Used BMW 5-Series M5 (2011 - 2016) Comfort

Review by Parkers on
4.8
The Holy Grail, if you like, is for BMW to outstrip its own very high standards and build the best ‘M’ car ever. They probably achieved that with the 1 M Coupe launched in early 2011 but now this, the fifth generation of the M5, is seeking to take that title and there's no doubting it is a class act.

5 out of 5

Comfort

The M5 comes with Electronic Damper Control (EDC), allowing the driver to select from three settings. There's Comfort, for normal road use, Sport, for when a more dynamic driving style is preferred and Sport Plus for the most extreme driving on a race track. There are also three settings for the M-tuned Servotronic power assisted steering. Comfort requires only a small amount of steering effort when manoeuvring or parking, but still allows the instant changes of direction at higher speeds.

Switch to Sport and it delivers more intensive feedback, while Sport Plus requires greater force on the wheel so that the driver gets precisely the response that is intended from every steering input. As you'd expect, Sport stiffens things up accordingly but in Comfort mode the M5 is as smooth and supple as a standard 5-Series M Sport model and makes for a comfortable long-distance machine.

Up front the sports seats have good bolstering for your back and decent side supports to hold you in place when driving enthusiastically. There is a good amount of space in the rear and the M5 will easily carry four adults in comfort.

4 out of 5

Practicality

The M5 offers identical practicality to the standard 5-Series model. Visibility is pretty good in the 5-Series and the standard front and rear parking sensors are very useful. We would add the rear camera as an option as it makes parking in town a cinch. In terms of load-carrying ability, the boot has an overall capacity of 520 litres - slightly less than the main alternatives - but it's still useful thanks to a wide boot opening.

Storage space is ample: the glovebox is of a decent size and there’s twin cupholders up front. A small downside is that the door pockets are quite narrow and have little depth.

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How does the boot space compare?

546 litres
540 litres
532 litres
BMW 5-Series M5 (11-16)
520 litres
4 out of 5

Behind the wheel

Just like the standard 5-Series the M5 is stylish and well-built. The dash has a modern and clean design and clutter is kept to a minimum thanks to the i-Drive control. There are an array of buttons surrounding the gear lever for you to select your driving set-up and this may take a bit of getting used to. Our advice is to pre-programme two groups of settings and access them using the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel.

Build quality is impeccable and the driving position is superb. The offset pedals aren't ideal, but after a while with the car it's not much of a bugbear.