2013 BMW 3-Series Hybrid

2013 BMW 3-Series Hybrid Review

While test drivers were impressed with the strong acceleration of the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3, its fuel economy falls short of other hybrids’ estimates.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong acceleration
  • Poor fuel economy for a hybrid

Research & Ratings

Currently, the BMW 3-Series Hybrid's overall score is not available, though its Critics' Rating, Performance score, and Interior score are based on our evaluation of 22 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.1
Performance: 7.8
This model has never been fully tested for interior. Its overall score is being calculated without interior.
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 BMW 3-Series Hybrid Overview

The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 comes with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, an electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Automotive journalists were very impressed with the strong acceleration provided by 3-Series Hybrid’s powertrain. They said the engine switches between gas and electric power seamlessly. BMW says the ActiveHybrid 3 can operate solely on electricity at up to 45 mph. The 2013 ActiveHybrid 3’s EPA rating of 25/33 mpg city/highway is far below the ratings of other hybrids in the class. Some test drivers noted that the ActiveHybrid 3’s regenerative brakes don’t engage very smoothly. A few critics also said that the extra weight from the battery pack makes the car less nimble than the non-hybrid 3-Series and causes it to ride roughly over large bumps. However, others wrote that the 3-Series Hybrid can be fun to drive on a twisty road.

The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3’s interior is nearly identical to the interior of the non-hybrid 3-Series, and critics lauded the quality of the 3-Series’ interior materials, as well as its spacious front and rear seats. Reviewers were pleased that the ActiveHybrid 3 has split-folding rear seats to expand cargo room, which isn't always the case with hybrid sedans. Standard features in the 2013 ActiveHybrid 3 include a moonroof, Bluetooth, a USB/iPod interface and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. Available features include leather upholstery, heated front and rear seats, a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, navigation, a head-up display and satellite radio. Reviewers noted that the 3-Series Hybrid provides the driver information about observed driving habits that could be modified to improve fuel economy. Others observed that models fitted with navigation can analyze elevation changes along the route and conserve battery power for uphill sections.

See 2013 BMW 3-Series Hybrid specs »

Other Cars to Consider

The 2013 Lexus ES Hybrid has one of the highest fuel economy ratings of any 2013 luxury hybrid. Reviewers particularly liked its spacious back seat, excellent interior build quality and comfortable ride.

The base 2013 Audi A4 isn’t a hybrid, but it gets better fuel economy than most other cars in the class. Critics were pleased with the A4’s composed handling and beautiful interior design.

Compare the ActiveHybrid 3, ES 300h and A4 »


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