BMW has announced that the starting price for its 335-hp ActiveHybrid 5 will be a cool $61,845, or about $8500 more than the 300-hp 535i on which it is based. That’s $100 more than the more powerful Infiniti M35h hybrid with the optional Premium and Deluxe Touring packages (base price for the M35h is just $54,595). Lexus has not released the base price of the 2013 GS450h, but don’t expect it to rise much from the 2011 model’s $59,825 starting point. The chart below compares all of the known figures for these cars and their conventional counterparts.
BMWs have never been inexpensive, of course, and you can bet that the ActiveHybrid 5 will be offered with many of the same pricey options offered on other 5-series sedans; option pricing and availability has not yet been released, but don’t be surprised if you see ActiveHybrid 5s wearing sticker prices above $70K.
If it’s any consolation, the Bimmer can be driven at speeds up to 37 mph—or creep along for 2.5 miles at an average speed of 22 mph—purely on electricity, perfect for laps around the mall parking lot. Until BMW announces fuel-economy figures for the ActiveHybrid 5, we won’t know how long it will take to recoup the hybrid’s premium. Indeed, if saving money is the primary reason to consider it versus other 5s, the somewhat less thrilling 528i, with its 240-hp turbo four, might be a better choice. It’s roughly $14K cheaper than the ActiveHybrid, and has earned EPA ratings of 23 mpg city and 34 highway.