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CAR OF THE MONTH January 2013

2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5

High-Performance Hybrid Sedan

A three-quarter front view of a 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5

In short: A smart, sporty and luxurious hybrid sedan.

BMW ActiveHybrid 5 Review

As a more fuel-efficient alternative to BMW's popular 5-series sedan, the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 offers athletic performance with a new eco-friendly outlook. Pairing a twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder gas engine with a supplemental lithium-ion battery-powered motor, the luxury hybrid boasts a maximum output of 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque while achieving up to 30 mpg highway.

On the outside the car is virtually identical to its gas-only sibling. You'd have to pay close attention to the three-quarter rear panel to spot the ActiveHybrid 5 logo. Our fully loaded Liquid Blue Metallic tester even had a night vision system with pedestrian detection. Of course, we loved the active blind spot detection system, which should be mandatory on all cars.

An interior view of the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 The twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine of the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5

We did feel safe and cocooned in the leather-lined cabin but wished for a bit more space, especially in the back seat. Up front, seats are comfortable and adjustable in many ways to get the right position for you. You get to play with the iDrive systems and a suite of BMW apps. Engage the 8-speed multi-mode Steptronic transmission and you'll be sure to get wherever you are going in either eco or sport mode. Should you wish to do the work yourself, simply engage the manual mode.

Fuel economy is further increased through the car's standard navigation system, which syncs with the hybrid control electronics to optimize operation based on road type and topography. Other forward-thinking interior amenities such as a 600-watt, 16-speaker surround sound system and an entertainment server capable of storing up to 80GB of music, photos and other files are on hand to ensure that going green doesn't mean sacrificing passenger pleasure. For even more space and luxury you may opt for the BMW ActiveHybrid 7; or should you wish to save money, go for the BMW ActiveHybrid 3. The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 sedan can deliver your ultimate hybrid driving machine experience, just as it did for us.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5

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Watch a video of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5
BMW ActiveHybrid 5 Photo Gallery

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty; 4-year/50,000-mile full maintenance program; 12-year rust perforation limited warranty; 4-year/unlimited-mile BMW roadside assistance program

Base Price: $60,950 / As Tested: $74,395

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, rear-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Engine: 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine with direct injection; AC synchronous electric motor
Horsepower: 335 hp @ 5,800 rpm (combined gas and electric motors)
Torque: 330 lb-ft @ 1,300-5,000 rpm (combined gas and electric motors)
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode

Curb weight:
4,350 lbs
Wheelbase: 116.9 in
Length/Width/Height: 193.1/73.2/57.6 in

4-wheel ventilated disc brakes with ABS and dynamic brake control

Traction: dynamic stability control; traction control

Top Speed: 130 mph (governor limited)
0-60 mph: 5.7 seconds

EPA City:
23 mpg
EPA Highway: 30 mpg

driver and front passenger dual-stage front airbags; front seat side-impact airbags

Likes: solid BMW build and performance

Dislikes: limited trunk space due to battery; drive train

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Photography: AlphaMedia

PNW122612 (Updated: 02/19/13 NW)