Originally Posted by SamS
"Added cost" is a bit exaggerated here. First, there is a $3500 Eco-credit...
You really can' reference credits or rebates when you're trying to do an apples-to-apples comparison. Credits and rebates are only available when a manufacturer is having trouble moving product. I have a feeling a great number of people are in the same boat as the OP with regard to the justifications for the AH3 over a 335i, otherwise there would be no credit.
I think BMW hasn't done enough to show the benefits of the AH3 that might justify the premium. The whole AH line is rather new, so I'm sure they're still finding their way.
It's very difficult (if not impossible) to do a reliable comparison of the two cars on paper. The EPA ratings are based on a standard drive cycle which isn't designed to reap the benefits of the hybrid tech. I'll bet real world numbers will be much higher in an urban application (or areas with crippling congestion). Of course the ASS will probably provide similar benefits. Again, the standard EPA cycle wouldn't really show its benefits either.