New 2019 BMW M5 Sedan New 2019
BMW M5 Sedan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

The 2019 BMW M5 proves there’s still plenty of life for high-performance sedans, thanks largely to a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that makes a nice even 600 horsepower. Aided by standard all-wheel drive, this 6th-generation Bavarian super-sedan puts the power down with composure as it streaks to 60 mph in a scant 3.2 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Of note: For serious drivers seeking serious thrills, the M5 can be switched into a rear-drive-only mode that allows burnouts and other shenanigans. Topping that is the new 2019 BMW M5 Competition -- with its aggressively tuned suspension, firmer engine mounts and 617-horsepower V8, the new M5 Competition is the most powerful M5 model ever sold by BMW. Its top speed: 189 mph.

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You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re a longtime aficionado of BMW M, or if you simply must have the most powerful model in the BMW 5 Series lineup, the new M5 answers your call. Its impressive track skills are backed by impeccable everyday manners and luxury credentials.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Brand loyalties aside, the new M5, at $103,695 (including $995 destination), is a pricey proposition. And consider this: An M550i (reviewed separately) costs about $30,000 less, and this top model in the standard BMW 5 Series lineup packs a V8 punch.

What's New for 2019

The BMW M5 Competition ($110,995) is a new model for 2019. In addition to its 617-horsepower V8, this hyper-sporty M5 benefits from a more aggressively tuned chassis, firmer engine mounts, and lightweight forged wheels. Also, Apple CarPlay has been made standard in all 2019 BMW M5s.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

The M5 is ferocious. On Portugal’s famed Estoril racetrack, which formerly hosted F1 races, we felt the M magic firsthand. The M-finessed all-wheel-drive system lets the M5 hit 60 mph in only 3.2 seconds, with all four wheels grappling the pavement and giving this big German sedan a sublime composure. In corners, the M5 hangs on better than any 2-ton midsize sedan rightfully should. It just sticks. This is in standard “4WD” (4-wheel-drive) mode. In “4WD Sport,” the system allows the M5 to slide around a bit more. In “2WD” (2-wheel-drive) mode, all power is sent to the rear wheels, as in all previous generations of M5. This disables traction control, allowing expert drivers to drift the M5 with skill. When not at the track, the 2019 BMW M5 drives like, well, a top-line 5 Series. Whereas past M5s could be rather beastly in city and suburbs, this one feels plush and serene when its driver-adjustable settings are tailored for comfort. We also like the 8-speed automatic transmission, which was new in 2018 and is far more refined than the 7-speed twin-clutch automatic used just a couple of years ago. If there’s anything the new M5 is missing when compared to past models, it’s a manual transmission. Not enough buyers were choosing it, says BMW.

Favorite Features

M XDRIVE ALL-WHEEL-DRIVE SYSTEM
In this arrangement, the front wheels are powered only when the rear wheels aren’t able to transmit any more torque to the road and additional traction is needed. Even in their default settings, the stability control and 4WD allow a certain amount of slip at the rear wheels, preserving the M5’s traditional rear-drive feel.

BOWERS & WILKINS AUDIO SYSTEM
This optional audio system -- all 16 speakers and 1,400 watts of it -- is among the finest we’ve heard in a car. In fact, we wrote an entire Audio Road Test review of it from our last time in a 2018 BMW 5 Series.

Vehicle Details

Interior

The 2019 M5’s interior is like that of the standard 5 Series, but with everything taken up a notch in quality. The transmission selector, for example, one of the first things you’ll touch, is nubbier than the pistol grip of the standard model, and in the M5 it’s surrounded by additional buttons to help tailor how the vehicle drives. As it’s more of a toggle than a standard mechanism that moves up and down on a track, the selector can be a little awkward at first use. Also notable are two red buttons on the M5 that peer from on top of the steering wheel like little ears. Labeled M1 and M2, they enable you to call up two customized driving setups tailored to your preference for everything from steering feel and dampers to the xDrive setup.

Exterior

As it does with its interior, the M5 retains the basic shape of its lesser 5 Series siblings, but with specific M touches for better performance. The M5’s track and overall width are slightly wider than those of the standard 5 Series sedan, while overall height is a touch higher. The roof of this high-performance BMW 5 Series sedan is made of carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic to cut weight, and it also possesses a unique front apron with enlarged air intakes and standard 19-inch wheels. Another M5 giveaway? The quad exhaust outlets in back.

Notable Standard Equipment

As you’d expect of the top BMW 5 Series, the M5 is well equipped. In addition to all its performance upgrades, you’ll get 20-way-power front seats, extended Merino leather upholstery, head-up display, power-operated trunk, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and steering wheel, and universal garage remote. Safety features include blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and frontal-collision warning with automatic emergency braking. The M5 Competition, of note, comes with a special M Sport exhaust system that produces “an extremely distinctive sound with a sportier tone -- especially when the engine is pushed hard and at high revs.”

Notable Optional Equipment

The Driving Assist Plus package adds driving and safety aids like active cruise control (with Stop & Go), active lane-keeping assist and what BMW calls Traffic Jam Assistant. The Executive Package adds an extra dollop of luxury, courtesy of soft-close automatic doors, massaging front seats, wireless charging, and a surround-view camera with a 3D view. Executive includes heated rear seats too. If you order the M Driver’s Package, you can take your M5 to a course at a BMW Performance Center, and have its top speed raised to 189 mph. Individual options include the Bowers & Wilkins audio system, night vision, a moonroof, and carbon-ceramic brakes.

Under the Hood

The twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 in the 2019 BMW M5 makes 600 horsepower. In the new BMW M5 Competition, the same basic V8 makes 617 horsepower, thanks to tuning tweaks and a less restrictive M Sport exhaust system. All-wheel drive keeps the 2019 M5 composed in hard acceleration, a genuinely thrilling experience peppered by the crisp shifts of BMW’s excellent 8-speed automatic transmission. While we’re glad BMW lets the M5 be switched to a rear-wheel-drive setting via an M-specific system, do so with caution because the M5’s twin-turbo V8 can smoke the car’s rear tires at will. And as ironic as it may be, the Autobahn-slaying M5 is fitted with an engine start/stop feature that saves fuel by cutting engine power at idle. Be warned, the automatic restarts are abrupt, so we regularly deactivated the system via a button below the red push-button ignition.

4.4-liter turbocharged V8
600 horsepower @ 5,700-6,600 rpm
553 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15 mpg/21 mpg

4.4-liter turbocharged V8
617 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
553 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,860 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A

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Pricing Notes

The 2019 BMW M5 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $103,695, including a destination charge of $995 and a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax. The new 2019 BMW M5 Competition starts at $111,995, destination and gas-guzzler also included. How does this pricing compare to that of the M5’s natural foe, the Mercedes-AMG E63 S? Well, that hot Mercedes-AMG, powered by a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 with 603 horsepower, starts at about $105,000, making these potent Germans remarkably similarly priced. Before ordering your 2019 BMW M5, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying. As the M5 was new for 2018, it’s too early to predict its resale value.

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