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BMW 5-Series Saloon (1996 - 2003) M5 4d Owner Review

M5 4d
BMW 1996 5-Series Saloon

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In their own words

The E39 M5 is iconic for a reason. As well as being a really nice place to spend time travelling, it's also a soulful, spirited, engaging driving experience. Make no mistake - if you're a person who simply uses a car as a means of transport, you'll not get it. But if you're a person who *drives* a car...oh you'll get it completely. Simple things. It's comfortable and utterly tuneable to fit you. The seats are supportive, super-adjustable and very nice. The cabin controls are simple and intuitive, and the ergonomics are impeccable. The satnav is what you'd expect from a car that's 20 years old, but updates are still available and it actually works very well. There is plenty of room in the back seats, which are also comfortable, and the boot is cavernous. Driving is what this car is all about thought. The V8 engine is a tour de force. It sounds good, even as standard, is beautifully smooth and has a throttle response that belies its size. It also, to overuse a cliche, pulls like a train. And as you get higher up the rev range it really comes alive. The 6 speed manual box is smooth with a positive action and the clutch is nicely weighted. Brakes are strong and have plenty of feel, though some think they are prone to fade. Not a problem I've encountered. Handling is impeccable. It's a big car with quite a lot of weight behind it, but that makes no diffeence. Cornering speeds are briliant, turn-in is perfect and the steering has just enough weight to give loads of feel. Obviously it's not all perfect. It gets a bit thirsty when you're pressing on, servicing, even through an indie, gets pricey as there are a lot of consumables and the stereo really needs a boost. But if you want a car that will get you across Europe in a hurry, perform perfectly adequately around the Nurburgring and attract lots of admiring attention as well, this is it.
  • How they rated it

  • Reliability: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Meets Expectations: 5 out of 5 5.0
  • Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 5.0
  • Simon Bradley recommends this car

About their car

  • Fuel type Petrol
  • When purchased March 2011
  • Condition when bought Used
  • Current Mileage 148,000 miles
  • Average MPG 22 mpg
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