When people ask what modern but depreciated luxury sedan they should buy in the sub $20k range, there is always one option that stands up with a standard 6-speed gearbox, rear wheel drive, powerful V8, and limited slip out back. Yeah. The E39 M5 is about the only game in town if you want to drive fast in a big sedan without using your blinkers. Find this 2000 BMW M5 E39 offered here on eBay for $17,000 buy-it-now with 2 days to go, located in Albuquerque, NM. Tip from Brian.
The E39 M5 is a formidable machine, but is not without its pitfalls - a good read for any potential shoppers is this 2014 article by Tavarish on Jalopnik, this E39 M5 buyer guide and this FAQ on M5Board forums, or this bmwmregistry.com FAQ. I won't bore you with the details, but there are some potentially expensive repairs that can pop up from time to time. Knowing what they are is half the battle.
Under the hood is a 4.9 liter S62 V8 good for 394 horsepower and 369 ft-lbs of torque. Like all E39 M5s, this one is shifted by a standard 6-speed manual gearbox
that puts power to a limited slip differential out the back.
The BMW interiors from this era aren't the best from a wear perspective, too many plastic surfaces painted with that terrible rubberized paint that peels off like a bad sunburn...but if you get one in good shape and don't use toxic chemicals to clean it, you'll be okay. The big thick steering wheel provides direct access to the steering box of the last M5 with proper road feel.
See a better V8, stick shift, modern, rear-drive, sedan for the same cash? email@example.com