Home > 2010 BMW 5 Series > 2010 BMW 5 Series Photos

2010 BMW 5 Series Photos

2010 BMW 5 Series Photos

2010 BMW 5 Series Photos

2010 BMW 5 Series Photos

The 2009 BMW M5 is unchanged, though an updated iDrive system debuts midway through the model year.

There was a time when the mere presence of a BMW M5 would cause us to bow down at its bumper and offer gifts of frankincense and Quaker State. As the sportiest variant of one of the finest sedans on the planet (BMW’s 5 Series), the M5 boasted an iconic combination of performance and practicality. Even now, many of us pick a previous-generation M5 over many brand-new cars. And yet the current 2009 BMW M5 leaves us sort of cold.

That’s hard to say about a car that packs a scintillating 5.0-liter V10 pumping out 500 horsepower. Acceleration is invigorating, to say the least, and autobahn speeds are achieved without a drop of sweat. This is a supremely fast car that likes going supremely fast. Interestingly, the full 500 hp is only available when selected by the driver using the MDrive performance settings. The default setting is 400 hp — the same output as the previous M5’s V8 — which sort of seems like dating Scarlett Johansson and asking her to wear a muumuu. Nonetheless, keeping those 100 extra horses at bay should help prevent the average driver from overdoing things on the way to the grocery store. Rear-wheel drive, 500 hp and a free-revving V10 with an 8,250 redline can be a volatile combination.

At the current generation’s debut, we were pretty impressed with the latest M5. But the more time we’ve spent with the car, the more ambivalent we’ve become. First of all, both of the M5’s available transmissions leave much to be desired. The sequential manual gearbox (SMG) is painfully slow on the draw when the driver summons maximum power, and it lurches awkwardly among the lower gears when dawdling around town. You’d think the traditional six-speed manual would be more satisfying, but we found in previous testing that the mighty V10 overheated it during aggressive driving.

The variable-assist and variable-ratio power steering is a further disappointment, as it’s notably lacking in feel and generally doesn’t offer the sort of vehicle control and car-driver communication we’ve come to expect from BMWs. And while the various power, throttle, transmission, suspension and stability control settings sure create a lot of choices — BMW says there are 279 different vehicle settings, to be precise — it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the electronic and mechanical trickery designed to keep you going fast and/or on the road. Altogether, it’s enough to make us yearn for a simpler time — and simpler BMW M5s.

Source: edmunds

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