BMW Active Hybrid 5 REVIEWEDRocking Cars

6 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи BMW Active Hybrid 5 REVIEWEDRocking Cars отключены
BMW ActiveE Electric Cars


What makes it an even better all rounder though is it’s ability to be remarkably economical, given the right circumstances.

It’s got a Hybrid badge, but I think the stigma around Hybrids are a little misleading. When I think Hybrid I immediately think of a super economical car, that can go forever and not need fuel. I am however mistaken.

If you want a super economical 5 Series with some grunt you’re better off with the 535d. That performs brilliantly all the time. The Active Hybrid 5, is still a big thirsty petrol engine as I explained above.

The way the Hybrid side of this ride works is that the 40kW electric motor will comfortably power the car up to 60 km/h. This is great in short distance town driving. I can easily get from my house to the shops and back purely on electric power.

While it’s slow, and you need to be very careful with the acceleration it’s not only possible but quite practical.

Once the car reaches 60 km/h, an uphill, or simply runs out of battery there is a very seamless takeover from the petrol engine which then continues to drive the car and instantly begins charging the battery.

The battery can also be charged when braking. BMW cleverly use the energy generated under breaking to charge the battery. This results in a more rapid charge than if it were only using the running petrol engine.

In addition to using the electric motor when under 60 km/h, if you’re cruising on the highway and on a longish downhill, the petrol motor shuts down and the electric motor comfortably pushes the car along. We were able to test this up to 120 km/h, while BMW claim it’s possible up to 160km/h.

All this use of the electric engine and big battery make the Active Hybrid 5 a more economical car, but it’s still not as economical as the equivalent diesel.

The point then? Well I think the Hybrid is a huge step in the right direction, and while the short term result is a powerful big engine being about 20% more economical, the long term result is that the technology becomes better and cheaper, making the use of electric engines in the future a reality.


When you’ve had enough of driving cautiously in Hybrid mode, you can always hit the sport button and really make the car come alive. The Active Hybrid 5 really comes alive in the corners. Road feedback is great and the drive feels solid and connected.

There is no play on the steering wheel, and every turn nudges the wheels just where you need them to be.

Putting your foot down as you exit a corner you can feel the power tugging on the wheel, and the car keeping it’s self together as you straighten and a surge of the 250kW under the hood pushes you back into your seat.

The car is grippy in to a late breaking corner and the steering gives you the confidence to navigate twisty roads which in turn delivers sheer excitement and driving pleasure.


Out of the corners, you’re back on straight flat roads. In comfort mode the Active Hybrid 5 soaks up the road with ease and silence. The cabin isn’t eerily quiet, but it’s pleasantly quiet.

Acceleration is gentle and smooth, braking soft, as the car glides to a halt.

It’s hard to believe that the car so luxuriously carrying it’s self down the road is the same car that a few minutes earlier unleashed a good dose of controlled fury round the corners.


The 5 series practicality is like the 3 series put on a photo copier at 110%. The boot is a little bigger, leg room a little roomier, and the general interior a little more spacious. There is a neat centre console between the two front seats, it’s not as big as the one in the 6 Series where I can comfortably put a whole bottle of wine, but it’s enough for your wallet, keys, phone, iPod etc.

Even has USB, mini jack, and 12v charger in there.

The one drawback on the Hybrid practicality is that you lose some boot space because of that huge big battery they need to cram in somewhere. This doesn’t make the boot impractical, but you do lose some space.


Any luxury car excels in the quality score, and frankly it’s not hard to make a good car these days. Even some of the cheaper entry level cars are doing a pretty good job. What BMW get right though is they’ve moved beyond simple plastics, and use more leather on the dash and the doors.

It gives a really nice feel, and you always get a sense of quality when you touch the doors, or the dash.


Over the last few revisions the 5 Series has undergone some radical looks, which has given a lot of critics voice in their opinions of the design. Traditionally a fairly conservative car, the 5 series now comes with a neat modern look. In fact that same design language is evident in the new 3 Series, and even the new 7 that’s due for release shortly.

The lines are sharp, and well designed, but most importantly the car looks properly finished.

The interior styling matches the exterior sharp lines and nicely fitted panels. BMW have gone to a lot of effort to make sure that their cars are aesthetically appealing to owners both inside and out.


BMW push the envelope when it comes to some of this tech stuff. When you’re sitting in a dealership looking at the options list, it’s very easy to forget that you’re buying a car, and rather in the market for a space ship.

BMW ActiveE Electric Cars

The Active Hybrid 5 we had came with a head up display, which shows you the speed you’re driving on the windshield. It also shows you navigation instructions when you’ve got route guidance on.

It comes with a rear angle camera and park distance control. Once you get used to that it’s hard to believe you ever got out of a parking space without it. In addition to the rear camera, there are a number of cameras around the car that give you a couple of different views.

You get a top down view, which is essentially an aerial view of your car and it’s surroundings, and BMW use about half a dozen cameras to produce this view. They also give you a split screen view 90 degrees to the left and to the right for when you’re pulling out of a side road and cannot see traffic coming.

When you stop at a robot, or on a hill the auto hold automatically engages a brake, which is then automatically released when you begin to accelerate. This makes being stationary on any incline a breeze, and completely removes the cars ability to roll backwards, ever.

When you’re driving, there is some lane change assist technology. If you stray over a white or yellow line without your indicator on, the steering wheel vibrates to warn you. Cruise control keeps your car at a steady speed, and helps tremendously with fuel economy when in EcoPro mode.

If you find yourself in a badly lit area on a foggy night, the night vision camera is amazing, showing you no light, only heat. So humans and other cars appear white on the screen, making sure you don’t have any unfortunate accidents no matter what the weather. The rest of the time the SatNav gives you some very nice graphics and accurate guidance, with or without voice controls.

Yes you can switch the lady in the dash board off.

While you’re cruising, especially in the Hybrid, the iDrive system gives you a neat graph, indicating your fuel economy, the % of battery usage, and whether the car is charging, running on the electric engine or the combustion engine.

You’ll no doubt need music while you drive, and depending on the device your music is stored on, you can either connect via mini jack, plug in to USB, or just connect via Bluetooth. My iPhone seamlessly connected via Bluetooth allowing me full access to my music, and contacts to make and receive calls.

Most of the controls for the radio and music devices reside on the steering wheel allowing you to change stations or tracks without taking your eyes off the road or your hand off the wheel.

It also comes with a DVD player that can hold about half a dozen disks. When you lightly run your fingers over each numbered button, the iDrive screen shows you either the pre programmed radio station or the specific disk in that slot. A great way to find what you want without having to skip to multiple stations or disks.

Keyless entry was also present, which allows you to lock and unlock the doors with the key in your pocket. Simply slide you hand behind the door handle and the car unlocks. To lock the car, on the door handle are a few raised lines, simply touch them with all the doors closed and the car locks.

The boot also comes with keyless entry. Walk up to the back of the car with the key in your pocket and simply kick your foot under the rear bumper and the boot pops open. A very useful feature when you’re carrying something heavy.

Cool Factor

It’s a 3.0-litre Bi-Turbo 250kW beast. But it has a battery.

It’s a Hybrid, with a big stonking petrol engine in it.

If you’re a petrolhead, the Hybrid part makes it uncool, if you’re a greenie, then the petrol part makes it uncool.

However, the fact that BMW are foraging into the Hybrid space, I think that’s cool.

BMW ActiveE Electric Cars
BMW ActiveE Electric Cars
BMW ActiveE Electric Cars
BMW ActiveE Electric Cars
BMW ActiveE Electric Cars

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