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2022 BMW M5 CS front exterior

The Best Car I Drove In 2022: BMW M5 CS

There won't be another BMW like this for a while ...

  • We here at Edmunds are taking a look back at everything we drove in 2022.
  • As part of a series, each of our writers will pick a personal favorite.
  • Mine? The gob-smacking, jaw-dropping, head-spinningly good BMW M5 CS. What a car.

Cars like the BMW M5 CS don't come around all that often, and when they do you're often stuck thinking about them for days, weeks or even months. That was exactly the position I found myself in after spending two weeks with the BMW M5 CS back in early April of this year. It wasn't even close to as good as I expected; it was in fact much, much better.

This story actually starts with the also much-better-than-I-expect BMW M2 CS. That punchy, pugnacious little sports car was the first time I'd experienced a BMW with a CS designation. It was mystifying, and apparently interesting enough that a police officer pulled me over just to have me talk him around the car. He knew it was special, and he hadn't even driven one. There was a truly connected, unfiltered magic about the M2 CS — something I hadn't really experienced in an M car since my first rip in an 2013 BMW M3.

2022 BMW M5 CS rear exterior

Then came the M5 CS, and lofty as my expectations were, the M5 gobbled them up and spit them back out at me. It was the most powerful BMW ever when it made its debut, but more than that, it was also the most connected supersedan I had ever driven. I've been lucky enough to pedal more than a few, but the Audi RS 6, Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S, and Porsche Panamera Turbo S lack the raw, rude-boy attitude of the CS. It's safe to say that CS is what M used to be, and BMW has set some very lofty benchmarks with the CS cars recently.

But how could a sedan be that good? I'll explain. Big, fast sedans often filter your inputs and make you feel like you're controlling something covered in a thick layer of super glue. They have to be comfortable, usable and fast. The reason the M5 stood out was because it says "to hell with comfortable." BMW went to lengths Audi, Mercedes and Porsche wouldn't dare venture near. There's less sound deadening, the lifeless steering is reworked into a direct, natural-feeling rack, the suspension is stiffened way up, and the isolation chamber feel of the interior is gone. You feel every rut in the road and hear every whizz, whoosh, and whomp that comes from the engine bay, but it's all the better for it.

2022 BMW M5 CS interior seats

The M5 CS respects your inputs as the driver and reacts without any slop or delay. The steering is direct and full of juicy feedback so you're always confident in the front end. The transmission is snappy and gives you total control over the monstrous 627-horsepower 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8. The brakes seemingly never run out of bite. Yes, the ride is terrible, and, yes, the rock-hard bucket seats are absurd, and, yes, there are seemingly a million and a half ways to set the car up thanks to all of its modes. But, in the end, who cares? Put everything in go-fast mode and then do it — over and over again.

The M5 CS pushes you, goads you, and then confidently enables you to demolish any road or racetrack at any time. It makes the heart race, the head spin and the hands shake in a way only $400,000 supercars are able to. But the best part is you can take the whole family with you. The M5 CS is my personal car of the year, and it will probably live rent-free in my head for many years to come.

2022 BMW M5 CS exterior

Edmunds says

I don't think there will be another BMW like this for a long time, but I hope I'm proven wrong very, very soon.