BMW M5 (2011 – 2017) Review

BMW M5 (2011 – 2017) At A Glance


+Immense twin-turbo 560PS V8 engine has more power than outgoing M5 yet improved economy. Thunderous performance. Huge amounts of grip and excellent brakes.

-Not cheap at £73,000 and Competition Edition an eyewatering £100,995.

Insurance Groups are between 48–50
On average it achieves 75% of the official MPG figure

At a time when the motoring world seems focussed on green cars and low emissions, it's surprising that high performance saloons are still around at all. And yet if anything, there is more choice than ever. From the Audi RS6 to the mightily impressive Jaguar XFR, if you want a rapid large four-door car, there are plenty to choose from. Yet one name still stands out - the BMW M5.

It has a heritage stretching back to the mid 1980s and has become revered as one of the best - and fastest - cars on the road. This is the fifth generation of the M5 and it continues that tradition with even more power than before - 560PS to be precise - which makes it the most powerful production car BMW has ever built. The big news is that it's fitted with a twin-turbocharged V8 rather than the 5.0-litre V10 of the outgoing M5.

Purists will welcome the move back to a V8 (even if it is a turbocharged unit) and it also means a considerable improvement in fuel economy along with lower emissions. The outgoing M5 is only capable of 19.6mpg with a CO2 output of 344g/km - and that's according to the official BMW figures. This new model returns a claimed 28.5mpg meaning you'll spend far less time fuelling it up, while emissions are cut to a much more respectable 232g/km.

Being fitted with twin turbochargers means more low down torque, making the power of the new M5 more accessible in everyday driving. It's fitted with a new seven-speed automatic gearbox with two clutches to provide super-fast gear shifts. It's docile and relaxed at steady speeds, yet snappy and aggressive when you want it to be.

The M5 is not especially cheap to buy new with a price tag of £73,040 but it stands head and shoulders above any other performance saloon and is better than plenty of cars that cost considerable more. The key to its success is its all round ability. It's just as comfortable sitting in traffic or cruising on the motorway as it is tackling tight bends and twisting roads. Add to that the immense performance, a great V8 sound plus superb handling and it's easy to see why the M5 is such a success.

Real MPG average for a BMW M5 (2011 – 2017)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

18–26 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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BMW M5 brake noise
"Around 12 weeks ago I bought a used (2013) BMW M5. All was good for a week, then a nasty brake squeal developed. The dealership initially said it was down to new pads and they would bed in. However, five weeks later, the problem continued and I took the car back. I was then told it was a characteristic of the car. We ended up chopping the car in for a nearly new 530d, but are £5500 out of pocket for 11 weeks ownership. Do I have a claim against BMW or the dealership as we feel we were mis-sold the car? They spoke glowingly about the V8 engine and the drive etc, all of which we loved, but didn't mention that when the brakes get hot in traffic, it will sound like an old bus!"
Was this fitted with carbo-ceramic brakes? If so, then when used on a racetrack to stop the car from 140mph plus, no problem. When used day to day on the streets, then it could be a nuisance but nothing to worry about.
Answered by Honest John
Best sports car for a family of five?
"I am looking for a high performance car that can fit a young family of five (that means 1 car seat and two boosters). It must boast good performance and handling. I am open to sports saloons and perhaps 4x4s. What do you recommend? "
You could probably get a BMW M5 converted with a standard 5-Series back seat. There's the high power 510PS Mercedes Benz C63 AMG estate. Obviously an AMG63 of new E Class coming. But the less powerful E430 4-matic reads like a really good car on paper. An then there's the 380PS Jaguar F-Pace, which is a proper 5-seater. Handles better but isn'ty as powerful as the RR Sport SVR:
Answered by Honest John
What would you recommend instead of a BMW M5?
"We've had three BMW 525i automatic cars in succession over the last fifteen years, and we love the ride, the space and the performance. I'm thinking about perhaps moving up to a two-year-old BMW M5, but these are few and far between (though I'm in no hurry), and they are still pretty expensive. Can you recommend something that we'd like as much but would be cheaper and easier to find?"
An M3, or an Audi RS4. But since these are both quite high maintenance, it's better to simply settle for a BMW 335i.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a BMW M5 (2011 – 2017) cost?