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      01-09-2013, 09:43 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zon View Post
Regarding fuel economy and the value proposition...

If you lease an AH3, the monthly cost is almost a wash compared to an equivalent 335i. This is because even a 3-4 mpg improvement saves about $30 a month (if you drive about 1K miles/month). Then, there's the $3500 ECO credit which is still available. Before the ECO credit, the AH3 had higher residuals. Without the ECO credit or higher residuals, it's a harder sell.

Considering the monthly cost is about the same for a lease (or only marginally higher), it's a personal choice.

The positives are:
- Eboost: The extra thrust you get from the electric motor. I haven't fully started indulging in this yet, but I can feel it even in part throttle. Would be nice to see an instrumented test from some magazine on this. For now, it's pure seat-of-the-pants.
- The hybrid aspects are very entertaining. The novelty will probably wear off after a while, but rolling just on battery power feels really nice, even if it's just through a drive-thru.
- ASS is seamless because of the hybrid differences.
- The new Nav/Idrive is available now

The negatives are:
- Extra weight. I think you'd have to be driving at 9/10ths to really feel any difference. For me, it's not a factor, but some might be more sensitive to this.
- Engine mods like PPK has an uncertain future. Don't know if it'll be available for the AH3.

I'm focusing on leasing here. Buying the AH3 would require more thought, as I would be more concerned about re-sale, long-term reliability, etc.

This and other aspects have been discussed by SamS, jdong, MotoEV and others in other AH3 threads.
Nice summary, and I agree with all your points.

Buying was a better option for me. I had a sizable trade-in, so I only needed to finance <half of the selling price. I'm looking to pay it off in 2-3 years (well before the warranty is up) and likely move into something else. Maybe an M3 sedan? Or M4 Gran Coupe? Or maybe BMW will even make a Gran Coupe ActiveHybrid? I just wanted some additional flexibility in the next 2-4 years, so buying was the best option for me.
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      01-10-2013, 05:13 AM   #46
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Can you update us on how the acceleration compares to your old e92 335i?
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      01-10-2013, 07:07 AM   #47
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Nice review. Your AH3 sounds great! I also have an N54 and N55 powered vehicle (2012 335is and 2013 x3xdrive35i, respectively). The N54 certainly is not as smooth as the N55. That said, the N55 does lack some of the "brutality" of the N54 - now I know my N54 is tuned by BMW in the 335is, but I have also tuned my N55. The N55 just doesn't quite excite as much as the N54. Yet, 4 out of 5 work days, I drive my X3 primarily due to the smoothness of the N55.

Regarding the ride - maybe your semi-poor ride is an AH3, thing, but I know both my 335is and X3 had poor rides compared to their rivals (Mercs/Audis), which I fixed via non-run flat tires. If you don't feel the need for run flats, I'd definitely recommend getting some aftermarket rubbers (I run Michelin PSS). They'll make quite the noticeable difference in handling as they grip more and will improve the ride without the reinforced sidewall. I understand BMWs reasoning behind using run flats (safety, etc) but I simply don't agree. It supposed to be the Ultimate Driving Machine!
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      01-10-2013, 08:37 AM   #48
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Great combination, EBII and black interior plus your review makes a compelling case for buying an AH. If possible can you post photos of the leatherette interior?
Thanks!!
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      01-10-2013, 10:23 AM   #49
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I like this car. Debated ordering one. Thanks for the review.
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      01-10-2013, 12:24 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kgroschi View Post
This thing looks perfect!
Agreed! Love the lip!
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      01-10-2013, 12:32 PM   #51
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so for AH3's, when I was buying, the CA told me that the M Performance/Dinan parts wouldn't carry over...that was a tough sell for me.

But I am buying, since I drive about 20k a year...

AH3's come in xDrive form too?
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      01-10-2013, 12:54 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
so for AH3's, when I was buying, the CA told me that the M Performance/Dinan parts wouldn't carry over...that was a tough sell for me.
There are no engine tunes for the AH3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shivaswrath View Post
AH3's come in xDrive form too?
No.
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      01-10-2013, 02:07 PM   #53
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i make sure to reset the mpg every time i fill the gas to get more accurate average..

i've seen 35+mpg on highway and 31.8 combined mpg...450+miles for one full tank. And i am seeing 32+ mpg (combined) on current tank..

and the power is simply incredible. my break-in period is finally over and did full throttle last night for the first time....and couldn't stop doing it. That extra torques really make the difference..
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      01-10-2013, 02:38 PM   #54
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I'll be using www.fuelly.com to track my mileage when I pick up my car next week. It appears I'm the only AH3 owner tracking at this time. I've never done it before, but figured it might be fun.

I encourage all other AH3 owners to sign up. You input the gas information at the pump on your smart phone. It's basically like an app, but you use the mobile browser + sign in, to input your data. I use an iPhone, but I'm sure it's the same for Android.
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      01-10-2013, 03:05 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iM View Post
i make sure to reset the mpg every time i fill the gas to get more accurate average..

i've seen 35+mpg on highway and 31.8 combined mpg...450+miles for one full tank. And i am seeing 32+ mpg (combined) on current tank..

and the power is simply incredible. my break-in period is finally over and did full throttle last night for the first time....and couldn't stop doing it. That extra torques really make the difference..
That is good to hear, iM! I can't wait to try out the acceleration as well. I should be out of break-in in about 10 days. I'll post some '09 335i vs '13 AH3 acceleration comments. I've already turned in the 335i - so it won't be very scientific.

Wish some magazines would do some instrumented tests or comparos. Our F30s are limited by wheelspin on 0-60 runs. That's why we see the xi posting the best numbers. I'm curious how much the battery weight over the rear wheels on AH3 will help to get a better launch. And then, there's that instant torque from the electric motor helping throughout the range.

There are 2 youtube videos that give some inkling of how fast these cars are. One shows an AH3 keeping up with a M135i on a German autobhan. The other shows the speedo while someone is doing a 0-150+ km/h run.

I'll post some interior pics this weekend.
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      01-10-2013, 03:20 PM   #56
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We have to go international to get full reviews on the Active Hybrid 3. I have several and am looking for reviews with instrumented tests.

Video Review

Malaysian Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by zon View Post
Wish some magazines would do some instrumented tests or comparos. Our F30s are limited by wheelspin on 0-60 runs. That's why we see the xi posting the best numbers.

Last edited by MotoEV; 01-10-2013 at 04:18 PM.
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      01-11-2013, 01:31 AM   #57
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TD dominates

Quote:
Originally Posted by MotoEV
Our numbers are growing....

Congrats zon!! Welcome to the AH3 Club... A very rare yet unique F30 group

Thanks for the picture and please share more interior pictures when you can.

Appreciate your 1st impressions. Took my car on a week long 2000 mile trip and have a few comments to share and some responses to your initial concerns.

Hybrid Aspects

Highway Driving
During my holiday we drove through the WV mountains with long periods on inclines and descents. The size of the LION pack is designed to have the useable portion deplete often and replenish quickly from available brake regeneration to aid in increasing fuel economy. At 70+ speeds my economy averaged 33 MPG with long passages when the car was in coast/sail mode and/or electric drive.

Traffic Driving
There were times where traffic slowed to 30-35 MPH when the snow was falling heavily and during those passages in ECO Pro mode the battery moved the car forward exclusively while provided A/C for the windshield defrost. As others have mentioned, in stopped traffic/crawling it felt good to not use a single drop of gas during those moments.

Road and Wind Noise

Road
I was torn between the Luxury and Sport packages because I wanted the DHP. However, for this car I wanted a 'baby 5 series feel' and went with the Luxury line. The AH3 Luxury line comes with the Pirelli Cinturato P7 AS tires specifically designed for low rolling resistance and low noise. During my road trip passengers commented on how quiet the car was and the smoothness of the ride.

The tires help in reducing road noise in the cabin but I miss the grip and handling you get with a larger tire . I'm shopping for a second summer performance wheel and tire set with Dunlops. Like the look here but not sure of the size. Based on your comments, I may go with the Bridgestone Potenza 001s.

Wind
Take some audio samples and bring this to the attention of your dealer. I have seen site threads of a fix. I have experienced zero wind issues in 3000 miles and my road trip served as a 'shake down' for anything requiring dealer service.

HK Audio System
I had an E92 service loaner several years ago with the HK system and made sure I had it on my new F30. The HK system is very very powerful (in a smooth way) and Logic 7 provides a theatre-like quality where it never sounds strained or unbalanced. The subwoofers provide substantial bass and I did not realize they are in the floorboards underneath the driver and passenger seats (very smart). I think it provides great value-for-money compared to similar systems.

Concerns
I have the full Technology Package with BMW Apps yet there is no release date for the iPhone 5 Smart Adapter. BMW should work harder to get these released sooner or provide them at no charge. Also, BMW Apps and BMW Remote are feeling like more of a 'project' than a full implementation. If Hyundai with their Blue Link offering is ready-for-primetime. BMW should at least match it!

Programmability
In 2013, I do not think it should be difficult to have your car configured the way you wish at delivery:
  • Auto Fold Mirrors at Start/Shutdown
  • Eco Pro Default at Start

The dealer/service department did not appear able/willing to make these changes (concerns about stability?)

All in all I am very pleased with the vehicle and the tricky balance of performance and luxury. As an aside, for New Years, I spent several days in the UK and got some seat time in a pre-release 2013 Range Rover Autobiography 3.0 TDV6. Very impressive for what it does!


SamS: Thanks for your threads on the AH3, it helped me quite a bit on my purchasing decision. Hope you can hold on a little bit longer and the information shared confirm your great ordering decision.

2013 Active Hybrid 3, Luxury Line, Mineral Grey / Veneto Beige (Premium, Technology, Driver Assistance, HK Surround, Heated Seats)
I'm glad that you all are enjoying your hybrids but I cannot understand why, when what still is a better technology is available (new-used) and per reports will soon again be available: clean turbo-diesel. I've had my 2011 335d for almost half a year and I have yet to get below 28 mpg in city driving (even when I'm in L.A.), and I don't have to baby the car to get that kind of mileage. This car will give a 335i driver the sweats in certain driving situations, particularly when you stay on top of the 425-lb-ft torque curve, and I am not shy about engaging in such antics.

On the freeway I get 34-35 mpg while averaging 80-90 mph on long drives that include low mountain passes. And the car accelerates like it's ticked off even at those speeds.

Hybrids for sure are all the rage in US dealerships for green-oriented drivers, but they aren't (yet) the best technology, IMHO. My 335d (sport, premium and winter packages) allows me to shrink my carbon footprint to smaller than that of a 3-series hybrid driver's while at the same time inducing giggles when I tap into its awesome torque.
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      01-11-2013, 11:20 AM   #58
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I am lucky to own a clean turbo-diesel car as well an Active Hybrid 3. Clean turbo-diesel engines are great but are not the 'better' technology. Each technology performs better under different scenarios. There is a broad consensus by non AH3 owners that the AH3 was created to be much more fuel efficient than the 335i which is incorrect.

The AH3 is a premium low volume BMW which uses a LION battery to use regenerative energy to improve economy in congested / urban traffic, augment power during high demand acceleration, and produce less CO2 while still being a 335i. It was not designed to save money thus the price premium. It is not the best technology in all conditions as well. You will soon see the learnings from the AH3 introduced in the BMW i cars and other BMW smaller cars.

Observations
I've had my 2011 335d for almost half a year and I have yet to get below 28 mpg in city driving That's incredible, your mpg is better than many lighter 4 cylinder clean diesels in the US market

On the freeway I get 34-35 mpg while averaging 80-90 mph on long drives that include low mountain passes Excellent, at those speeds my diesel MPG drops, I find the sweet spot between 60-65 MPH

My 335d (sport, premium and winter packages) allows me to shrink my carbon footprint to smaller than that of a 3-series hybrid driver's BMW AH3 CO2 emissions 139 g/km. BMW 335d CO2 emissions 177 g/km

I considered the 335d when introduced but chose not to take one home (great midrange acceleration but poorer off-line acceleration and top-end performance) because fuel savings was not at the top of my list.

With 30K mikes of clean diesel experience (without the need for the urea SCR treatment) I can say that the upcoming clean diesel 4 cylinder BMW with urea SCR will be a great car for those seeking better fuel economy.

The 335d is a great car and hope you continue to enjoy the journey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eichler1 View Post
I'm glad that you all are enjoying your hybrids but I cannot understand why, when what still is a better technology is available (new-used) and per reports will soon again be available: clean turbo-diesel.

Last edited by MotoEV; 01-11-2013 at 11:28 AM.
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      01-11-2013, 01:22 PM   #59
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100% agreed with MotoEV. The AH3 is supposed to be the range-topping 3-series that has every bit (if not more) of the performance and refinement characteristics of the 335i, and on top of that adds a liquid smooth start-stop system, electric/hybrid driving, and 15% (or more if you drive well) improved gas mileage.

The 335d is a great car and I have nothing against it, but hybrids and diesels serve orthogonal markets. Hybrids tend to excel at city driving patterns while diesels are superior on the highway.

Also, the refinement of the AH3 at low speeds (virtually silent operation, fast torque response) is in sharp contrast to the 335d's somewhat loud diesel idling and slow torque response. Depending on where you live, diesel availability and price can be an issue. In California it's fine, but in other parts of the country diesel tends to be 20-30% costlier and stations are tens of miles apart.

Another point to keep in mind is that the 2011 335d is LEV-II while the 328i is ULEV II or SULEV (N20 vs N26) and the AH3 is ULEV-II (same emissions characteristics but missing the metal fuel delivery system required to meet SULEV standards). Around here in California where air quality is getting increasingly worse, smog emissions are something that I care about in a car I buy.


BMW is set to introduce some new clean diesel options in the US, and I'm really excited to see that. I hope they can reach SULEV or PZEV emissions. Having both diesel and hybrid options would be great. I can see a small diesel becoming a higher-volume seller. IMO the ActiveHybrid will likely remain a exclusive, low-sales-volume high-end option that doesn't appeal to the general public due to the lack of cost justification. But BMW seems to know that and they're (thankfully) fine with continuing to make the car
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      01-11-2013, 10:35 PM   #60
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got one for a loaner today while my 335is was in the shop for an oil change...thought it would be a great car for a family car. I drove around all day, got 30mpg solid...fun on on ramps. Interesting driving around parking lots like an electric golf cart. OP is right about having to feather the throttle to keep the engine from coming alive. Interesting that in sport mode the engine won't shut down, but in drive, it will shut down on you throughout the day and it's nearly impossible to notice.

loved it. Would I trade in? no. Would I buy new when I have a family? yes.
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      01-11-2013, 10:59 PM   #61
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Yep, to clarify:

With the transmission over in DS, the engine will never turn off.

With the Drive Experience switch in SPORT, the car will still turn the engine off at standstill. As soon as you hit the throttle the engine immediately comes on. You can override this by putting the transmission in DS.
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      01-11-2013, 11:39 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdong View Post
Yep, to clarify:

With the transmission over in DS, the engine will never turn off.

With the Drive Experience switch in SPORT, the car will still turn the engine off at standstill. As soon as you hit the throttle the engine immediately comes on. You can override this by putting the transmission in DS.
same for Non AH3's too...if I ever want to not have ASS at a light, I just knock it over to DS in Eco Pro.
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      01-12-2013, 01:03 AM   #63
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Some interesting bedtime reading if you haven't seen this already.

http://www.aachen-colloquium.com/pdf...riebel_bmw.pdf

Details of the activehybrid 5 powertrain (same as AH3). Gives some insight into why the transitions are so seamless.
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      01-12-2013, 01:10 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zon
Some interesting bedtime reading if you haven't seen this already.

http://www.aachen-colloquium.com/pdf...riebel_bmw.pdf

Details of the activehybrid 5 powertrain (same as AH3). Gives some insight into why the transitions are so seamless.
Yeah, that's a great paper about the design decisions that they made, and helps answer a lot of the common questions (like why isn't the hybrid assisting much on the highway). A lot of the terminology (reflex starting , for example) are not industry standard terms and take a bit of research to figure out.

In a past life I worked as a technical consultant designing hybrid powertrains, and I found this paper quite informative.
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      01-13-2013, 01:41 AM   #65
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Was seeing 33mpg today in Comfort on an 80 mile mostly highway trip through the mountains (average speed 45mph). That is the highest fuel economy I've ever completed this trip in.
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      01-16-2013, 01:18 PM   #66
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80% city / 20% highway
eco pro mode
did 37.5 ave mpg

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