You're in the market for something a little more luxurious, but you want to save the environment too. What are your options?
Modern hybrids are a far cry from their humble beginnings, and even the high end market segments has jumped into producing hybrid variants of their models for the more environmentally conscious. In many countries these hybrid variants are more expensive, but in Malaysia we have plenty of government incentives that ends up knocking the price down.
So in addition to being better for the planet, these models are also a little cheaper and pack more features than other variants in the range. Call it cannibalism if you will, but it's all the better for the consumers among us. The number of options can be vast, so we've provided a selection of options here from various different luxury car manufacturers.
BMW 330e - from RM 104,800
This is one of the most common hybrid models you'll find on the road, and for good reason. The F30 generation saw the introduction of the 330e, and pricing was so competitive that people snapped it up as fast as BMW could produce them here. They're powered by a 2.0-litre Twin Power Turbo engine in a 184 hp, 292 Nm state of tune, with an electric motor pushing power up to 248 hp. It's no slouch for sure, and is an affordable point of entry to the BMW range.
BMW 530e - from RM 189,800
The larger brother to the 330e was brought to Malaysia with the G30 generation of the 5 Series, and the principles are the same, as is the powertrain. Of course this larger model comes with a little more luxuries and is more comfort oriented, but ultimately all BMW models have an inherent sportiness to them.
BMW 740Le - from RM 259,800
Being the largest and most luxurious BMW model, the 7 Series doesn't get exempt from the hybrid treatment. Instead of the 2.0-litre mill in the 330e and 530e, the 740Le gets a 3.0-litre turbocharged engine as its petrol powered core, pushing 282 hp and 450 Nm o torque. The electric motor pushes total system output to 389 hp and 600 Nm of torque, and there's an all-wheel drive system as well to help get things going.
BMW X5 xDrive40e - from RM 173,000
If you're the type to occasionally head off the beaten path, you don't need to worry because BMW also has a hybrid variant of the X5 known as the xDrive40e. Despite having 40e in the name, this model runs a 2.0-litre engine like the 330e and 530e, albeit tuned to 242 hp and 350 Nnm of torque. Total system output is 313 hp and 450 Nm of torque with the electric motor supplementing, and the xDrive obviously denotes an all-wheel drive system.
Mercedes-Benz C350 e - from RM 145,800
This is our first three pointed star on the list, and the cheapest Mercedes-Benz model that you can get with a hybrid powertrain. Much like the BMWs, the formula is simple - a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and an electric motor, though paired with Mercedes' own 9-speed automatic transmission. Where the BMW is known more for its agility and sportiness, the Mercedes-Benz models are a little more luxurious and feature equipped.
Mercedes-Benz E350 e - from RM 223,800
The successor to the E300 BlueTec Hybrid, the E350e is a more modern representation of the technology that Mercedes-Benz can offer. A similar powertrain to the C350e though bumped up in power and torque, the E350e also comes with Mercedes-Benz' more updated interior styling - just one step shy of the MBUX interface that we absolutely adore in more current models.
Mercedes-Benz S400h - from RM 182,800
Much like the steps up in the BMW hybrid lineup, the S400h is the big daddy for Mercedes-Benz hybrids. Also like the 740Le, the S400h has an entirely different powertrain. It runs a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 CGI engine that puts out 306 hp and 370 Nm, paired with a smaller electric motor which supplements with 27 hp and 250 Nm of torque. It's a more traditional powertrain, but one that also lends the S400h an entirely different character and personality.
BMW ActiveHybrid 5 - from RM 103,000
A special mention here is a model that is currently extremely rare, but one of the precursors to modern BMW hybrid technology. What was interesting about this model is that it packed a larger 3.0-litre turbocharged engine, similar to the 740Le as it is now, and it was available with the F10 generation of 5 Series.
So if you're on the fence regarding full EV's, hybrids can be a stepping stone onto the road of electrification that is coming sooner rather than later.