Best Hybrids for the Money 2013

Hybrid marker

Gas prices remain volatile, but even so, no one expects prices below $3 per gallon ever again, and many parts of the country consistently see prices near or above $4. As much as ever, shoppers need to know how effectively hybrids deliver efficiency for your dollar — if they do at all.

To determine if a hybrid's added expense is worth the cash, we devised an efficiency-cost rating to reflect efficiency bang for your overall buck.

It's simply the combined city/highway mpg divided by the base price (MSRP plus destination charge). We then multiply that number by 1,000. This formula can be applied to any type of vehicle, hybrid or not. A high mpg rating and low price provide a high efficiency-cost rating. A higher score is the better score.

We don't account for equipment levels, quality judgments, cost of ownership or any variances from EPA mileage estimates. The goal here is to pay the least for the most mileage, barring all other considerations.

By Joe Wiesenfelder | April 16, 2013 | Comments (22)

2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 Priced at $50,195

2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3

When the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 goes on sale later this fall it will start at $50,195, including an $895 destination fee. That's a significant price premium ($6,900) over a 2012 BMW 335i, which shares the same inline-six-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission as the hybrid (the two also share virtually the same trim features). The 335i gets an EPA-estimated 23/33 mpg city/highway; BMW hasn't released official fuel- economy numbers for the ActiveHybrid 3, but it says the model has gotten around a combined 37 mpg in European fuel-efficiency testing, adjusted to U.S. measurements.

By Colin Bird | July 9, 2012 | Comments (0)

2013 BMW 7 Series: First Look

2013 BMW 7 Series

  • Competes with: Audi A8, Mercedes S-Class, Jaguar XJ, Bentley Continental
  • Looks like: BMW’s flagship gets a host of needed technology updates 
  • Drivetrain: 315-hp, turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder (740i/Li); 445-hp, twin-turbo 4.4-liter V-8 (750i/Li); 535-hp, 6.0-liter V-12 (760Li); 335-hp hybrid system with a 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder (ActiveHybrid 7); eight-speed automatic transmission 
  • Hits dealerships: Late summer 2012

As BMW has been busy updating its more affordable models — the 3 Series, X3 and 5 Series — the 7 Series has been left to languish with older powertrains and tech features. No more, however, as the 2013 7 Series gets a host of important updates, including a new standard eight-speed automatic transmission, a new hybrid powertrain and exterior updates, among other changes.

All models now come with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, which was previously only available for the V-12 and hybrid models. Auto start/stop and brake regeneration are also standard on the 740i/Li and 750i/Li, and a self-leveling rear air suspension is now standard on all models. A new Eco Pro button can decouple the engine when the vehicle is coasting from 30 to 100 mph, increasing fuel efficiency by 20%, according to BMW.

By Colin Bird | May 25, 2012 | Comments (6)

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