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2018 BMW M5 Overview

The BMW 5 Series is the brand’s midsize sedan, codenamed G30, that was redesigned in 2017. So, in keeping with BMW tradition, the top-line, high-performance version known as the M5 bows one model year later, in 2018.

The 2018 M5, like every other one before it, takes the standard 5 Series body and makes stylistic and functional alterations. The front bumper has a more chiseled look with wider openings designed to force air at the brakes and intercooler. The roof is carbon fiber with a glossy finish. There are unique front fenders to accommodate a wider track and more-aerodynamic mirrors. Out back, there’s a big rear diffuser and giant quad-tip exhaust outlets. Big brake calipers peek out from the thin-spoke wheels, and of course, there are M badges all throughout.

Inside, things are similarly different. Unique front seats with aggressive bolstering immediately call out the M5’s status as top dog while the steering wheel gets multi-colored stitching in the familiar M colors. There are also hints of red all over the place: on the start button, on the gear selector, and on the performance-setting memory buttons, to name a few. The M5 also gets unique carbon-fiber interior options and graphics on the instrument cluster and infotainment system.

But the M5’s mission, of course, is performance. The world knew it was in for a treat when it was revealed that the current M550i is faster than the old M5. To make up for that, the M5 gets a proper performance boost. A new twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine now puts out 625 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque, increases of 40 and 53, respectively, and gets paired with a unique 8-speed automatic transmission and shift paddles. But the other big news is the drivetrain. All M5s of yore were rear-wheel drive, but this new one uses an M-specific version of BMW’s “xDrive” all-wheel-drive system for improved traction. And it has worked; the run to 60 mph now occurs in just 3.2 seconds, which enters supercar territory.

However, BMW has also wisely implemented progressive stability and traction control defeat modes, including a setting that disconnects the front axle and puts the car in RWD-mode, for classic M5 handling. And even in AWD mode, the M5 aggressively favors the rear wheels for as long as they can maintain the required amount of traction, even allowing a bit of wheel slip. There are also improved levels of adjustability. Drivelogic, which allows the driver to change the M5’s shift points on the fly, returns newly improved. Selectable Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus manipulate the spring dampers and steering whether you're on the track, the highway, or somewhere in between.

As should be the case, the M5 comes well equipped with 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, LED taillights, power-folding heated side mirrors, full leather upholstery, a 20-way power driver’s and passenger’s seat with memory, 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats, an Alcantara headliner, a 600-watt Harmon Kardon system, a 10.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system, navigation, a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, and an M-specific head-up display.

As far as options, there are relatively few for a BMW model. The Driving Assistance Plus Package adds advanced safety technology like blind-spot monitoring, cross-traffic detection, lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. The Executive Package comes with front and rear heated seats, quad-zone climate control, wireless charging, front cooled seats, soft-close automatic doors, front and rear parking sensors. and a surround-view camera. Standalone options include a moonroof (which removes the carbon-fiber roof option), Apple CarPlay, a 1400-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system, carbon ceramic brakes, and a rear-seat entertainment system.

Today’s M5 is better than ever before. Never has so much performance been available from BMW, and in such a comfortable and practical vehicle. The brand can rest easy knowing that its latest four-door supercar has defended its reputation in earnest.


Kyree has always been fascinated with the automotive world, especially when it comes to premium European cars. But regardless of the vehicle—whether it's an efficient hybrid or the latest luxury sled—he's always ready to dispense information and advice. These days, he enjoys doing that here at CarGurus.

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