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2013 BMW 5-Series Hybrid Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 BMW 5-Series Hybrid was new.


Interior: 8.0

Test drivers say that the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 has an interior that’s comfortable and attractive. One reviewer notes that the dash features a clean, functional design, while another writes that premium materials give the interior an upscale ambience.

  • "Both drivers and passengers will be quite pleased with the 5 Series' cabin. There's nothing particularly fancy going on, but the overall look of the dash is clean thanks to the standard iDrive interface that eliminates the need for a gaggle of buttons." -- Edmunds 
  • "And the choice of interior materials reflects a new maturity on the part of BMW management; considering this is where consumers spend most of their time, the new upgrades are fully appropriate to that." -- Kelley Blue Book


The ActiveHybrid 5 offers the same seats as the non-hybrid 5-Series, which reviewers generally consider to be comfortable and supportive. Leather upholstery and 10-way power-adjustable front seats are standard, while options include a heated steering wheel, heated front seats, heated rear seats, ventilated front seats and 18-way power-adjustable multicontour front seats.

  • "The front seats are quite comfortable, with the optional ‘multicontour’ seats in particular providing an unmatched degree of adjustability." -- Edmunds 
  • "Inside, there are the same comfortable leather seats, quad-zone air conditioning, and BMW iDrive infotainment system you'd find in any 5-Series." -- Green Car Reports

Interior Features

The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 comes with a sunroof, push-button start, quad-zone automatic climate control, navigation and BMW’s iDrive system, which includes a 10-speaker stereo with HD Radio and Bluetooth. Optional features include a power trunk lid, parking sensors, a backup camera, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, night vision with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring.

While one reviewer comments that Mercedes’ COMAND infotainment system is easier to use than iDrive, another critic likes some of the ActiveHybrid 5’s technological advances. The standard navigation can use topographical data along your planned route (if available) to maximize fuel efficiency. For example, if you’re driving through hilly terrain, the 5-Series Hybrid will deplete its batteries on the way up and recapture energy through its regenerative brakes on they way down.

See 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 specs »

  • "The layout features a center display screen and a configurable display in the gauge cluster. The iDrive controller provides a large amount of customization of the car's features, though we think Mercedes' COMAND system is still a little easier to use overall." -- Edmunds 
  • "Already a strong suit, BMW paid special attention to ergonomics in the latest 5 Series, with all displays, knobs and buttons located in the central portion of the cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book 
  • "That said, the navigation system's software may be even more remarkable. Where it's available, topographical information is continuously assessed to maximize the hybrid's performance and efficiency envelope." -- Motor Trend (2012)


Since the batteries are mounted in its trunk, reviewers say that like most hybrids, the ActiveHybrid 5 has less cargo space than the non-hybrid model. The 5-Series Hybrid also lacks rear seats that can fold to increase cargo capacity. However, one reviewer notes that the trunk is still large enough to be useful.

  • "All this is not to say that the hybrid is totally free of drawbacks. The most notable is reduced trunk space. The battery pack is located behind the back seat and as a result, cargo volume drops by roughly one third." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
  • "The motor is integrated into the transmission, while the lithium-ion battery pack is housed in the trunk, just behind the rear seats. It pinches a not inconsiderable 5.1 cubic feet of space, which leaves 13.2 cubic feet." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "The battery resides within the trunk, between the wheel wells, where it consumes 28 percent of the cargo space, though what's left is still a credible cargo hold." -- Motor Trend (2012)
  • "The battery sits between the rear wheel arches where it's well-protected but also unfortunately precludes the option of a split-fold rear seat." -- Road and Track (2012)

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