Home » You Can Buy A Twin-Turbocharged BMW M5 For The Price Of A Hyundai Elantra

You Can Buy A Twin-Turbocharged BMW M5 For The Price Of A Hyundai Elantra

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While some enthusiasts consider downsized, turbocharged engines to be the beginning of purity’s end, it’s hard to deny the sheer performance gains we’ve made over the past ten years. Sure, chasing redline is fun, but in everyday traffic, torque talks. These days, the first genuine hero cars of the modern turbocharged period are getting more than a decade old, with pricing often slipping well into affordable territory. The F10 BMW M5 brought turbocharging to the benchmark in super sedans, kicking off a rather different era of M cars than the one preceding it.

The forced induction era has also brought enormous gains in tuning potential, as it’s so much easier to just cram more boost and fuel into an engine than it is to optimize ports, increase compression, and try to eke out more power using natural aspiration alone. However, for the most part, collectors haven’t caught onto this era of turbocharged cars yet, primarily because we often don’t know what we have until it’s gone.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

These days, the first of the forced-induction M5s is in a valley of relative unwantedness, not new enough to be showy yet not as visceral as the naturally aspirated V10-powered E60 model. However, hopping on an enthusiast car before most people catch onto it is often a good idea because you can now get a 560-horsepower twin-turbocharged BMW M5 for less than you’d expect.

What Is It?

F10 Bmw M5 Engine Bay 1

Around the turn of the 2010s, the norms of big, naturally aspirated engines in performance cars were beginning to change. Thanks to stricter efficiency regulations, many manufacturers were forced to downsize and turbocharge, with BMW being among the first. The E60 M5, which was sold from model years 2005 to 2010, was an epic V10-powered screamer that, with the semi-automatic transmission, would crack 200 mph with the top speed limiter removed. Its replacement? Well, it was a little bit different.

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The F10 M5 debuted at Frankfurt in 2011 boasting eight cylinders, the same as the E39 M5 of the millennium years, but only 4.4 liters of displacement. However, nestled deep in the valley of the engine block sat not one, but two turbochargers. The result was 53 more horsepower than the old V10-powered M5 and 118 lb.-ft. more torque at a torque peak starting 4,600 rpm lower in the rev range. Sure, the new engine didn’t wail like a V10, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t effective.

2014 F10 Bmw M5 Carsandbids Black Interior 1

With a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission replacing the E60’s jerky single-clutch automated manual, drivability improved and rapid-fire shifts combined with an electronically-variable limited-slip differential helped Car And Driver manage a 3.7-second zero-to-60 mph time in instrumented testing. Out of the box, the F10 M5 can run twelve seconds flat in the quarter mile, a seriously rapid pace for a big rear-wheel-drive sedan. However, what the F10 M5 gained in speed, it lost in sharpness and feedback. As Car And Driver put it:

So color us pissed that the M5 suffers shortfalls in three areas where an M usually excels: steering, suspension, and brakes. We noticed this while tackling fast bends on Bavarian back roads. The calipers supplied a cold, weak bite. There was too much up-and-down bobbing of the body, and the relatively slow, remote steering wasn’t always able to place the front tires exactly where we wanted them. To drive in haste, you must trust the machine, and the M5, capable as it is, keeps secrets.

However, that relative insulation compared to prior M5s makes the F10 docile around town, a luxury sedan that happens to indulge in occasional bouts of outstanding performance and not the other way around. Perhaps as a result, resale values are properly low, and while cars optioned with the rare North America-only six-speed manual transmission are still expensive, early dual-clutch cars are cheaper than you’d expect.

How Much Are We Talking?

2013 F10 Bmw M5 Carsandbids Blue 1

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These days, you can buy an F10 BMW M5 for new Hyundai Elantra money, and we’re not even talking about the fast Elantra. A 2024 Hyundai Elantra N-Line — not the proper N model but one with a 200-horsepower 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine — lists for $29,615 including freight. That’s sensible money, yet you can get into an F10 BMW M5 for less. Take this 2013 model, for example. It’s specced in the fantastic launch color of Monte Carlo Blue and has just 58,400 miles on the clock, yet it sold on Cars & Bids on Thursday for $28,000. It even has the Executive package which included niceties like cooled front seats and four-zone climate control, and it has a clean Carfax. That’s a staggering amount of car for $28,000.

2013 F10 Bmw M5 Bringatrailer Moonstone 1

Alright, let’s say blue isn’t your thing. How about something rarer, like a shimmering silver that dances in the light like an opal? Well, this 2013 F10 BMW M5 in Moonstone Metallic sold on Bring A Trailer in December for $24,500. Sure, it may have displayed 71,000 miles on the clock at the time of sale and have a minor hit on the Carfax that the seller alleges is due to front bumper damage from transport, but it’s kitted out with the Bang & Olufsen audio system, the Executive package, and it’s recently had the turbocharger coolant lines done. This is a car to do serious mileage in.

2014 F10 Bmw M5 Carsandbids Black 1

That’s great, but what if you’re buying an F10 M5 to modify and want some extra speed parts and a head-start from the previous owner? Well, this black 2014 BMW M5 with aftermarket intakes, downpipes, a tune, and rare factory-equipped carbon ceramic brakes sold on Cars & Bids in January for $29,500. At the time of the sale, it had 67,600 miles on the clock, and it was rocking KW suspension and awesome factory-fitted Sakhir Orange leather. Now that’s a proper Q-car.

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What Could Possibly Go Wrong With An F10 BMW M5?

F10 Bmw M5 Engine Bay 2

While the F10 M5 is one of the more reliable used BMW M cars, it’s still an aging German supersedan. Although it doesn’t require periodic rod bearing replacement, it does have some relatively rare foibles you should be aware of. To be fair, the S63 V8 is one of the more reliable M engines, but that doesn’t mean it’s trouble-free. The biggest thing to watch out for is smoking and oil consumption consistent with bad valve stem seals because you’re gonna need to pull out some bands to fix that.

Another expensive potential issue? Turbocharger failure. While relatively rare, it can happen to higher-mileage examples, and a replacement OE turbocharger costs almost $1,900 for the part alone. Multiply that by two, and things get really un-fun. Fortunately, Pure makes a really nice set of hybrid turbos with bigger wheels in stock housings that cost $2,500 for the set and support 750 wheel horsepower, so that’s the route to take. Or, if you want to go crazy, Pure makes what it calls “Stage 2” turbos that cost $3,995 for a set and are good to 900 wheel horsepower.

Speaking of issues, how about leaky injectors that can wash the cylinder walls of oil with catastrophic results? Fortunately, these aren’t the same stupidly expensive piezoelectric direct fuel injectors fitted to the N54 inline-six, so replacing a set will only run you about a grand in parts. Hey, by heavily depreciated high-performance German car standards, that’s pretty cheap. Oh, and then there is the litany of cooling system leaks you’re likely to get with an older BMW. Those are a normal part of ownership.

Should You Buy An F10 BMW M5?

2013 F10 Bmw M5 Carsandbids Blue 2

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If you’re shopping a Hyundai Elantra of any sort, including the N, an F10 BMW M5 probably isn’t the car for you. However, if you’re able to spare several thousand a year in maintenance and repairs and want a sledgehammer sedan that’s more about speed than visceral experience, the F10 M5 is hard to beat. These cars have crazy headroom for modification, and they still crush miles like they’re born to do it.

(Photo credits: Cars & Bids, Bring A Trailer)

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Is Travis
Is Travis
17 days ago

The Harman Kardon amp, if you got the upgraded stereo, that is a wear item. Just finding out on my F34.

Alpinab7
Alpinab7
17 days ago
Reply to  Is Travis

A guy in Texas repairs them for short money. Dealer wanted $6k for my wife’s amp and navigation he fixed for $1100

Scott McAfee
Scott McAfee
17 days ago

If you want to embark on a journey of self hatred, buy a 10 year old BMW, Jaguar or Mercedes. There is a ton of stuff built into these cars whose only purpose was to break and be ridiculously expensive to fix. Teams of brilliant German engineers spent years redesigning these cars over and over until routine maintenance items were rendered completely inaccessible, and all tooling to reproduce these parts were immediately destroyed at the warranty expiration dates. If you suffer from an out-of-control sense of self worth, and a massive excess of money, then this is the car for you.

Dingus
Dingus
17 days ago

I bought a used Mercedes S55 AMG, top shelf, fully loaded, it had it all. Original sticker was $105k. I got it for about $15k at 66k miles. The honeymoon was short and the divorce was PAINFULLY expensive and difficult. Weird stuff broke that I never even imagined could break or even existed. It made a glorious sound and it hustled way harder than any s-class should. However, it broke me in many ways. I did all my own work and it still broke me (it also nearly physically broke me when I almost dropped it on myself trying to fix the ABC suspension).

Never buy these things. Just don’t. Anyone who does usually learns their lesson quickly and doesn’t do it twice. Even as a spare/fun car that you don’t need to rely on, it just isn’t worth it. It’s so bad because you have something so special that you never thought you could get as a normal working person, but you never really have it.

Just, don’t.

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
19 days ago

standard formula. These cars were pricey new, but don’t hold their value well. Since the purchase price was high, bought by older folk whom had the coin to take care of them.

many say don’t buy a used Beemer unless it has a warranty. These older cars are an example of purchase price vs maintenance/ repair costs. I would beware a car that had 3 or more owners.

VanGuy
VanGuy
16 days ago
Reply to  Gary Lynch

I’m going be confused about how to think about the number of past owners for the rest of my life.

My dad was the 3rd owner of the conversion van he bought when I was in high school that I used a lot. When the title was transferred to me, I became the 4th owner…and it’s not like it was any better or worse treated between then. On the other hand, that van was mechanically craptastic despite looking fantastic, even when we got it. “Last owner garage kept it”, the dealership said. Sure they did. Then why is it falling apart and the most obscure things breaking?

On the other side of the spectrum, I’m the 4th owner of my 2012 Prius v, and I would bet money that the prior owners were simply bored of it, because it’s given me 35,000 trouble-free miles so far.

Ariel E Jones
Ariel E Jones
19 days ago

Let’s just cut to the ultimate example for this series. “You can buy a Bentley Continental GT for the price of a new Hyundai Elantra.”

EricTheViking
EricTheViking
20 days ago

Well, the repair bills would exceed the price of a Hyundai Elantra. Just saying…

Calicolorado
Calicolorado
20 days ago

Underappreciated is what these are. ICBM levels of continent crossing speed, peerless comfort and as low profile (almost) as an Accord Sport.

Found one with low miles, off lease in 2019 and it was a competition pkg manual. It’s just spectacular, and still a thrill to drive. I describe it to people as a monster E90, it just shrinks around you and has incredible response in the twisties. I like the rev matching more than I thought I would but it’s only in Comfort and Sport settings-Sport Plus is driver only. Wish you could control the rev matching independently..

It’s been very reliable, mostly maintenance work. The front OEM rotors were $475 each and I recommend the Michelin PS4 over the Pilot Super Sport. Be careful if you buy one with carbon brakes-that is a very expensive thing to have to replace but nice if you track it. My car had a driveshaft recall and I had to replace two trans mounts, that is it. Good time to buy one.

Day One Dave
Day One Dave
18 days ago
Reply to  Calicolorado

How is the steering feel? We have a F10 528i and it is not what I consider pleasant to drive at speed. Constant correction to keep it straight, and very floaty. I’d actually like to pick up a 535i with the MT, but the steering is keeping me away…

Calicolorado
Calicolorado
18 days ago
Reply to  Day One Dave

On the V8 F10’s the steering is hydraulic, whereas it’s electric on the 4 and 6cyl cars. I believe it was a packaging issue that led to this. The steering has old school-ish (e32, e38, e53, e90) BMW weighting in Sport Plus mode, a bit lighter in Sport and again in Comfort. It tightens up as speed increases. I would prefer more feel than this car has, but it is extremely accurate and responsive. We have a ‘72 2002 that sits next to the M5 and it’s got all the feel you’d want but it doesn’t make me dislike the M5 wheel one bit.

My take is that BMW has ‘refined’ the grit out of the steering over time much like their engines get more and more creamy/refined. Not a bad thing if you thing of it as engineering achievement I suppose. I have driven the car as hard as I can on a variety of empty, winding roads and it is incredibly satisfying and fun. I’d check out the M5 if you can find one you like, but the 535i 6-speed is also a very neat car.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
20 days ago

An older version down an incorrect path. Maybe save a few for history but really these are poor design poorly built unreliable engines that are outperformed by modern 4 cylinder motors with higher reliability. Put these old motors in the museum and enjoy modern science.

Rusty S Trusty
Rusty S Trusty
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

There’s some real name-comment synergy happening here but if you weren’t Mr Sarcastic this could be taken in earnest.

Peter Nelson
Peter Nelson
20 days ago

Forever on my radar, I love these things

Shooting Brake
Shooting Brake
20 days ago

That valve stem/seal job is over $20k at most BMW dealers, so make sure you budget for a second base Elantra in maintenance costs.

James Carson
James Carson
20 days ago

I’ll take a midly used Civic or Corolla and bank the savings.

Gary Lynch
Gary Lynch
19 days ago
Reply to  James Carson

An 06-10 Si would be sweet. Had a couple. But finding a good used one is almost impossible

James Carson
James Carson
19 days ago
Reply to  Gary Lynch

Kid has an 07 jdm type R, fun little car, but very cramped for a creaky old guy of my size. He has a collection of fun to drive jdm and german cars. Borrows my garage and tools all the time to work on them.

James Carson
James Carson
19 days ago
Reply to  James Carson

The thing is barely broken in at about 70K km.

Dangerous_Daveo
Dangerous_Daveo
20 days ago

I’m all aboard this train.

In Australia the equation is different, so the Hyundai is about 20k cheaper still. But m5s were $250k plus new.

So one of these and a flash, and some drifting lessons, and deal with the consequences later! Yolo right?

Chris Moore
Chris Moore
20 days ago

I think I’ll still take the Hyundai. Repair costs on the Bimmer….hell no

Racer Esq.
Racer Esq.
20 days ago

Whoa, people can get a new Elantra for the price of an off-warranty BMW? Does this mean inflation is over?

Nycbjr
Nycbjr
20 days ago

I love the suggestion of putting more horsepower into an aging turbo Bimmer, let’s stress those components even more!

J Hyman
J Hyman
20 days ago

So much nicely aged nylon (ok, polyamide) just waiting to cause a cascade of failure costing more than a nice used Elantra. Count me out!

Alexk98
Alexk98
20 days ago

Having helped out on a coil and plug job on an M6 Grand Coupe with an S63 V8, I can attest, the engine is an absolute monster in both performance and running costs, and a pain for servicing. Oil Changes? 9 whole liters of 5W40, and you better get the nice Motul stuff, and better do it no later than every 5k miles. Coils and plugs certainly aint cheap, and you’ve got to remove a stupid amount of stuff to get it done including:

2 intake boxes (each with two filters to replace)
2 intake tubes with MAF sensors that LOVE to break the plastic retainer clips
2 ECUs, each with 4-5 harness connectors
2 ECU Mounts with many screws in fun places
Engine bay cross brace
Engine Cover
Some Heat shields around the engine bay (not strictly necessary, but they’re sharp, and I have some fun scars, so would recommend removal)
Other miscellaneous thing’s I’m forgetting

And that’s just for spark plugs. That experience alone has scared me out of modern M/AMG ownership

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
20 days ago
Reply to  Alexk98

Is BMWs slogan “Buy a new BMW after the warranty runs out. Either way it costs you the same”?

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
19 days ago
Reply to  Alexk98

I hate hate hate any and all damn brittle-ass plastic clips. I can undo bolts and things all day even if it’s boring to work and rework, but those plastic clips are Satan’s handicrafts.

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
20 days ago

I personally think that this era of 5 Series has aged really poorly. Some of the ghosts of Bangle were still floating around and the 5 and a lot of their other bigger cars wound up at this bizarre intersection of looking bulbous and busy at the same time. I just really don’t this era of BMW design for some reason.

But anyway, I think a cynic could point to this very era as the death of M. There’s no more natural aspiration, the experience is more luxury oriented and isolated, and they’re just not as raw and unhinged. BMW also seemingly forgot how to make a steering rack around this time and has never recovered. For whatever reason the German luxury brands are often obsessed with isolating the driver as much as humanely possible, and unfortunately it trickles down to their performance sub brands.

M badge or not I struggle to get excited for most 2010s BMWs. Obviously the E39 is the holy grail, but I feel like the E60 and F90 just have more to offer than than the F10. Which is probably why they’ve depreciated so heavily.

Alexk98
Alexk98
20 days ago

On the flipside, the M6 Comp Grand Coupe of same vintage my buddy has, with a few mods, fixes a very large percentage of the issues you mentioned with the M5. Valvetronic exhaust wakes it up in the sensory department, suspension on the Comp is both responsive and an absolute autobahn killer, and his with the Individual interior (tan w/ extended leather, suede headliner) is an exceptional place to be, and even that insanely highly specd car wasn’t even 50k. Not to mention it was absolutely gorgeous compared to the M5, and certainly compared to the Bangle era M6.

V10omous
V10omous
20 days ago

Once the manual transmissions and hydraulic steering went away, M cars just seemed to me like worse AMGs. What is their selling point anymore?

Nsane In The MembraNe
Nsane In The MembraNe
20 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

As someone who grew up around German cars and spent much of his formative years lusting after them…I honestly don’t know anymore. I think the M2 is pretty cool in a sort of German muscle car way but there aren’t really any other Ms that appeal to me. The higher end stuff is ridiculously complicated, heavy, and too luxury oriented for me.

I also no longer see the appeal of AMG with all the engine downsizing, massive weight gain, and the like. I can’t even begin to fathom paying nearly six figures for a C63 AMG that’s powered by a turbo four cylinder and a battery and weighs more than most SUVs.

Audi S and RS have been lost in the wilderness for years too. I guess the RS6 Avant is kind of cool but the thing weighs 5,000 goddamn pounds. They recently had to release a special, expensive package for the RS5s because of how numb they were…to the point that owners were complaining.

If you want driving engagement and character the Germans just don’t really have it anymore outside of Porsche. Their performance cars are about chasing numbers in extreme comfort and nothing else. The best German performance sedans on sale today are in fact the Blackwings. They capture what made the Ms and AMGs of yore so brilliant…right in time for everyone to stop caring 🙁

Last edited 20 days ago by Nsane In The MembraNe
Lardo
Lardo
20 days ago

There were 2002 turbo’s and the 745i and maybe other’s that I don’t know about. So the turbo wasn’t the end of anything. The hot V never made sense to me, let’s cook the turbo’s because they don’t mind heat? No thanks. Maybe why there was a 9 qt.’s of oil. It may have helped to cool the whole deal, like my 72 Alfa Spyder.

V10omous
V10omous
20 days ago
Reply to  Lardo

Idk my very simple and naturally aspirated LS3 takes 8.5-9 quarts too.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
20 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

8-9 quarts in the 560SL, naturally aspirated big v8.

Lardo
Lardo
19 days ago

Spyder was a bottom breather, no grill. So more oil – more heat exchanged. Mine died when a “shop” thought it took the same amount of oil as most other 4 bangers. Fuel injection, 4 wheel discs, 5 speed, ahead of its time.

Day One Dave
Day One Dave
18 days ago
Reply to  V10omous

A basic BMW N52 takes 7.

V10omous
V10omous
18 days ago
Reply to  Day One Dave

A Viper takes 11

AMGx2
AMGx2
19 days ago
Reply to  Lardo

NA 5.4L M113 uses 8.5 quarts

Why?

Oil cooler.

It adds some tubing and the oil cooler itself. You see this often on performance models. Regular engine ; hardly 5-6 quarts, add the oil cooler and it starts to be fun at 8,9 even 10 quarts.

Actually the price of the 2 extra quarts of oil should REALLY be very low on your long list of worries about this car.

Btw normal oil usage of a M113 5.4L V8 AMG engine ? 0.8 L per 1000 km. That is 1.4 quarts per 1000 miles. Let that sink in. If you drive in a year 10,000 you will need to add 14 quarts of oil. This is no mistake.

But actually, once per 5000 miles you will want to replace those 8.5 quarts.

Still the price at the pump and insurance and replacement parts will suck you more dry that engine oil.

Those valve stem jobs, the breaking plastic tubing and the hot-V turbo bearings ; save that extra Elantra for them.

Still that CAN be a good deal ; $25k+$25k=$50k for a super performance sedan with fairly high luxury of just 10 years old and with sub 50k miles on the odometer ?
That is still a good price…

The problem is not many people can afford that. Or they think ; let’s see what I can buy new for $50k which is also pretty fast … Hmm .. A new Tesla perhaps ?

Squirrelmaster
Squirrelmaster
19 days ago

I don’t necessarily think the F10 looks bad, but I have always wondered, since it debuted, how they managed to make it LOOK heavy. Considering how svelt the E39 looked just 8-9 years prior, it was sort of alarming that they tripled-down on the bloated looks of the Bangled E60.

Day One Dave
Day One Dave
18 days ago

We have a plebeian F10 528i and I think it is one of the best looking cars I’ve ever seen. Proportions are just perfect to my eye. Interior is holding up great. Drives comfortably all day. Floating steering feel is 80’s GM awful, and have had to replace a lot of non-drivetrain parts. But yeah, really good looking car.

Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
Carbon Fiber Sasquatch
20 days ago

It’s crazy that this article is next to the Volvo EX30 article. This goes 0-60 in 3.7 second and the Volvo does the deed in 3.4! Absolute insanity.

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