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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
The M5 is decked out with every imaginable gizmo
Includes as standard equipment a DVD-based navigation system
Kelley Blue Book
For many drivers, iDrive will still be as user-friendly as a triangular steering wheel
The BMW M5 doesn’t want for features, which is to be expected in a luxury car at this price.
Because there’s only a single trim level available on the 2009 M5, no variation exists among standard features. Kelley Blue Book catalogs several of these standard features, 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.
If the list of standard features on the BMW M5 isn’t enough, BMW provides a decent selection of options. 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."
ForbesAutos voices frustration at the car's "blithering adjustability," calling the M5 BMW a "technologically overloaded sport sedan." One of the major drawbacks to all the adjustability on the 2009 BMW M5 is that it calls for a lot of buttons and controls, which MyRide.com notes number "nearly 50-some." ForbesAutos also laments the BMW iDrive system, which they feel resembles a "fearsome cave of menus, settings and choices."[Proofreader's note: This last part is repeated below, so I deleted it.]
Articles read by TheCarConnection.com generally give the 2009 BMW M5 positive reviews except for the iDrive and MDrive systems. 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. For 2009, BMW includes a new Smartphone Integration option that improves phone reception and allows access to music stored on the mobile, all while charging the handset.
However, the BMW M5's MDrive system—not to be confused with the iDrive interface—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.
Luxury European manufacturers seem to be battling for the title of most silicon-dependent vehicles, and the head-up display on the BMW M5 is one of these technological bragging points. The system receives a lot 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."
With the 2009 BMW M5, all the high-end features are definitely impressive, but the technology will leave some people absolutely overwhelmed.