Even prior to its newly revealed facelift, the G30-gen BMW 5 Series was one of the best looking cars the brand made. Its subtle, handsome styling was great looking when it was new and it’s aged like fine wine. Especially when you look at it compared to some of the other new designs from BMW, such as the new 4 Series, which will not age well. The same can be said about the BMW M5, which is just aggressive enough to let you know it’s an M car but subtle enough to stay classy for years to come. Now that it’s been given its LCI facelift, it looks even better.

Thanks to its update, the F90 BMW M5 adds just enough style to make it more exciting but not so much that it ruins the classy look of the pre-LCI car. To see how well its new LCI update looks, we decided to compare it to another great looking car in the segment — the Audi RS6 Avant.

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BMW M5 Facelift vs Audi RS6 Avant 6

Back when Audi first launched the RS6 Avant, car enthusiasts the world over dropped their jaws in shock. It’s a stunning looking car and one that manages to pack an incredible amount of style and aggression into a wagon body style, without ever taking it too far. It’s a masterclass on how to make a fast wagon look great. Which is what makes this an interesting comparison. The RS6 is bold, brash and in your face while the BMW M5 is a bit more reserved, a bit more subdued. Can the M5’s timeless looks keep up with the flash RS6?

Up front, I think it actually can. The RS6 is certainly the more aggressive looking car, with its massive fender flares, razor sharp creases and angry headlights. But the BMW M5’s smooth, sophisticated styling and new headlight design make it very desirable in its own right. It’s more of a sleeper than the Audi RS6 but that can be a good thing, depending on who you ask.

In profile, it’s a bit difficult to judge the two cars, as the Audi RS6 Avant is, well, an Avant. Its wagon-body style makes its silhouette very different from that of the M5, thus making this part of the comparison a bit lopsided. Having said that, we can judge the rest of the cars’ side styling cues. It’s here I think the Audi has the M5 beat. If there’s one criticism of the M5’s design it’s that it’s not aggressive enough and slightly bigger fender flares would do the trick. The Audi RS6 has muscular arches and a strong shoulder line that makes it seem far more powerful than the M5, which seems a big too calm.

Out back, it’s tricky yet again, as the RS6’s rear tailgate changes the dynamic of the design. However, I think the Audi RS6 has to take it yet again. The M5 looks great from behind but its rear end is also the weakest part of its design; its taillights are a bit boring and there’s not much visual drama back there. Where as the Audi is the opposite. Its taillights are slick and futuristic — and they feature a great light show upon locking and unlocking — and its trim that surrounds the two massive exhausts looks very cool.

Taking a look inside, it really comes down to taste. Both cars are pretty typically German, with simple designs and a lack of much drama. However, the Audi’s is far more modern while the BMW’s is a bit more traditional. They both look good, have great ergonomics and some of the best tech around. So which is best really comes down to your taste.

This is a tough comparison, as the BMW M5 is among the best sleeper sedans on the market, thanks to its subdued looks but ballistic performance. On the flipside, the Audi RS6 Avant looks like it wants to punch your face and it will. Personally, I’d go for the Audi RS6 Avant because I like its muscular styling a bit more but I can absolutely understand why someone might choose the more relaxed, calmer BMW M5, which is a great looking car as well.