How much is a 10 percent increase in fuel economy worth to you? BMW has finally put a price tag on the 2013 ActiveHybrid 3, and that bump will cost you about $6500.
We’ve been waiting to see how much the ActiveHybrid 3 would cost since BMW first unveiled it at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, and we now have an answer. The most basic hybrid-electric 3 Series will cost you $50,195, including destination. Like every other 3 Series model, the ActiveHybrid 3 is available with any of the four BMW trim lines: the luxury and modern lines add $1400, the sport line costs $1700, and the M Sport line runs an extra $3200. Each line adds exclusive options like special wheel designs, changes to the lower front fascia, and special colors for the interior upholstery and trim.
At $51,095 for a basic ActiveHybrid 3, the hybrid version costs a full $6500 more than the 335i sedan, which commands a $43,695 premium. While BMW hasn’t released any final EPA fuel economy numbers, it estimates that the ActiveHybrid 3 will consume about 10 percent less fuel than the equivalent 335i, like the ActiveHybrid 5 does comparative to the 535i.
If this is starting to sound like a raw deal, as if you’re paying a hefty price for technology that won’t necessarily return the investment for quite some time, there is a silver lining. The ActiveHybrid 3 is the most powerful non-M 3 Series sedan. It’s powered by the same 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six-cylinder engine as the 335i, but that gasoline engine is coupled to an electric motor that increases the car’s total power output to 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque, eclipsing the 335is coupe’s 320 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. That power is sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission to the rear wheels.
The ActiveHybrid 3 has many of the same gas-saving features as the 3 Series (including automatic stop/start, Eco Pro mode with throttle and climate control tuning, and low rolling resistance tires) but adds a few touches of its own. The 3 Series can shut off its engine and cruise on electric power at up to 100 mph (in Eco Pro mode, 50 mph in Comfort mode), and powers its HVAC and interior electric systems from the car’s lithium-ion battery pack to keep all cabin features fully operational when the combustion engine is off. Buyers who order the $3100 also get a navigation system that communicates with the hybrid system, instructing it to use battery power when climbing hills and regenerate on the way back down. The car can also coast at up to 45 mph for a total of 2.5 miles at a time.
The ActiveHybrid 3 will (silently) glide onto showroom floors across North America later this fall.