The Good BMW's hybrid system adds significant power to the 2011 ActiveHybrid 7, while making it the most fuel-efficient 7-series model. An active suspension gives the car excellent handling. Google local search integrates with the navigation system.
The Bad Points-of-interest and music library screens are unintuitive, and not easy to operate while driving. The hybrid system's idle stop feature shuts off power steering and doesn't work well in stop-and-go traffic.
The Bottom Line Although a tech powerhouse, in some ways the hybrid system in the 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 feels like a novelty. It adds power and fuel efficiency, but also adds quirks to everyday driving. Cutting-edge cabin tech features are available in all 7-series models.
2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7
Most automakers use the additional energy provided by a hybrid system to get away with a smaller gasoline engine, thereby maintaining expected power but reducing fuel use. BMW looked at that extra power and thought, "Excellent, we can make our cars go even faster!"
Such is the case with the 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7, which hosts the same engine as the standard BMW 750i, a twin turbo direct-injection 4.4-liter V-8, but straps on an electric motor getting power from a 120-volt lithium ion battery pack. The result: substantially more horsepower and better fuel economy than the 750i.
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