BMW M5 Competition Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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Car Review

BMW M5 Competition

£ 96,230 - £ 138,550
810
Published: 19 Oct 2020
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

The headline is a slightly comfier slant for the suspension, borrowed from the M8 Gran Coupe. Essentially, it appears to bring the softer edge of the old, 'regular' M5 to the quicker M5 Competition. If you’re unduly worried it’s become a big luxo-barge, rest assured there are new engine mounts, for better keeping that massive twin-turbo V8 in check (and thus improving body control by infinitesimal amounts).

It remains a sports saloon with absurd composure. Less of an unruly hot rod than a Mercedes E63, it’s like a DFS showpiece lounge that’ll crack 62mph at supercar speed. Its xDrive is achingly clever, too, and even on track we suspect you’ll rarely feel the need to switch everything to ESC-off, two-wheel drive ‘danger mode’. Keep the YouTube karma gods at bay, switch to 4WD Sport, and enjoy the amusingly rear-led balance of a car that shrugs off its size and weight admirably.

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And flipping heck, is it quick. You’ll rarely be able to use full throttle for long, and if you’re manually flapping through its eight gears, you’ll be wise to tackle everything a gear higher than your heart desires just to quell the warp speed that accompanies you slingshotting out from each apex. The engine noise is fairly muffled inside the cabin – especially if you've not pushed those enticing red M buttons – so big numbers really will creep onto the speedometer with bafflingly little effort.

Much as they do in an E63, mind. The pair are still incredibly hard to split but the BMW remains the more rounded, comfy car; TV screens for rear passengers are a simple options box tick away. It covers all bases with a staggering depth of engineering and might well be the most complete sports saloon ever. To an enthusiast, though, such completeness can be a help and a hindrance. The Merc is less couth (read: louder), bigger hearted and encourages its driver to be more playful.

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Highlights from the range

the fastest

BMW M5 M5 Competition 4dr DCT
  • 0-623.3s
  • CO2241.0g/km
  • BHP625
  • MPG26.1
  • Price£ 96,230

the cheapest

BMW M5 M5 Competition 4dr DCT
  • 0-623.3s
  • CO2241.0g/km
  • BHP625
  • MPG26.1
  • Price£ 96,230

the greenest

BMW M5 M5 Competition 4dr DCT
  • 0-623.3s
  • CO2241.0g/km
  • BHP625
  • MPG26.1
  • Price£ 96,230
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