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It’s hard to beat BMW vehicles when it comes to making vehicles that not only feel good to drive but look good, too.

Thanks to their classy aesthetics, excellent performance, and smooth handling, the demand for most BMW vehicles is exceptionally high. This is doubly true for the BMW 5 series vehicles, namely the M5 models.

But which M5 models feel the best to drive, are the most aesthetically pleasing, and are generally the most reliable? Let’s find out!

BMW E39 M5

bmw e39 m5
A powerhouse to this day, the E39 M5 offers excellent steering, chassis balance, and high performance despite being relatively dated. Image credit: BMW Group PressClub.

Renowned for being one of the best-driving sports sedans of all time, the BMW E39 M5 is a timeless vehicle beloved by BMW owners from all around the world.

A powerhouse to this day, the E39 M5 offers excellent steering, chassis balance, and high performance despite being relatively dated.

It’s a powerful vehicle that can contend with many cars decades its junior, though it might struggle to compare with modern performance sedans. Despite this, the E39 M5 has an edge other vehicles don’t: its appearance.

For many drivers, the E39 M5 rocks a classy and timeless look that makes it incredibly attractive. Its gorgeous aesthetics, combined with its power and handling, make it a very well-balanced vehicle that offers a lot of benefits regardless of how old it is.

In fact, it handles a lot better than many modern vehicles because its V8 engine doesn’t release power in big bursts. Instead, it allocates power to the rear end of the vehicle, making it easier to control which direction you go.

  • Engine Specs: 4.9-liter V8
  • Weight: 3,736 lbs
  • Power: 394hp
  • Torque: 368 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 sec

BMW E28 M5

bmw e28 m5
Despite its age, the E28 M5 boasts tremendous speed and horsepower topped off with a classy look. Image credit: BMW Group PressClub.

If you’re looking for the model that kicked off the M5 variant of the BMW 5 series, that would be none other than the BMW E28 M5.

Luxury sedans with such powerful performance were unheard of in the 1980s, and the technology utilized on such an accessible vehicle paved the way for an auto-vehicular revolution.

The BMW E28 M5 was so successful that the M5 model line is still being continued to this day. With each new model, the performance benchmark increases. Newer models are capable of reaching up to 600 horsepower — over double the peak numbers of the original E28 M5 model.

Despite its age, the E28 M5 boasts tremendous speed and horsepower topped off with a classy look. In its heyday, it was surpassed only by performance cars such as the ones made by Ferrari and Porsche. However, compared to other sedans, its performance was nigh-untouchable.

Producing up to 286 horsepower and reaching top speeds of 155 miles per hour, the E28 M5 was truly ahead of its time — and it even holds up to this day.

  • Engine Specs: 3.5-liter I6
  • Weight: 4,188 lbs
  • Power: 286hp
  • Torque: 251 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 6.3 sec

BMW E60 M5

bmw e60 m5
Some BMW fans argue that the BMW E60 M5 is the best of the bunch, standing at the very top of the M5 series in terms of quality and performance relative to its time. Image credit: BMW M.

Some BMW fans argue that the BMW E60 M5 is the best of the bunch, standing at the very top of the M5 series in terms of quality and performance relative to its time. Despite this, there are also those who claim that the BMW E60 M5 is one of the most unreliable models.

There’s no denying its incredible performance, however. With its massive 5-liter V10 engine, the E60 M5 can reach a top speed of 190mph and almost 8,000 rpm at max power.

The engine is easily this model’s strongest suit, and it’s precisely why it’s earned its spot as one of the greatest BMW M5 models in history.

  • Engine Specs: 5.0-liter V10
  • Weight: 3,814 lbs
  • Power: 500hp
  • Torque: 383 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.4 sec

BMW F10 M5

bmw f10 m5
From an aesthetic standpoint, the BMW F10 M5 rocks a classy look externally and internally. Image credit: BMW USA News.

What makes the BMW F10 M5 such an attractive vehicle is how it’s capable of just about anything. It’s essentially a jack of all trades in the sense that it has good performance, looks, and durability, but it isn’t outstanding at anything.

For some drivers, this can be a turn-off. People have described the BMW F10 M5 as boring in the past, but boring doesn’t necessarily mean bad. It’s as reliable a BMW as any, and you’re guaranteed a comfortable and high-quality driving experience.

From an aesthetic standpoint, the BMW F10 M5 rocks a classy look externally and internally. The cabin isn’t just comfortable, it’s pleasant to look at, too. With leather seats, all manners of control systems, and rear seat entertainment, the BMW F10 M5 offers drivers and passengers alike tremendous levels of comfort.

  • Engine Specs: 4.4-liter V8
  • Weight: 4,288 lbs
  • Power: 560hp
  • Torque: 502 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 4.2 sec

BMW F90 M5

bmw f90 m5 blue
The BMW F90 M5 is among one of the most recent BMW M5 models but that doesn’t make it any less good. Image credit: BMW Group PressClub.

Last but certainly not least, the BMW F90 M5 is among one of the most recent BMW M5 models but that doesn’t make it any less good.

In fact, because of how new it is, it can make use of a lot of modern technology.

Thanks to its twin-turbocharged V8 engine, the BMW F90 M5 can reach speeds of over 60mph in approximately 3.4 seconds. With an output of 600 horsepower at 5,600-6,700 rpm and a top speed of 190 mph, this vehicle is a force to be reckoned with.

The best part? This vehicle reaches insane performance benchmarks without sacrificing control, rocking the insane handling and maneuverability that BMW is known for. You can expect a smooth and satisfying driving experience behind the wheel of the BMW F90 M5.

  • Engine Specs: 4.4-liter V8
  • Weight: 5,380 lbs
  • Power: 600hp
  • Torque: 553 lb-ft
  • 0-60 mph: 2.8 sec
About The Author
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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