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Ford C-Max Hybrid  (Source:
Ford still demands changes to hybrid testing methods

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is standing its ground when it comes to the accuracy of its MPG test for hybrid vehicles despite problems with Ford's C-Max Hybrid

The EPA's five-cycle fuel economy test was questioned when owners of the Ford C-Max Hybrid complained about lower-than-advertised fuel economy last year. Consumer Reports even chimed in on the debate, saying that half of its hybrids tested fell below their advertised MPG ratings by 10 percent or more.

The EPA worried about the accuracy of its testing for hybrid models, but this summer, other hybrids like the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Sonata had accurate ratings after going through the same tests as the C-Max Hybrid. 

The EPA is now saying that the C-Max Hybrid's inflated combined fuel economy estimate of 47 MPG was Ford's fault. According to the EPA, Ford used test results from the Fusion Hybrid, which shares a powertrain with the C-Max and weighs about the same. The automaker did this because an old rule allowed it in an effort to cut costs and the amount of testing for companies with nearly identical cars.

However, more efficient vehicles -- although sharing the same powertrain -- have various models. For instance, the Fusion Hybrid is more aerodynamic than the C-Max Hybrid, which led to the inaccurate fuel economy.

But Ford disagrees with the EPA's statement. The automaker believes these tests should be revised for hybrid vehicles. 

"This is an industrywide issue with hybrid vehicles," Raj Nair, the head of global product development for Ford. "We've learned along with EPA that the regulations create some anomalies for hybrid vehicles under the general label rule."

While the EPA doesn't plan to reconfigure its five-cycle fuel economy test, it will change the rules regarding use of the same fuel economy ratings for nearly identical cars -- especially in the case of hybrid vehicles. 

The EPA estimates that proposed changes should take less than a year to complete. 

In July 2012, Ford's C-Max Hybrid achieved 47 MPG -- beating Toyota's Prius v. But in March 2013, tests conducted by reviewer Wayne Gerdes found that the Ford C-Max Hybrid didn't achieve fuel efficiency suggested by the EPA's numbers. Instead of the 47 MPG, his testing showed 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.

Source: Automotive News

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European C-Max
By fic2 on 8/27/2013 3:13:15 PM , Rating: 2
Just got back from a 4 week trip in Europe and rented a C-Max for most of it. I with Ford would sell that version here. It was a non-hybrid with a 1.6L engine and 6-speed manual. My gf and I were pretty impressed with it driving even on the unlimited speed roads (usually only 140k/h for us though because of traffic). Only thing we didn't like was the My Sync system (or whatever they call it) which sucks as an interface and I can understand why people complain about it.
She liked it enough to think about as a new car until I looked at Ford's website and found only hybrids were available. Interestingly enough from the German manual it looked like the non-hybrid European version got better gas mileage than the U.S. hybrid version.

RE: European C-Max
By Avatar28 on 8/27/13, Rating: -1
RE: European C-Max
By Reclaimer77 on 8/27/2013 6:20:01 PM , Rating: 2
Blame the people in the US who refuse to buy a diesel.

Right because we have soooo many choices!

1. Volkswagen is crap, not buying that
2. I don't want a school bus
3. I don't want a semi-truck
4. I don't want a pick-up truck
5. Caterpillars don't make good daily drivers

That pretty much eliminates diesel as an option for me and most Americans.

Plus do I really WANT a diesel? The fuel is too expensive, the cars are more expensive, the maintenance costs are always going to be higher. Some models require me to fill a tank with animal piss so the car will run, wtf, no thank you.

RE: European C-Max
By btc909 on 8/27/2013 6:37:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm all for Diesels as well, I don't need a light, medium, or heavy duty truck. I know VW is just as bad as Chrysler / Dodge / Jeep in reliability.

I'm still waiting for the Mazda 6 Diesel & hopefully the CX-5 Diesel especially because of the brain dead design of a trunk.

RE: European C-Max
By FITCamaro on 8/27/2013 11:02:14 PM , Rating: 2
BMW makes diesels. Mercedes makes diesels. Audi makes diesels. Jeep is going to offer a diesel. Chevy offers a diesel.

RE: European C-Max
By Captain Awesome on 8/29/2013 12:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
You're just racist against trucks and farm machinery.

RE: European C-Max
By fic2 on 8/27/2013 8:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
Well, since this was a gasoline fueled car it is hard to blame it on the people who refuse to buy a diesel.

RE: European C-Max
By Mint on 8/27/2013 9:31:26 PM , Rating: 3
Interestingly enough from the German manual it looked like the non-hybrid European version got better gas mileage than the U.S. hybrid version.
The EPA tests are much harder and more realistic than the European ones. You'll see the exact same car/engine get 70MPG in Europe and 40MPG in the US (only a bit of that is from different gallon definitions).

RE: European C-Max
By Reclaimer77 on 8/28/2013 8:15:30 AM , Rating: 2
The European testing cycle is a joke. I love when Europeans boast that they have all ICE cars that get 80MPG.

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