Was The 850CSi Really The Best BMW From The 90s?

For BMW fans in the early and mid 90’s, the flagship 850CSi was ‘the’ car to have, thanks to its rare combination of V12 power and a six-speed manual transmission.

In fact, you could only get this car with a manual transmission, putting you in charge of twelve cylinders and no fewer than 380 PS (375 HP), to go with the 550 Nm (410 lb-ft) of torque. Unfortunately, it wasn’t exactly “ultra-fast”, needing almost 6 seconds to get from zero to 60 mph (96 km/h).

During his review of this 850CSi, Doug DeMuro starts off by explaining just how special the interior was, boasting flagship-worthy features as well as a driver oriented layout. Just imagine that this was a car with a power-adjustable steering column and memory seats, heated leather seats, climate control, an in-car phone and loads more.

Moving on to the exterior, while few would ever go out on a limb and call any 8-Series ugly, this car is not without its design quirks, such as the weirdly shaped mirrors or the two buttons you need to push simultaneously in order to open the hood.

As for what you can expect when getting behind the wheel, DeMuro for one was very surprised with how quick the 850CSi felt in a straight line, once the V12 really dug in. He also enjoyed the stick shift, smooth power delivery, comfortable seats and clutch feel.

  • Todd Colomy

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! 530I was. By that I mean less problems,fun to drive and consistently dependable. The 540I was cool but it was a B!tch to work on. M5 was awesome but pricey.

  • Honda NSX-R

    It’s not just the best BMW of the 90s, but one of the greatest BMWs of all time.

  • Well certainly not the best, E39 M5 is a strong contender, but it is one of Munich finest machine to me.

  • Bash

    It was one of the best CARs of the 90s, not only for BMW.

    • alexxx

      So true….

  • dumblikeyou2

    Enough already with this guy. So tired of Doug shit

    • rodriguez256

      Then don’t click on these articles. This site isn’t tailored just for you but a variety of people.


  • BarryFastCars

    The answer would have to be yes because the E39 M5 did not come out till the 2000 model year.

  • Enter Ranting

    A car from a time when BMW produced elegant, restrained, refined designs geared toward driving. Now, BMW sells fussy, overwrought lease-fillers in a dizzying array of concocted segments.

  • alexxx

    Still such a beautiful shape…

  • john1168

    I always LOVED this car. I always thought it was easily one of the best looking cars from the 90’s. Still looks great today.

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