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22 August 2014 Last updated
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Long-term reviews

Long-term review: BMW 5 - Week 3

By Amit Benjamin
Added 00:00 | July 26, 2013
  • The BMW M5 packs extras such as lightweight Akrapovic exhausts and Kelleners carbon-fibre front lip.

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM
  • Despite the blistering pace the M5 is practical with a capacious 520-litre boot.

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM
  • BMW M5

    Despite the blistering pace the M5 is practical with a capacious 520-litre boot.

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM
  • The BMW M5 is hugely entertaining to drive but the steering lacks feel.

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM
  • The latest M5 is decidedly softer than its predecessor.

    Source:Stefan Lindeque/ANM

Not only is the BMW M5's Launch Control system infuriatingly complex, it also has an annoying little secret

Last week I waxed lyrical about how user-friendly the F10 M5 was compared to the old one, but as it unravels I may have spoken too soon.

The M5’s instruction manual lists an irritatingly long-drawn-out, seven-step process to activate Launch Control. And it seems to require the kind of multi-tasking a male brain simply isn’t wired to handle. However, despite following every step of the instructions faithfully and repeating the process several times, I just could not coax the computers into action.

Having unsuccessfully scoured the internet for possible reasons to explain my failure to launch, I finally threw in the towel and called the guys at BMW Middle East, who, somewhat disappointingly, informed me that the system is activated only after the 2,000km service. Obviously this is to prevent pinheads like yours truly from prematurely frying the drivetrain, but a mention in the manual wouldn’t have gone amiss.

Apart from this minor setback the M5 has, as usual, been stellar. The performance is intoxicating and I seriously recommend getting those Akrapovic exhausts. Sure they are a bit pricey at Dh27,000 but it really does make a huge difference when dramatic progress is accompanied by a fitting background score.

Fact Box

Driven by: Amit

Start mileage: 1,634km 

Recent cost: Fuel

Average fuel economy: 15 litres-per-100km

Lows: Rear leg-room

Highs: Comfortable, practical, and extremely fast
 

Meanwhile, on a more practical note, the M5 is a doddle to use every day. The ride’s really very, very good in Comfort mode, the air conditioning is superb, and the boot is large enough to accommodate 520 litres worth of shopping.

Even though it sits towards the bottom of the pack when it comes to rear leg-room, the M5 still beats its chief rival the Mercedes-Benz E 63 AMG, while falling notably short of the Jaguar XFR and Audi S6.

This means that if you’ve got tall friends they are probably going to be happier in the back of the Jaguar or the Audi. I recommend making new friends.

The progress

Week 2: The latest M5 is decidedly softer than its predecessor and that’s no bad thing. It’s hugely entertaining to drive but the steering lacks feel.
Highs: Comfortable ride, build quality, handling and performance
Lows: Steering lacks feel

Week 1: Our long-term BMW M5 arrives at wheels HQ packing extras such as lightweight Akrapovic exhausts and Kelleners carbon-fibre front lip. Mad scramble for the key ensues.
Highs: Fantastic everyday runner and a bonkers sports saloon rolled into one
Lows: None