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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 Philippine Mango on 3/4/2013 7:10:01 AM , Rating: 2
To get mid 30s in a Prius, you really have to be dogging that car. I was in a prius taxi in Las Vegas and the driver hated that car b/c it wasn't as fast as his crap victoria and to prove the point, he slammed the throttle at every opportunity (car was faster than the other passengers expected and he didn't make a very good point at all) anyway when he got over his rant about the Prius, he complimented it and said that despite thrashing it, he still gets really good fuel economy at 38mpg... I was surprised at the 38mpg he said cause that's no easy feat in a Prius...

By tayb on 3/4/2013 1:21:33 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on how much stopping and going you do. Every time you slow down the MPG will go up. In traffic it's incredible. I can only kill the MPG on a highway.

But let's just take the 38 number. My wife is out of town so I drove her car yesterday and today. When I pulled into my office this morning I had driven 33 miles in highway + traffic and managed 56.9 MPG (pic below for proof). That's a difference of 18.9 MPG in the exact same car. How in the world is the EPA supposed to account for that? They can't. No one can. I've seen people post numbers above 60 with their Prius and I have personally been as low as 36 when I was trying to kill it. That's an incredible variance. -> Dusty!

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