2021 BMW M5

#8
in Sedans
2021 MODEL
$102,700 - $110,000
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7.2

Overall Rating

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2021 BMW M5 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 20, 2020
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John Bedrow

Automotive Journalist

Based on BMW’s popular 5-series, the M5 is a benchmark and the ultimate badass among 4-door performance sedans. Since its inception in the mid-1980s, there has barely been any other 4-door performance sedan, as promising as the M5. Continuing its consistent dominance, after the new 5-series, BMW has also recently unveiled the 2021 BMW M5 and M5 Competition. As usual, the 2021 M5 does follow the design updates of the new 5-series but with more pronounced M signatories.

See detailed review »

Pros

Ferocious V8 engine

Smooth and slick transmission

Commanding stability

Driver-friendly cockpit

Cons

Rivals offer more plush interiors

Overly stiff suspension

Pricier options

What's New?

Refreshed exterior and interior styling

New headlights and taillights

Updated infotainment and features

New upcoming M5 CS model


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2021 BMW M5 Detailed Review video
2021 BMW M5 Exterior video
2021 BMW M5 Interior video

Styles

2021 BMW M5 in Almandine Brown Metallic color 2021 BMW M5 in Alpine White color 2021 BMW M5 in Black Sapphire Metallic color
Almandine Brown Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Fuel Economy

3.0

Exterior

7.0

Safety

8.0

Competition

9.0

7.2

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 BMW M5 Base

Base

power
600 hp @ 5700 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
17 combined

$102,700


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
4dr Sedan AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $102,700 MSRP (15/17/21) 600 hp @ 5700 rpm, 4.4 L, V-8, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

2021 BMW M5 Competition

Competition

power
617 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
17 combined

$110,000


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Competition 4dr Sedan AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A) Starting at $110,000 MSRP (15/17/21) 617 hp @ 6000 rpm, 4.4 L, V-8, premium unleaded (required)
8-speed automatic all wheel drive 5

Expert Review

7.2

Overall Rating


The refreshed M5 does look meaner and grown-up, but one with style. It also gets significant interior and mechanical tweaks as well. Above all, it still retains its blasting twin-turbo V8 which BMW fanboys go gaga over. Interestingly, apart from the regular M5 and M5 Competition, there's also a 2021 BMW M5 CS into the pipeline. Well, that's too much of fuelling to propel us to have a quick look at the 2021 BMW M5 family.

2021 BMW M5 Sedan Front View
2021 BMW M5 Sedan Rear View

 
 

3.0/10
Fuel Economy

 
 

7.0/10
Exterior

 

8.0/10
Safety

 

9.0/10
Competition

 
 

2021 BMW M5 Features

The 2021 BMW M5 sedan shall be offered initially in its two regular configurations; the M5 and the M5 Competition. Both the models carry the same powertrain as usual but with a different state of tune. With a slightly different character, both the models get their specific mechanical tuning as well. While most features remain the same between the two trims, the competition adds a few nitty-gritty to its name.

Model

BMW M5

BMW M5 Competition

MSRP

$104,500

$112,100

Features

19-inch alloys

Adds to M5:

 

600 hp power output

625 horsepower engine

 

12.3-inch touchscreen

Chrome Black accents all around the exterior

 

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Track driving mode

 

BMW Dynamic Laser Matrix Beam

Available leather/faux suede upholstery

 

Redesigned air vents

Distinct carbon fiber spoiler

 

Modified grille

Glossy ornament touches

 

Exclusively redesigned bumper

Retuned and stiffer chassis

Expected Price and Release Date of the 2021 BMW M5/ M5 Competition

While BMW is updating the M5 for 2021, it is expected to arrive at U.S dealerships in August at a price of around $104,500 for the regular M5 and $112,100 for the M5 Competition.

2021 BMW M5 Engine and Performance

What makes the M5 an M5 is its fierce 4.4-liter twin-turbo which continues to power it even in 2021. Though the torque remains the same at 553 ft-lbs, the power output in the M5 and M5 competition remains same at 600 and 617 hp. Even the upcoming M5 CS would flaunt the same power-source but with power bumped up at 650 ps or 641 hp.  What also remains similar to the outgoing model is the 8-speed automatic transmission and standard AWD. Since the changes for 2021 are more on the cosmetic side, the refreshed M5 should delight you with its renowned exhilarating performance.

2021 BMW M5 Sedan Engine Bay

No testimonies required and the monstrous 4.4-liter is one of the most notorious track-weapons in the market today. Paired with the efficient dynamics and retuned componentry, the brawny V8 can help the M5 smoke down a Ford GT on straight tracks. There's plenty of power on tap no matter the rev-range. Floor the pedal harder and the gigantic wave of torque throws you around every corner of your seat. The 8-speed auto too is a gem of a transmission. The shifts are smooth and precise and the transmission channels power switching through gears almost instantly. Not to forget, every time you push those 8-blocks harder, you will be greeted by a symphony from the exhausts that is too tempting to resist pulling off your feet from the pedal.

Models

2021 BMW M5 (expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S

2021 Audi RS7

MSRP

$104,500

$107,350

$114,000

Engine

4.4-liter twin-turbo V8

4.0-liter twin-turbo V8

4.0-liter twin-turbo V8

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

8 speed automatic

9 speed automatic

8 speed automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

600 @ 6000

603 @ 5750

591 @ N/A

Torque (ft-lbs @ rpm)

553 @ 1800

627 @ 2500

590 @ N/A

The 4-door performance sedan segment is a niche and extremely purposive territory, the M5 does not have too many rivals. The most prominent competitors consist of the Mercedes-AMG E63 S and the Audi RS7. All these three brawny machines carry similarly propulsive engines with identical power output along with a very healthy track-record. However, the M5’s enhanced track-surgery and lighter body does accentuate the effortless efforts of its powertrain.

How quick is the 2021 BMW M5/ M5 Competition?

Furious acceleration is what the M5 is designed for and it is indeed a master of the art. We were completely bestowed by the current 2020 M5 and with the same heart the 2021 BMW M5 seems to have restored our mile-high aspirations of it. BMW says that the new 2021 M5 could do the 0-60 mph run in just 3.2 seconds. The new M5 Competition further shoves off 0.1 seconds from the timer. 

2021 BMW M5 Sedan 0-60 MPH in Just 3.2 sec

The aforementioned numbers are pretty much identical to the 2020 M5’s duties. Even the quarter-mile comes up in just 10.9 seconds which is just 0.1-seconds shorter to the Dodge Challenger Hellcat Red Eye. As a matter of fact we also know that the current 2020 M5 feels much quicker than what its performance-sheet indicates. 

Models

2021 BMW M5 (Expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S

2021 Audi RS7

0-60 MPH (seconds)

3.2

3.3

3.5

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

10.9

11.1

N/A

Top-Speed (MPH)

163

158

155

Engine

4.4-liter twin-turbo V8

4.0-liter twin-turbo V8

4.0-liter twin-turbo V8

For a 4-door sedan, these performance numbers are any day outrageous. Who knows, the upcoming M5 CS could even break the most distant walls. Although its similarly powered rivals post close numbers on the 0-60 sheet, there's no catching up the M5. Apart from the slick-powertrain, the M5’s excessive weight-reduction theory plays a handy role in its performance. 

How well does the 2021 M5/ M5 Competition brake?

For a car as potent as the BMW M5, there needs to be the best braking mechanism to tame its momentum. BMW doesn’t disappoint either. Similar to the outgoing 2020 model, the 2021 BMW M5 gets standard steel brakes alongside the expensive perforated carbon-ceramic option. With the same braking mechanism, the pedal in the 2020 M5 feels firm and confident and has a very strong bite into it. No signs of brake fade and the M5 breaks its momentum vehemently. As a matter of fact, you do need to get used to its braking applications.

2021 BMW M5 Sedan Brake Rotors

Models

2021 BMW M5 (Expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S

2021 Audi RS7

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

15.6

15.4

16.5

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

15

14.2

14.6

Curb Weight (lbs)

4370

4497

4938

60-0 (feet)

NA

NA

N/A

We do not have the 60-0 braking stopping data in the table here but we expect all the three hot sedans to offer similar braking apparatus and experience. We are particularly interested in the braking test of the 2021 Audi RS7 which gets the largest front rotors in the segment. 

How well does the 2021 BMW M5/ M5 Competition Handle?

With the same engine and constituency, the 2021 BMW M5 should be as fun on the road and track as its 2020 model. Being a sport-oriented sedan, the M5 offers several driving modes such as 4WD, 4WD Sport, Comfort, and 2WD. Each mode offers a different level of traction and control, smooth ride or tight control. The overall ride is a bit on the stiffer side in sport mode, but switching to comfort mode it drives like a normal 5-series. With increased negative camber and even stiffer anti-roll bars, the M5 competition is stiffer than the M5 and is more suited for track driving. 

2021 BMW M5 Sedan Front Angle View

The competition even gets a track mode for 2021 for better concentration on performance and cornering. Whatever form you want to drive it in, a comfortable sedan, or a track star, the M5 efficiently delivers to your expectations. The standard AWD provides optimum traction and stability around corners and the prices yet direct steering ensures easy maneuverability.  With the available two-wheel-drive mode that disconnects the front axle, the BMW M5 could also perform some drifting stunts.

2021 BMW M5 Fuel Economy

3.0/10

No official data released, but since the 2021 BMW M5 is mostly the same to the core, we expect mpg figures, similar to the 2020 model. Expect the 2021 BMW M5 to deliver a familiar 15 mpg in the city, 21 highway and 17 combined. With no dimensional tweaks, even the tank size remains the same at 20.1 gallons resulting in a similar driving range as earlier as well.

Models

2021 BMW M5 (expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S

2021 Audi RS7

MPG (City)

15

15

TBD

MPG (Highway)

21

23

TBD

MPG (Combined)

17

18

TBD

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

20.1

21.1

19.3

Range(city/hwy/combined)(miles)

301/422/341

316/485/379

TBD

Among its segment, the EPA estimates for the 2021 Audi RS7 are not yet released, however the Merc seems marginally better than the M5. Though the M5 is not far behind the AMG 63 S’ 18 mpg combined. The mighty Merc gets an edge because of its relatively smaller 4.0-liter engine. When finally released, the 2021 RS7 should also offer similar efficiency to its other two countrymen.

2021 BMW M5 Interior

The updates on the inside of the 2021 BMW M5 are on the same lines as the 2021 5-series. While the theme looks identical to the outgoing model, the layout has been refreshed though. The dashboard has been revised and so is the new steering wheel. It now gets extended Merino leather seats as standard which can be had in either Silver Stone, Aragon Brown or Black theme. With plenty of soft-touch materials on most contact surfaces, the cabin feels very premium as well. We suspect the build quality seems even more sturdy and beer than before. 

2021 BMW M5 Sedan Front Seats

You can also rope in Fineline Ridge Wood trim along with Aluminum Carbon Structure with Aluminium Dark Structure trims at no extra cost. Willingness to pay some extra dollars would also get you some Individual Piano Black and Plum Brown Wood cabin inserts. While the brief details are still on their way, the M5 Competition should have a decent dose of alcantara surfaces and contrast stitching effects.

Models

2021 BMW M5 (expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S

2021 Audi RS7

Seating Capacity

5

5

TBD

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room) inches

40.7/58.7/41.4

37.3/57.8/41.7

TBD

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room) inches

38.5/55.9/36.2

38.0/57.1/36.2

TBD

The cabin of the 2021 M5 gains some better points for its driver-orientation as well. Most of the controls are neatly laid out at accessible places and within easy reach of the driver. As earlier, cabin space should be none of the worries of the 2021 M5. Based on its 2017 second-generation, the 2021 M5 would still offer plenty of space for occupants to stretch themselves up. While the complete interior data of the 2021 RS7 is yet to be released, the M5 towers over the AMG 63 S in terms of passenger room at both the benches. With the RS 7’s sloping roofline, we expect the 2021 BMW M5 to hold its throne as the most spacious product in its class. 

What about the infotainment system of the 2021 BMW M5/ M5 Competition?

With the revised new 5-series, the 2021 M5 gets an updated infotainment system as well. There's a new 12.3-inch touchscreen replacing the earlier 10.25-inch unit. It also gets the new 12.3-inch Live Cockpit setup with iDrive 7 as standard. The infotainment system comes standard with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and for the first time as wireless. The iDrive 7 also brings in BMW’s new cloud-based navigation system. 

2021 BMW M5 Sedan Infotainment System

The infotainment system can be controlled either via the rotary dial, touch or voice commands. The system also expands its scope of operation for 2021. The physical buttons for the steering and damping controls as well as the throttle response have been scrapped and are now integrated into the digital cluster. Some might miss the interaction with those physical keys but BMW says that it allows for better intuitivity. Well, we could only wait to see how these updates actually fare in real-life situations. 

Highlighted Infotainment Features:

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Voice and gesture control
  • Satellite radio
  • Sirius XM
  • In-car WiFi
  • Cloud-based Navigation with 3D maps
  • Optional wireless charging
  • Real-time traffic
  • 12.3-inch infotainment display and digital instrument cluster

How much cargo can the 2021 BMW M5/ M5 Competition carry?

With no dimensional tweaks, the 2021 BMW M5 offers a cargo space similar to the outgoing model. A trunk of space of 18.7 cu-fts is not the most promising in the class, but should do away with most of your packaging needs. 

Models

2021 BMW M5 (Expected)

2020 Mercedes Benz AMG E63 S

2021 Audi RS7

Cargo Capacity (cu-fts)

18.7

13.1

19.0

Among its segment though, where the M5 offers a significantly larger trunk than the AMG 63 S, it falls short to the RS7. The 2021 Audi RS7 offers a class-leading cargo space of 19.0 cu-fts. Thanks to its hatchback rear profile and a body which is longer than the other two.

Interior Features:

  • Interior mirrors with auto anti-glare function
  • Carbon structure, piano black and brown wood inserts
  • Ambient lighting
  • Ventilated seats
  • Upscale instrument cluster
  • Comfortable and supportive sport seats
  • Leather-wrapped seats
  • Adjustable steering column
  • Single M Mode button
2021 BMW M5 Interior
2021 BMW M5 Steering
2021 BMW M5 Infotainment
2021 BMW M5 Front Seat
2021 BMW M5 Rear Seat

2021 BMW M5 Exterior

7.0/10

In line with the new 5-series, the 2021 BMW M5 gets a revised styling. Yes, the 2021 5-series do get revised grille alongside new headlights and taillights, but the M5 does add up its performance highlights. First up, the new headlights are slimmer than before and feature L-shaped DRLs which look a lot more updated and trendy. The new and larger grille on the new 5-series is even larger and lower in the 2021 M5 and also gets a chrome surround. The front bumper too is distinguished by a larger hexagonal center air-intake below the grille flanked by larger air intakes.

2021 BMW M5 Sedan Side View

The distinguishing elements up front give the 2021 M5  a much meaner and aggressive stance than it used to have earlier. The new M5 competition is segregated by chrome black finish on throughout the body as well as the badges. No changes on the side profile but there are new 19; inch rims on the M5 and 20’ inches on the Competition. Changes at the rear include slim yet distinctive headlights, forked diffuser and bumper and updated M-specific quad exhaust tips. The Competition model adds up chrome black treatments to the tail lamps as well. 

Models

2021 BMW M5 (expected)

2020 Mercedes-AMG E63 S

2021 Audi RS7

Curb Weight (lb)

4370

4497

4938

Length (inches)

195.5

196.4

197.2

Width (inches)

74.9

75.1

76.8

Height (inches)

58.0

56.6

56.1

Ground Clearance (inches)

5.2

NA

NA

Wheelbase (inches)

117.4

115.7

115.3

Overall. The 2021 BMW M5 certainly looks more modern and stylish than it ever did. Contrast to the more family-sedan or elegance oriented Mercedes AMG E63 S, the bimmer has a sporty and youthful soul and character that peeks out of its outfit. However, there's no competition to the 2021 Audi RS 7 when it comes to looks. Edgy lines, coupe-profile, low height and plenty of carbon-fiber touches are strong enough to stick your eyeballs onto it. After all, no one does the sleek-profiling better than Audi.

Exterior Features:

  • Redesigned front and rear bumpers
  • New headlamps and taillamps
  • Chrome-Black accents all around the exterior of the Competition trim
  • Updated rear-diffuser
  • New M-specific quad-exhausts
  • New 19’ inch m-specific standard wheels
  • Larger front-grille
2021 BMW M5 Front
2021 BMW M5 Rear
2021 BMW M5 Side View
2021 BMW M5 Side angle View
2021 BMW M5 Wheel

2021 BMW M5 Safety

8.0/10

Even with its launch, details and tests onto the upcoming loop, we are pretty firmly assured about the 2021 BMW M5’ safety. This is because of the fact that with its immense prowess, the M5 has always paid great attention to its safety suite. Though the 2020 BMW M5 is yet to be tested, the 2019 M5 was recognized as a Top Safety Pick+ by IIHS. Noteworthy is the fact that the 2019 M5 was based on the same second-generation of which even the 2021 M5 is a descendant of. 

No surprise, the 2021 BMW M5 should follow a very similar safety suite. Apart from its firm and stiffer chassis, the M5 also gains from its multitude of safety features. The newly induced  iDrive 7 further adds some of the advanced driver assistance features to the 2021 M5. Apart from its multitude of standard safety features, there's also an optional Driving Assistance Professional Package on offer that adds features like traffic jam assist, lane-keeping assist with side collision avoidance, evasion aid, front cross-traffic alert, and emergency stop assistant. Some of the notable safety features of the 2021 BMW M5 are listed below:

Highlighted safety features:

  • Automated emergency braking
  • Parking assist control
  • Speed limit information
  • Frontal collision and pedestrian warning
  • Driveline traction control and anti-lock brakes
  • Lane-keep assist
  • Front and rear cross-traffic alert
  • Drowsy drive monitor
  • Automatic high-beam assist
  • Available perforated carbon-ceramic brakes

2021 BMW M5 Competition

9.0/10

2021 BMW M5 Vs 2020 Mercedes AMG E63S

The Mercedes Benz AMG E63 S is the primary competitor of the BMW M5, which is pricier for what it offers. Both cars have a fan base of their own, but if a more stylish outfit, better cabin space and driving pleasure are your priorities, the M5 should serve you well. However, if you are an occasional track-sporting person and seek a true luxury and comfort-leaning dynamism in a 4-door sedan, the AMG E 63 S would be the right choice for you.

2020 Mercedes AMG E63S

2021 BMW M5 Vs 2021 Audi RS 7

This is a very very close competition. Both the RS 7 and the M5 have a similarly pumping heart along with their distinct stylings, it's the minute thing that brings a difference, If you are someone who likes exquisite styling and cutting-edge technology, the RS 7 has to be your choice. However, if you are a performance purist and looking for an acclaimed 4-door sports sedan that can tame any sports car on the track, the BMW M5 would never let you down.

 2021 Audi RS 7

2021 BMW M5 Final Verdict

The BMW M5 is the mid-size sedan that performs as amazing as it looks and it barely needs any introduction. With the same soul, character and form, the 2021 BMW M5 ensures that you still have your hot and versatile recipe with all its flavors intact. However, with revised styling and enhanced technology, the 2021 M5 is more stylish, meaner, aggressive and convenient than before.

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