Is now the time to buy one?
Ever since 1984, the BMW M5 has stood as the benchmark by which all executive sport sedans are measured. Now in its sixth generation (known as the F90), the 2020 BMW M5 produces a whopping 617 horsepower from a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that sends its grunt to all four wheels. The 0-60 mph run takes a supercar-rivaling three seconds and the car will keep on accelerating up to 189 mph.
In its more powerful Competition guise, a 2020 M5 will set you back a hefty $110,000. This is fair when you consider the price of other high-performance German sport sedans but if you are willing to put your money towards a used M5, you can get a much better value.
The M5 has long been considered the ultimate performance sedan. It may not be as nimble as smaller sports sedans like the M3 or dedicated sports cars like the Z4 but in terms of performance, it can keep up with supercars. Larger performance sedans like the M5 are perfect because they excel at everyday tasks like picking your kids up from school and sitting in traffic while hiding an innate ability to tear up a winding back road or a race track. The M5 will never disappoint as a daily driver nor will it fail to excite during a spirited drive.
With the steep depreciation curve of BMW's higher-end M models, the last generation (F10) M5 can now be purchased starting at around $25,000 with high mileage (60,000 or more). Prices range drastically depending on age and mileage with the F10 generation M5 lasting from 2013 to 2016 in the United States. Some of the later examples can still be found as certified pre-owned cars, which includes BMW's one-year/unlimited-mile warranty. We recommend planning to budget around $50,000 to $60,000 for a CPO example, which is still half the price of a new one.
The F10 may be the outgoing generation of the M5 but it is still powered by the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo S63 V8 engine, albeit a slightly older version of it. When it was new, it still produced a healthy 553 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque going to the rear wheels through either a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission or a rarified six-speed manual for the North American market only. The DCT was much quicker with a 0-60 mph time of 3.7 seconds while the manual model took around 4.4 seconds. Both transmissions are far off the pace of the current M5, which benefits from AWD traction.
In 2014, BMW added a Competition Package, which upped the output to 567 hp and changed the bushings, springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars. Power was increased again in 2015 to 591 hp.
The F10 5 Series cabin was relatively high-tech during the time of its release but even by those standards, the interior design was considered more simplistic. It features traditional analog gauges with the M Division's signature changing redline feature on the tachometer. A new steering wheel became available on later models while the rest of the cabin remained mostly the same. With comfy leather chairs and a usable Drive infotainment system, the F10 M5 feels modern and comfortable even by 2020 standards.
Being based on a 5 Series, the M5 loses very little in practicality during its M car transformation. It still has a roomy back seat with 36.1 inches of legroom and a capacious trunk with 14 cubic feet of storage space. Fuel economy is pretty poor though, with the twin-turbo V8 drinking fuel at a rate of 15 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway. We should also note that just because prices are now well under the $50,000 mark, budget accordingly for six-figure luxury car repair prices.
The F10 generation M5 doesn't have the legendary status of the manual-only E39 model nor the screaming V10 engine of the E60 model but unlike those two cars, which are massively expensive to maintain, the F10 M5 is relatively reliable and is still modern enough that it shouldn't require any life-ending repairs. Being the first turbocharged M5, it is also much quicker than any previous generation model and can keep up with many modern performance cars. With prices now being a fraction of what they were when it was new, the F10 BMW M5 looks like a smart buy.