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      01-11-2013, 01:22 PM   #59

Drives: 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: NorCal

iTrader: (0)

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