The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 isn’t an economy car. That much becomes obvious the moment you realise that its primary powerplant is the same turbocharged 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine that drives the 535i.
And electrically assisted or not, a 300bhp petrol engine is never going to propel a 5 Series more efficiently than the four-cylinder motor you’ll find in a 520i, never mind the frugal diesel engine in BMW’s excellent 520d EfficientDynamics.
The costs of the lithium ion battery, 55bhp electric motor and high-voltage electronics that have been added to this car are simply too high to bring the ActiveHybrid 5 to market at anything less than the near-£47,000 that BMW is asking here.
A large – and thirsty – petrol engine is therefore deemed necessary to justify the car’s price and positioning.
So the ActiveHybrid 5 has to deliver more than an impressive economy figure. With that in mind, its petrol and electric motors work together to provide the car with a peak 335bhp from 5800-6400rpm and 332lb ft from 1000-5000rpm – enough, without question, to consider this car a lower-rung performance saloon.