The new BMW M5 has a substantially different character than the previous model: less low rpm torque, but more mid and high range power. Using the SMG transmission well is like learning an action video game or how to tango with a new dance partner. Once you've got the rhythm and the timing, it's a great transmission, but this may take 5,000-10,000 miles. That's why reviewers tend not to like it. Same with iDrive. It's clunky for tuning different radio stations, but very handy otherwise, once you've learned how to use it. Unlike with the Editor's M5 Review, I find the steering to be very good and much better than on my prior model M5. What's not good: fuel economy and driving range.
Power, versatility, seating comfort, head up display, SMG transmission, iDrive, Highway prowess (you can put the car anywhere you want).
Improved SMG (dual clutch design), more refinement and inter-model standardization in iDrive operation. Faster calculation of engine oil level (there's no dipstick). Direct injection for greater engine efficiency. Larger gas tank.