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MSRP: $37,300 - $49,900
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MPG: 25 City / 33 Hwy
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2014 BMW 3-Series Hybrid Review

Though reviewers say it has sharp handling and plenty of power, the 2014 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 falls short with unimpressive fuel economy and a high base price.

Reviewers write that the 2014 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 has plenty of power, and that its turbocharged six-cylinder engine and electric motor offer smooth transitions between gas and electric power. The hybrid powertrain is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that automotive journalists think shifts smoothly and quickly. The 2014 ActiveHybrid 3 gets an EPA-estimated 25/33 mpg city/highway, which is low for a hybrid. Test drivers say the 3-Series Hybrid has sharp steering and composed handling, which make it fun to drive. Still, a few critics report that the ActiveHybrid 3 doesn’t handle or ride as comfortably as the non-hybrid 3-Series.

Automotive journalists appreciate that the 2014 BMW 3-Series Hybrid’s interior is very similar to what you’ll find in the non-hybrid 3-Series, including the same premium materials and roomy rear seats. Test drivers like that the optional navigation system works with the hybrid powertrain to maximize efficiency, and they appreciate that BMW placed the battery pack underneath the trunk so that it doesn’t reduce cargo space too much. The 2014 ActiveHybrid 3’s standard features include a moonroof, Bluetooth phone connectivity and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. Leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, navigation and a lane departure warning system are among the available options.

  • "Though it handles better than the vast majority of hybrid vehicles on the market, a steep price and thoroughly unimpressive fuel economy mean the ActiveHybrid 3 doesn't make much sense from a financial or environmental standpoint." -- Left Lane News
  • "It might have one of the best-integrated hybrid systems in the world, but with no significant performance advantage and a negligible fuel economy improvement, there's simply no compelling reason to buy it." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "With the extra coin required, we'd have thought better economy numbers would be a part of the deal. BMW could have achieved them by instead coupling its turbocharged four to the hybrid technology." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "You'd probably have to go some distance to recoup the extra $6,500 that it costs over the stock 335i sedan, but that's not such a huge sum for a car that provides more performance, better economy and the diversion of multiple driving modes." -- Edmunds (2013)

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Other Cars to Consider

The Infiniti Q50 Hybrid is more powerful than the ActiveHybrid 3 and it uses less fuel. The Q50 Hybrid also has a lower base price, and reviewers love its intuitive tech features.

The Lexus ES Hybrid is also less expensive that the ActiveHybrid 3, and it gets much better fuel economy. Test drivers also think that the ES Hybrid is quite comfortable, thanks to its smooth ride and spacious, well-constructed interior.

Compare the 3-Series Hybrid, Q50 Hybrid and ES Hybrid »

Details: 2014 BMW 3-Series Hybrid

The 2014 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 seats five and has rear-wheel drive. A 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine and an electric motor are standard, which are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Only one trim is available, though the ActiveHybrid 3 is available with a number of options, as well as packages which add interior technology features and upgraded interior materials. The non-hybrid BMW 3-Series is reviewed separately. The ActiveHybrid 3 was all-new for the 2013 model year, and it hasn’t changed much for 2014. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 and 2014 model years.

See the full 2014 BMW 3-Series Hybrid specs »

Review Last Updated: 1/6/14

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