The Best Used Car… Ever?

2013 BMW M5

The greatest super-sedan of all time.

A beast hidden behind 4 doors.

Ferocious, yet practical.

A supercar in disguise.

I could go on in ways to describe the BMW M5, which is not only one of the greatest cars ever produced, but also one of the best, if not the very best, used car money can buy.

Says who? Well, my opinion might count for something, but also check out the reviews at CarGurus. The M5 has consistent 5-star ratings from owners, regardless of model year. Want one of the most satisfying and exhilarating driving experiences out there? Look for an M5, and keep reading for some of the differences in model years.

1988 BMW M5

It all started in the U.S. in 1988, when the E28 M5 roared on shore. While nothing like the modern cars, the DNA was there. With a 256-hp inline 6-cylinder engine, the car was capable of hitting 150 mph.

E34 BMW M5

The E34 M5 lasted through 1993 and saw power jump to 335 hp from a 3.8-liter engine. It still had the classic BMW look, which many people prefer, but once the E39 showed up…

BMW M5 E39

So did a monster V8 engine and more modern BMW looks. Produced from 2000–2003, this generation M5 had a 4.9-liter V8 rated at 394 hp and a sound that has to be heard to be appreciated.

E60 BMW M5

The real monster didn’t make its appearance until 2006 as the E60 M5. A 500-hp, 5.0-liter V10 rocked the worlds of BMW owners until 2010. The monster wasn’t without its weaknesses, though. My advice: Skip the automatic transmission and find a 6-speed manual tranny. Either way, you’ll have to deal with BMW’s iDrive system. Also, you’ll need to budget plenty of cash for fuel, because the V10 is a heavy drinker.

The F10 M5, pictured at the top of this post, scaled back from the V10 and comes with a twin-turbo 560-hp V8. Thankfully, the U.S. market still gets access to a manual transmission. This M5 might be the best of the best, but for used buyers, the one I’d recommend is the E39.

Is the BMW M5 the best used car ever? Which generation would you buy?


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Used BMW M5


  1. I think the M3 was the best all around car I ever drove, but then I never had the fortune to drive the M5. I did drive several regular five series cars, which I didn’t care much for– especially the one with active front steering which like to lurch across the center line into oncoming track. (all by itself)

  2. M5 rocks. I’ve never driven one but would look for a cheap used one someday!

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