2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 750

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$97,000

starting MSRP

2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 750

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Ride comfort
  • Power
  • Interior quality and luxury
  • Seating comfort
  • Much-improved iDrive system
  • Impressive technology

The bad:

  • Lethargic gas pedal response in Normal mode

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • Li

    $101,000

  • i

    $97,000

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 750 trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • Six-cylinder, V-8 and V-12 engines
  • ActiveHybrid models
  • Alpina B7 models
  • Six- or eight-speed automatics
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Regular and extended-length versions
  • Multiple driving modes

2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 750 review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:


CORNWALL, N.Y. Luxury has a conscience. It can be found in the 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid7 — a gas-and-electric version of the BMW 750i sedan.

But it is not conscience with humility. The ActiveHybrid7, in the words of its maker, is “the world’s fastest street-legal . . . most luxurious and dynamic hybrid.”

All of which means you’ll pay dearly to get it. The gasoline-only version of the 750i starts at $82,000. The ActiveHybrid7 model carries a base price of $102,300.

The price differential automatically makes something clear: Anyone with the wherewithal and will to pay a $20,000 premium for the privilege of driving a hybrid automobile isn’t doing it to spend less on gasoline. Nor is that buyer overwhelmingly concerned about the environment.

People who want hybrid cars strictly for reasons of fuel conservation and environmental purity should buy the world’s most revered symbol of motorized piety, the compact Toyota Prius, which starts at $22,800 in the United States.

But not everyone wants a Prius. Nor does everyone want to take a vow of poverty or work for nonprofit organizations, environmental or otherwise. Charity requires benefactors — the bigger the charity, the richer the benefactors.

BMW made the ActiveHybrid7 for wealthy benefactors. Think of this car as the motorized equivalent of an expensive charity ball, given by the swells of the community for the greater good of all.

Only a few people can afford to attend the ball. But the few who arrive in an ActiveHybrid7 will do so in guilt-free, or at least propitious, luxury.

It’s a bauble. But, like it or not, the ActiveHybrid7 works wonderfully well.

BMW has trumped its rivals in the hybrid-car business by using a lithium-ion battery pack, which has a higher energy density than the commonly used nickel-metal-hydride type. Higher energy density means more charge for the buck in a smaller package, which BMW, in this case, has cleverly located in the northwest corner of the ActiveHybrid7’s trunk.

The battery energizes an electric motor (15-kilowatt, 20 horsepower equivalent) that works in tandem with a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V-8 engine (455 horsepower, 515 foot-pounds of torque).

The arrangement saves fuel and reduces tailpipe pollution in city traffic when the gasoline motor shuts down at stoplights and other traffic interruptions and the battery and electric motor take over.

But the two power systems work together on the highway, providing a tremendous boost in acceleration, beating the heck out of many full-size gas-guzzling sedans and wearing something of an environmental halo in the process.

With it all comes BMW 7-Series comfort, elegance and opulence — four-zone climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with plush leather seats, rich wood-grain accents, ambient interior lighting for night driving, onboard navigation with a high-definition backup camera, and myriad active and passive safety technologies.

It’s the perfect answer for wealthy car shoppers who want to keep everything, including the esteem of their more environmentally righteous fellows.

Is it worth it? Does it make sense? I think so. It carries similar value and makes as much sense as one of those fancy black-tie charity balls. What charitable or public interest organization can exist without them?

Brown is a special correspondent.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.8
  • Interior design 4.3
  • Performance 4.8
  • Value for the money 4.0
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.3

Most recent consumer reviews

4.6

The car that commands respect

This car is designed for the person who likes to spend, show off confidence, and radiate success. It's more of a status symbol, but at a price that isn't actually prohibitively expensive. When you buy this car, you are not concerned that much about reliability or resale value or things like that. This car was designed to be enjoyed and was designed to provide a superb driving experience. And it does deliver. When you switch the transmission to SPORT mode, it outruns the competition. Neither the S-500 nor the the Lexus can keep up with it. It has both elegance and class and pumps adrenaline. This is literally the flagship model of BMW (outshined only by the i-8). But if reliability is big on your list, then buy a Lexus. BMWs were built for performance, not reliability per se. This is a German car, and German cars are notorious for having expensive parts. So the BMW 7 Series is a car you must care for and treat it very well. garage it, do the maintenance services on time, park in the pack of the parking lot, etc. In return, it delivers beauty and performance and tells the world you're on top of your game. How should I put it, it's like 'Trinity' in The Matrix. You have to treat it like a lady, but you will fall in love with it. This is not a LandCruiser where you can run it off a cliff and it still outlives you. When you drive a 7-series, youre basically telling the world "Move aside, I'm doing extraordinarily well in life". Also, there does seem to be an age thing going on with S class vs the 7 series. The BMW is more energetic and fits rising stars and the Top-gun profile. The Mercedes is on the other hand, attracted to business and exec types that are already well established. I chose the BMW because it had way more options for the price than the other 2 competitors, and also because it drives like a beast on the freeway while seamlessly maintaining class and elegance.

4.9

Fun to drive...comfortable as well

I feel that this is a sporty yet luxury vehicle that gets good fuel mileage for the power it has. BMW does not disappoint with this design.

5.0

Best car I'm owned

Own that Beemer more then three years with no problem ! Best German Engineering car ! I'm BMW fan forever!!!

See all 6 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by BMW
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
48 months/50,000 miles
Corrosion
144 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
48 months/50,000 miles
Maintenance
48 months/50,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Certified Pre-Owned Elite with less than 15,000 miles; Certified Pre-Owned with less than 60,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
1 year/unlimited miles from expiration of 4-year/50,000-mile new car warranty
Powertrain
N/A
Dealer certification required
196-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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