BMW M5 Competition F90 review – ​design

BMW’s conservative 5-series forms a good basis for an M5 that does well to slip under the radar

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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 BMW M5 might have supercar-toppling performance, but it certainly ranks as one of the more subtle supersaloons on the aesthetic scale. The standard G10 BMW 5-series is itself a restrained design, but the M5’s relative lack of bespoke body addenda outside of its mildly widened front wings and quad exhaust pipes is far more subtle than an RS6’s cartoonishly wide body or the E63 S’s bespoke nose cone.

The Competition model did include a few extra inclusions when launched, including a fresh set of forged 20-inch wheels, darkened tail lights and a black rear diffuser section, but with that comes a blackened grille which although increasingly popular, is a jarring element. 

For some, the M5’s understated approach will be preferable, but whether you’re a fan of a more outlandish aesthetic or not, it does struggle to feel as special or bespoke as its rivals. Forage through the expensive and wide-ranging BMW Exclusive catalogue though and there’s a plethora of retro-inspired finishes inside and out that do lift the M5’s design. Just be prepared to pay for it

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