The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is a gasoline-electric hybrid that is part of the German auto manufacturer’s 5-Series executive car lineup. BMW introduced the 5-Series in 1972, and as of 2013, the 5-Series is in its sixth generation. It is BMW’s second most popular series of vehicles, after the entry level 3-Series, and it is sold throughout the world. The ActiveHybrid 5 was introduced in May of 2010 and previewed at both the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show and the 2012 North American International Auto Show. It went on sale in most global markets in late 2011, although exports to the United States did not begin until spring of 2012.
The current generation of the BMW 5-Series features the ActiveHybrid 5 as well as 528i, 535i, and 550i trim levels. The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is based on the 535i sedan, although it features a drivetrain consisting of a turbocharged 3-liter inline-6 gasoline engine paired to a lithium-ion battery pack located in the trunk, as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission. Total combined output for the hybrid drivetrain is 355 horsepower, and the ActiveHybrid 5 is capable of traveling on full electric power up to 37 miles per hour, or, for 2.5 miles at a speed of 25 miles per hour. The ActiveHybrid 5 can accelerate from 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, slightly faster than a BMW 535i. Hybrid-specific features include an automatic start and stop function to conserve power at idle, coasting mode, a regenerative braking system that captures kinetic energy from deceleration and sends it back to recharge the battery pack, and driving mode control so the driver can choose how much power is desired for driving conditions. The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 was rated by the Environmental Protection Agency to achieve fuel economy of 23 miles per gallon city, 30 miles per gallon highway, and 26 miles per gallon combined. The city rating is just 2 miles per gallon better than a similarly equipped 535i, thanks in part to the fact that these models feature the same gasoline engine.
The ActiveHybrid 5 comes in a single trim level that features a lot of standard equipment. The ActiveHybrid 5 boasts 18-inch wheels, automatic adaptive bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights integrated into the headlight housings, fog lamps, a sunroof, keyless ignition, automatic wipers, cruise control, quad-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats with memory functions, leather upholstery, a power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, BMW’s iDrive driver control interface, Bluetooth wireless integration, and navigation with voice control and real time traffic data. Available options include front and rear parking sensors, keyless entry, a rearview camera, a power trunk lid, headlight washers, heated front and rear seats, ventilated and massaging seat functionality, adjustable suspension damping, upgraded interior and exterior trim components, a 16-speaker audio system upgrade, side view and top view parking cameras, front and rear parking sensors, night vision, lane departure warning, and blind spot warning. Many of these options are available only as part of a preconfigured equipment package. Standard safety equipment on the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 includes stability control, traction control, anti-lock disc brakes, stolen vehicle recovery and automatic crash notification via the BMW Assist communications system.