• Should You Buy a Cheap 2005 - 2010 BMW M5 E60?

Many advise against it, but it’s aged so well it might be worth the risk

BMW took a lot of flak when it revealed the E60 5-Series, designed by Chris Bangle. Back then the car was seen as a bit ugly with a fat looking rear end, and opinions on how it looked didn’t get better once the fire-breathing M5 was launched back in 2005.

Is a Used 2005 BMW M5 Worth Owning?

It’s been more than a decade since the E60 M5 came out and I think time has certainly been kind to its styling. By comparison, some current BMWs look fussy and overstyled - this model M5 has a totally unique look to it and, while some may still not see it as beautiful, its pleasant overall proportions will draw attention away from the more controversial front and rear fascias.

Looks aside, the M5’s 5.0-liter V-10 engine with 507 metric horsepower was both its strong point and its Achille’s heel.

It was fine at launch, when the car was new, providing a one of a kind soundtrack, near-9,000 rpm redline, and plenty of shove, but over the years it’s proven quite unreliable in certain areas.

There’s nothing wrong with the lump itself, but the odd oil cooler, sensor, or pump can wear out, stop working properly, then cause other linked systems to malfunction. Next thing you know, the car’s instrument cluster looks more like a Christmas tree. Obviously, if the car is serviced religiously and all replacement parts are either original or an improved aftermarket solution, then the V-10 will run fine and provide its owner with many glorious miles of motoring.

Prices for E60 M5s have come down in recent years - it’s now two generations behind the current M5 - so a broader range of buyers are now considering one. You could probably get a decent runner with only minor problems for around $11,000, and a really good one can fetch upward of $20,000.

However, there are even cheaper ones out there, like this one purchased on the Hoovies Garage YouTube channel - it cost just $6,500 but has a dodgy gear change, big oil leak, and a whole host of dash warning lights flashing. The engine does run, though, and for about $7,500 it could probably be put right.

The video was incidentally uploaded at about the same time as Doug DeMuro’s video on the E60 M5 where he talks about why it is a genuinely cool car but at the same time one that you really don’t want to own. Both YouTubers seem to advocate against buying the car, although both appreciate it and see its value and one even went out and bought one - allegedly the cheapest running E60 M5 in the States.

If you don’t have a YouTube channel where you buy, fix up, and flip cars, however, you shouldn’t look for the cheapest ones out there (obviously). Pay more up front for a car with regular servicing and as much service history as you can get your hands on. There are good E60 M5s out there, but they may require you to hunt them down because they are generally so prone to problems. I also added Jeremy Clarkson’s original review of the M5 from back in the day in which he complains about nearly every part of the car, but all changes when he presses the magical M button on the steering wheel.

Further reading

2005 BMW M5 E60
- image 31007

Read our full review on the 2005 BMW M5 E60.

2004 - 2010 BMW 5-Series E60
- image 334986

Read our full review on the 2004 - 2010 BMW 5-Series E60.

Andrei Nedelea
Andrei Nedelea
About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: