Bad Math

Bad Math

We would have gotten our 4th BMW 5 series, but opted for the Tesla instead.

In looking at the BMW 5s, they have a Hybrid now.

My math is usually not that good, but they claim 30 mpg with the Hybrid.

The standard 5 gets 34 mpg. (I know - it's 4 cylinder this year.)

But the 6 cylinder BMW 535 gets 30 mpg.

The Hybrid qualifies for $4500 Eco credit
The Hybrid runs over $10,000 more than the standard.

Am I missing something here?

Velo1 | January 31, 2013

Not sure what you're trying to figure out, but I have a hybrid Escalade, and it gets better mpg driving around town than on the highway. This makes sense, as the constant stop and go traffic engages the battery power, whereas highway driving does less so. However, with a V8 it does have a fuel management system that cuts back to 4 cylinders at steady highway speeds. Still the around town drives is about 4 mpg better than highway driving from my experience.

hsadler | January 31, 2013

@Velo1 'Not sure what you're trying to figure out'

Why the Hybrid (which has a 6 cyl) is no better at mpg's than the standard BMW 5 with a 6 cyl, and yet qualifies for an Eco credit?

These are the numbers being touted at BMW's website to try to convince you to consider their Hybrid technology.

And the cost difference is between $10 and $14k more for the Hybrid.

Apparently there are companies that jump on the Hybrid bandwagon without even listening to their own hype.

And then there are companies, like Tesla, that actually do attempt to make a difference.

chadrchristensen79 | January 31, 2013

I have been very disappointed in BMWs hybrids.
It doesn't seem as though they have made any progress
At all since the X6 hybrid. I too was interested in the 5 series
Hybrid but after driving model s, not anymore.
I have driven BMWs my whole life , and currently
drive a 550GT , I think it may be my last.

hfcolvin | January 31, 2013

Make hybrid to attract greens to our website/dealership and meet government (California) standards - check
Plop hybrid into existing car design so as not to have to put too much effort into it - check
Price it so that we don't have to make that many - check
Hope for a limited run and that this whole "alternative fuel thing" will blow over

Carefree | January 31, 2013

German car makers have been behind the eight ball when it comes to hybrids and electric cars for quite some time. For all the hyped up engineering power that Germany is supposed to display they have nothing to show for. The smartest move they could make is try to acquire Tesla but I am not even sure they are smart enough for that - they just don't get it.

By the time they realize what hit them it might be too late.

I am German btw:-)

Velo1 | January 31, 2013

Got it. I can only surmise BMW is trying to appeal to those wanting a hybrid for reasons other than mpg. Agree, the math doesn't make sense. I know the hybrid has to be significantly heavier than its comparable ICE, which appears to negate the benefit of the car. One more cup of coffee and I'll be fully wake today :)

peahl | January 31, 2013

I am frustrated about that too. I have driven all my life BMW and Mercedes but in the last five years I have bothered them that they need to bring me an electric car, all they came up was with that lease for the Smart ED (not really a German car because build in France) and BMW ActiveE that I drive. The planned i3 has still just 100 miles range and need a gasoline extender to get farther.
BTW the ActiveE is a truly 100%BMW and 100% Electric car and really a great car but just 100 miles range makes no sense, you need to stop for two hours to recharge on the way from San Diego to LA. On the other hand in Germany with that weather solar makes no sense and electrical energy is twice as expensive as here. They really are sooo behind.

Carefree | January 31, 2013


Germany has one of the highest density solar installations in the world. For quite some time government sponsored private PV installations and most of the homes in Germany have solar systems installed. They and wind turbines play a major role in Germany's decision to get out of nuclear power all together. I now live in AZ and I keep saying that it should be mandatory for every new home built to install solar panels to cover their own electricity needs. It would be so easy:-)

Brian H | January 31, 2013

Germany indeed is stuffed with wind and solar. To their enduring regret; they'll be paying thru the nose for decades, with companies fleeing like fleas off a drowned dog.

jat | January 31, 2013

It wouldn't be the first time that companies sold hybrids that didn't make much sense -- many of the early Ford/GM mild hybrids or even the first Accord Hybrid fit that category.

David70 | January 31, 2013

It's not uncommon for some hybrid cars to get poorer mileage than regular ICEs in the same product line. They sometimes use the hybrid to increase power, rather than improve fuel economy.

David70 | January 31, 2013

P.S. However they shouldn't be getting clean air credits or whatever for it. IMHO.

GoTeslaChicago | February 1, 2013

"Germany indeed is stuffed with wind and solar. To their enduring regret; they'll be paying thru the nose for decades, with companies fleeing like fleas off a drowned dog."

Brian, your opinion (rant?) is not backed up by the facts. Germany has probably the strongest economy in Europe. It is a manufacturing and exporting powerhouse.

GoTeslaChicago | February 1, 2013

Regarding Mercedes being so far behind the curve with EV's, perhaps this is the answer:

Coming Soon: The Tesla-Based Mercedes

Brian H | February 2, 2013

That's its history and "cushion", rapidly eroding.