There are two main types of hybrid car in the world: those that are built from the ground up as hybrids, and those that are hybrid conversions of existing cars.
The well-known Toyota Prius is the former. The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is the latter.
And that may be the biggest problem with the BMW ActiveHybrid 5: It feels like a car that has been somewhat reluctantly turned into a hybrid.
It's essentially a 5-Series sedan with fitted with a 3.3-liter straight-six and an 8-speed automatic transmission. But BMW has replaced the traditional automatic gearbox torque converter with a 40-kilowatt electric motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery pack.
Inside, there are the same comfortable leather seats, quad-zone air conditioning, and BMW iDrive infotainment system you’d find in any 5-Series.
In fact, apart from the external badges and a few trim coloring tweaks to highlight its green credentials, the ActiveHybrid 5 is a hybrid in disguise.
Like other BMWs, the ActiveHybrid 5 offers...
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