Pros The 500 hp V-10 engine, the SMG transmission, the handling, the fit and finish, and the technology
Cons Very few: The gas milage (12 city and 18 highway), the gas guzzler tax ($3700), and the price $82,500 - $101,200 depending on options
Summary I purchased my 2006 BMW M5 in late January and I'm completely impressed with this car - bumper to bumper. I can say that the bar by which I judge cars has now been forever raised!!
SMG - It's not an automatic. It's a manual. I went into it with this mindset. I enjoy a manual shift car most of the time. The only downside is that you sometimes get worn out with the clutch. SMG is a manual transmission without the clutch. With that perspective - ITS WONDERFUL. I wouldn't have this car any other way. Admittedly, it takes some getting used to. To me, SMG is a full-on wonderful SUCCESS.
I-Drive – Good grief, I fail to see what all the whining in the press is about! Most of the stuff you just set it once and forget it. If you are going to drop this kind of cash for a car, I would suspect you are at least some sort of enthusiast. So go enjoy about 30 minutes to an hour bonding with your car in the garage, learn it and go on. I can see why the reviewers bad mouth it because they don’t have the time with the car. But as an owner, having spent the time to step through each of the menus, it’s a piece of cake. Without it, you’d have a zillion buttons and it would look like the cockpit of a 747 instead of a nicely appointed road car. I could do without the “Accept” screen, but otherwise, I like it just fine.
Bluetooth – No problems. Works great. I can drive right through all the spots that I used to drop calls and the signal stays strong. Couldn’t be better.
EDC – How do these Germans pull this off? Even on the softest setting, this car handles the corners without hardly any body roll and at the same time delivering a very very nice ride! Put it on sport mode and it handles like its on rails. This car really is two cars in one.
Interior – WOW! This interior just has an attitude! You get in and you just know you are in something special. The seats are AWESOME, everything is right in easy reach and well laid out. I was comfortable with all the controls within just a few hundred miles – like second nature.
Wheels – Rarely do I think the factory gets the wheels right and have changed them on most all the cars I’ve owned. But these? They just look RIGHT.
Fuel Consumption – Like they say, “If you want to play, you gotta pay!” Range is an issue though, but not that big of a deal.
Exhaust – Sounds like an F1 race car!
Stereo – I have never purchased a car yet that the stock stereo satisfied me. Ever. It’s not up to par of a professionally done after-market system, but it’s close enough for me that for the money.
Launch Control - The perfect 'drive by wire' way to flawlessly go from a stand still to 150 miles per hour (205 mph if you dis-engage the limiter). This car is scary fast!
Engine – What a work of engineering this thing is! It just pulls and pulls. Hats off to BMW here! The whole drivetrain just works marvelously together.
Two cars in one - What is the MOST impressive thing about this car is that it really is two cars in one. Everything that you believe about compromise in a car is shattered. It really is a 4-door luxury car AND an incredible world class sports supercar which makes it an engineering masterpiece. A Clark Kent / Superman kind of thing!
Pros V10 is awesome, exhaust note is spine tingling, interior features are A+
Cons cabin design so-so, iDrive far behind Mercedes version, although older
Summary Personally, the M6 is a better styled car: but hey, most people think it looks like crap. That just goes to show the subjective nature of everything BMW throws out these days. One gripe is that foul and disgusting bootlid, made even worse in the M6 variant. It is not just an insult to BMW fans but a spit in the eye of any motor enthusiast. iDrive, while in its third evolution, still has problems, and is far behind the ease and finesse of the Mercedes Benz S-class system. The V10 is an amazing machine and is an offset to the cost alone. SMG however, still needs work in the less sporty settings. This is a very good competitor to the Mercedes Benz E55 AMG, but personally i would take the Mercedes due to cabin layout and engine, as the 5.5Ltr V8 maybe less powerful (20hp less) but has bucket loads more torque (over 150 lb/ft). The Mercedes however, does need a competitor to the BMW SMG, even if it is not perfect - 5 speed auto is good, but lacks the options of the SMG.
Pros Great power and future potential
Cons Not sorted out yet, beta version of ECU mapping
Summary Great start with a terrific engine. Terrible SMG execution. Manual trans a must, but not available, thereby ruining the fun to drive factor. Dull, soft, styling. A good car that could be a great car. Needs to be sorted out and debugged.
Pros Performance, Power, technology... etc
Cons Fuel economy! But who cares!
"My third M5"on by Freak77
Pros Fast, subtle, smooth,leather interior
Cons minor smg irritations, gas mileage
Summary I love this car. Had 2000 and 2003 M5s before this. SMG takes some adjustment, works perfectly in almost all situation, except when toggling into 1st gear where the tranmission balks sometimes. Is only time I really miss the direct uncomplicated engagement of the manual. All other times the car performs like a precise instrument and remains the stealthy car Iove. Especially great blasting up US 395 to Mammoth Mountain. Unreal.