For anyone whose last drive in a four-wheel-drive performance car came a decade or so ago, the handling of the M5 will be little short of a revelation.
Even after the likes of the Ford Focus RS, Audi R8 and Nissan GT-R, the M5’s agility, balance and playfulness seem remarkable for a car that can also offer all the traction and stability you’d expect of a two-tonne, four-wheel-drive super-saloon.
The car’s outright damping authority and body control, meanwhile, are truly unequalled among its direct rivals. So how could we deny it the ringing endorsement of a five-star score?
Only because of a handful of shortcomings: slightly irksome steering weight, inconsistent brake pedal feel, that synthesised engine noise and an occasionally restless ride. However, the M5 has a dynamic versatility and poise that no other rival can equal, and it goes straight to the top of our super-saloon rankings.