BMW 5 Series Sedan ActiveHybrid 5 Review
Hy 5

Story by Joe Yeo Photos by Jonathan Tan and Raymond Lai
12 Sep 2012

BMW joins the hybrid executive saloon bandwagon with the ActiveHybrid 5. Joe Yeo checks out the part electric-powered 5 Series.

Introduction, styling

In the past, only Japanese manufacturers like Toyota and Honda embraced hybrid technology, while the Europeans focused on diesel power. The success of the hybrid in one of the most important car markets in the world, the US though has convinced European car manufacturers that they can’t shun hybrid technology anymore. Hence the slew of European hybrid models that are planned for market introduction in recent times and the coming years.

One of these new European hybrid models is the BMW ActiveHybrid 5. While the ActiveHybrid 5 is the first hybrid model that BMW is offering here, the brand has been offering hybrid models elsewhere with the ActiveHybrid X6 and the ActiveHybrid 7. In essence, the ActiveHybrid 5 can be considered to be a 535i with improved fuel economy and lower exhaust emissions that doesn’t compromise performance or driving dynamics of the petrol only model.

On the outside, the ActiveHybrid 5 can easily be marked out from other F10 5 Series models via several obvious details. These include ‘ActiveHybrid 5’ badges on the C-pillars and the boot lid, the BMW kidney grille with galvanised slats and the exhaust tailpipes finished in matt chrome as well as the aerodynamically efficient 18-inch ‘Streamline’ alloy wheels. The wheels are said to play a contributing factor to the ActiveHybrid 5’s lower emissions output and fuel consumption numbers. An exclusive option for the ActiveHybrid 5 is the ‘Bluewater’ hue like the car photographed here.

Compared to a 535i, the ActiveHybrid 5 does look a tad under tyred and less purposeful. The wheels might be 18-inch in diameter, same as a 535i’s in size but its streamlined design makes them look rather too small to convincingly fill up those sizable wheel arches.

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