The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 hybrid can seat up to five people and drive up to 37 mph on electric power alone. The car retains typical BMW performance; it can go from zero to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds, according to the automaker. Competitors include the Infiniti M35h and Lexus GS 450h hybrids.
Subtle styling cues differentiate the ActiveHybrid 5 from the regular 5 Series. There are logos on the rear roof pillars, galvanized slats in the twin-kidney grille and matte chrome tailpipes. The sedan comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, but aerodynamic 18-inch alloy wheels are optional. It also gets an exclusive paint color: Bluewater Metallic.
Differences in the cabin are similarly minimal. The doorsill plates have the ActiveHybrid 5 logo, and there's a logo plate on the center console, too. A navigation system and four-zone climate control are standard, and the ActiveHybrid 5 can have most of the features available in the regular 5 Series. Optional features include ventilated seats, a premium stereo and a backseat entertainment system.
Under the Hood
The ActiveHybrid 5's hybrid drivetrain consists of a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission with an integrated electric motor that makes 55 hp, and a lithium-ion battery pack. The battery is located between the rear wheel arches in the trunk, resulting in less cargo space than the regular 5 Series.
In addition to driving on electric power at speeds up to 37 mph, the ActiveHybrid 5 can go about 2.5 miles on electric power alone at an average speed of 22 mph with a sufficiently charged battery, according to BMW. The electric motor can provide a power boost when accelerating, and the gas engine can shut down when coasting at speeds up to 100 mph. The ActiveHybrid 5 also gets its own version of BMW's fuel-saving stop/start technology.
The hybrid drivetrain also works with the navigation system, customizing its operation based on upcoming driving conditions. If hilly terrain is on the horizon, for instance, it can provide supplemental electric acceleration beforehand knowing the battery has a chance to recharge on descents. Unlike other 5 Series models, the ActiveHybrid 5 is only available with rear-wheel drive.
The hybrid's Driving Experience Control includes an Eco Pro mode in addition to Comfort and Sport modes. Eco Pro promotes fuel efficiency by increasing the time spent in the car's all-electric mode.
Safety features include antilock brakes, an electronic stability system, side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags. Optional features include parking sensors, a backup camera, the Surround View system, a lane departure warning system and night vision with pedestrian detection.