2013 BMW M5 Review
2013 BMW M5 Review
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Used M5 for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
by the Edmunds Experts
- Powerful yet refined V8
- exceptional handling
- responsive dual-clutch automated manualtransmission
- excellent seats
- available manual transmission.
- Feels sleepy in its default performance settings
- lacks a thrilling V8 sound.
The 2013 BMW M5 has been completely redesigned.
Armed with a more muscular and efficient V8 engine and a smoother, dual-clutch transmission, the 2013 BMW M5 raises the bar set by its formidable predecessors, offering bracing handling, prodigious power and improved fuel economy.
Overcoming a challenge can sometimes push you to higher levels of achievement, and such is the case with the 2013 BMW M5. One of BMW's goals has been to make this model more fuel-efficient for our greener times. Mission accomplished, and in the process, BMW has somehow managed to enhancethe M5's athletic personality.
At the heart of the M5's successful evolution is its new engine. Gone is the previous generation's normally aspirated and high-revving 5.0-liter V10; in its place is an updated version of the twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 used in other M products such as the X5 M. Compared to the previous V10, output has increased from 500 to 560 horsepower and torque has leapfrogged from 383 to 501 pound-feet. The end result is a car that launches like a cannon shell out of the hole, yet overall fuel economy is 30 percent better, BMW claims.
Paired with this new power plant is BMW's seven-speeddual-clutch automated manual transmission (DCT). Smooth and responsive, this gearbox is a vast improvement over the clunky single-clutch SMG setup seen in the outgoing model. Hard-core BMW enthusiasts in North America will also be pleased to see that one can still purchase the M5 with a six-speed manual transmission; for everywhere else in the world, the M5 comes with the DCT only.
Naturally, there are M division changes to go with all this new hardware. Compared to the regular 5 Series, BMW has added more powerful brakes plus various measures to stiffen the chassis. Out back, there's a new electronically controlled limited-slip rear differential. The 2013 BMW M5 also looks the part with a deeper front chin spoiler, larger air intakes, chrome-trimmed vents in the front fenders, a subtle rear spoiler and sizable quad exhaust pipes.
With choices like the Cadillac CTS-V, Jaguar XFR, Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG and Porsche Panamera, this segment of high-performance, high-dollar cars is rich with superb alternatives. Yet with the M5, BMW has managed to combine refinement and livability with pleasures of the most visceral persuasion. It's a blend that should prove irresistible to well-heeled enthusiasts.
Performance & mpg
Motivating the rear-wheel-drive 2013 BMW M5 is a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 that generates 560 hp and 501 lb-ft of torque. This power is directed by a seven-speed, dual-clutch automated manual transmission (DCT). A six-speed manual transmission is offered as a no-cost option. According to BMW, the M5 should accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds with the DCT; a manual-equipped car is said to be a hair slower at 4.3 seconds.
Standard safety equipment for the 2013 BMW M5 includes stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, active front head restraints and the BMW Assist emergency communications system. The stability control system includes a feature designed to improve braking performance: Brake rotors are periodically wiped dry in wet conditions and brake pads are automatically snugged to the rotors when the driver abruptly lifts off the throttle.
Optional safety equipment includes a lane-departure warning system, a blind-spot monitor and a night-vision system capable of displaying oncoming animals, objects or people that are beyond the range of the car's headlights.
The 2013 M5 hasn't yet been crash tested, but the structurally similar 2012 5 Series scored a top five-star rating for overall performance in government tests, earning four out of five stars for overall front-impact protection and five stars for overall side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the 5 Series earned a top rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength crash tests.
The sheer brute force of the 2013 BMW M5's V8 is enough to leave you shaken and breathless; even so, the power plant delivers this thunder with grace and sophistication. As a result, this sedan is always a pleasant and easy companion, whether driven hard on winding blacktop or at a leisurely clip during mundane city travel. While the V8's engine note isn't quite as commanding as one would hope, its throaty rumble offers lots to enjoy.
This M5's DCT is a worthy match for its impressive engine. You can choose to shift gears by tapping the rubber-backed shift paddles on the steering wheel or by nudging the console-mounted lever back and forth. Either way, the process is executed so quickly, smoothly and intuitively that the quick but unrefined single-clutch SMG system seems clumsy and low-tech. But as is the case with a lot of modern BMWs, no shift schedule within the system seems to be ideal. In particular, the normal mode seems too sleepy for the car's character, as if mpg were far more important than mph.
For the M5, BMW has retained its traditional hydraulically assisted power steering, even though electric power assist is part of the current 5 Series. The car feels far livelier than a conventional 5 Series as a result.Of course this is a great big sedan, not a sports car, so it's best experienced where the road is open enough to let the car open up a little.
Materials quality is acceptably tony within the M5, with expanses of buttery leather and gleaming aluminum. The cabin design seems a bit stark when compared to that of rivals like the Audi S6 and JaguarXFR, however. The iDrive electronics interface works well for wrangling all of the M5's systems, but it can come off as rather complicated; some rival systems are easier to use.
This BMW's meaty sport seats feature 16-way adjustment, allowing for highly customizable support. A roomy backseat offers practicality that's a pleasant surprise in a car this sporting, and is spacious enough to ensconce adults over long drives without discomfort. A split-folding rear seat enhances the trunk's 14-cubic-feet cargo capacity.
2013 BMW M5 models
The 2013 BMW M5 is a high-performance variant of the midsize 5 Series luxury sedan. Standard equipment includes 19-inch alloy wheels, performance tires, adaptive suspension dampers, adaptive xenon headlamps, an automatic start/stop function, front and rear parking sensors, auto-dimming mirrors, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, leather upholstery, 16-way power sport front seats, heated front seats with memory settings, and split-folding rear seats. Standard electronics features include the iDrive electronics interface, a navigation system, voice commands, a rearview camera, Bluetooth and a 12-speaker surround-sound system with a six-CD changer, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB interface.
The optional Driver Assistance package adds lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems, along with side- and top-view cameras. An Executive package adds keyless ignition/entry, a power-operated trunk lid, soft-close doors, a heated steering wheel, ventilated and massaging functionality for the front seats, four-zone automatic climate control, heated rear seats, a power rear sunshade, manual rear side window shades, a head-up display, satellite radio and smartphone app integration. Stand-alone options include 20-inch wheels, carbon-ceramic brakes, a rear-seat entertainment system, a 12-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system and a night vision camera system with pedestrian detection.
5.0 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
5 out of 5 stars
2013 M5 Loaded
4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 7AM)
So far so good. Had the car for about a week. Family of 5 fits comfortable entertainment system in the rear. Rides smooth and power on command. Fun to drive. Car goes from your daily driver to fun and enthusiastic car with the push of a button. Love the car and design.
5 out of 5 stars
Great Weekend Car - Amazing Power and Handling
4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 7AM)
I bought this car about a month ago with 28K miles on it and all records in tact. This car works perfectly for weekend drives around the city and especially on the freeway. It is also great for weekend trips out of town in 'comfort' mode. For a large car it handles well, and it has incredible power. I have had other sports cars before, which may have been a bit more nimble, but this … one puts the biggest smile on my face when I merge onto the freeway. The car feels super solid and the audio is amazing. I love that this car is beautiful because it has a tasteful design inside and out - it isn't overdone and edgey (gaudy, if you will) like many other new cars these days (yep, Lexus (front grill) and Cadillac (all of it) hurts my eyes).
5 out of 5 stars
The beast is back!
4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 7AM)
I bought my M5 with only 30k, triple black with all bells and whistles, single owner - it appears to have been lived in a garage all of its life. I traded in a 2012 BMX X6M so I was used to the power of the engine but where I find the M5 topping the X6M is in the tranny - the 7 speed dual clutch shifts much faster than the 6 speed automatic. The car would spin wheels all the way until … you hit 30-40 MPH if you floor it outright, so it is most impressive from 30 to 70 MPH - the acceleration is out of this world and no spinning tires... The cabin is well appointed, not too frivolous and finished with very high end materials - I find the seat comfortable but not as comfortable as the same generation X5/X6 multi contour seats - the M5 somehow has slightly wider seats so they do bot wrap my back as a jacket the way the X6/X5 do. The backrest width adjustment controls do not seem to be part of the seat packages for the 2013 model, I see them on the 2014-2016. All in all, the F10 M5 feels like a true luxury sedan that, when asked, can deliver a super car performance. I also find this M5 to resemble the most the legendary E39 M5 - has similar lines and the classic BMW front. If you are on the edge, just buy one and you will enjoy it fully. I haul three kids and a wife in mine while enjoying a true performance - very few cars can do that. In my view the M5 is the king of kings among the top sport sedans…
5 out of 5 stars
4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 7AM)
Great large car
Features & Specs
More about the 2013 BMW M5
More About This Model
Underwhelming. The 2013 BMW M5 is underwhelming.
We're shocked. No, we're disappointed. Is this really an M5 we don't love? An M5 we wouldn't sell our kids in order to buy? An M5 we don't just want to drive all day to go nowhere?
It is. It absolutely is.
Honestly, we never thought this day would come. We never thought there'd ever be an M5 we wouldn't kill to own. But here we are, behind the wheel of the all-new turbocharged 560-horsepower M5, undeniably one of the world's fastest and most capable sedans, and we are underwhelmed.
It's All About the Engine
Part of the problem is the BMW's new turbocharged engine.
The heart of the new fifth-generation M5 is a direct-injected 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 borrowed from the X5 M and X6 M. Reworked pieces for M5 duty include new cylinder heads, pistons, revised twin-scroll turbos and intercoolers. The compression ratio has been upped to 10.0:1, and it boasts the first use of Valvetronic variable valve control on an M engine.
Despite the fact that every M5 buyer will be forking over a gas-guzzler tax before they drive off the dealer lot, BMW even has the misguided guts to mention EfficientDynamics in the M5's press kit. For the record, fuel economy has increased from 11 city/17 highway/13 combined mpg to 15 city/22 highway/17 mpg combined. We averaged 15.1 mpg.
BMW also claims serious power numbers for the M5: 560 horsepower at 6,000-7,000 rpm, along with 500 pound-feet of torque spread from 1,500-5,750. And those claims proved believable during our dyno test. Torque measured at the wheels came on strong at 2,500 rpm and reached its maximum 475 lb-ft at 5,150 rpm.
This is apparent out in the real world, where the M5 is fairly gutless below 3,000 rpm. Once past three grand, however, with twin turbos a-spinnin', the V8 revs like a turbine to its 7,200-rpm redline and begins to make power as if it's been lit with a fuse. On the dyno, power peaked at 514 hp at 6,250 rpm.
Sounds of Change
Once those turbos really start to make boost, the V8 doesn't only come alive, it also begins to sound right. Below 3,000 rpm the V8's off-kilter note sounds more like a flat-4 with a mild aftermarket exhaust than a throaty V8. That's not to say it sounds bad. Just different.
Above 3,000 rpm, however, it's an aural sensation. Throaty with the most badass exhaust cracks this side of a Ferrari on full-throttle upshifts. And the sounds are real. There's real rumble from the exhaust. And real cracks on the upshifts. Watch the video of us track testing the car and you'll hear them.
The problem is inside the car. The M5 is sealed so tight, it coddles you in isolation as if it's some boring luxo barge. Keep the M5's windows up, even during a full-throttle quarter-mile pass, and the engine's actual voice is unable to penetrate the sedan's interior.
To solve this, BMW has decided to pipe artificial engine sounds inside the M5 through the speakers of the sedan's audio system. The company calls this Active Sound Design (ASD) and it allows it to make any engine sound any way they want it to. In other words, BMW is saying, "Trust us; your 1.5-liter diesel really does sound like a big-block Chevy."
Yes, it's as lame as it...well...sounds, and yes there's something dishonest about it, but it does work. Honestly, if you didn't know the system was in place you'd never know it was doing its thing. And for you purists out there, ASD can be disabled with a simple fuse pull and the M5's windows will still go down.
Paddle Shift or Manual — You Choose
With the 2013 BMW M5 it's your choice of dual-clutch paddle-shift gearbox (M DCT) or the six-speed manual, as in our test car — no extra charge for either. With all that power on tap, launching the M5 without time-sucking wheelspin isn't easy, but once full traction is achieved, hold on, 'cause this thing is ready to run. Although you can jam the shifter home between the gates with utter impunity and never miss a gear, the throws are long and rather notchy.
Gearbox gripes aside, 60 mph goes by in a blink at just 4.5 seconds (4.3 seconds with a 1-foot rollout like at a drag strip), with the quarter-mile hurtling by in 12.5 seconds at 115.0 mph. That's smoking fast. For reference, that's 0.3 second quicker to 60 than the old V10-powered M5 mated to the SMG paddle-shift system, and 0.1 second quicker than a manual-equipped Cadillac CTS-V.
Figure on the M DCT M5 being several tenths quicker still, but without the man/machine symbiosis that only comes with a proper three-pedal setup.
Like the Nissan 370Z, the M5 manual blips the throttle for you on downshifts when the mapping is set to either Efficient or Sport — you're on your own in Sport Plus. And in a blow to fragile drivers' egos everywhere, the system perfectly picks the exact amount of throttle blippage.
Trouble With the Curves
Question: What happens to the driving dynamics of one of the most revered sport sedans when you add 249 pounds to its curb weight?
Answer: It requires a lot of engineering to keep it representative of the M brand.
In truth, BMW did a damn fine job here, thanks in no small part to the car's three-mode electronically controlled damper system, which allows the M5 to be hustled around a track or back road with surprising speed and ability. Ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, 265/35ZR20 up front and 295/30ZR20 rear don't exactly hurt its cause, along with three-mode hydraulic steering that gives ample feedback through the thick-rimmed M steering wheel.
But despite the right ingredients, the end result left an odd taste in our mouths. The front end can feel ponderous, and understeer is way too prevalent for an M car. At our test track, its average slalom speed of 68.9 mph is nothing to sneer at, but it's no better than the last M5 and a few mph slower than the CTS-V, which posted a 71.1-mph run.
The two more aggressive steering settings — Sport and Sport Plus — simply make the steering heavier, not better, and thus changing directions quickly requires more effort. "Drives small," the new M5 does not.
While transitional response hasn't improved, overall grip has, the M5 generating 0.93g around the skid pad versus the previous car's 0.88g and the Caddy's 0.92. Telling, though, was the way the M5 massively rolled over on its outside front tire, despite the suspension being set to its stiffest mode.
Even if the 2013 BMW M5 is no longer pinpoint precise, it's still forgiving at the limit. In spite of the sedan's new veil of isolation, the M5 works with you rather than against. Whether you're drifting it around a track or ripping down a sinewy back road, getting it very wrong and backing this sedan off the road would be difficult.
And as a daily commuter, the Comfort suspension setting should be plush enough for most on the highway and around town, although we certainly wouldn't label it as cushy.
BMW scrapped the M5's sliding caliper front brakes for a set of six-piston fixed calipers clamping down on 15.7-inch rotors at the front and 15.6-inch rotors at the rear (still with sliding calipers).
They do an admirable job of hauling down the M5's sizable mass, with a best stop of 111 feet from 60 mph. If we're quibbling, that's a foot longer than the last M5, and the new M5's distances were rather erratic, the worst stop a lengthy 117 feet. But pedal feel is superbly firm.
Stealthy, Inside and Out
The cabin is typical upmarket BMW, meaning fairly bland stylingwise but incredibly well made. The front sport seats are surprisingly wide, yet still offer appropriate lateral support and such a high level of comfort that you never even think about whether they're comfortable or not.
Our test car was loaded and expensive. Just about every luxury and safety feature you can imagine had been thrown into the well-crafted cabin, including soft-close automatic doors, a power trunk and a power rear sunshade, all part of the $5,500 Executive package.
All in, this a six-figure car. With options our test car went out the door at $107,695. The 2013 BMW M5 starts at $91,795, including $895 destination and a $1,000 gas-guzzler tax. That's just a grand more than the base price of a 2013 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG but it's an incredible $26,000 more than a 556-hp 2013 Cadillac CTS-V.
Where's the Thrill?
Most likely this new kindler, gentler and yes, more boring version of the M5 will appeal to more people. And no doubt that's BMW's plan. The new recipe cranks up the luxury/tech/power/speed but keeps the flair and the mechanicalness low. It's all Dr. Jekyll and no Mr. Hyde.
If this were an M7 not an M5, no doubt we'd be telling you this is the world's greatest 7 Series — which is exactly what it feels like. But while the new M5 might not be the ultra-precise weapon we had envisioned, it's still a super capable, ultra-fast machine with exotic-car thrust in the upper revs. And it's perfectly comfortable and subtle for everyday use.
But it basically comes down to this: Somehow the white coats in Munich made the 2013 BMW M5 more powerful and quicker and they've given it more grip, but they forgot something — the emotion. Where's the excitement? Where's the visceral thrill? Where's the M5's sinister evil twin?
Oh, that's right, it's down the street at the Cadillac dealer. It's called the CTS-V.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2013 BMW M5 Overview
The Used 2013 BMW M5 is offered in the following submodels: M5 Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 7AM). The Used 2013 BMW M5 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 7-speed automated manual. The Used 2013 BMW M5 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2013 BMW M5?
Price comparisons for Used 2013 BMW M5 trim styles:
- The Used 2013 BMW M5 Base is priced between $32,889 and$40,999 with odometer readings between 54414 and90302 miles.
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Should I lease or buy a 2013 BMW M5?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.