Going like a rocket
A 3-series BMW hybrid is both green and powerful, writes Peter Barnwell
WE turn the spotlight on the car world’s newest and brightest stars as we ask the questions to which you want the answers.
What is it?
This is the 3-Series BMW hybrid for want of a better term. This car is a high-performance sedan offering super fuel economy. It’s also crammed with luxury kit. Shop it against the 335i – you will be really surprised.
Goes for $97,700 but there are plenty of options to hike that as well as four option packs, Sportline, Modern, Luxury andMSport.
What are competitors?
Not many really. Benz has some BlueEfficiency models but none goes as far as the Bimmer ActiveHybrid. Same from Audi, though they do have some fuel-economy kings.
What’s under the bonnet?
There’s a 3.0-litre turbo straight six petrol engine mated to a 40kW electric boost engine located between the eight-speed auto transmission and the engine proper. Drive still goes to the rear wheels. A lithium ion battery absorbs regenerative electric energy harvested when braking or decelerating.
The combined output of electric and petrol engines is 250kW/450Nm.
How does it go?
Like a rocket. Puts away a 0-100km/h sprint in a tidy 5.3 seconds offering strong acceleration at all speeds merely by pushing the accelerator.
Handling is sharp too.
Is it economical?
Surprisingly so, rated at 5.9-litres/ 100km. It’s significantly better than the petrol-only 335i and we reckon you could do better.
Is it green?
Yes, minimises carbon production due to low fuel consumption.
Is it safe?
High fives. But many driver assistance features are optional.
Is it comfortable?
Yes, leather sports seats, heads up display, drive experience control with Eco-Pro, Comfort and Sport modes, electronic diff lock, electric power steering, rain and dusk sensors, cruise control with braking, premium audio and much more.
What’s it like to drive?
Super impressive. Offers performance on par with the 335i with the economy of the 320 four banger. Has excellent dynamics, powerful brakes, great engine sound.
Is it value for money?
At just under 100k, good value against possible competitors. A technology showpiece.
Would we buy one?
In a flash.