autoevolution

This BMW M5 List, From Worst To Best, Will Probably Make You Mad

Last week, we ranked the best generations of the BMW M3, and now it's time to pay tribute to its big brother, the M5. Keep in mind that we won't talk about the "fake" ones like the M550i or M550d. Only the real M GmbH 5 Series will be ranked here.
All BMW M5 ranked from worst to best 31 photos
BMW M5 E34BMW M5 E34BMW M5 E34BMW M5 E34BMW M5 E34BMW M5 E60BMW M5 E60BMW M5 E60BMW M5 E60BMW M5 E60BMW M5 F10BMW M5 F10BMW M5 F10BMW M5 F10BMW M5 F10BMW M5 F90BMW M5 F90BMW M5 F90BMW M5 F90BMW M5 F90BMW E5 28BMW E5 28BMW E5 28BMW E5 28BMW E5 28BMW M5 E39BMW M5 E39BMW M5 E39BMW M5 E39BMW M5 E39
When we think about a car that combines high-end luxury with powerful engines that could easily compete with some supercars, the BMW M5 comes immediately to our mind. After all, the M5 created the super sedan sedan, and it's still the king of this category. With six generations being brought to the world, there isn't really a bad M5. All of them are good in their own way, but at the same time, I could not think about an M5 that was perfect. So, here is my ranking that will probably ruffle some feathers.

BMW M5 E34 (1988-1995) - When your first-ever M5 is such a big success, it's going to be extremely hard for the sequel to be as loved. And that's what happened to the E34. It wasn't as attractive as its predecessor, but it still looked good in its own way. At the same time, it was heavier, more complicated, and problematic while being less engaging to drive.

However, the engines available for the E34 M5 were brilliant. We are talking about a newly engineered 3.6-liter straight-six engine that initially produced 310 hp and 360 Nm (266 lb-ft) of torque and later, in 1992, it was upgraded to a 3.8-liter with a bump to 335 hp. The 0-62 mph (100 kph) time took only 5.9 seconds and it had a top speed limited to 155 mph (250 kph). The last M car to be hand-built was great but sandwiched between the two greatest generations of M5. More on that later.

BMW M5 E60 (2004-2010) - The biggest disappointment, in my opinion. How can you miss so bad? The basic idea was good. They took one of the greatest non-turbo engines ever, a 5.0-liter, naturally aspirated V10 that made 500 hp and revved up to 8000 rpm, and placed it in a 5 Series.

BMW M5 E60
The E60 had all the reasons to be loved, but unfortunately, everything was horrendous when you looked behind the engine. The styling was very controversial back in 2005 and still is now. On top of ot, the interior is bland, the SMG gearbox is annoying, and the E60 as a whole is a very unreliable car. The perfect definition of a car you love to see but hate to own.

BMW M5 F10 (2011-2016) - A pretty good car from a mechanical standpoint and luxurious at the same time. However, it is a bit boring and on the M5 "planet" being boring is the ultimate sin. You see, the E60 had many problems but had a prominent character at the same time. The F10 is like that shy guy that stands in the corner at a party.

The twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine is brilliant, producing 553 hp and 680 Nm (502 lb-ft) torque. All this power is sent to the rear wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. In addition, a six-speed manual was an option but only available for the North American market. The F10 is essential for the M5 family because it opened the door to a turbocharged M5, plus it was the first one with the 'Competition Package' available.

BMW M5 F90 (2017-present) - This is by far the best M5 ever made from a performance standpoint. But we need to keep an eye on the "classic element." The F90 is not first in this ranking because not enough time has passed over the model, plus it had nothing revolutionary.

BMW M5 F90
Sure, having a 4.4-liter V8 engine (the same as the F10 but upgraded) producing 617 hp on the Competition model is very good. Plus, the newly introduced all-wheel-drive system, which many BMW fans said would make the M5 bad, helped the F90 compete with actual supercars. The only problem with the F90 M5 is that it doesn't have a soul. That's why all the vintage M5s are so loved.

BMW M5 E28 (1984-1988) - Hoping you didn't click away by now, the E28 is the reason why cars like the Mercedes-AMG E 63 or Tesla Model S P100D are what they are today. Before the first generation of the M5, the sport sedan expression was one of the rarest expressions. It's the car that started all, the first four-door luxury sedan that could compete with the likes of 911s and even Ferraris.

The luxury sedan had a motorsport-bred 3.5-liter inline-six engine stolen from the M1, with a five-speed manual gearbox and a superb chassis. And it was hand-assembled. Imagine the look on people's faces when they heard about an almost 300 hp four-door sedan with leather seats, huge trunk space, and many other things available only in luxury cars. It had to be hilarious.

BMW M5 E39 - If you read the ranking we did on the M3s, you know we chose the E36 as the best one. The E36 and E39 are from a similar timeline in history, so maybe I got an affinity for the BMWs from this period.

BMW M5 E39
All I know is that the E39 was the first M5 to feature an eight-cylinder engine in the form of a naturally aspirated 4.9-liter V8, which produced 400 hp, and paired to a six-speed manual transmission only. At the same time, it got the most beautiful and closest to perfection chassis ever made. Even by today's standards, the exterior design of the E39 is superb. The angel eyes were an instant hit, and the interior was as good as the rest of the car.

There's very little to criticize the E39 M5 for if there's anything at all. It's still a high mark for all the M5 generations when it comes to driving and represents all we love in a car.

Hopefully, we didn't make you too mad with our ranking of the best M5 generations in history. Let us know your favorite one in the comments.

Video thumbnail


 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories