2013 BMW M5 - Test Drive and Review

Gregory Berdette heads out for a wet and very rainy test drive in the 560hp 2013 BMW M5 (equipped with the premium package, but not the Competition Package...the vehicle in the BMW-provided shots is equipped with the Competition Package). The 4.4L twin turbo engine puts out more horsepower and more torque than the prior generation V10. BMW have done a good job of managing the turbo power, but you can feel a fairly sharp power curve lingering beneath the drive by wire throttle system. Overall, the M5 is an exhilarating drive, and BMW ergonomics are some of the best in the industry. I should mention that the drive selector is a bit odd. Moving the stick to the right to engage drive feels counter-intuitive. I understand that they wanted to free up the forward-back motion for the gear changes, but the stick is a redundant system to the paddle shifters...I never use the stick to shift the forward gears. It's much safer to use the paddle shifters. I was unable to put the M5 in park when I finished my test drive...there's nothing that tells the driver how to engage Park. Even the lot attendant at the Porsche dealership was using the emergency brake/parking brake to keep the M5 from rolling away (it shifts to neutral when you turn the engine off). One solution posted on-line is to follow this procedure, but then hit the start/stop button again (without your foot on the brake), and the car will engage "P" (park mode). Absolutely mystifying.... In the 2006 BMW 760, you have to hit the start/stop button twice as well when you are leaving the vehicle, but in this case the first push turns off the engine and the second push turns off the entertainment system (otherwise it stays a long time, even if you open the driver's door.) There must be a magical gnome working in the basement of BMW, whose primary job is to think of incredibly confusing ways to engineer a car.

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