Here Are Our Top Five Best Looking M Sport BMW Sedans, No Gran Coupes Allowed

BMW 5-Series M Sport front end 6 photos
Photo: BMW
G20 BMW 3 SeriesE60 BMW 5 SeriesF10 BMW 5 SeriesG30 BMW 5 SeriesF30 BMW 5 Series
Here’s a little something we cooked up for BMW enthusiasts worldwide, many of which will often favor one M-styled model over another. It can be a bit of a heated topic, but we’re going to try and stay as objective as possible while adhering to a whole bunch of made-up rules.
So, before we start counting down from no. 5 to no. 1, here’s what we’re not going to be looking at: no Gran Coupe models or Gran Turismo models of any kind. Let’s keep this as traditional as possible and focus on four-door sedans. Obviously, there will be no crossovers, coupes or convertibles either, with genuine M cars (M3/M5) also not being considered. Another important factor is that these cars need to look as sporty as possible, seeing as BMW’s M Sport package literally has the world “sport” in it. Naturally, that doesn’t bode well for something like a 7-Series, now does it?

Also, rest assured that we’ve considered older-generation models too, back when this was called the “M Pack,” “M Package,” or “M Paket”. Finally, this list might look a bit different if this was just a typical comparison, regardless of specification, so don’t take this to mean that our no. 1 car here is the absolute best-looking four-door Bimmer ever because it’s probably not.

Counting down, let’s begin with what we consider to be the fifth-best looking M Sport-equipped BMW saloon ever built.

#5. G20 BMW 3-Series

G20 BMW 3 Series
Photo: BMW

Why isn’t this higher on the list, you ask? Well, it’s actually last, and the reason for that is because it’s just too pretty. The front end has been somewhat flattened compared to previous generations where the grille was pushed forward beyond the headlights more prominently. The G20 3-Series is probably the most modern-looking car here, with a lot of streamlined body panels.

The thing is, its M Sport bumper isn’t as angular as we’d like it to be; it’s almost AMG-Line-ish. We still love it, of course, but not enough to have this car higher on our list.

Also, the rear end might actually be better looking than the front, as far as M Sport-equipped G20s are concerned, and that says a lot. It looks planted from the rear and a little too “trendy” from the front. Let’s just leave it at that.

#4. E60 BMW 5-Series

E60 BMW 5 Series
Photo: BMW

Say what you will about the Chris Bangle-approved (not designed by) BMW E60, but once you strap an M Pack on to go with a set of larger wheels, its character changes almost entirely. Go to any E60 dedicated forum or website, and you’ll see what we mean. Millions of people around the world still love the look of this car, and it’s probably because its design has aged so well.

The M bits fit the E60 5er perfectly, resulting in a rather sinister-looking front end, thanks in part to those yellow Angel Eyes with the “brow” on top.

We should mention that we also considered the beautiful E39 5-Series for this list, but its M bits were a little too subtle. Sorry.

#3 F10 BMW 5-Series

F10 BMW 5 Series
Photo: BMW

The sixth-generation F10 5-Series signaled BMW’s return to a more traditionally styled executive saloon. It wasn’t as controversial as the E60 that came before it, and if you thought the latter’s character was changed by the addition of an M Sport package, that’s nothing compared to what it did for the F10.

Without M Sport bumpers and skirts, the F10 looks rather plain. It’s alright, sure, but from the front, it kind of looks like it’s rocking an overbite. As soon as you add the M Sport parts, all that changes, and the F10 becomes arguably the most imposing BMW saloon on this list. The grille is pushed out far beyond the headlights, and the M Sport bumper acts as somewhat of a face shield. It also blends seamlessly into the fascia.

The F10 M-Sport could have easily been no. 2 on this list, if the overall aesthetic was just a bit more intricate.

#2 G30 BMW 5-Series

G30 BMW 5 Series
Photo: BMW

We’ve finally run out of 5-Series BMWs as far as this list is concerned, but we couldn’t have gone any further without mentioning the updated G30 5er with its sharp new front end. We’ve already seen this car in traffic enough times to realize that it looks even better in person than it does online. It is one redesign that BMW absolutely nailed.

Compared to the “original” G30, this LCI model features redesigned front and rear bumpers, new headlights, new taillights, and a more streamlined kidney grille. It’s a more angular look, and angular is good when it comes to four-door sedans. Add the M Sport kit, and you also get larger intakes to go with that new face, side skirts, all that good stuff.

This is just a really well-balanced design overall, mean and modern, and if all we had to go on was the non-updated G30, then it wouldn’t have made it past the F10 in our Top 5. It's a good thing BMW decided against using a larger grille for this LCI model.

#1 F30 BMW 3-Series

F30 BMW 5 Series
Photo: BMW

There was just no way around this. The F30 3-Series is easily the most sporty-looking BMW saloon once you factor in the M Sport package, and that was the mission all along: to find that one car that looks like it wants to be driven fast, despite its role as a run-of-the-mill compact executive. Some people call it midsize, but midsize is what you call a Toyota Camry, and the 3-Series could probably fit inside the Camry’s trunk—don't fact check this.

Everything comes together here, from the angular front end (we're going with the LCI model, of course) to the overall dimensions of the car. Aesthetically, this might be the quintessential BMW sports sedan, and if you disagree, well, we’d actually love to hear about it.

What, no honorable mentions?

Aside from the E39, no, not really. This isn’t a knock on the E90 3-Series or the G11 7-Series, but the latter just doesn’t qualify and the former, while good-looking, isn’t as impressive visually as the no. 5 car on our list.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
Sergiu Tudose profile photo

Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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