Best all around car I have ever owned and my fifth BMW overall. I will drive this one till it dies. A lot of people have commented on high maintenance costs but I challenge anyone to say any high performance car from Audi, Mercedes or any other automaker is cheaper to maintain. They all cost $$$ for the performance. If you want cheap maintenance costs, by a Focus. Mine is a driver, not a show piece. But if I wanted a show piece, I would have bought a painting. I wanted a drivers car with the comfort of four doors. Sure there are faster car now, but they also have a multitude of complicated computers and active suspensions and systems that cost a fortune to fix. I have had mine for 3 years now, and all I have done is tires, brakes, oil and gas.
My only complaint about the E39 M5 is the inability to change the nav/radio out in the car without a major investment due to the DSP system in the car. But like anything, if you are creative, you can get the system work with a tablet.
Amazing handling, great build, great interior features and quality construction inside (instead of the cheap plastics of American muscle cars). Everything including the dashboard and door panels are high quality durable leather. Roof and some panels are all full premium suede. Yes cornering may not be as great as a true 2 door sports car. But it can beat any other sports sedan out there in cornering. If you want to improve cornering and stability to a large extent, like me go for something like a Dinan suspension, struts, light weight wheels etc.
Everything about the car. Luxury, performance, stability all in one. A real wolf in sheep's clothing.
Better cup holders. At this cornering ability and high speeds, the coffee and drinks will fly in the car without proper holders. I don't carry any drinks except tightly capped bottles when I'm driving ;-). A bit more console space storage would be nice.
I bought it because there really is nothing else in its class. If you want a very fast and very comfortable big sedan with a 6 speed, this is your only choice. I owned an M3 before, and the M5 is much more comfortable/luxurious. The M5 does give up quite a bit of agility to the M3, but it makes up for that with the quiet and comfortable ride. Have a very thorough pre-purchase inspection done as there are some very expensive parts on this car. Look for a well-maintained car that was owned by an enthusiast. Reliability is very good for a car in this class, but you will be in for a surprise if you are not used to BMW maintenance/repair costs. They need all cooling parts replaced @ 5 years.
Luxury /comfort (nice sound deadening, thick glass, comfortable seats, not rock-hard suspension, etc.), 6 speed manual, nimble for a car of this size, 19+ mpg in mixed driving, looks 10X better than the 540i.
Reliability is pretty much middle-of-the-road (about like a GM, Ford, etc.) when compared to all other cars, but reliability is great when compared to other performance sedans (Maserati, Audi S6, Jaguar R, Mercedes AMG). Would be great if it were as reliable as a Honda, but then it would be a Honda.
This is the most fun in four doors available. Service is expensive after factory maintenance ends. AC fan cost me $850, Clutch around $1200 but car is truly awesome. Seats are a bit tight for bigger guys.
Power, power, power, it is a blast. Shifter is very smooth and positive, brakes are unbeatable.
I purchased the car with 22k miles on it. The previous owner had taken good care of it. The car handles well and has lots of power. Driving in rush hour traffic can be a pain with the 6- speed manual. Dealership has been execllent with service. This car is as powerful as the 1998 Corvette I owned, yet has seating for 5. Insurance is costly (even for a 59 year old with a good driving record). Gas mileage average is about 18 mpg around town, which is great for a car with this kind of power. Extremely quiet and tightly put together. Has a great looking understated appearence. Probably the best car I have ever owned.
Power, looks, quality interior--A sports car that provides comfort.
Need to have a spare tire, or come standard with run flats. Radio reception is not as good as my Ford. Poor cup holders need improvement. A seven speed automatic would be nice for use in traffic. Of course an extre 100 horseys would not hurt.