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Print 41 comment(s) - last by ptmmac.. on Mar 11 at 11:47 PM

Ford fails to deliver on promised efficiency again

If you're a fan of green vehicles or are shopping for car promising lots of fuel economy, you may be familiar with the Ford C-Max Hybrid and the Toyota Prius V. These vehicles are two of the most popular hybrids in the segment. Ford has been at the center of allegations from several publications that had reviewed the C-Max claiming that the vehicle does not meet the fuel economy promised.

Previously, the EPA had stated that it was ready to investigate Ford over allegations of improperly stated fuel economy numbers for its C-Max and Fusion Hybrid. A recent test conducted of the C-Max Hybrid and the Prius V by reviewer Wayne Gerdes found that the Ford C-Max didn't achieve fuel efficiency suggested by the EPA's numbers.

The EPA shows that the C-Max gets 47 miles per gallon in all three EPA test categories (city/highway/combined). According to Gerdes, in his testing the C-Max managed only 35.537 miles per gallon over 360 highway miles. However, he does admit that in the city he was able to achieve 52 miles per gallon over 22.8 miles of driving, which is better than the EPA promises.


Ford C-Max

He also tested the Prius V along the same driving route and achieved 40.768 miles per gallon on the highway and 55.8 miles per gallon in the city. That means while the EPA lists lower numbers for the Toyota (44/40/42) compared to the C-Max, it actually outperformed the C-Max.

Gerdes isn't alone in finding that the Prius V posted better real-world efficiency numbers than the C-Max, Motor Trend came to the same conclusion during its tests.
 
As with any review that tends to focus heavily on miles per gallon for hybrid vehicles, you have to have a saltshaker ready. Driving style and conditions greatly affect fuel efficiency numbers for hybrid and electric vehicles. That means the results from one person won't necessarily be the same for the next.
 
However, real world numbers from fuel economy conscious C-Max and Prius V owners on Fuelly back up the claims that the former lags far behind its EPA numbers while the latter hits them right on the mark.
 

C-Max Hybrid on Fuelly


Prius V on Fuelly

Sources: Autoblog, CleanMPG



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By Mint on 3/1/2013 9:55:37 PM , Rating: 2
The EPA has the US06 test for higher speeds if you're interested, but that's unrelated to my qualms.

CleanMPG did steady state tests at various speeds, and at 50 MPH got 51 MPG with the CMax. The EPA highway test is mostly 45-55 with variation (which hurts MPG) and an acceleration + stop (also hurts MPG). Average speed is 48.3 MPH, not 45:
http://www.dieselnet.com/standards/cycles/hwfet.ph...
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.s...

So how does the C-Max lose almost no efficiency (i.e. from 51 MPG down to 47) when going from steady speed to adding all the braking/accelerating of the EPA highway cycle?

If it really is legit (i.e. highly efficient regenerative braking), then why does it only appear in the EPA test and not in any other similar driving?


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