Avoid These Oil-Burning BMW M5 Model Years, According to Consumer Reports

Burning oil in an engine is evident when you notice that there’s less oil in it than when it was serviced. Staying diligent and checking the oil often will let you know when a problem arises before damage is done. Vehicles like BMW’s and Audi’s will have specific model years where the problem is the most apparent. 

According to Consumer Reports, a few models are known to have an oil consumption problem because owners reported it on the surveys Customer Report sends out every year. They took that data and listed out the worst offenders, and they told you what alternatives you could check out instead. 

A yellow 2019 BMW M5 sitting inside a building.
2019 BMW M5

How the Consumer Reports’ list works

It’s not uncommon that a used vehicle will start to have problems since it usually has a lot of miles to begin with. One of the most frustrating issues owners face is the dreaded burning oil problem. Most engines that are 10 years or older are likely to start consuming oil between service appointments due to the wear and tear it sees over time. 

However, you don’t want to see oil disappearing from your vehicle when it’s only a few years old. Unfortunately, owners of all sorts of makes and models have experienced the problem. Consumer Reports offers a list of models that you should avoid because owners report they’ve dealt with them. 

Besides knowing which vehicles are likely to see the burning oil issue, Consumer Reports also offers alternatives to check out instead. They list a car that best matches the affected vehicle but comes with a much better reliability score. One such vehicle they talked about is the BMW M5. 

Which models of the BMW M5 should you avoid and why?

Consumer Reports warn that the worst models of the M5 are from 2012 to 2019. According to the surveys they send out every year, it appears that many BMW M5 owners complained about unusual oil consumption. Most of the grievances came with the older models, but a few complaints trickled in with some of the newer versions. 

The affected engine was the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that critics thought was fun to drive. But, it turns out that it’s the worst offender on the M5. BMW also was never really able to fix its problem, despite the unhappy owner’s complaints. 

There were some pros with the vehicle, though. The M5 is a luxurious car that is comfortable to drive and has plenty of power under the hood to move it around. With its taut, sporty handling, driving this vehicle around was a breeze, plus it made traveling so much easier to deal with. It was an excellent family-friendly car for those who wanted to haul their kids in style. 

However, it’s an expensive vehicle, which makes the engine oil consumption problem that much more frustrating. While you would expect an older model to burn some of the oil, you’re not prepared for cars with lower mileage to start dealing with that, especially when you paid quite a lot for it. 

What alternative vehicle should you get instead of the BMW M5?

If you’re looking for a nice, luxurious car that offers exceptional performance without the burning oil problem, consider going for the 2013 to 2015 Lexus GS models instead. For a fraction of the price, it gives you high-reliability ratings and good value for your money. It’s not quite as powerful as the M5 engine, but there’s more than enough kick in all three of its engine choices when it was new. 

It came with a 3.5-liter V6 standard, a 3.5-liter V6 hybrid combination, or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. Paired with that is a six-speed transmission. Manual overrides come with the paddle shifters, though. As far as fuel economy goes, Consumer Reports lists it as 21 mpg overall, which isn’t great, but not too bad for what you’re getting. 

The interior fit and finish are high-quality, and you’ll find the seats are pretty comfortable as well. One of the most significant drawbacks, though, is the trunk area. You get a decent amount of space, holding three large suitcases, but oversized items won’t fit since the rear seatback won’t fold down to give that extra space. 

The BMW M5 is a good vehicle, but it’s best to avoid the 2012-2019 models, as these were reported to have had a nasty burning oil problem that BMW hasn’t been able to fix completely. Instead, check out the Lexus GS, which you can get for around $25,000 to $27,000, and it’s known for reliability, so you can’t go wrong. 

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