Review: BMW ActiveHybrid 5 (2012 – 2017)

BMWs first hybrid matches the 535i for performance but with emissions of just 149g/km and low company car tax rates.

Not cheap at £46,860.

Recently Added To This Review

30 September 2011 ActiveHybrid 5 launched

Arriving in the UK in February 2012 the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 delivers similar performance to a 535i, but with 16 per cent lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. As a result, it sits six bands lower... Read more

BMW ActiveHybrid 5 (2012 – 2017): At A Glance

The ActiveHybrid5 is powered by a 3.0-litre twin turbo engine with 306PS (the same engine that's used in the 535i) along with an electric motor that develops 54PS and an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Combined, the engine and electric motor produce a total of 340PS and 450Nm of torque.

The ActiveHybrid 5 can travel for up to 2.4 miles on electric power - at speeds up to 37mph - supplied by the high-performance lithium-ion battery stored in the boot. The electric motor, also integrated into the gearbox housing for the best packaging efficiency, delivers a maximum 210Nm of torque from rest, so performance from a standstill should be impressive.

The petrol engine only kicks in when more power is needed or if the battery energy runs out. When accelerating, the electric gives the petrol engine an additional boost which gives performance equal to the 535i so 0-60mph takes just 5.6 seconds. Of course the real benefits are fuel economy and emissions with the ActiveHybrid 5 averaging a claimed 44.1mpg and 149g/km of CO2. This equates to a benefit-in-kind tax rate of only 19 per cent.

At up to 100mph the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is capable of cruising in ECO PRO mode when the driver lifts off the accelerator, running soundlessly with zero tailpipe emissions until the driver accelerates.

Standard equipment on the ActiveHybrid 5 includes the BMW Professional Multimedia sat nav system, an eight-speed automatic transmission, four-zone climate control, 17-inch alloy wheels, black panel display and high-gloss Fineline Anthracite wood interior trim. On the outside the car is distinguished by chrome slats on the grille, door sill strips and on an aluminium plate on the centre console. It also gets matt chrome tailpipes.

The Professional sat nav system is able to read the road ahead and prepare the car's powertrain and electrical systems to respond in the most efficient way. For example, if it detects a hill, it stores energy in the battery so that the electric motor is ready to assist the engine, already knowing this will be recouped later in the journey.

What does a BMW ActiveHybrid 5 (2012 – 2017) cost?

List Price from £37,595
Buy new from £28,486
Contract hire from £290.39 per month
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Real MPG average for a BMW ActiveHybrid 5 (2012 – 2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

24%

Real MPG

29–42 mpg

MPGs submitted

4

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 (2012 – 2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Should I keep or replace my BMW ActiveHybrid 5?

I'm 67 years of age and my BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is now five years old, having covered only 25,000 miles. It's the best car I've ever owned and has a full BMW service history with no issues to date. I'm now considering whether to replace it or hold onto it for the long term. The hybrid battery is guaranteed for another three years but will eventually require replacement. I intend to continue with annual servicing. Should I hold onto it or exchange it for a smaller, new vehicle?
Hang on to it.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 (2012 – 2017)?

Key attributes of the this model are: High quality interior, Refined ride and Large premium.

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