500hp V10, 200+ mph,and flappy paddle 6 speed for $30k.

The 2006-2007 E60 BMW M5. This car is my biggest crush right now. It packs supercar numbers in a sedan package for a price that I can afford right now. This car was a monster when it came out and very few cars have come close to it since. Obviously, I am talking about used versions of this beast with around 70k miles. Pretty low mileage, right? Everything seems to point right the the conclusion "buy this car right now," but this kind of performance at $30k is a double edged sword. $30k says two things to me: "look what you can get for the price of a Toyota Avalon," and "guess what's wrong with me."

So what am I really getting for the price of an Avalon? Really, this car is all about the engine. A 5.0L V10. A naturally aspirated engine that makes 100hp/liter while revving to 8250 rpm. This thing hauls like a rocket and howls like a banshee (especially with aftermarket exhaust). Couple that to a fast shifting 6 speed SMG sending all the power to the rear wheels with perfect 50/50 weight distribution and you have one of the best hoon-mobiles ever to come straight from an OEM. But it's more than that. It's a gentleman's car wrapped in leather and stitched up with soft touch materials. It has selectable transmission options so you can optimize it for comfort. Unclick the ///M button and you can smooth out all the sharp edges for a comfortable ride.

So why is it only $30k? Exactly why you expect it to be. Reliability. You see, an E60 M5 with 70k miles is considered "high mileage," and I don't understand why. Let me clarify by saying that I understand what does go wrong with them and it's a terrible laundry list including Vanos Actuators, Throttle Actuators (there are 10), SMG pump for the transmission, throw out bearing and sleeves, ROD BEARINGS (yes, after only 70k) not to mention regular maintenance such as spark plugs and filters and whatnot, which is all outrageously more expensive than normal cars. What I really don't understand is why this car was not designed to be more reliable. I'm sure there will be plenty of people who say that it's basically a race engine in a sedan, but I think that is just a bunch of excuses. Honda's S2000 puts out more horsepower per liter and revs even higher. Not to mention that hey made 20,000 examples of the E60 M5. It's not some limited production supercar or low volume specialty, it's the M5. The E39, E34 and E28 are well regarded as bulletproof with many examples running through 150k+ miles without such maintenance requirements so you would think that the successor would keep to that tradition.


But I still can't back down from this car. I have always done all my own maintenance on my own cars. Actually, I have never taken a car to a shop for anything. Period. It would be the same way with the M5 so I thought, perhaps this will make it cheaper for me to own than your typical M5 owner who I am profiling as some rich WASPy dude who can't be bothered to do his own maintenance. But this is not true because this car is operated entirely by computers, which means I would need to buy BMW specific diagnostics tools and programming software that comes at a ballpark $2600 cost. I'm not sure I am willing to pay that price just to work on ONE of my cars.

So what do you say? Would you take the dive and risk the additional cost for truly inspiring performance? Let me know in Kinja. Just some food for thought, here are some rod bearings after 84k miles:

Share This Story