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2015 BMW ActiveHybrid 5

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/17/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 ActiveHybrid 5 is no longer available with the Liquid Blue metallic exterior color, and the Modern Line has been discontinued. Foglights and the sport leather steering wheel have become standard equipment. Enhanced USB and Bluetooth plus smartphone integration is now a standalone option and the price of the available night vision with pedestrian detection feature has been reduced to $2,300 from $2,600. Black Nappa leather is a no-cost option on M Sport and Luxury lines.

Research

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is the hybrid version of the 5 Series luxury sedan. Its powertrain is a turbocharged 3.0-liter hybrid I-6 with a total system output of 335 hp paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Gas mileage is decent at 23/30 mpg city/highway but falls short of its diesel-powered stablemate, the 535d, which achieves 26/38 mpg in rear-drive guise and 26/37 mpg with all-wheel drive.

Overview

Performance is a strong point in the 2015 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 with plenty of power on tap for passing and merging at high speeds. The ActiveHybrid 5 operates like a conventional gas- or diesel-powered car because of how seamlessly the turbo-six and electric motor work together. Its regenerative brakes don’t have the mushiness associated with hybrid vehicles. Because the battery sits under the trunk, cargo space is smaller than in non-hybrid 5 Series variants.

The NHTSA gave the 2015 ActiveHybrid 5 a five-star overall safety rating out of a possible five stars. In IIHS evaluations the car received a Good score in three categories and Marginal in the small overlap front test. (Good is the highest possible score.)

What We Think

From a performance perspective, the 2015 ActiveHybrid 5 is a great proposition, offering BMW driving dynamics and respectable fuel economy. However, in a 2012 First Drive we called the car an “expensive proposition” because it’s $6,300 more than a 535i. The car’s powertrain is notable because it operates seamlessly and doesn’t have the quirks associated with hybrid vehicles.

You’ll Like

  • Good performance
  • Hybrid powertrain operates seamlessly
  • Brakes aren’t mushy

You Won’t Like

  • Expensive
  • Diesel-powered 5 Series is more fuel efficient
  • Battery takes up trunk space

Key Competitors

  • Lexus GS 450h
  • Mercedes-Benz E400 Hybrid
  • Infiniti Q70 Hybrid
  • Audi A6 TDI
  • Acura RLX Sport Hybrid

Rating

2 star

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