Life with the E28 M5
We’ve been living with the E28 M5 for a little over a month now, slowly addressing the various needs – large and small – with which it came to us (as these things inevitably go). In between servicing, here are some of our prosaic observations from our all-too-brief time with it thus far on the road:
- The thing is thirsty. We’re observing under 20 mpg (make that well under 20 mpg, to be slightly more precise) in city driving (we don’t have enough data from highway). We don’t recommend that kind of abysmal mileage for daily driving. The car is probably running rich. Which is making us poor.
- It doesn’t like puttering around town at low speeds. For that, the 535i that we had was really hands-down the better car. For all we know, the unsung 528e might be the best one of all.
- The car is happiest operating at speeds that are well above the legal speed limit. What’s more, these speeds still feel normal, even slow. Clearly, this car wasn’t built for US roads. It blasts down the highway with almost disturbingly little drama (though notice we said drama, not feedback).
- One never escapes the feeling that a big, heavy motor rests right in front of the driver. And yet, the car still manages to feel reasonably balanced and not oppressively nose-heavy.
- The car starts up quickly and without complaint (especially after new spark plugs and a valve adjustment) and settles into a nice, lump-free idle— it isn’t a long, drawn-out process. It almost feels… modern.
- Engine rebuilds are notoriously expensive, and like most examples that are on the road today, this one is on its original, 100k+ mile motor. Every time the car is revved close to redline there is a little voice in the back of our mind asking, Should you really be doing that? To which we invariably respond ‘yes’ — and therein lies our Catch-22.
- Individual throttle bodies look and sound the business. That is all.
We’ll post more photos as we have them. The car doesn’t exactly beg to be photographed – what more is it to the casual observer than a boxy four-door, after all – but it is rather neat to own, we’ll admit. We feel privileged.