There are a lot of things that the BMW E39 M5 is known for. Most will argue that this generation is the peak of this model, and it's easy to understand why. Its combination of performance prowess and handling dynamics made it a darling in automotive circles. Plus, you can only get it with a six-speed manual transmission.
You can think of the E39 M5 as a thug in an Armani suit, but it's difficult to imagine one of these with a little over 200,000 miles. Normally, these cars are tucked away in garages until the weekend arrives, and parked in private collections. Given that these cars are rising in value, it seems that fewer are willing to risk taking the their potential assests on the road.
However, there is one owner in the Netherlands who has pretty intergalactic miles for a performance sedan. While 215,081 miles doesn't sound like a lot for, say, a Toyota Camry, the nature of the M5's engine makes this an achievement. But there's a difference between the mileage and the general condition of the car. Besides, a low mileage car can still spring up nasty surprises when inspected thoroughly.
The inspection was done by AutoWeek and their Klokje Rond (meaning high-mileage in Dutch) main man, Joep Schuurman. If you're familiar with this series, they have other pretty interesting high-mileage cars. But anyway, on to the this particular M5.
This E39 M5 is a 2000 model with a few aftermarket parts. The owner says that the car is serviced properly, and that it has stiffer bushings and dampers as well. Its brakes were also refurbished and it got a new lick of undercoat to fend off potential rust caused by future Dutch winters. That said Schuurman still pointed out things that need attention, along with a few things that need to be sorted out. We won't tell you what they are, but Shuurman says that that car, in general, is in good condition.
The Klokje Rond episode is more proof that mileage isn't everything. In fact, there is an E39 M5 with a bigger number on the odometer (owned by LegitStreetCars) that's in even better condition. The lesson is pretty clear; most of the time, it's not the mileage, but it's how the car was cared for over the years.