This week I’ve had a blast with the 2018 BMW M5 sedan, quite possibly the most technological car I have ever driven. It’s also a car that commands a lot of attention when people see it.
2018 BMW M5
My Marina Blue tester sits on a beautiful set of 20” wheels, has the classic BMW dual front grills and big air dams, very distinctive lines, and finishes off in the rear with quad exhaust pipes. It has the coolest exterior mirrors I’ve ever seen. It also has a complete carbon fiber roof to cut down on weight. Simply put, it is a great looking car.
However, the real meat of the M5 is under the hood, where you’ll find a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 that is pumping out 617-horses and a very strong 553 pound-feet of torque. It’s hooked to an 8-speed automatic transmission that will take you up to 189 miles per hour, and get this: 0-to-60 time is a lightening-fast 3.1 seconds.
BMW made a lot of changes to this 2018 version of the M5, perhaps none bigger than making it all-wheel drive, although you can set it to just rear wheel drive – but I don’t recommend it. The all-wheel drive really helps drivers who are not used to handling a car this fast.
You are wowed the moment you open the door and see the interior. The seats are luxurious and inviting, and the front seats will heat or cool you, and even give you a full massage.
If you look through the heated, leather wrapped multi-function steering wheel, you’ll see virtual gauges that give you a lot of information, and through the windshield, you can see the colorful head-up display.
The center console houses a built-in cell phone charger and the unique gear shifter that takes a little getting used to. One feature I’ve never seen before are two buttons on the top of the shifter that allows you to change how fast or slow the transmission shifts and it makes a huge difference in performance. You can use the paddle shifters on the steering wheel, but you can’t max out the performance bands as well as this 8-speed will do it for you.
There is a 10.2” screen mid-dash that houses the navigation system, all your audio and Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and the terrific 3D rearview camera. Everything is controlled by buttons and a large round knob on the center console. It is simple and intuitive. The interior ambient lighting looks fantastic and you have many choices of colors. It even lights the gear shifter.
There are a number of ways to configure this car to fit your mood. Next to the shifter is where you set up the M Driving dynamics to your liking. Whatever you choose shows up on the dash.
Another cool feature is the M1 and M2 switches on the steering wheel. You can set the M Drive two completely different ways and switch between the two instantly, or manually set things to something entirely different.
Standard Features and Options
This German-made Bimmer is extremely loaded with standard features including blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, power rear shade, and power trunk. It also has auto hold so you can take your foot off the brake when stopped.
My tester has roughly $25,000 in options, the most expensive being the $8500 ceramic brakes, the $3400 Bowers & Wilkins sound system, and the $4000 Executive package.
This car is a real runner and the sound from the exhaust is addictive. This is a driver’s car, it’s very engaging, and once you figure out which of the M Drive settings are right for you, it will be a joy every time you push this amazing sedan to its limits.
Fuel economy when you behave is 15 in town, and 21 on the highway, but I haven’t come close to that.
What You’ll Pay
Of course, all this wonderfulness comes at a hefty price tag. MSRP as you see this car is $129,795, which for what you get, is not out of line.
On the racetrack or going out to a nice dinner, the 2018 BMW M5 truly is the Ultimate Driving Machine.