainment system and 16-speaker, 1400-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

The 2020 M5 hasn’t been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The sports sedan does offer a wide variety of standard and optional driver-assistance technology. Key safety features include:

  •  Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
  •  Standard lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist
  •  Available adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go technology

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

BMW provides a limited warranty and powertrain protection that aligns with luxury rivals.

  •  Limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  •  Powertrain warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
  •  Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for 3 years or 36,000 miles

See the BMW M5 at Don Jacobs.

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