Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: San Jose, California
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My Test Drive Impressions
I went for a test drive of the demo M5 at Eastbay BMW in Pleasanton, CA. It's the only place I know of with a demo M5. Apparently, it's actually a customer's car, he's letting them demo it for 3000 miles. Sounds crazy to me, he must have gotten a great deal. So far, they've had it about 2 months, and it has around 1100 miles. They also had a sold black M5 in the showroom, which looked great.
The weather, it's been raining for most of the past week and they were a little hesitant to let a customer take the car out. So, it was a very sedate drive.
Overall impressions, I thought the car was very refined, but it was hard to tell much about the true performance. Brakes seemed great. I'm hoping to get a drive in dry conditions.
The biggest thing that really stood out was the SMG. Unfortunately, not in a very good way. I believe the car was set on S5 (all but one bar lit). When I went for an upshift, it felt like somebody momentarily threw out an anchor. The front of the car would dive and honestly the shift felt like it took forever. The gear would engage, then it was on our way again. The overall effect, somewhat nauseating. I did try the "just slightly lift your foot" technique and that definitely helped, but it would take some practice to really get right. I've some experience with the SMG on the M3, and that seemed somewhat better.
I think overall, too little information to make a good conclusion.