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F12 / F13 (2012 - Current)
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  #1  
Old 02-02-2013, 12:07 PM
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southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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SouthernActiveHybrid5er22...

Not as pithy, and a mouthful, but it is what it is for the next few days or so.

Long story short, my car starting giving me low battery voltage messages, so I decided to take it in Thursday evening. I spoke with my service person Friday evening, and they said they wanted to give me a loaner so they could hold onto my car for a few days to let it go into "sleep mode" and see if they can figure out what's killing the battery.

I went to pick up the loaner this morning, and I got a very nice 2013 Active Hybrid 5. The car is pretty well equipped - premium sound, Driver Assistance Package, the new iDrive system, etc. - and sticker is just a hair beneath $68,000. It may be $35,000 less than my car, but it is very nice for a loaner.

The major price difference, as far as I can ascertain, is the trim and materials on the inside - obviously the 5 v. 6 badges and the number of doors accounts for some of that difference. The plasticky dash, Dakota leather, and beige fabric headliner are nice, but they just don't compete with the 6er.

The Active Hybrid 5 drives nicely, but it is hard to call it a "sports saloon."It has good power, but it won't rip your face off. It handles well, but the 6er's lower center of gravity gives it the upper hand. Sport mode drives very well. Comfort is fine. Eco Pro is scary. By that I mean the throttle feels dead and it floats like the road is covered in whipped cream. Using it in the city is probably okay, but I find myself switching to Sport any time I pull out or doing anything but cruise in a straight line at moderate speeds.

According to the onboard computer, the car is averaging 26.4 mpg. That's twice the mpg of my 650xi! However, it is about 15 mpg less than your average Prius. I suppose it is a good compromise between economy and having the turbo'd inline 6 engine when you want the power. Just my opinion here, but I think I'd either buy a 528i (which supposedly gets better mpg than the Active Hybrid 5) and get the best economy possible in a car this size, or I'd go with the 550i if I wanted the same type of car but with decent power. Actually, just give me an M5 and I'll be a happy camper. lol.

Nevertheless, I consider this a pretty nice loaner. I kinda wanted an F30 328i out of curiosity, but this is still a pretty cool toy for the next few days.
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Last edited by southern6er22; 02-02-2013 at 12:14 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-02-2013, 02:52 PM
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Are you sure it's an ActiveHybrid5?
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  #3  
Old 02-02-2013, 03:38 PM
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southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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I suppose it could be incorrectly badges and have the hybrid software, but you'd hope someone would catch the mistake by the time they put the 10th Active Hybrid 5 badge on it. lol

Interestingly, I took it out this afternoon to get some highway time in it, and the power did become more apparent. The power's there, but it takes a while to get to it. I'm just spoiled by the mountains of torque in our V8s that comes on instantaneously.

On a green, environmentally friendly note, I reset the trip computer this morning when I got the car. After 55 miles today I am averaging 21.8 mpg lol. More than 50% of that was highway. I think I have a special (lead) touch when it comes to fuel economy.
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  #4  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:30 PM
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Db750 Db750 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southern6er22 View Post
I suppose it could be incorrectly badges and have the hybrid software, but you'd hope someone would catch the mistake by the time they put the 10th Active Hybrid 5 badge on it. lol
That is definately a possibility, but I doubt anyone could accidentally put those "lovely" AH5 wheels on.

Edit: Nice review and a very nice loaner. I agree the 328i would have been nice. I am excited to try out the 335i in a year or so when it is time for my wife to get a new car. If you had gotten a 328 it would have probably been a stripped down beater with no options though.
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Last edited by Db750; 02-02-2013 at 05:34 PM.
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  #5  
Old 02-02-2013, 05:57 PM
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southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Db750 View Post
That is definately a possibility, but I doubt anyone could accidentally put those "lovely" AH5 wheels on.

Edit: Nice review and a very nice loaner. I agree the 328i would have been nice. I am excited to try out the 335i in a year or so when it is time for my wife to get a new car. If you had gotten a 328 it would have probably been a stripped down beater with no options though.
Hey! Don't go knocking those wheels! Beauty is subjective after all. I wonder if fitting those on my 6er would help put me up to the 12-13 mpg range.

Next time (hopefully there won't be a next time, though) I might request an F30. I'm guessing they try to give you a car closest to what you own, so I'm wondering if that's why they gave me the $70k 5er. It's a great car, but I kinda wanted something fun. Until they offer me an i8 I'd prefer to stay away from the hybrids lol. If I can't get an F30, maybe I can get a 135i or a Z4. Not cars I'd really want to own, but fun for a couple days.

For the record, I'm just talking hypothetically here. My service people take really good care of me, and I would never be such a pain in the a$$. But if I were given the choice......
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  #6  
Old 02-02-2013, 06:38 PM
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southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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Automatic Trunk:



Manual Trunk on the 6er:



Note: The above video shows that simply pulling down on the trunk isn't sufficient to close the trunk. Enough force is required to pull it all the way down and make it latch, otherwise it pops right back up (which happens more often than you'd think ).
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Last edited by southern6er22; 02-03-2013 at 12:50 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2013, 05:06 PM
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southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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Update: Drove a little more today around town with about 5-8 interstate miles. I'm at 87 miles and 19.7 mpg!!!

Why not get a 535i for $8k less? It's the same engine (minus the electric one), and it's gonna take a long time for gas savings to make up for the up charge of being a hybrid.

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Old 02-04-2013, 08:18 AM
mrjoed2 mrjoed2 is offline
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Fantastic car for a loaner !
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southern6er22 View Post
Update: Drove a little more today around town with about 5-8 interstate miles. I'm at 87 miles and 19.7 mpg!!!
I got that in my 650i one tank in Comfort, taking it easy with basically zero highway miles. Not typical, but acheivable.
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Old 02-04-2013, 10:43 AM
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petriej petriej is offline
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Market research shows that many (if not all ) hybrid buyers get their cars because they want a perception of being environmentally friendly. Hence the badges.

The first gen AH7 was killer. It has the big V8. It was also the lease deal of the year. Really wish I had not bought my X5 and instead gotten that. The second gen is the I6 and not as much fun. BMWFS also fixed the numbers so it is priced properly (read: expensive). Now it's just a hybrid SoCal grocery getter.


Great write up. Good to see your well formed thoughts on things like this, and the performance center, etc. I hope your electrical issues get sorted.
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Old 02-04-2013, 06:52 PM
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southern6er22 southern6er22 is offline
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I got that in my 650i one tank in Comfort, taking it easy with basically zero highway miles. Not typical, but acheivable.
I think I'd rather control myself with a 650i and get in the upper teens rather than drive the boring hybrid. I've driven a Prius for a longer period of time and gotten in the 38 mpg range with the same type of driving. Yes, it doesn't have anywhere near the power on tap that you get with the AH5, but I think that's part of the problem. THe AH5 easily slips into being a 535i if you put your foot down and that kills your mpg. The Prius, however, has a lot less power, and thus keeps you in check. In Power Mode on the Prius, you can get some notable acceleration. It isn't going to be impressive, but it isn't dangerous (i.e. you better have 5 seconds to cross two lanes of traffic), like Eco Pro mode or EV mode on the Prius. Honestly, the AH5 seems to be an economy poser. The zillion Active Hybrid 5 badges are the flared wheel arches and quad exhaust on this 5 Series. I guess you can fool people into thinking that you're driving BMW's version of a Prius, but those in the know will know that it's an overpriced 535i unless you drive very, very tamely. Even still, drive a 535i tamely, and I'm I can't imagine the difference between the AH5 and the 535i would be that great. Given what Bönz said, get the car you want to drive and manage your driving style to get the MPG you want.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrjoed2 View Post
Fantastic car for a loaner !
It was a fun toy for the weekend.

A few more thoughts comparing the AH5 to my 650i...

Go for the full Nappa on your car if you care at all about the interior appearance and feeling. The plastic dash and door drim, Dakota leather, hard, plasticky, and rigid steering wheel really illustrated the difference between a 6er and a 5er. Everyone knows I'm a Nappa lover, but the plasticky dash, IMO is unacceptable in this car given that it was $70k.

The steering wheel in this car was the standard wheel that was molded plastic modeled to look like Dakota leather. The look and feel compared to my ///M Sport wheel is night and day. The ///M wheel is thick and padded, wrapped in Nappa, and hand stitched - and it's heated. The one in the AH5 felt like a sturdy piece of plastic - not something you'd want to hold onto during tight cornering or even cruising down the interstate. It's a small thing, but it really bugged me every time I got in the car.

The NOISE! The AH5's inline 6 engine sounded like a supercharged Smoothie King blinder when the revs shot up. After taking my car back today, it reaffirmed that the V8 and M Sport exhaust was worth every penny. The savage growl, pop, and roar sounds soooo much better. The 650i M Sport is an exciting engine that sounds like it enjoys being poked with a stick whereas the I6 was more reminiscent of a blender that was about to burn out because of a hefty hunk of ice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petriej View Post
Market research shows that many (if not all ) hybrid buyers get their cars because they want a perception of being environmentally friendly. Hence the badges.
+1. It's for the posers on the other end of the spectrum

Quote:
Originally Posted by petriej View Post
Great write up. Good to see your well formed thoughts on things like this, and the performance center, etc. I hope your electrical issues get sorted.
Thanks!

As for my car, they basically said that they found 15 faults, but they couldn't find a specific cause. They cleared the faults and recharged the battery. Meaning, they couldn't find a problem, but we have you up and running for now. Let us know if the error message comes back.

I normally would not have accepted such a response, but I wasn't stranded with my car and didn't have any real problems aside from the message. They have taken really good care of me, so I figure I'll just see what happens for now. I really didn't want to be a d*ck about it given the benign nature of the problem so far. To be continued...
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http://southern6er22.blogspot.com/
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  #12  
Old 02-05-2013, 04:31 AM
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Bönz Bönz is online now
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I would never own a hybrid. I'm the anti-green like Bill Macy's character in the movie Serial. "It's big, it drinks gas, it scares the birds...f@%# 'em, I love it"

Southy, I hope it works out. I don't think the car will ever leave you stranded. It shuts off power flow if the battery drains past a point to always maintain enough power to start the car - that is if everything is work properly.
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