The ambience within the M5 entirely befits a supersonic executive saloon. The architecture is leaner and cleaner than you’ll find in a Mercedes-AMG E63 but no less luxurious-feeling, and yet more welcoming than any RS-badged Audi.

It remains ostensibly 5 Series, of course – albeit with red switchgear, illuminated logos in the headrest, optional ceramic-finish switchgear, tight-knit Aluminium Carbon panels and seats that could have been plucked from the fertile mind of Syd Mead. It’s a wonderfully lit environment at night, too, and you can select the colour of the luminescent piping that encircles the cabin. (The choice extends further than blue, purple and red.)

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
It’s amazing to me that this car can have so many luxury features and yet still so plainly be the default committed driver’s pick in the super-saloon niche.

Aesthetics aside, the expectation of an M product is ergonomics bordering on perfection, and if you’ve not driven the current M3, you might think this M5 does exceedingly well in this regard. There’s adjustability enough to place the thick-rimmed steering wheel just where you like it, and BMW’s admirable tradition of slanting the dashboard towards the driver doesn’t go unnoticed.

However, the driving position is a fraction too high. It feels as though it has been tailored for imperious touring on an autobahn rather than getting down and, at this time of year, exceedingly dirty on a British B-road; which, you may think, is fair enough. Those of this parish would also welcome a more dramatic tactile feel from the gearshift paddles.

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The M5’s dashboard is topped by a floating 10.25in touchscreen that’s paired with the rotary controller found in all 5 Series models. BMW’s iDrive software is superbly intuitive. Not only are the graphics sharp and menus clear but there are also web-based services in the form of BMW Connected and ConnectedDrive. We suspect you’ll use your smartphone to access much of the functionality these apps yield, though real-time traffic information is a boon.

Two displays you’re likely to use often – out of curiosity, if nothing else – are the performance dials, which show the power and torque generated in real time, and the M-configuration menu, which allows you to set your preferences for the stability control, four-wheel drive, engine, suspension and steering.

The car’s standard on-board audio set-up is great for quality and power, but can be upgraded to a premium system from Bowers & Wilkins for £3090. Rear seat entertainment screens are a £1995 upgrade. Apple CarPlay costs £235 – although that shouldn’t be an extra on a £90k car.

Elsewhere, the M5 is just about as conducive to easy living as it’s possible for a 600bhp car to be. The 530-litre boot is cavernously deep, and the rear bench is generously accommodating of even taller passengers.

Curiously, you do have to pay for split folding rear seats, which shows German manufacturers haven’t lost their knack for giving features that should come as standard a cameo on the options list.

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