Independent Reviews of BMW 5 Series New and Used Cars

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Added 2nd December, 2016

By Jonathan Crouch

If you’re looking for hybrid power in an executive saloon from the 2011 to 2015 era but you still prioritise driving enjoyment, then maybe you want one of these. BMW’s ActiveHybrid5 is faster and more dynamic than hybrid versions of segment rivals like the Audi A6 and the Mercedes E-Class from this period. And it’s a vastly more interesting thing to drive than an equivalent Lexus GS450h. True, people who prioritise hybrid motoring don’t tend to prioritise rewarding handling. But at least this car proves that these two things can actually come together quite beautifully. In other words, BMW’s Active Hybrid5 was, for its period, a great technical achievement. A car that treads lightly in its application of hybrid technology, yet appears to yield real results. Drive one and there’s the potential to enjoy yourself hugely. Enough even to almost make you want to forget the major caveat - namely that the alternative diesel 5 Series model is cheaper and more frugal. And the fact that you’d have to do a pretty high mileage before even financially justifying this car over its conventional petrol counterpart. It all points to the truth of the matter. That BMW didn’t build this hybrid model for Europeans who’d struggle to justify it but for US and Chinese buyers not so enamoured with the alternative prospect of diesel power. People of that sort on these shores are rare indeed, but if you’re one of them, then here’s a rare choice to match.

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