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Old 11-20-2018, 04:33 PM
Huncowboy Huncowboy is offline
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Mein Auto: 2019 750, 2016 X5
Test drive: M5 competition

Today I had to bring our 7 down for a software update and had the opportunity to drive the new M5 Competition for a few miles. It was a short drive, more like getting a taste than a proper test drive.

I was really interested driving the competition package because I wanted to feel how rough the car will be for my 45 miles (one way) daily commute. The 7 replaced our 2015 M5 and my wife drives it for the most part. I must be getting old, but I really enjoy the smoothness of the 7. Getting another M5 was not all that high on my list, simply because I am not that certain I wanted a high performance car (and pay for it too) to do 75 Mph on the turnpike going straight line all the time. We did love and miss our prior model M5, but I was actually debating to just get the new Superduty and maybe buy the 2020 911 or something else really cool, and put that into the garage for Sunday driving. Well... that plan is off now

So to the test drive. Right off the bat the moment I got behind the wheel I felt at home. The whole excitement of driving an M was back. The thick wheel, the sound, the accuracy. Like being in race mode always. First we drove it in comfort and my concern about ride quality was gone. We drove on some fairly bad backroads as well. Not an issue at all. I don't know how it compares to the regular M5 but I can certainly see myself zooming out in this after a long day when you just want to get home. It does not feel too hard in comfort mode at all. Obviously, it is not a boat like the 7, but it is plenty comfortable. Even the steering wheel is not too stiff. The exhaust noise was just enough to let me know this was a performance car, but not distracting at all. The seats felt perfect and very comfortable for sport seats.

Of course next came sport mode. I was watching a lot of youtube about how accurate the steering was, especially with competition package, and how the front feels lighter. This was a short test drive, but the car in general felt WAY lighter than the previous M5. I felt more like driving a 3 than a 5. We also owned a 550 before the M5 so I have a good bit of mileage in that chassis. The new M feels lighter, and more accurate. I only had a chance to take a few slow speed turns in it, and I am just an average Joe, so this is based on just that. But I was very happy with the handling.

As far as the acceleration, at first I was really disappointed. I was expecting to sit in a catapult and it felt actually slower than the old M5. But then the dealer said the car's performance is limited by about 30% until the first service is done. I took that with a grain of salt because I was told the same about the prior M5 and that was not true. So I am not sure what is true and what is not, but if this current generation is almost as fast as the old one while being limited, it must be a beast when the full potential is unlocked. Perhaps someone who owns one could comment on this.

Another part of the new M that I did not like from the get go was the double clutch transmission being replaced by a regular one. I still don't know what was the reason for that. Plus I am really not a fan of the look of the new shifter. After driving it, I could not really notice much of a difference. It is still a very fast transmission, maybe a tiny bit slower. I have played with the pedal shifters too and it was fast, though I did not have time or space for some high RPM down shifts. The ergonomics of the shifter itself is meh... The button P is placed at an awkward position, to the rear where your palm sits. Then there is the button on top to change transmission reaction time or aggressiveness? It used to be behind the stick on the old one. I just don't see why I would ever need to press that when I have the M buttons programmed already. Overall, it just felt complicated with the buttons on it. I think it also looks... I will just say it. I think it is ugly. But that just my personal taste. Not a show stopper by any means but the person who designed it must have a different hand and taste from the rest of humankind. Again, my opinion, sorry if I am hurting some feelings.

The looks. I think the look of the competition is just fantastic. The black inserts on a blue color make everything just pop. Even the badge is black, which is a nice touch. The interior is flawless. The dark carbon fiber has a matte look. Beautiful. I totally dig the dash as well as the new HUD. This vehicle had the basic stereo which was actually pretty good, though I would definitely go for the upgraded one. I am also a big fan of light coming into the car but the carbon top is just a must. So I would definitely not delete that for the sunroof on a blue or light colored car. On a black one, or a non competition one... maybe.

Overall, I am totally sold on the competition and if it was not for our existing X5 lease having 8 more months, I would have ordered one today. But this way most likely we will do another ED next year. Which is sweet.

To sum it up, I think the competition is awesome. If you discount the standard 20" wheels ($1300 and standard on the comp), it is a 6k difference. To me that is a no brainer. I feel the car will be just fine for regular driving and that is from a 46 year old fart who just got cheaters this year.

(Sorry for the review being a bit all over the place, and English is not my first language either. I have a few shots of the car I drove attached.)
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