The 2008 BMW M5 comes with a massive V-10 engine, but power is far from the whole story on this super-Bimmer. Superb handling has always been a BMW hallmark, and on the 2008 BMW M5, that handling is accompanied by a surprisingly comfortable ride.
The M5 BMW "boasts a 5.0-liter V10 that generates a maximum 500 hp at 7,750 rpm and 383 pound-feet of torque at 6,100 rpm," according to Edmunds. The engine, which is one of the most powerful on the road today, gets high marks in reviews read by TheCarConnection.com. MyRide.com loves how "the V10 gurgles and gently shakes like a 1950 International Harvester," noting how it "ominously" shows off its "tremendous power and latent energy." Cars.com writes that the V-10's power is enough to move the BMW M5 "from a standstill to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds" and "120 mph in 15 seconds," both spectacular numbers for a four-door sedan. Kelley Blue Book is equally impressed, calling the 2008 BMW M5 "the fastest, most muscular" sedan on the market.
The M5 BMW offers two transmission choices for 2008, which Cars.com notes are a "conventional six-speed manual transmission" and a "seven-speed sequential manual transmission with steering-wheel paddles or a conventional six-speed manual gearbox." This seven-speed sequential manual gearbox, or SMG, "includes 11 shift programs selected via MDrive, as well as a launch control mode that primes the M5 for aggressive acceleration," according to Edmunds. Kelley Blue Book writes that the SMG "can shift automatically or manually with the console lever or steering wheel paddles," but they also say "in normal driving, and with a skilled driver, it is actually slower and less smooth than the conventional manual transmission." Because of the occasional reluctance of the SMG, most reviews read by TheCarConnection.com recommend the traditional six-speed manual on the BMW M5, which Kelley Blue Book contends will offer "crisp throws, well-arranged pedals and smooth clutch engagement."
While the 2008 BMW M5 is highly capable of giving you more power than you know what to do with, that power comes at a high cost. With either transmission, the EPA estimates that the BMW M5 will get 11 mpg in the city and 17 mpg on the open highway. As a result, ConsumerGuide reviewers list fuel economy as one of the details they dislike about the M5 BMW, noting in addition that "all models require premium-grade gas."
BMW performance has always been about so much more than sheer power, and nowhere is that more true than on the 2008 BMW M5. Reviewers simply rave about the M5 BMW's performance capabilities, and Edmunds calls the 2008 BMW M5 "an extremely balanced machine that can handle aggressive driving maneuvers as well as it does dilapidated highways." ForbesAutos says that the 2008 BMW M5 "corners like an open-wheel single-seater race car, with no apparent end to its grip," while Kelley Blue Book reports that the BMW M5 is the "most glued-to-the-road four-door on the market." The performance on the BMW M5 is highly customizable as well, since Car and Driver points out that you can modify the "damper, steering, shift, power, and stability settings" to your liking.
Braking also earns high praise from reviewers, with Kelley Blue Book claiming that the "braking might leave you feeling as if it has hooked an aircraft carrier arresting cable." On most high-performance cars, such incredible handling would come at the expense of everyday comfort, but that is not the case on the 2008 BMW M5. "Thanks to its Electronic Damping Control," Edmunds says, the BMW M5 "is actually quite compliant, with the suspension swallowing all but the harshest bumps."