The luxury European manufacturers seem to be in something of a high-tech features war, with BMW and Mercedes-Benz battling it out for the title of most silicon-dependent vehicles. With the 2008 BMW M5, BMW has fired its latest shot in this war, and the high-end features are definitely impressive.
The 2008 BMW M5 is available in only one trim level, so there is no variation in standard features. Kelley Blue Book catalogs several features that come standard, including "a DVD-based navigation system with real-time traffic information, special M instrumentation and sport steering wheel, heated front seats with adjustable backrest width, Xenon Adaptive Headlights and ultrasonic Park Distance Control." In addition, Cars.com reports that "a Logic7 premium sound system" comes standard on the M5 BMW.
While these features all receive generally positive reviews in articles read by TheCarConnection.com, the same cannot be said for the iDrive and MDrive systems on the 2008 BMW M5. The iDrive system in particular still gets a lot of flack from reviewers. It operates "climate control, entertainment, navigation [and] telephone," says MyRide.com, but according to ForbesAutos, you need to "spend a Saturday navigating the deep recess of the cave" of iDrive menus and instructions in order to operate it. However, the BMW M5's MDrive system is much better and "lets the driver select preferred performance and handling settings for instant recall later," attests Cars.com. However, Edmunds notes that with the MDrive system "BMW added up all these possible combinations and came up with 279," which many drivers might find intimidating.
For those who refuse to settle for the standard features on the BMW M5 ("settle" being a relative term here), BMW offers a decent options list for the M5 BMW. According to Edmunds, some of the "stand-alone options include 20-way multifunction seats with active backrest width" and "heated rear seats." Kelley Blue Book also reports "the M5 offers an enticing array of options" that include "Comfort Access keyless unlock and start, M Head-Up Display," and "heated steering wheel."
The head-up display on the BMW M5 gets quite a bit of positive press in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com, with MyRide.com reporting that "the $1,000 system projects a color image onto a six- by three-inch field above the dash on the windshield, so you don't need to take your eyes off the road." They add "it can be programmed to show speed, navigation instructions, or cruise controls settings," and are impressed that "it's clear even in the brightest sunlight."