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2008 BMW M5

Overview
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2008 BMW M5 Review

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BMW subsidiary BMW M GmBH develops small volumes of ultra high-performance M versions of the compact 3 Series, mid-size 5 Series, luxury coupe and convertible 6 Series and Z4 sports cars. The heart of the 5 Series-based M5 is a high-revving 500-hp V10 engine matched with a standard Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG). The dynamic M5 offers 279 combinations of chassis and powertrain settings including three power levels and three modes each of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Electronic Damping Control (EDC). Although faced with stiffer competition today than ever before, the M5 remains the king of sports sedans.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're into German ultra-performance in an otherwise practical sedan, and BMW is your brand, then this is your ride. It's exclusive, expensive and seriously fast, and with more high-technology features than just about anything else on the road.

You May Not Like This Car If...

You may prefer one of several other ultra-performance mid-size sedans, including Mercedes' E63 AMG, Audi's S6 and Cadillac's STS-V, ranging from 435 to 507 horsepower and from around $70,000 to nearly $90,000. BMW also offers a 300-horsepower twin-turbo six-cylinder 535i and a 360-horsepower V8-powered 550i for a lot less money.

What's Significant About This Car?

Like other 5 Series models, the 2008 M5 gets an exterior freshening, interior upgrades and some new features, including six programmable memory keys in the iDrive control system. New options include a heated multi-function M steering wheel, soft-close doors, premium audio, High Definition (HD) Radio and an iPod/USB adapter that integrates the iPod's functions into the car's control system.

Driving the M5

Driving Impressions This may be the fastest, most muscular, most glued-to-the-road four-door on the market. It can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds (according to BMW), can seem to...

corner almost like a race car and its braking might leave you feeling as if it has hooked an aircraft carrier arresting cable. The standard seven-speed sequential manual gearbox (SMG), with 11 selectable programs ranging from "softest and slowest" to "hardest and quickest," can shift automatically or manually with the console lever or steering wheel paddles. But, in normal driving, and with a skilled driver, it is actually slower and less smooth than the conventional manual transmission. We prefer the no-cost optional six-speed manual, which offers crisp throws, well-arranged pedals and smooth clutch engagement.

Variable Tachometer Warning Zone
This innovative feature uses a rotating disc behind the tachometer face to move the yellow warning segment and redline to as low as 4500 rpm when the engine is cold, then gradually moves it to the normal 8250-rpm redline as the engine warms.


Brake Standby and Drying
When the driver abruptly lifts off the throttle, the DSC senses that hard braking may be imminent and applies just enough pressure to snug the pads against the rotors to reduce the system's reaction time. Also, acting on input from the windshield wiper's rain sensor during rainy conditions, the pads are periodically brought up against the rotors to eliminate any film of water between them.

2008 BMW M5 Details
2008 BMW M5 photo Interior

The 5 Series interior is revised for 2008 with the power window switches relocated to the armrests, larger door storage pockets, leather-wrapped center console and passenger door handles. The M5's brushed-aluminum interior trim can be replaced by either of two no-cost optional woods, and its high-end Merino leather can be optioned up to perforated leather and to cover the entire dash. Its iDrive multifunction controller now offers six programmable memory keys that can be set to frequently-used addresses, phone numbers or radio station presets, plus voice command for numerous functions.

Exterior

Critics have been harsh on BMW's current styling, which debuted on the larger 7 Series for 2002 and the mid-range 5 Series the following year. For 2008, all 5 Series models get styling enhancements including redesigned headlights, taillights, front air dam, rear bumper and rear diffuser. The M5 sports a deeper, more aggressive front air dam with larger center air intake and brake air inlets, BMW M front fender gills, special rocker panels and rear bumper/spoiler/diffuser and quad exhausts.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In addition to all the trappings you'd expect in a vehicle priced as it is, the 2008 BMW M5 includes as standard equipment a DVD-based navigation system with real-time traffic information, special M instrumentation and sport steering wheel, heated front seats with adjustable backrest width, Xenon Adaptive Headlights and ultrasonic Park Distance Control. Safety equipment includes dual front, front-side and tubular head-protection airbags, plus a sophisticated set of electronic stability, traction and brake controls.

Optional Equipment

The M5 offers an enticing array of options including full or perforated leather interior with suede-like Alcantara headliner, 20-way M multifunction seats with active width adjustment, active seat ventilation, Comfort Access keyless unlock and start, M Head-Up Display, heated steering wheel, soft-close automatic doors, high-definition radio, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, iPod/USB adapter, rear seat heating and rear side air bags.

Under the Hood

High-rpm is a key BMW M credo, so this V10 is engineered to rev eagerly to its 8250-rpm redline, at least partially due to the use of lightweight reciprocating components throughout, which also reduces total vehicle weight and helps balance front/rear weight to a near 50/50 distribution. It has three power and response settings: A P400 default mode caps the engine's output at 400 horsepower with normal throttle response, P500 unleashes all 500 horses with quicker response and P500 Sport delivers full power with still quicker response.

5.0-liter V10
500 horsepower @ 7750 rpm
383 lb.-ft. of torque @ 6100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 11/17

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2008 BMW M5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 45 Ratings for the 2006 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.8/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

V10 power,handles on rails,amazing build quality

By on Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "V10 engine power/noise, SMG shift speed and feel."

Cons: "MPG is around 11"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Car has been rock solid! No issues at all since i bought the car. The V10 performance, amazing/exotic noise is one of the best in the world, and the hard push in your seat and chest, pull of that motor is amazing. M cars are built with quality, as i can attest to my ownership. Build quality is precise and reliable. Handling of the car is exactly what it was made for, the world famous Nurburgring track in Germany, this car handles on rails! The steering is accurate, communicative and confidence inspiring. The suspension is adjustable to a soft mode, sport and race. The soft mode is perfect for driving on rough roads and having loved ones inside the car for a gentle ride. The SMG tranny is so much fun and interactive! The shift speed is amazingly fast in S6 mode, and no other car comes close to the feel and power shift of this tranny! So much fun and soul to it. If your a manual driver you will adapt to the tranny easily, auto only drivers might get some getting use to. Its a 4 door supercar."

17 people out of 23 found this review helpful

If you want a rocket that can carry 5 people

By on Friday, November 01, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "power, handling, fun factor"

Cons: "expensive to fix."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"The car is the most fun I have ever had behind the wheel. Power is amazing, handling is phenomenal and it is a true driving experience. It is almost impossible not to hit 100 MPH when getting on the highway."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Own a 2010 and had a 2006 so u know I like it!

By on Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "no soccer Mom Bimmer. get a 535i for that."

Cons: "wheres the filling station? Got tires?"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Yep, gotta agree with most of the reviewers. This beast is overall the best performing 4 door sedan ever... well there is that pesky Porsche Panamera Turbo to contend with. but that aside it is the best performing, naturally aspirated sedan I've ever driven. I drive an incredibly twisty, windy, extremely tricky mountain road that has very few straights and I do it in this car at mind boggling speeds. it's very predictable and you always know where it is in an extreme turn. If it steps out (Nanny's off), no problem, correct a bit and keep our foot in it! I love my M. It does require a few tweaks beside just hitting the M button to get it to really growl. Turn off the nanny's, notch the SMG up one more and step in it. It'll blow your mind how hard it hits the gears. My 2010 has a much better software package and other refinements that makes it a better car than my 2006. BTW, there's been a 2012 GT-R next to it and now a 2002 911 Cab so it's been up against some stiff competition. The GT-R was way faster accelerating (if you can believe it... AND DO) and the 911 is freaky light handling and a 6 speed fun to the bone manual car. And I have to say overall my E60 M5 is my all time favorite car for too many reasons to list. BOOM!"

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

OVERALL, BEST PERFORMANCE CAR EVER!!!!!!!

By on Monday, August 05, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "WONDERFUL AND FUN CAR, I LOVE THE SPEED/HANDLING"

Cons: "VANOS ISSUES TOO MUCH FOR MRS. M5."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I have had my 2008 BEAST for two years and was loving every second of it. However, over the past three months its been in the shop for some crazy expensive VANOS issues. After some really hard consideration I've decided to trade her in for either the 550GT or x6. Giving a low overall rating, due to the VANOS ($2,800 ea)issues and the costly parts to put her back together. PLEASE, GET AN EXTENDED WARRENTY!!!!"

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Amazing Drive!

By on Saturday, November 10, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Power, braking, apperance."

Cons: "MPG. haha"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love driving this car. It does not matter if I am driving on the highway, around town, or in the mountains, this car does it all."

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Couldn't be a better ride out there!

By on Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Every aspect of it is really perfect"

Cons: "SMG works best in either manual shift mode"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Love everything about the car. Bought it used with 2007 with 23k. There are NOT enough superlatives. My wife asked how she will ever be satisfied with any other car now. Terrible rear tire wear (3k miles per pair) until they got the rear alignment specs corrected and now going on 6k and expect >10k easily. Oil consumption is part of the design and reasonable as confirmed on the M5 Board. We do avoid winter salt with it. Can't imagine a better ride on the planet after 2 terrific years. It IS the ultimate driving machine."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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