PH Blog: M5 talks dirty

A confession. Until last Friday I'd never driven a BMW M5. Of any description. One of those weird black holes in my motoring back catalogue, only partly attributable to the fact I spent a good few years working on a Mercedes magazine and driving mainly AMGs.

So it's possible I'm a little biased. But I'm really not sure about the F10 M5.

Thank you Wales, Wiltshire and the M40 for your contributions
Thank you Wales, Wiltshire and the M40 for your contributions
And it's not for the want of trying. Just look at the thing. That's what you get after a lap of North Wales and hanging out on a video shoot with our man Harris on some very wet and soggy Wiltshire B-roads.

With the E63 AMGfresh in my mind it's been a good chance to compare the new M5 with a rival that matches it pretty much blow for blow on every line of the spec sheet. Never have AMG and M squared up to each other on such equal terms before.

It's a fascinating contest too, the German megasaloon equivalent of Impreza versus Evo or MP4-12C versus 458 Italia. And who's to complain at two 500hp-plus V8 heavyweights representing their respective manufacturers at the top of their games.

So what is it about the M5 that's left me, seemingly alone among every one of my peers, a bit cold? I will be exploring this in more detail, trust me. There may even be a 'Tell Me I'm Wrong' in it. Stuart already has.

Reserve fuel light on, needs a clean - PH is done!
Reserve fuel light on, needs a clean - PH is done!
In a nutshell it feels to me like the M5 is just trying a bit too hard. The E63 feels self-assured and confident in its own skin - it makes a 525hp E-Class seem an entirely sensible proposition. Availability as a wagon (as previously noted, it is officially acceptable to refer to Mercedes estates as wagons) is another point in its favour.

In comparison the M5 feels overwhelmed with pent-up aggression. And a little exhausting to be around. Its size and bulk - it's nearly 100kg more than the E63 saloon - are real limiting factors. So I'm not sure. There's so much to be impressed by. But to like? Not sure about that one.



Comments (216) Join the discussion on the forum

  • dufctubs 20 Jan 2012

    For some reason I love a clean car but also like it dirty as well, looks well used !

  • okie592 20 Jan 2012

    I love a dirty car and i love the M5

    a dirty m5 is a pants changing thing, it looks amazing

  • leon9191 20 Jan 2012

    Iv just bought an e39 M5 after several years of lusting after one. Dont need it, wont really use it but i love it. If the latest one doesnt do that for u maybe its missing something, mine certainly isnt.

  • Dino D 20 Jan 2012

    'size and bulk' is a limiting factor compared with the e63 because it's a 100kg heavier...really?!!
    That is the difference between full and empty tank on cars that are nearly 2 tonnes each.

  • MRCC 20 Jan 2012

    I think in years to come it will be the E60 with its V10 that will come to be revered with its charismatic free-reving, last of the naturally aspirated M5's. This one just seems a little too functional so I can entirely understand where the leaving you cold comes from. Just seems to lack charisma and the syling is rather average too. I'm not sold on it and thats after having spent some time in one too.


    Mr. CC

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