2013 BMW 5-Series Hybrid Review
While the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 offers all the performance and luxury of the gas-only 5-Series, auotmotive journalists agree that it doesn’t deliver the fuel savings they expect from a hybrid luxury car.
The ActiveHybrid 5 has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and electric motor, which test drivers say provides plenty of power. Still, some reviewers say that the transitions between gas and electric power aren’t as smooth as they would like. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, which receives praise for its refined operation. Fuel economy is an EPA-estimated 23/30 mpg city/highway, which isn’t very good for a hybrid luxury car. In fact, the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 uses more fuel than its less powerful, gas-only sibling, the BMW 528i. Although the ActiveHybrid 5 impresses reviewers with its composed handling, opinion varies on its steering and brake systems. While some auto writers note communicative steering and good brake pedal feel, others complain about numb steering and grabby brakes.
Reviewers agree that the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 has a functional and attractive cabin that’s built with top-notch materials. Test drivers also note that the ActiveHybrid 5’s front seats are comfortable and supportive, and they like that the interior isn’t cluttered with buttons since many vehicle functions are controlled through BMW’s iDrive system. Still, one reviewer says that iDrive isn’t as easy to use as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class’ COMAND infotainment system. Standard features include a sunroof, four-zone automatic climate control, navigation and a 10-speaker stereo with HD Radio and Bluetooth. A power trunk lid, parking sensors, a backup camera, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel and a Bang & Olufsen sound system are among the ActiveHybrid 5’s optional features.
- "The only exception is the ActiveHybrid 5, which hardly seems to justify its marginal fuel savings at its high price." -- Edmunds
- "Offering only marginal increases in both horsepower and fuel economy, the $62,000 ActiveHybrid 5 lacks a compelling sales message." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "Whereas the ActiveHybrid X6 and ActiveHybrid 750i arrived somewhat lacking in state-of-the-art hybrid credentials, the ActiveHybrid 5 carries a true and undeniable full parallel hybrid powertrain starting with all the goodness you find in a 535i." -- Autoblog (2012)
Other Cars to Consider
The Lexus GS 450h gets significantly better fuel economy that the ActiveHybrid 5, and reviewers say that it has plenty of power. The GS 450h also earns points for its luxurious interior and comfortable front seats.
The Infiniti M35h costs a bit less than the ActiveHybrid 5 and also uses less fuel. Additionally, the M35h pleases test drivers with its high-quality interior and strong hybrid powertrain.
Details: 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5
The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 seats five and is rear-wheel drive. A turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine and an electric motor are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The ActiveHybrid 5 comes in just one trim, though a number of packages and standalone options are available. The ActiveHybrid 5 is basically unchanged for 2013. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2012 and the current model year.