2008 M5-- I needed a car that I could have a blast in, as well as take clients out in, or my family (wife and 3 girls). I chose the M5 over an E63, CLS63, and the CTS-v. CLS backseat is unusable, E63 is not as fun to drive, in my opinion, and the CTS-v-- although it is an unbelievable car, it is just too small for my needs (primarily the back seat). The styling is understated, with only the purist able to recognize what they are looking at. I am not a flashy guy, and do not like to draw attention. I bought this car for me, not for others to look at me! I love the fact that it will not turn heads unless someone is an enthusiast that recognizes the 'M5' logo. Interior redesigned slightly from the 06-07 model, and I feel it is much better than the previous interior. Drivetrain and major components unchanged from 06-07 model. V10 is incredible-- fantastic sound, fantastic powerband. It does sound slightly tinny when cold-started (read owners manual), but in "power" mode and full throttle after warm-up, the sound is amazing. SMG transmission is not for everyone. I personally love it (11 different shifting options, F1 style shifts, it blips throttle on down shifts, launch control), but it can be rougher than other traditional automatics out there. I-Drive is very capable, but not very intuitive. It will take a while to become proficient at using this interface. Once you are somewhat used to it, it is less annoying. I personally do not think it is as bad as its reputation. Car drinks gas-- but if you want an economic vehicle, you are probably not even reading about an M5! I average 15 mpg, and do a fair mix of highway and city driving. The interior is very logical, and extremely comfortable. The car has a very "expensive" feel to it. The heads-up display (HUD) is a must. Navigation info, cruise control info, speed, tach, gear selection information all on your HUD. I have rear-heated seats, which are NOT a must! Also nice, but not needed are the heated steering wheel and soft-close doors. The ventilated seats are not on my M5, and that is the only thing I regret not opting for. BMW offers a service plan which is a must-- it will save you about $1500-$2000 in maintenance costs over the term of the plan. Extended warranties are pricey through BMW, but remember this *is* an M5! The Drive-- This is my third higher-end performance sedan, and I must say it is the best car I have ever owned. The power, the balance, the unlimited set-up options-- all come together to deliver the ultimate drive. Not to mention it is smooth as silk when I need it to be (taking clients out, for example), and it is always a conversation piece for the drive to lunch! Good luck with your search, and keep in mind that you cannot go wrong with the M5!
UNLESS YOU HAVE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS TO THROW AWAY, STAY AWAY FROM THESE. JUNK,JUNK,JUNK
I bought a used 2008 M5 in May 2012 w/ 40k miles. It seems the previous owners had pampered the vehicle as the interior and exterior had nary a scuff. But also could go to show the quality of the materials and craftsmanship of the build. If you're looking at this car, you already know it's amazing. So much technology, performance, and power wrapped in a large luxury sedan. The V-10 is silky smooth but lacks low-end torque. Once you get about 4500rpm though, you're pressed into your seat with a smile in your face. The different power settings adjust throttle response to help baby the car around town when you're not feeling racy. But with a click of the "M" button on your steering wheel you can enable your pre-programmed throttle response and suspension settings fitting for the track. The ride is slightly rougher than I expected even on its softest mode. I've had after-market performance suspension on many of my cars in the past so I'm not picky and it doesn't bother me. It could be a little rough for some people, but then again, those people probably wouldn't be buying an M5. My vehicle came equipped with almost every option for the model-year (heated&cooled seats, HUD, M active seats, extended leather interior, suede roof liner, hill accent control [which is actually nicer than I thought it would be]) but also has a manual 6-speed (my preference). I love to feel the car through the gears but it's a lot of work in stop-and-go traffic. It's like you're aggravating the car by driving so slow. Again, I don't mind that. It's just a trade-off for daily driving an exotic-level performance machine. My biggest beef with the car is the iDrive interface. I know it's 4 years old, but the interface feels 10 years old. I've heard many complaints about it over the years in reviews of the car but thought, "eh, they probably just don't understand how to use it." Wrong. It's junk. It's slow, the UI turns simple tasks into 3 or 4-step processes, the screen looks low-res by today's standards, and the Nav system is junk. I still use my iPhone's map b/c I can search and find locations in a fraction of the time. I just keep the nav screen up all the time because it's the only pretty thing to look at on the screen. I may eventually just turn the screen off. The 2009 models have a completely new system (made by a new vendor) that is worlds better. There are some hacks out there to upgrade the system, which I may try but it's complicated and pricey. I remind myself that there's much more to the vehicle than just the nav/radio UI. I'm a tech geek so it aggravates me probably more than most. You can find these cars for a great price as of late likely b/c the F10 M5 is now on the market and the V-10 in this car is EPA rated 11/17mpg city/highway. I only drive in the city and have a heavy good and get about 10mpg. Went on one road-trip and got 15mpg. If paying for gas is a concern for you, then this isn't the car for you. For me, I look at that as the price of admission for the roller coaster ride I enjoy each time I drive. In summary, after 2 months with car I love just as much as I thought I would. I don't like the new F10 (2010+) body-style as it looks like it's lost its 'edge'. The E60 has always been my favorite and I still turn back to look at it and smile every time I get out. Especially for the current resale price, it's a steal of a deal that you'll love every day.