Performance Bargain: Should You Avoid The E60 M5?
A 500hp+ naturally aspirated V10 for £10K - What could possibly go wrong?
Whilst enormous depreciation isn't uncommon, it was surprising to discover that a relatively modern BMW with a 5.0-litre V10 could be had for around £10-15K. On paper, it sounds too good to be true.
On social media, the E60 M5 is widely renowned as one of the most unreliable performance cars of the 21st Century. But is it really just a £10K ticking time-bomb?
Let's start with the good points. First of all, the performance was supercar rivalling at the time. With a 0-60 time of 4.7 seconds and a spine-tingling soundtrack, it's clear why automotive journalists praised the E60 M5 for the driving experience. The hydraulic steering rack and rear-wheel drive layout, made the M5 an animal in the corners. It truly was a wolf in sheep clothing. But then they started to age...
The SMG gearbox was 'lurchy' and dimwitted, although aggressive and dramatic when you're on it - very much adds to the driving experience.. Not only that but, on forums, owners complain about frequent gearbox malfunctions with the car getting stuck in gear or staying in neutral. This pales into comparison when you consider catastrophic engine failure, common in this generation of M5 and M6. It happens to most examples, where metal bearing material gets into the engine oil and, in short, you'll probably need a new engine. Yikes...
It's not all doom and gloom. Find a well sorted one, perhaps with a replacement engine, and you should be in the clear for a while. Unless you're willing to fork out on parts, the E60 M5 is not a long-termer.
This generation M5 is from a time where manufacturers could just whack an enormous gas-guzzling engine in their regular cars, to add a bit of spice. Unfortunately, as times change, we will see less and less of this. That, in my opinion makes the E60 M5 a future classic. It's just unfortunate that we didn't get the six-speed manual offered in the UK.
Would you buy an E60 M5? Maybe you're an owner? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.