The Good The 2013 BMW M5 uses active dampers and an active locking differential to help it corner like a rabbit, while its engine and dual-clutch transmission give the driver excellent power control. A head-up display and collision warnings promote safety, while the navigation system provides sure guidance. The audio system delivers outstanding music reproduction.
The Bad The M5's fuel economy earns it a gas-guzzler tax. Taking the car out of M mode is needlessly complex.
The Bottom Line With its power and high-tech handling, the 2013 BMW M5's potential feels wasted on public roads, yet its driver-assistance and cabin-tech systems are the best in the business for road trips and daily commutes.
2013 BMW M5
Bimmers tend to be dual-personality cars, going from mild-mannered premium vehicle to road-eating beast at the push of a button or three. But the 2013 BMW M5 is mostly brutish Mr. Hyde, with only a little bit of refined Dr. Jekyll in evidence.
BMW includes all sorts of creature comforts in the M5, such as navigation, a Bang & Olufsen audio system, and app integration. There is even a lane-departure warning system for long road trips. At ignition, the car defaults to its most pedestrian settings, with steering and suspension in Comfort modes, and the accelerator in Efficient mode.
But as I drove the new M5 through city traffic, I could tell it was not happy. Power from the direct-injection twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 came on unevenly; slow, then really, really fast. Although the suspension setting said Comfort, the car could not resist communicating the feel of the road through the steering wheel, and tended to bounce me around when going over potholes.
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