The Best BMW Hybrids

Opt for the hybrid trim on BMW’s 3, 5, and 7 series models (or one of their three all-electric cars) if you want to save gas money.
Written by Jasmine Kanter
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
BMW offers plug-in hybrids for their popular 3, 5, and 7-series lineups, including the
, 745e, and X5 xDrive45e.
But oing green doesn’t mean giving up the finer things in life—BMW has been experimenting with electric cars since 1972 and their hybrid vehicles are every bit as luxurious as their gas-powered models.
Whether you’re interested in improving your fuel consumption or turning your back on gasoline altogether, we've put together this guide to BMW’s hybrid and electric lineup, including prices, cost projections, and top picks.
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2022 BMW hybrid models guide

BMW presented its first hybrid model—ActiveHybrid 7—in 2010. It marked the culmination of over four decades of research, beginning with the 1602e concept car in 1972.
But following lackluster sales, BMW scaled back its electric offerings to an optional plug-in hybrid trim level on the 3, 5, and 7 series. Under BMW’s naming system, a lowercase e at the end of a model name means electrified, while a capital X in front of the series number means SUV.
Here are the key specs for BMW's current hybrid lineup:
Vehicle type
Starting price
EPA Fuel Economy rating
EPA Fuel Economy Equivalent rating (for hybrid and electric vehicles)
BMW 330e
PHEV Sedan
28 combined MPG
75 combined MPGe
BMW 530e
PHEV Sedan
26 combined MPG
64 combined MPGe
BMW 745e xDrive
PHEV Sedan
22 combined MPG
56 combined MPGe
BMW X5 xDrive45e
20 combined MPG
50 combined MPGe
BMW’s all-electric lineup begins with a lowercase i and comes in two options, with a third arriving in 2023.
Vehicle type
Starting price
EPA Fuel Economy Equivalent rating (for hybrid and electric vehicles)
BMW iX xDrive50
Electric SUV
86 combined/86 city/87 highway MPGe
BMW i4 eDrive40
Electric Sedan
109 combined/109 city/108 highway MPGe
BMW i7 xDrive60
Electric Sedan
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Hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric car: what’s the difference?

It’s not much of a buyer’s guide if you don’t know what you’re buying: what’s the difference between a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid, and an electric car, anyway? And how much fuel can they really save you?
A hybrid features a gasoline engine and an electric motor. Mild hybrids use their motors to accelerate and cruise, while full hybrids use both power sources in combination at all times. You can expect a boost in fuel efficiency of up to 15% and 30%, respectively. Regenerative braking charges the battery whenever you apply the brakes by converting the friction to electricity and storing it.
As the name suggests, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) tap into an external power source to recharge. They can do everything a regular hybrid can do, as well as power (short) all-electric drives thanks to their large battery packs. If you drive a limited distance at low speed, your fuel savings could be up to 100%! Just make sure to factor in the cost of charging your plug-in overnight.
Electric vehicles (EVs) sacrifice a gas engine entirely in exchange for more battery space. They usually have a smaller range than gasoline-powered vehicles. But auto manufacturers are constantly working to shrink batteries and increase the travel distance of electric vehicles. With an EV, you’ll save on gas altogether while increasing your electricity bill.

The best BMW hybrids for sale

The best BMW hybrid ultimately depends on your habits as a driver. If you love road-tripping, you’d best buy a car with a gas engine. If you stay in town or you have multiple vehicles, you could save a lot of gas by buying an all-electric ride. Naturally, since this is a luxury car make, we’ll be looking at models that offer the best in comfort and hospitality.

Best BMW 2022 PHEV hybrid: X5

Starting price: $64,695
Pleasurable. Refined. Richly-outfitted and well-rounded, the X5 landed a 9.5/10 rating on Car & Driver, plus an Editors’ Choice Award in the mid-size luxury SUV category. Its 11th-place tie on J.D. Powers’ 2020 Best Luxury SUVs in Quality might not impress, but it did win the bronze in US News’ 2022 Best Of poll.
With a panoramic sunroof, heated massage chairs, a leather dashboard, and plenty of storage, the X5 makes you forget about the outside world. Once you shift the 8-speed automatic transmission, the combination electric motor and turbocharged inline-six revs to life. Expect 389 horsepower and acceleration to 60 in 4.7 seconds. Electrifying!

Best BMW electric car: iX

Starting price: $106,095
Appearing in Car & Driver’s Best EVs and Hybrids of 2022 and Editors’ Choice Awards, the BMW iX can travel 300 miles on a single charge. Top Gear praised its soothing ride quality and calming, impeccably-appointed cabin while hilariously complaining about how ugly it looks. It was also the 2022 Women’s World Large SUV of the Year. Love its design or hate it, there’s no denying the iX is an impressive piece of technology.

Best used BMW hybrid: i3

Starting price: $45,445
Hybrids still carry a higher price tag than their gas-guzzling brethren. So why not follow conventional green wisdom and buy used? 
The 2015
BMW i3
, an early all-electric BMW, might not get you far—it only has an 81-mile range. That being said, it averages a total yearly cost of $3,900—not bad for a small luxury car. Critics also couldn’t fault its interior, which features a curved wood dashboard and leather and wool upholstery. If you’re looking for a $15,700 entry-level buy so you can save some gas while you tootle about town, the i3 is a good pick.
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Are BMW hybrids worth it? 

While BMW’s EVs and PHEVs perform competitively, it has yet to lead the pack in a given model year. Still, there’s a reason it remains one of the biggest names in luxury cars and it has everything to do with what you feel behind the wheel.


In a hybrid powertrain, the two most important pieces are the gasoline engine and the electric motor. In 2011, BMW replaced its six-cylinder engines with a more efficient and more powerful four-cylinder unit dubbed the TwinPower Turbo engine. In addition to taking up less space, it lowered fuel consumption by 0.65 to 3.22 gallons per 100 miles and improved 0-60 mph acceleration by up to 0.3 seconds.
As for BMW’s 111-hp eDrive electric motor, it draws from a high-performance lithium-ion battery equipped with its own cooling system to increase output and service life. The Intelligent Energy Management system uses navigational data to predict when it should run or charge, leading to energy savings of up to 10%. Should you feel like taking control, you can press the ECO PRO button to save the maximum amount of energy.
Altogether, BMW’s hybrid powertrain is more than capable of holding its own in a performance test. The V8-equipped, non-hybrid
X5 xDrive50i
can reach 60 mph in 4.2 seconds, while the inline-six-equipped
put down 4.9. In comparison, the hybrid xDrive45e took 4.7 seconds despite the additional 755-lb battery load. But if you’re really looking for speed, check out the iX, which had an acceleration time of 4.0 seconds flat.


As we’ve said, BMW has built quite the name for itself in luxury car circles. Just recently, it received the 2022 J.D. Powers Quality Award as the brand whose owners reported the fewest issues in the first 90 days of ownership. So far, it also leads the race for the 2023 Dependability Award, which tracks the number of issues reported during the last 12 months of owning a 3-year-old vehicle.

Cost of ownership

Let’s say that Jerry's headquarters in
Palo Alto, CA
, decides to buy a company car and drive it for 15,000 miles each year—purely for business, we swear! Assuming we finance with BMW for 60 months, is it cheaper to buy a gas-powered X5 sDrive 40i or the hybrid xDrive45e? Don’t forget to factor in the federal EV tax credit of $7,500 and the potential state incentives!
5-Year Ownership Costs
BMW X5 sDrive40i (I-6)
BMW X5 xDrive45e (hybrid)
Tax Credit
Taxes & Fees
Total Cost to Own
Of course, it wouldn’t be a luxury car without some perks. BMW Ultimate Care guarantees free factory-scheduled maintenance at authorized BMW Centers for three years after purchase. As of March, Bimmer owners will also enjoy complimentary 30-minute charging sessions at all Electrify America stations for two years.

How to get sustainable rates on car insurance

Hybrid cars have many benefits besides saving you money at the pump—they’re also quieter, require less maintenance, and can even save you money on car insurance! By shopping with
, you can find competitive rates as well as EV and PHEV discounts and incentives.
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“Insurance companies originally charged me $189 while driving my BMW 300 miles per year. Thanks to
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If you buy a new BMW electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid, you could claim a
federal tax credit of up to $7,500
Depending on the model, battery size, and price of labor, replacing a BMW hybrid battery can cost up to $15,000! Home repairs are not recommended—not only are the parts pricey, but they’re also dangerously high-voltage.
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