With all the debate about whether BMW should have brought over the smaller 3 Series diesel and the recent announcement of the 7 Series Active Hybrid we were happy to see this review from Business week.

Business Week recently had the opportunity to compare the Lexus GS 450h, MB S-class Blue-hybrid, and a new BMW 7. The 7 they compared to these hybrids was in diesel guise. It is interesting to read whether or not the hybrid makes the most sense for practicality and what the trade offs are between each car and engine configuration.

Lexus owners do pay a penalty for their full-hybrid drives: The car ‘s batteries rob space from the trunk, which is really too small for a luxury vehicle. The S-Class battery, which uses more advanced technology, fits in the engine compartment and doesn ‘t impinge on trunk space.

However, the BMW raises the question of whether hybrids are really the best choice—at least for European buyers who can choose the diesel 7 Series. One reason that German automakers have been slow to market hybrids is that, to their engineers ‘ way of thinking, diesel-electric is inherently inefficient. The batteries and electric motor add as much weight as an extra passenger. The diesel BMW, with all its fuel-saving innovations, offers substantially better economy than either hybrid—and puts out comparable CO2 emissions (192 grams of CO2 per kilometer vs. 185 grams for the Lexus). Even the gasoline six-cylinder comes close to the hybrids in fuel economy, at 28.5 mpg for the BMW vs. 30 mpg for the S-Class and Lexus.

It ‘s also worth remembering that hybrids offer the biggest fuel savings in city driving. It may well be that the BMW is the more fuel-efficient choice for people who spend most of their time on the highway.

While the Lexus is a dated design it still is the current one and there have not been any upgrades to the model (different type of battery) as technology has advanced. The MB and BMW are freshly released and show how far the technology has come but also how far it still needs to go. Whether or not diesel is the best or hybrid is remains up for debate but it should be known that hybrids are not the only way to save fuel and lessen pollution. Though with the ever cheapening state of fuel in the US and added expense of these technologies I wonder if things will ever really get rolling the way they would have a few months back.

If you had to chose between a hybrid or a diesel for your daily romp what would it be? We are curious to see who is winning the marketing war; the hybrid with its high polluting batteries or the diesels with currently more expense fuel?

To read the highly recommended article in its entirety please see it over at Business Week

Quote/Image: Business Week