2012 BMW 5-Series Hybrid Review
The 2012 BMW 5-Series Hybrid promises good performance and better fuel economy than a BMW 535i, but its charm is curbed by a high base price.
The 2012 BMW 5-Series Hybrid joins the ranks of luxurious hybrids like the Infiniti M35h and Lexus GS 450h. Known as the ActiveHybrid 5, BMW’s new hybrid promises better fuel economy, competitive luxury and more standard features than a non-hybrid 535i.
While critics agree that the ActiveHybrid5 hits the mark with driving dynamics that match the 535i, it’s also considerably more expensive, which may limit its appeal. Edmunds says, “It's a fine car, but whether the marginal economy and performance benefits over a … 535i can justify a hefty price premium is open to debate.”
It’s a valid point, especially since competitors like the Infiniti M35h have more power and a considerably lower base price. However, hybrid cars almost always cost more than their gas-only siblings, and the ActiveHybrid 5 adds to the 5-Series goodness with standard features like navigation.
Full specs and fuel economy estimates are still pending, but reviewers say that if you’re expecting Prius-like fuel economy, the ActiveHybrid 5 probably isn’t the right car for you. However, if you’ve got the cash, and want the performance of a 535i with better fuel economy and more standard features, the 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is a very good choice.
Other Cars to Consider
If you’re dead set on a fuel-efficient 5-Series, but can’t stomach the ActiveHybrid 5’s high price, consider the base BMW 528i. While it’s not as powerful as the ActiveHybrid 5, the 528i will save you thousands and deliver impressive fuel economy, thanks to its turbocharged four-cylinder engine.
However, if you want a luxury large car that melds ample power and good fuel economy into a hybrid package, consider the Infiniti M Hybrid. In addition to being more powerful than the ActiveHybrid 5, the M Hybrid is also less expensive.
BMW 5-Series Hybrid: The Details
The 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 comes in one well-equipped trim, which is powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Power is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. See the full 2012 BMW 5-Series Hybrid specs.
- "At $61,845, the hybrid is a cool $8500 more expensive than the 535i, although it does come with more standard equipment (such as navigation)." -- Automobile Magazine
- "Fortunately, there's one thing about the ActiveHybrid 5 that isn't debatable: Its driving experience absolutely is worthy of the marque's performance heritage." -- Motor Trend
- "The ActiveHybrid 5 is a promising example of what to expect from BMW as well as future hybrid vehicles to come -- and we're pleased to see that paddle shifters are still included." -- Road and Track
- "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