Home Car Reviews Detailed Review of the 2021 BMW M5

Detailed Review of the 2021 BMW M5

by Frank

The 2021 BMW M5 sedan has a subdued, sophisticated exterior that hides a beast under the hood. It has a 600 horsepower V8 engine that is barely contained by the 5 series sedan’s tame style lines. There aren’t any model trims for the 2021 BMW M5. Essentially, it is a model trim based on the 5 series sedan. That’s where the similarities stop though. The M5 is all business when it comes to performance. There are just the M5 and the M5 Competition sedans – fast and faster.

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Powerful Engineering of the 2021 BMW M5

2021 bmw m5 engine

The M5 has an output of 600 horsepower and can travel from zero to 60 in just 3.2 seconds. The M5 Competition ups the performance to 617 horsepower. For a point of comparison, that’s even faster than the 2021 Chevy Camaro and its 650 horsepower, supercharged V8. The Camaro does zero to 60 in 3.5.


The M5 from BMW has a 4.4 Liter twin-scroll Biturbo V8. The powerplant comes with a racing-inspired cooling system and an oil pan. The drivetrain offers drivers an unparalleled amount of variability.


The 2021 M5 can drive like an automatic or a manual. It has an 8-speed M STEPTRONIC transmission. Drive the M5 with the three-stage Drivelogic shifting system or make use of the steering wheel paddle shifters.


Echoing the variability of the drivetrain, the M5 offers three levels of control. You can toggle between 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel drive sport, or 2-wheel drive. It’s all thanks to the M5 performance xDrive all-wheel-drive management system.


In a surprising move, BMW borrows from the Americans by allowing the driver to control the sound of the M5 exhaust note. There’s no mistaking the sound of an M5 coming down the strip, but now you can tame the sound of the beast with the push of a button. There’s a silent mode and an aggressive mode.

Options and Packages

You can make some additional performance improvements to the 2021 M5 sedan by tweaking the packages and options. There’s an M Driver’s Package that raises the top speed of the M5 and enrolls you in a special BMW driving school. You can add carbon-ceramic brakes, performance exhaust and fully customize your performance specs with the M5 Competition Package. Just be advised that the driver’s package, performance add-ons, and custom M5 Competition will add nearly $30,000 to the overall cost of the vehicle.

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A New Exterior for the 2021 M5

bmw m5 exterior 2021

Iconic vehicles like the M5 sedan rarely need a refresh, but the 2021 version of the M5 has been updated. It has gotten a full facelift. It has a new blacked-out kidney grille design, a modified front bumper, new air intakes, and new headlights.

The new design language extends to the rear of the M5. It has a 3D design enhancement for the taillights and a black strip of paneling spanning the rear trunk. The black rear diffuser is almost imperceptible, but it totally works on the M5 sedan. Lastly, there are the quad exhaust tips with two pipes on each side of the rear air diffuser space.

The profile and top haven’t been dramatically altered. There’s a carbon-fiber roof, small air slits along the side paneling, and black M signature side mirrors. The gold brake calipers stand out from the wheel wells, but otherwise, the side of the 2021 M5 sedan is simply strong and refined.

The 2021 BMW M5 comes in 12 different paint colors. Aside from the two red palettes, most of the colors are rather muted. Tanzanite Blue II Metallic and BMW Individual Aventurin Red Metallic are new for 2021. Perhaps, Bluestone Metallic represents the whole crop with its icy blue and grey combination.

When it comes time to select add-ons and options, you can replace a number of panels with carbon fiber inserts. The rear air diffuser, rear spoiler, and side grille air slits can all be replaced with carbon fiber panels. Take the carbon fiber under the hood if you like and outfit the m5 sedan with a carbon-fiber engine cover.

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What’s the Interior of the 2021 M5 Like?

2021 bmw m5 interior

Driving the 2021 M5 sedan is like accepting a dare from a machine. If you opt for the Competition Package and engage track mode, then all of the automated systems are disengaged. Then, it’s just you and the M5 Competition vehicle. Novices beware.

The M5 has a thick steering wheel and a heads-up display above the instrument panel. Drivers who earned their stripes in vehicles that are meant for cruising will find the steering and braking to be a bit stiff. The leather seats are beyond comfortable though and have extra cushioned side bolsters to keep you glued in the center of control.

For less exhilarating moments, you might want to synch up your digital life with the 12.3-inch touchscreen and its iDrive interface. It comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. You can use hand gestures to cue up music or access your contacts. You can use your smartphone to unlock the vehicle, start the engine, and adjust the temperature controls remotely. That’s a standard feature on all 2021 M5 sedans.

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Staying Safe in the 2021 M5

Most economy automakers are making advanced safety features standard on all their vehicles. Luxury and performance automakers are still bundling top-tier safety equipment for extra fees. BMW has a Driving Assistance Plus Package that includes some of the most sought-after safety features.

You get Extended Traffic Jam Assistant, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go Active Lane-Keeping Assistant with side collision avoidance, and Cross-traffic Alert. An additional Executive Package includes a 360-degree camera, parking sensors, and a self-parking assist feature.

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At the Finish Line in a BMW M5

The 2021 BMW M5 has an initial MSRP of $103,500. The 2021 M5 Competition starts at around $115,000. However, you can easily reach $130,000 with add-ons and packages. It’s a six-figure sports car. There’s no getting around that, but you get an absolute gem for that price.

The 2021 M5 sedan has the ability to transform the driving experience so easily. You can throw it in rear-wheel drive and fishtail around corners or stick to all-wheel drive for some civilized motoring. The M5 has paddle shifters and a regular automatic transmission that allows the driver to choose how and when to let loose in the M5 sedan.

Its astounding acceleration, the sound of its exhaust note, and the resplendent cabin are big turn-ons. The pricey add-ons for safety gear and the subdued exterior style make up the shortlist of gripes about the M5. Overall, the prospect of having this ferocious V8 turbo from BMW on a tight leash is a temptation that very few can ignore.

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