Pretty universally, the E39 BMW M5 is considered to be the best sport sedan in history. Or at least on a very short list of the best sport sedans in history. However, as car enthusiasts, especially BMW enthusiasts, we tend to view such cars with rose-tinted glasses. We tend to put cars like the E39 M5 on pedestals and plug our ears when anyone argues the contrary. But if we actually look at the E39 M5 objectively, is it overrated?
In this new episode of the Carmudgeon podcast, Jason Cammisa and Derek Tam-Scott discuss the E39 M5, after Tam-Scott drove one and was disappointed. He actually didn’t seem to like it at all. He felt the E39 M5 felt heavy, sloppy, and sluggish through twisty roads, which is where it’s supposed to excel. Interestingly, he also felt that the E28 M5 was more fun.
After Tam-Scott gives his review, Cammisa semi-agrees with him. He admits that the E39 M5 isn’t as good as many claim it to be on a twisty road but that it’s also not supposed to be. It’s supposed to be a do-everything, executive sport sedan. It’s good looking, has a great interior, is comfortable, well-built, and seriously fast. It might not be the most nimble or agile sport sedan of all time but it’s potentially the least compromised.
However, that leads to another question: can a do-it-all, jack-of-all-trades actually be considered the best? Surely, there are better sport sedans at being sport, so can the E39 M5 really be called the best sport sedan of all time if it’s biggest selling point is actually that it’s also good at not being sporty? It’s an interesting conversation that brings up a lot of the E39 M5s faults, which you don’t often hear about, as it’s so revered. After watching this video, it’s hard to argue that it isn’t at least a bit overrated. But what do you think?