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BMW M5 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
7.4
Peter Anderson road tests and reviews the 2015 BMW M5 Nighthawk edition with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.

BMW's M5 is an automotive icon in its own right – the big fast Bavarian autobahn-crusher is the consummate all-rounder, blending a high level of luxury with astounding performance.

The twin-turbo monster isn't what you'd call cheap, though – the standard car used to cost a fair bit more than the Audi competition. Now with the stripped out M5 Pure landing at $185,000, BMW whipped out the spreadsheets and had some fun with the specification to produce the Nighthawk and White Shadow editions while at the same time cutting the price of the standard car.

BMW M5 2015: Nighthawk
Safety rating
Engine Type4.4L turbo
Fuel TypePremium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency9.9L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$98,560

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   7/10

The standard Australian M5 is chock-a-block with goodies, including performance brakes and a few extra kW from the volcanically powerful V8 as part of the Competition Pack.

The Nighthawk, as our matte black test car was known, weighed in at an RS6-baiting $235,930 and $5610 more than the standard M5 on which it is based. 

Inside is standard 5-Series but filled with the goodies and ultra-comfortable seats

Standard features include adaptive LED headlights, Bang and Olufsen high-end surround sound system, head-up display, matte paint, Competition Package, BMW's Comfort Access system which means keyless entry and start as well as seat positions matched to the key, DAB+ tuner, four-zone climate control, sunroof, top-of-the-line Merino leather trim, carbon fibre bits and pieces, high performance (steel) brakes, soft-close doors, front and rear parking sensors and reversing camera with surround view, sat-nav and various telematics services.

The headline act here is the 16-speaker B&O, controlled by the full-fat version of BMW's iDrive. The big rotary controller sits on the console and doubles as a scratchpad for writing in addresses on the sat-nav.

The 10-inch screen dominates the top of the dash, the graphics smooth and clear. The stereo is mightily impressive in both power and clarity while the sat-nav is highly-detailed and accurate.

For extra passenger terror, you can switch to the Sports display on the screen to display how much of the power and torque you're sending through the rear tyres.

Is there anything interesting about its design?   7/10

The M5 is as subtle as ever. The 20-inch alloys are joined by a body kit that could be an M Sport pack from a 520d. The black paint job is smooth and not as fragile as some other matte finishes and made our car blend into the background, sometimes a little more than we'd have liked – it seemed to be a magnet for idiots cutting us off.

Inside is standard 5-Series but filled with the goodies and ultra-comfortable seats. It's more of a 4+1 seater but even when configured this way, it's more than comfortable for decent drives in the middle perch.

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

Six airbags, ABS, traction and stability programs, blind spot sensor, reversing camera, collision mitigation and warning, brake force distribution, lane departure warning.

The 5 Series scored five ANCAP safety stars.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

3 years / unlimited km warranty

Verdict

While the Audi RS6/RS7 pair are probably better cars to live with every day, the M5 will properly toast them on a Targa stage or a racetrack. While most owners of either car will never find out, a lot of what people are buying at this level is potential and history.

BMW M5 is a towering engineering achievement, getting all that power to the ground through just the two rear wheels while still being a liveable car for most people. And to top it off, if you're okay with a few less toys, you can have the Pure for $50,000 less.

How do you think the M5 Nighthawk compares to the RS7? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2015 BMW M5 Nighthawk pricing and spec info.

Pricing Guides

$94,875
Based on third party pricing data
Lowest Price
$76,450
Highest Price
$113,300

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
(base) 4.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $76,450 – 87,890 2015 BMW M5 2015 (base) Pricing and Specs
Nighthawk 4.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $98,560 – 113,300 2015 BMW M5 2015 Nighthawk Pricing and Specs
Pure 4.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $77,770 – 89,430 2015 BMW M5 2015 Pure Pricing and Specs
White Shadow 4.4L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO $94,050 – 108,130 2015 BMW M5 2015 White Shadow Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.4
Price and features7
Design7
Engine & trans7
Safety8
Driving8
Peter Anderson
Contributing journalist

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