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2021 BMW M5 Competition: 6 Cool Things

2021 BMW M5 Competition, Motegi Red
2021 BMW M5 Competition in Motegi Red Metallic

We’re old friends now, the BMW M5 and Consumer Guide editors. A week in the 2021 model with the Competition Package was our third turn in one of the current-generation cars, following tests of a 2018 M5 and a 2019 Competition.

In prior years, only incremental changes were made to this highest-performance iteration of BMW’s premium-midsize sedan. (We’ll direct you to the aforementioned test reports to see what we thought of driving demeanor and passenger accommodations.) However, that process accelerates for ’21 with styling tweaks and the arrival of some additional features.

2021 BMW M5 Competition

It will take a minimum of $105,495 to put an M5 in your garage, including the requisite $995 for delivery and another $1000 in Gas Guzzler tax. But it’s easy to run that number up—our test car was worth $136,045. Factor in $7600 for the uprated Competition Package, formerly a model variation but now an option group. Fuel-economy estimates from the EPA are 14 mpg in the city, 21 on the highway, and 17 combined, but this reviewer managed 21.7 miles per gallon of premium fuel from a 122.3-mile stint that included 41 percent city-type operation.

2021 BMW M5 Competition

Here are some other things you might want to know about this singular sedan:

More sporty/performance fun


6 Cool Things about the 2021 BMW M5 Competition

No power shortage

2021 BMW M5 Competition

One feature of the Competition Package is added power. It makes 617 horsepower at 6000 rpm, a gain of 17 from the M5’s base spec for the 4.4-liter V8 with twin turbochargers. (Torque is the same 553 lb-ft at 1800 rpm in both states of tune). That translates to mid- to low-3-second 0-60-mph clockings—and a top speed of 189 mph should you spring for the M Driver’s Package option ($2500; it also includes a day of high-performance driving instruction for the owner who can make it to a BMW Performance Center).

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Choose your adventure

2021 BMW M5 Competition

Between “Road,” “Sport,” and “Track” drive modes that govern the amount of activated traction control, “Drivelogic” that adjusts shift characteristics of the 8-speed automatic transmission, and adjustable dampers in the adaptive M suspension, drivers can play vehicle-dynamics engineer to their heart’s delight.

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Stop that!

2021 BMW M5 Competition

M carbon-ceramic brakes—conspicuous by their gold calipers—have gobs of stopping power sure to be worth their $8500 cost when blasting around a track, though they are decidedly grabby and tricky to modulate at more common street and expressway speeds.

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For appearance sake

2021 BMW M5 Competition

Styling has been refreshed for ’21. There’s a little “kidney creep” in the familiar grille—but less than on some other recent BMW models—reshaped headlights, and bigger brake-duct intakes in the front bumper. A new rear bumper and 3D-look LED taillights bring up the rear.

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Rising standards

2021 BMW M5 Competition

We’re still not sure that we like the iDrive infotainment system all that well but it now comes with a larger 12.3-inch screen. Satellite radio and adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams are new, and Android Auto smartphone compatibility is finally incorporated, joining Apple CarPlay that has been standard since 2019.

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Sitting pretty

2021 BMW M5 Competition

Distinct M Sport multifunction front seats are firm but highly supportive. Black Merino leather is accented by Alcantara microfiber in Midrand Beige, a Competition Package exclusive. An “M” logo is emblazoned on the headrests.

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CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB+
Power and PerformanceA+
Fit and FinishA
Fuel EconomyC-
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB-
Tall GuyA-
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Engine Specs617-hp 4.4L
Engine TypeTwin-turbo V8
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Drive WheelsAll-wheel drive

2021 BMW M5 Competition

Class: Premium Midsize Car

Miles driven: 236

Fuel used: 13.0 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 18.1

Driving mix: 45% city, 55% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 15/21/17 (city, highway, combined)

Fuel type: Premium gas required

Base price: $103,500 (not including $1000 Gas Guzzler Tax and $995 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Black Full Merino leather upholstery with Midrand Beige Alcantera Cloth ($3500), Competition Package ($7600), Driving Assistance Plus Package ($1700), Executive Package ($3350), M carbon-ceramic brakes ($8500), Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround-sound system ($3400), M Driver’s Package ($2500)

Price as tested: $136,045

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2021 BMW M5 Competition Gallery

2021 BMW M5 Competition

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