Parkers overall rating: 4.8 out of 5 4.8

Just like the standard 5-Series the M5 is stylish and well-built. The dash has a modern and clean design and clutter is kept to a minimum thanks to the i-Drive control. There are an array of buttons surrounding the gear lever for you to select your driving set-up and this may take a bit of getting used to. Our advice is to pre-programme two groups of settings and access them using the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel.

Build quality is impeccable and the driving position is superb. The offset pedals aren't ideal, but after a while with the car it's not much of a bugbear.

The M5 comes with Electronic Damper Control (EDC), allowing the driver to select from three settings. There's Comfort, for normal road use, Sport, for when a more dynamic driving style is preferred and Sport Plus for the most extreme driving on a race track. There are also three settings for the M-tuned Servotronic power assisted steering. Comfort requires only a small amount of steering effort when manoeuvring or parking, but still allows the instant changes of direction at higher speeds.

Switch to Sport and it delivers more intensive feedback, while Sport Plus requires greater force on the wheel so that the driver gets precisely the response that is intended from every steering input. As you'd expect, Sport stiffens things up accordingly but in Comfort mode the M5 is as smooth and supple as a standard 5-Series M Sport model and makes for a comfortable long-distance machine.

Up front the sports seats have good bolstering for your back and decent side supports to hold you in place when driving enthusiastically. There is a good amount of space in the rear and the M5 will easily carry four adults in comfort.