M5 Guru (>2000 posts)
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Orange County, California, USA
Thanked 357 Times in 277 Posts
6MT is only in North America, so hopefully you're here.
That said, to answer your question, this car IS a money pit. There's simply no argument or consideration - that's just a fact.
People have different ownership experiences due to timing (aka luck). Some might own the car and never experience any major failures and simply just do regular maintenance. Some might inherit a car that was neglected (unknowingly or knowingly) and have a major failure in the first week of their ownership. I would say because this car does have a few quirks, it can make it difficult to detect when something is not right. I've been fortunate to drive quite a few examples (FiftyTwoEighty's 6MT above, randywei's, YKJones', M5Jed's, kheimlich's, and a couple others I don't remember right now). Because of that, I was confident my car ran right, and I was also able to tell when something was off. I was even able to detect a few anomalies on kheimlich's car and he got it fixed under warranty.
But the simple fact is that if you own the car for a long period and actually drive it a decent amount, you will be paying for some big repair or maintenance. Additionally, if you want the best reliability and service life from the car, you'll need to maintain it better than the factory service intervals. The 15K mile oil changes are a joke. Most people do about 5K intervals, some do 3K. You'll want to do the spark plugs every 17.5K, not 35K as in the manual, for maximum performance.
In the end though, the big question is: Is all this worth it?
If you have the money to spare, the answer is unequivocally YES. No other car offers this kind of driving experience combined with the luxury and practicality. No other car. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just plain lying to themselves. I had 7 years with this car and EVERY single time I drove it, it blew me away. I have yet to drive a car that comes close.
The M5 is my dad's - but I drive it more than he does!