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2018 BMW M5

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$102,600

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

Sedan

Body style

17

Combined MPG

5

Seating capacity

195.5” x 58”

Dimensions

All-wheel drive

Drivetrain

Overview

The good:

  • Gut-wrenching acceleration
  • Available semi-autonomous features
  • Marina Bay Blue exterior color
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Programmable M buttons
  • Sharper handling than old M5

The bad:

  • Overdone adjustable driving modes
  • Quiet exhaust for an M car
  • Noisy optional carbon-ceramic brakes
  • Stick shift discontinued
  • Quickly gets expensive with options

1 trim

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2018 BMW M5 trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best Sedans for 2024

Notable features

  • More power for 2018
  • Zero-to-60 mph in 3.2 seconds
  • New all-wheel drive with selectable rear-wheel drive
  • Carbon-fiber-reinforced roof
  • Twin-turbocharged V-8
  • New eight-speed automatic transmission

2018 BMW M5 review: Our expert's take

By Brian Wong

There is always risk involved when it comes to remaking an icon, and BMW at the very least deserves props for its chutzpah in moving the redesigned 2018 M5 in a direction very different from each of its predecessors.

Related: 2018 BMW M5 Preview

The new M5 gets a slew of cosmetic updates, including a new front bumper with three giant air intakes that help funnel air to the cooling systems and the brakes, a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof to reduce weight and an updated rear diffuser flanked by two pairs of exhaust pipes.

Those are all window dressing, however; the big change (and risk) lies in what goes on under the M5’s skin. Previous generations of the M5 were all foundationally rear-wheel-drive performance sedans, but for 2018 there’s something new down there: standard all-wheel drive. And there’s one other change, which is understandable given current trends but still leaves me a bit misty-eyed: no more manual transmission. All M5s will come with an eight-speed automatic.

These updates have some purists worried: Will the M5 still be a true performance car? Or will it turn into a cushier, comfortable sedan that can go fast in a straight line but loses some (some would say “more”) of its character?

This is where I tell you that this was the first M5 I’ve driven, and in one respect I’m kind of glad: It meant I got to evaluate the M5 in a vacuum, no waxing nostalgic for the RWD car or the manual — the 2018 M5 got a clean start with me on its merits. And its merits are ample. I headed to BMW’s Performance Center in Thermal, Calif., to see if the M5 has bite.

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2018 BMW M5

  • Powertrain: 600-horsepower, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 with 553 pounds-feet of torque; eight-speed automatic transmission; M xDrive all-wheel drive with Active M rear differential
  • Key features: Adaptive suspension, carbon-ceramic brakes ($8,500), 20-inch bi-color wheels ($1,300), carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof, full Merino leather upholstery ($3,500), Driving Assistance Plus Package ($1,700), Executive Package ($4,000), head-up display, Apple CarPlay compatibility ($300)
  • Price: I wasn’t able to track down an official window sticker from BMW, so the above is my best approximation of the features on the street car I tested, amounting to $125,395. The 2018 M5 starts at $103,595 (including destination charges). This puts it within the realm of the Mercedes- AMG E63 S (starting at $105,395) and Audi RS 7 ($114,875).

Quick, Quick, Quick

This thing goes like stink. The zero-to-60 sprint vanishes in just 3.2 seconds, according to BMW, a touch quicker than the Mercedes (3.3 seconds) and a step ahead of the Audi (3.6 seconds for Performance versions), each according to their manufacturers. The buildup of speed is actually quite linear. This is why the RS 7, though technically slower, can feel faster at times because it kicks so hard in the middle-rpm range, but the M5 is easier to control and rolls onto the power a bit more cleanly.

Pretty much every performance characteristic of the car is customizable, from the suspension firmness and the behavior of the AWD system to the steering assist and shift speed. To make things simpler, there are two red buttons atop the steering wheel with an M1 and M2 painted on them. This allows the driver to store customized quick-access drive modes for his or her most commonly desired settings.

On the track, the AWD system shines. The M5 has so much power that it’s comforting to know you have four wheels to put it all down instead of two. A button in the center console activates something called M Dynamic Mode, which shifts the torque bias rearward and can dial in some allowable oversteer as well. It also offers a 2WD mode that dumps all of the power to the rear wheels for those who want some old-school M5 hijinks — enough to mitigate the complaints of casual rear-drive enthusiasts, but not the purists who would prefer not to have the extra hardware weighing on the steering and front suspension. I spent my time in the M5’s 4WD and 4WD Sport modes.

The dynamics are excellent with the suspension jacked up to its firmest, especially considering that the M5 tips the scales at 4,370 pounds (actually a not-insignificant improvement, considering the previous generation was 4,387 pounds with a manual and rear-wheel drive). On the perfect pavement on a track, the suspension doesn’t have to worry about road imperfections and keeps the M5 impressively flat on corner entry. It isn’t what I would call agile, though; turn-in is not very sharp and you can feel its weight, especially on tighter, slower corners that push a lot of the car’s heft onto that outside rear tire. However, the engine, transmission and all-wheel drive work together in such tight harmony that it remains entertaining because you can use the throttle to manipulate the car’s exit trajectory, and it is seriously addicting.

The M5 also does one thing that I sincerely appreciated: It projects your current gear prominently in the head-up display. When using the paddle shifters to scoot around, that’s a big added convenience that not all automakers feature, so kudos to BMW.

Wrestling (and that is the appropriate word for it) the M5 around the racetrack was great fun, but once I got it on the street, I found that normal pavement is where the car truly excels.

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Windows Down, and Cruise

The M5’s performance credentials are undeniable — but then again, so are its luxury chops. My test vehicle came with full Merino leather upholstery and all of the luxury features you could want, like ventilated and heated front seats, countless lumbar and adjustment options, and even a steering wheel with long telescoping travel to find a perfect seating position.

Tone down the settings and the M5 is docile, the suspension pliant and the cabin whisper quiet except for the occasional burble from the exhaust system when you accelerate with some vigor (because the temptation is too great to refrain for too long). It’s nearly a perfect car to do a long trip in, either solo or with a few passengers.

I think this was the part of the M5 that surprised me the most. I expected it to be a blast on the track (it is) and to have neck-snapping acceleration (it does). Its dual nature is what really delivers, though, and in some ways it’s the full realization of the goals that each of those electronic systems underpinning it aim for – a high performance ceiling without sacrificing on-road comfort or manners.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Brian Wong
Former L.A. Bureau Chief Brian Wong is a California native with a soft spot for convertibles and free parking. Email Brian Wong

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior 5.0
  • Performance 5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Exterior 5.0
  • Reliability 5.0
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Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

Supercar Sedan

A true high performance sedan. A supercar that can be tamed to be your daily driver. Just a fun car to drive, just don't toss the keys to the valet.

5.0

Speed and luxury

Who else can run 11s on the drag strip while also getting a massage as you daily drive it back home with the latest technology.

5.0

I would like to have one M5 one day...

No word to say for this car its too much Powerful and beautiful.I believed one day i will have my Bmw m5 very soon ..

See all 3 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by BMW
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
48 months/50,000 miles
Corrosion
144 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
48 months/50,000 miles
Maintenance
36 months/36,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Certified Pre-Owned Elite with less than 15,000 miles; Certified Pre-Owned with less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
1 year/unlimited miles from expiration of 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
196-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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