Originally Posted by BavarianFanatic
You really can' reference credits or rebates when you're trying to do an apples-to-apples comparison. Credits and rebates are only available when a manufacturer is having trouble moving product. I have a feeling a great number of people are in the same boat as the OP with regard to the justifications for the AH3 over a 335i, otherwise there would be no credit.
I think BMW hasn't done enough to show the benefits of the AH3 that might justify the premium. The whole AH line is rather new, so I'm sure they're still finding their way.
It's very difficult (if not impossible) to do a reliable comparison of the two cars on paper. The EPA ratings are based on a standard drive cycle which isn't designed to reap the benefits of the hybrid tech. I'll bet real world numbers will be much higher in an urban application (or areas with crippling congestion). Of course the ASS will probably provide similar benefits. Again, the standard EPA cycle wouldn't really show its benefits either.
For the time being, it think you should
consider the AH3 credit, since anyone can use it, and it effectively narrows the 335i price delta. Without the credit, I personally would not have considered it. The "premium" I (personally) was willing to pay was only ~$1K vs a 335i. Much more, and the AH3 would have been a tough sell, even to me.
The ASS of the AH3 is quite different than the other F30s. For that reason alone, I expect real world combined mpg to be noticeably better than the EPA 28mpg rating.