We want to love the 2010M5. Who wouldn't, with its race-derived, 500-horsepower V-10 engine, and a 0-60 time of just 4.5 seconds?
Despite its charms, we can't get past the M5's serious flaws, the result of timing and a product at the end of its life cycle. An overabundance of technology almost kills the joy of that huge power. For starters,semi-manual SMG transmission is only for fans of a truly harsh shift experience. You'll need to choose the no-cost six-speed manual to enjoy the M5 to its utmost, thanks to crisp throws, precise gates, perfectly arranged pedals, and surprisingly smooth clutch engagement.
But you can't opt out of the technology that commands the M5's suspension, steering, and throttle inputs. They offer a bewildering 279 combinations through an MDrive menu that can be linked to the steering wheel's MDrive button, which might as well be a panic button for users who can't figure it out.
Then there'sfrustrating iDrive controller for audio, navigation, and climate settings. It's been improved for this model year but still could use its own community-college course for first-time drivers.
There's a new M5 on the way - and from what we've seen from the new-generation BMW 5-Series sedan and 5-Series Gran Turismo hatchback, the picture's going to improve, radically.