BMW M5 Competition Pack: PH Carpool

Name: Neal Ferguson
Car: BMW M5 Competition Pack (F10)
Owned since: August 2017
Suzuki Vitara SWB (you have to start somewhere), Renault Megane 2.0 16v Coupe, Ford Focus TDCI (company hack), Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG, BMW M3 (E46) Cabriolet, Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth, Mercedes E63 AMG (W211), Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCI Zetec S (Mrs F)

Why I bought it:
"I had absolutely zero intention of buying an M5, but I was getting itchy feet with my AMG Merc and felt it was time to change. Coming from a 500hp luxobarge, I was really struggling with what would be a suitable replacement. To be perfectly honest, I am very much an older car lover and I struggle to get on board with a lot of new cars - too bland, too cosseting, too muted, too detached... dare I say not that exciting? I am very much stuck in the 80s and 90s with my vehicular likes and was always drawn to RS2s, Cossies, Lotus Carltons and Skylines, those sort of cars.

"Car buying for me had always been a struggle, as I need to weigh up having something reliable, quick and a certain something to hook me in. It is also down to money, with the 'wants' typically being out of budget. The Merc was very much dominated by the blunderbuss upfront and the shouty pipes at the back, the Cossie had presence and turbo lag, the M3 had wind in the hair appeal and that straight six rip. I am lucky enough to have some cars that I have very much enjoyed owning, but probably not to everybody's tastes. Anyway, I digress.

"I was initially looking for another M3. I wanted a white E92 M3, with the Competition Pack, and set my search parameters accordingly. There wasn't really anything that paddled my canoe, so I had a look for the E63's equivalent and came across a lovely Monte Carlo Blue M5 at a dealer 17 miles from home. As I can never remember seeing an F10 M5 in the flesh, I felt I needed to have a look, if for nothing else than to get it out my system. It has presence when you lay eyes on it, especially under a dull Aberdeen sky. First turn of the key, it burst into life and I was sold. Deal done there and then, without even taking it for a drive. I have done that with my last four cars and have always been pleasantly surprised. Or lucky...

"As it was an M5, you could be assured it would have pace and would handle. As it was an approved BMW car, I knew it would have wanted for nothing and as I had the wife in the car, hangry and waiting for a fish supper, time was of the essence."

What I wish I'd known:
"I have kind of bought this car back to front in more ways than one, in that I did my research and read reviews on it after the purchase. There (again luckily) has been nothing crop up that has made me wish I had taken a step back, or regret the cavalier attitude to car buying."

Things I love:
"With the recent release of the new M5, the F10 seems to again be under some scrutiny and for the most part it is being looked upon more favourably than when initially released. It was the same with the E60 and I suppose as M cars age, they become more desirable - take a look at the price of an E30 M3, for example.

As for things I love, this thing is all about performance. The Comp Pack officially gives 575hp, but the general consensus is that they all leave the factory with comfortably over 600hp. Although a heavy car (probably over two tonnes with a tank of fuel and me), it has some pace on it.

"I love the colour. I always pride myself on keeping a clean car and Monte Carlo Blue seems to be a colour that takes a proper mirror like shine. I love the arch filling wheels and the Jekyll and Hyde attitude. Like the E63 it would plod along at 1,500rpm, but give it a stab and it has more than enough shove to keep you awake. It can also take a corner - by gosh, can it can take a corner!

"Oh yeah, and it has launch control. Who doesn't love a completely pointless, used once feature?!"

Things I hate:
"Hate is a strong word and there is nothing I hate. There are some things I wish it had, but not nearly enough to put me off. It's a shame it does not have the multi-function seats. The standard seats had lumber support as an option, so I just have the electric, heated efforts. Still very comfortable, but something that falls short of what was fitted to my Mercedes. Weirdly for such a range topping car, the pedals are pretty bland. Again, as a comparison, my 10 year-old Merc had a lovely set of aluminium (probably in reality coated plastic), studded pedals. It had no effect on anything, other than being visually appealing, yet the M5 has to put up with black rubber, probably as the rest of the 5 Series range.

"I suppose the only real gripe and something that may be subject to change are the wheels. They are lovely, but with the grey insets, I don't think they ever look clean. Also, if the diamond cut finish is anything like that on my E46, it'll be a matter of time before that starts to oxidise, so a colour change when this inevitably happens may be the cheapest solution. As a side note, I really have no idea why manufacturers diamond cut wheels for the UK market. My C43 had the same oxidisation problem and from friends who have run Mercs for years, this is a regular issue."

"Purchase costs and a tank of fuel so far. I have the continuation of the service pack to the end of 2018 and a 12-month warranty so, fingers crossed, other than petrol, there will be no wallet damaging events. On the subject of petrol, I can't be sure if it is economical or not, as I am used to 12mpg, so in reality anything over this is good to me. The trip says 21mpg, so as far as I am concerned that is frugal, but most would disagree. Nobody buys an M5 to save money, mind you."

Where I've been:
"As I work away from home for a month at a time, not far. At the time of writing, I have covered a grand total of 95 miles, so still a lot to discover. I have the Cairngorms on my door step, so I'm kind of spoiled for choice when it comes to going for a drive. The North Coast 500 looks like the next big thing, so I may treat Mrs F to a few days in various Highland B&Bs in the next short while."

What next?
"There are tuners out there that can extract a reliable c.700hp from mapping, so I guess once I become a little more power hungry the option is there. For the meantime, 'around' 600 is more than plenty - possibly too much some of the time. I'll be in touch though, should 700hp in a daily driver become a reality."

With apologies to Neal for not featuring this sooner! If you would like to feature your car in PH Carpool, please email

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Comments (26) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Frimley111R 05 Feb 2018

    I remember a conversation with a Vette owner...

    "How much power does this have?"


    "Wow, where can you use that?"


  • p1stonhead 05 Feb 2018

    OP only covered 95 miles since August 2017! yikes

  • FunkyFez 05 Feb 2018

    At the time of writing, that was correct. I'd picked the car up on a Friday and went away to work for a month on the Tuesday. I've managed to get a few more miles under my belt since then, but then winter etc. To date I've managed to cover around 1,500 miles since the day it came home. Still lots to discover though.

  • edo 05 Feb 2018

    Love mine.

    Really struggling to work out what to replace it with and have had it longer than most cars I've owned!

  • AC43 05 Feb 2018

    "The trip says 21mpg, so as far as I am concerned that is frugal, but most would disagree".

    LOL. Excellent. I'd agree that sounds fine.

    Out of interest what gearbox does the M5 have?

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