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Ford C-Max hybrid boasts better fuel economy than Toyota Prius V

Consumer Reports News: August 08, 2012 03:38 PM

Ford has announced that is upcoming C-Max hybrid microvan will be rated at 47 mpg overall, with matching fuel-economy ratings in the city and on the highway. The C-Max will have an Eco Cruise mode to help drivers achieve the best fuel economy possible, and it promises to trump the Toyota Prius V.

More details were also revealed about the plug-in version, the C-Max Energi--the first plug-in hybrid that gives drivers almost full control over whether the car runs on batteries, gasoline, or both. A three-mode switch offers drivers the choice of EV Now, EV Auto, and EV Later.

EV Later allows drivers to save a full battery for city driving, if that's where they're headed.

EV Now will allow the car to run fully on battery power, for example if you're making a short trip and don't expect to need the gas engine. The only caveat is, you have to stay below 85 mph, or the gas engine will start (and possibly a police siren).

EV Auto maximizes efficiency by using the thriftiest powertrain configuration for every situation. Unlike the Chevrolet Volt, the C-Max Energi is a parallel hybrid (like the Toyota Prius), so the gas engine can power the wheels directly alongside the electric motor.

Ford earlier announced the C-Max Energi will have a combined gas and electric range of 550 miles and a fuel economy rating of 95 mpg equivalent when running on electricity, but the company has not announced a final EPA combined figure.

C-Max fuel economy vs. the competition

  Mazda5 Toyota Prius V Toyota Prius Plug-in Ford C-Max Ford C-Max Energi
EPA mpg/MPGe Combined/City/Highway 24/21/28 42/44/40 50/51/49 47/47/47 --
CR real world mpg/MPGe
23/15/34 41/33/47 -- -- --
Base price
$21,420 $26,500 $32,760 $25,995 $29,995

We look forward to testing Ford's fuel economy claims for the C-Max once the car goes on sale and we have a chance to buy one of our own.

Eric Evarts

   

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