Used Bmw M5
A history lesson…
The BMW M5 range has provided the executive vehicle category with some much needed OTT power and fun over the past three decades, proving that comfortable saloons can also pack a real punch when it comes to performance.
The first generation of the used BMW M5 dates back to the mid 1980s, when each example was built by hand and no production saloon could match it for speed or acceleration.
A second generation emerged in 1989, with the 3.5 litre engine of the original being replaced with larger 3.6 and 3.8 litre units.
It was not until 1999 that the M5 finally became a mainstream hit rather than a niche product, with the E39 example using a V8 engine that came close to offering 400bhp of pure power, allowing it to outdo the competition from Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.
This model is seen to be one of the best ever produced by BMW, perhaps because it helped to define a new generation of powerful executive vehicles, or because it was so much fun to drive.
A more modern generation of the new BMW M5 was introduced in 2005, this time with an incredible V10 engine under the bonnet pumping out 507bhp. Many imitators have arisen to challenge the M5, but it is still the king of its domain.
Bang for your buck
While the used BMW M5 models tend to be superficially similar to standard 5 Series cars, there are plenty of exterior touches that indicate its capabilities. Of course the badge is always a bit of a giveaway.
The M5 has always attempted to offer supercar-style performance in a more practical package, which means you get excellent space on the inside, comfortable seats, tons of gadgets and lots of luggage room.
Modern BMW M5s have become particularly well equipped, which means that you might be overwhelmed by the wealth of gadgets when you first get in. However, this range is primarily about performance and every example will deliver on this level.
What you'll pay
Since older models of the M5 built prior to 1999 are quite scarce due to the small production numbers, it is sensible to seek more modern cars as a used proposition.
A T-reg M5 will set you back £15,000 or so, which certainly seems like a bargain when you consider what you get for your money. Meanwhile a 2003 model is going to be closer to £30,000 used.
The 2005 range revision starts off at £17,500 if you want an example with a full service history and under 70,000 miles under its belt.
The later V10-toting used BMW M5 can top 200mph flat out, so don't be surprised if your insurance premiums are steep.
What to check
Check up on every technical aspect of the car, paying particular attention to the automatic gearbox on newer examples.
Reliability is solid, although you should look out for signs of wear and tear inside and out to spot problems sooner rather than later.
BMW replacement parts are affordable, in spite of the brand's premium nature. An £8 oil filter and £28 cam belt will see you right.
How it drives
Don't be surprised if the torque developed by the M5 tears your rear tyres to pieces quite quickly if you are not careful. You won't find more power on many other executive saloons.