Consumer Reports is calling out Ford, saying the new C-Max and Fusion hybrids don't get anywhere near the 47 miles per gallon the automaker claims.

Several automakers have faced backlash after consumers discovered their cars don't quite hit the lofty fuel economy figures promised by the companies, and Ford may be the newest casualty of all this pesky fact-checking by critics and watchdogs.

The magazine drove the cars 2,000 miles and consistently got around 39 mpg for the Fusion and 37 mpg for the C-Max. Jake Fisher, director of auto testing for Consumer Reports, said this is the largest discrepancy between what automakers MPG claims and the actual real-world driving results.

"It's not to say these are bad cars at all; they still get excellent fuel economy," Fisher said. "But we've been doing this for a long time, and we've never seen such a difference between the EPA estimates and our numbers."

Ford said its figures were certified by the EPA, but the EPA only tests about 10 to 15 percent of the cars on the road. Ford said some early reports from customers showed the cars getting even better fuel economy than 47 mpg.

"This reinforces the fact that driving styles, driving conditions, and other factors can cause mileage to vary," said Wes Sherwood, a spokesman for Ford. For customers who want to optimize their fuel economy, the cars come with different driving coach software to help drivers get better fuel economy, he said.

Scroll down to watch the video report from Consumer Reports.


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  • 383 Comments
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who didn't see this one coming? Every review I've seen has said they didn't get near the expected mileage.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      I feel vindicated after being blasted for pointing out the shortfalls on here for months. I still feel it is likely that Ford's vehicles do score these ratings on the EPA tests, but that they are just studying so much for the EPA tests that few regular drivers will get anything near the EPA numbers. The previous Fusion Hybrid was like this too. It was rated about 25% higher than the Camry Hybrid but really scored more like 8-12% better in real world figures.
      Rafi Reddy
      • 2 Years Ago
      Really upsetting news, being a Ford fan. Hope they have a answer to this or improve on this issue.
      answerinmachine3
      • 2 Years Ago
      It does seem like Ford knows the EPA system well and is trying to eek out everything they can. Is it illegal? I don't think so. Is it disingenuous? It seems like it.
        Famsert
        • 2 Years Ago
        @answerinmachine3
        Hyundai and Kia got fined for this sort of crap so I'm pretty sure this deserves something similar.
          Bruce Lee
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Famsert
          Hyundai/Kia got fined for "forgetting" to take into account aerodynamics.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      To add: I still think that there is an opportunity for a news outlet to sponsor EPA testing of more vehicles for fuel economy in exchange for the rights to break the news on the results first. Much like is done with crash testing right now.
      Neez
      • 2 Years Ago
      You're all wrong, my impreza is rated at 27mpg highway and i average 26-28 mpg at 70mph. It's pretty darn close. That's hand calculated, not from the MPG meter. Fact is in an ever competitive car market, manufacturers never needed to fudge data to help bolster mpg. MPG was not a large buying factor for most cosumers until recently. So now mpg is a large part of consumer buying decision, manufacturers are fudging data to 1up each other to the point where they're no where near accurate.
      maxstyleae
      • 2 Years Ago
      My Focus ST show 24-32 and I haven't been able to hit 24 even when freeway driving. Very typical
        ME
        • 2 Years Ago
        @maxstyleae
        put the cruise on at 60, turn off your air/defrost and see how your focus does.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ME
          I put the cruise on 65 in my Focus (rental) that's supposed to get 38, and I get more like 33. Sometimes I turn the A/C off, but usually I leave it in auto. I'm still happy with the fuel economy, 30 combined is very good for a non-hybrid of this size, IMHO.
        ME
        • 2 Years Ago
        @maxstyleae
        I get over the advertised amounts at 55 with cruise... if you keep ratcheting the speed up, the MPG falls in a fairly predictable amount, but more like 28, not below the city range of 24.
      Spec
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah, I've been a little suspicious of Ford's numbers. Toyota has spent a decade honing the Prius. Then Ford releases the C-Max and Boom . . . it is instantly just as good. That seems a bit suspicious. Honda has been trying for a long time and they can't seem to match Toyota. Maybe Ford pulled it off . . . maybe not. At the very minimum, more testing seems warranted.
        Jesus!
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        Why not? My 12 Focus Hatchback got 4mpg more on the HWY than advertised.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jesus!
          [blocked]
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jesus!
          [blocked]
          Randy
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jesus!
          Heyzues not Christ!
        Donny Hoover
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Spec
        That's because Honda's hybrid system is completely different from the Prius. Honda's pretty much substitutes an electric motor for the flywheel. It serves the flywheel's purpose and also assists the car but it is a much more "mild" system. The motor is less powerful and you never get pure electric drive like you do with the Prius so it makes sense that the fuel mileage will never be as good. The benefit to the Honda is even though it is less efficient, it is much cheaper to make and sell. An Insight is like 5 grand cheaper than a Prius but for whatever reason they never really caught on. The Fords have a similar system to Toyota and in theory, they could pull it off. Kind of makes you wonder why they didn't use more cautious estimates, even to the point of understating their car. Seems like a better idea than potentially having to go through what Hyundai just did.
      Autoblogist
      • 2 Years Ago
      An 8mpg difference based on "driving style"? GTFOH, only if CR was mashing the pedal from every single stop. The Fusion Hybrid ain't no sports sedan, so I doubt CR was driving like the Duke brothers. Ford's got some 'splainin' to do.
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        The CR highway test is steady 65 MPH steady state, so throttle mashing really doesn't apply. This is actually a very easy test and many cars actually blow away their EPA number on this test. I have a CR online subscription and I have never seen any car come up short except the already caught cheating Hyundai and they were only off 1 MPG. Ford C-Max Hybrid came up 9 MPG short on this test. Ford cheated. Not much else can explain this massive discrepancy.
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          so you are saying the EPA tests vehicles the exact same way as CR correct?.....that no one can get better numbers than CR correct?...that CR is THE authority when it comes to MPG calculations correct?.....that anyone that questions CR must be incorrect?.....sorry Peter, you need to get out more often....
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          so you are saying basically that CR is a higher authority than 5he EPA correct?...and you ARE stating that Ford is guilty...little presumptuous dont you think?.....
        Greg
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Autoblogist
        The simple fact is that CR drives all their cars the same way. If driving style was the cause, then every other car would similarly be off. However, they usually see BETTER hwy mileage. Ford definitely gamed the system here.
          Dean Hammond
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Greg
          see, i can semi agree there, however its not necessarily true.....too many variables, and dare I say it, perhaps a little personal vendetta....course thats speculation, but given CRs obvious bias for foreign cars it wouldnt surprize me...
      Street King
      • 2 Years Ago
      When Toyota gives orders to CR they listen! (because executives from both companies are married to each other)
      Arturo Rios Jr.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Come on Nerds from Consumer Reports, its a hybrid. Its hard to get real numbers out of a hybrid car.
        Famsert
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Arturo Rios Jr.
        Wrong. Prius and Civic Hybrid both outperform EPA estimates. See real owner reports on Fuelly.com or fueleconomy.gov The Fusion and C-Max are actually special in this ability to underperform vs EPA estimates by so much.
          Famsert
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Famsert
          Yes Civic Hybrid as well. Look at the owner reports on fueleconomy.gov and compare them to EPA estimates.
        Bruce Lee
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Arturo Rios Jr.
        Nonsense, almost every review of Toyota's hybrids get pretty much the EPA labeling-maybe being off by one or two mpg. Go look at Inside Line's review of the new Avalon Hybrid, or Motor Trend's C-Max vs Prius V comparison where the C-Max got worse mileage even though the EPA stick makes much more optimistic claims. Or go look on Fuelly, where right now the C-Max is doing worse in the real world than the Camry hybrid. Toyota actually tries to rate close to what you get in the real world while it seems that other manufacturers are either over-optimizing for the EPA test cycle (and completely disregarding real world fuel economy) or they're forgetting about aerodynamics like Hyundai.
      MarcelloG
      • 2 Years Ago
      Consumer Reports is a rag made of pure poppycock and I'm going to take their findings with a grain of salt, here's why: 1. What fuel did they use? (Brand, octane, ethanol enriched, etc.) 2. What are their testing methods? (Calibration of their instruments? Is their outfit even ISO certified? The Prius looks awful and is an embarrassment to drive. Who cares what CR thinks? Aside from idiot toyota prius fanboys?
        graphikzking
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MarcelloG
        Why single out Prius fanboys? Honestly I'm a prius owner - I love it for exactly what it is. It does EXACTLY what it was made to do and it does it very very well. I'm a fan of Corvettes for what they are - great bargain for amazing performance. I'm a fan of GTR - Even though so electronic - it's out of this world performance. I'm a fan of Porsche 911 Turbo - Just raw iconic power, grace, rear engine handling etc. I'm a fan of Tesla for their electric cars pushing what larger manufacturers fail to try!(BMW - NO reason you don't have a 5 series electric like this other than it would be quicker and cheaper than your M5). Looks are very subjective - I hate the look of the retro mustangs - but love the engine lineup in them. I actually don't mind the look of the 2010+ prius. It's extremely aerodynamic and looks worlds better than the Honda insight while returning 5-10 more mpg than that competitor. I do agree with your comments on CR testing procedures. Octane, temperatures (if heater is on or ac) etc can really affect the performance greatly in a hybrid.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @graphikzking
          [blocked]
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