There are a few cars in history that are absolutely brilliant to drive but absolutely terrifying to own. Typically, maintenance is the reason for the latter and the E60-generation BMW M5 is one such car. It’s a super sedan with one of the most incredible engines ever made but its maintenance is such that owners live with constant anxiety. In this new video from Everyday Driver, we get to see if owning the E60 M5 is worth that anxiety.
For context, the E60 BMW M5 has a 5.0 liter naturally-aspirated V10 engine that makes 500 horsepower and revs past 8,000 rpm. It also makes one of the most delicious noises to ever grace a road car. In terms of chassis dynamics, the E60 M5 is still great to drive, even if it was the start of BMW getting a bit too high-tech for its own good. However, that brilliant engine, along with much of its fancy tech, likes to take a dump on owners, which costs several thousands of dollars to remedy.
The big issue for the E60 M5’s engine is its rod bearings. Tolerances for the rod bearings are such that if the engine oil isn’t perfectly up to temperature and you push the engine even remotely hard, you can start to wear them down. Because of that, they wear down rapidly and their failure can grenade the engine. This has happened to some owners under 60,000 miles. Admittedly, if you properly warm the engine up and have the rod bearings done every 50,000 miles or so, it should be fine. But that’s still expensive to do there’s always that anxiety that they’re going to fail one you, leaving you with a very impressive, very powerful paper weight.
So is owning the E60 BMW M5, with its brilliant engine and engaging chassis dynamics, worth that anxiety? According to Everyday Driver, the answer is yes, with a caveat. It needs a warranty. If you buy your E60 M5 used, make sure you get some sort of warranty on it, this way you can have many of the car’s complex and expensive issues remedied for just the cost of a deductible and save yourself a ton of money and heartache.