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BMW M5 Competition F90 review – ​interior and tech

A generation old, but beautifully constructed and finished. No longer has a tech advantage, but everything works

Evo rating
Price
from £96,205
  • Powertrain devastatingly effective; more dynamically capable than rivals and beautifully built
  • It’s big; steering lacks life; soundtrack is too augmented

The F90’s interior is one based on an aesthetic that has since been replaced by newer designs in BMW's latest models (not least the new 5-series), but that’s no bad thing. The M5’s cabin is beautifully constructed and features better materials than many rivals. Despite the slightly more old-fashioned layout compared to those of the new RS6 and E63, the M5’s digital interfaces are still crisp and bang up to date, while the traditional click wheel and physical HVAC controls are reassuring and familiar in a good way.

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The M5’s upgrades over the standard 5-series models are both subtle and not so subtle. BMW’s new M Drive buttons now sit on red prongs on the still-too-thick steering wheel, but work really well in giving you access to the configurable M modes. The gear selector is also bespoke to the M5, with a different operating system to that of standard BMW models, instead mimicking the older SMG selector pattern. While this seems like a needless complexity over standard models, it does make the M5 feel more special than its lesser siblings, even if the change is purely semantic as the transmission underneath is still a standard automatic.

Elsewhere, the huge seats are supportive and comfortable, covered in high-quality leather and even feature an illuminated M5 badge when you unlock the car from outside, if that’s your sort of thing. For those after a more subtle interior, traditional leather colours and optional timber trim can replace the copious gloss carbonfibre elements if specified

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