2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
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Everyone likes to go after the champ. When it comes to fuel economy, that means taking on the Prius, which is something that automakers not named Toyota have been trying to do for years. Just because no one has been able to beat the Prius for fuel economy numbers isn't stopping them from trying. Hyundai was just caught with a potential Prius-fighter and now we have news that Ford is joining the party. Well, is going to join again.

The last time Ford said it was going to challenge the Prius, it didn't go quite as planned. The C-Max hybrid was heavily hyped as a Prius-beater and was originally rated at 47 miles per gallon. Of course, it later needed to be recalculated to just 40 mpg and sales tanked. So, it's back to the Blue Oval drawing board, according to Automotive News, which is reporting that Ford is readying a brand new gas-electric hybrid due in 2018 as a 2019 model year vehicle. A plug-in version is in the works, too, and the car will reportedly share a platform with the upcoming next-gen Focus and Escape models.

About those C-Max sales. They have not been stellar for the C-Max hybrid, which started strong but suffered when the reality of the lower fuel economy was realized. So far in 2014 (through the end of July), Ford has sold 11,685 gas-electric models and another 4,759 plug-in Energi versions. The trend for the standard C-Max is downward (from 20,125 during the same time frame in 2013) and upward for the plug-in version (2,915 in the first seven months of 2013).


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Tom Shire
      • 7 Months Ago
      We test drove both the Prius and C-Max hybrids, and preferred the C-Max's driving dynamics, aesthetics, and ergonomics. We are very pleased with our purchase, and average 41-45 mpg. I especially enjoy how quiet the car is. Ford's engineers did an excellent job with this car.
      BipDBo
      • 7 Months Ago
      For the record, while the C-max did not beat the Prius in mpg, it did beat it in having enough power to be somewhat fun. Also, the plug-in model, the Energi, is superior to the Prius plug-in in nearly every way. It's too bad they imported the Cmax body, though. It gives the fashion sense of a minivan, but without the use of a third row. Makes so sense for US market. They should have put that drivetrain into the Escape for a market that loves CUVs. Fortunately, the hybrid and Energi models of the Fusion are available, a much better looking, nicer car than any Prius with nearly the same mpg.
      Amaxim Apps
      • 7 Months Ago
      Yes, but to wait for four years?
      BipDBo
      • 7 Months Ago
      For the record, while the C-max did not beat the Prius in mpg, it did beat it in having enough power to be somewhat fun. Also, the plug-in model, the Energi, is superior to the Prius plug-in in nearly every way. It's too bad they imported the Cmax body, though. It gives the fashion sense of a minivan, but without the use of a third row. Makes so sense for US market. They should have put that drivetrain into the Escape for a market that loves CUVs. Fortunately, the hybrid and Energi models of the Fusion are available, a much better looking, nicer car than any Prius with nearly the same mpg.
        skierpage
        • 7 Months Ago
        @BipDBo
        Yes, discontinuing the Ford Escape hybrid is a shame. It was the highest-mpg AWD car you could buy for a while. I guess Ford figured that most buyers concerned about MPG wouldn’t want to take the efficiency hit of AWD, but there are people who need AWD and can't stand the self-absorbed soccer mom image of the Lexus RX hybrid. I ordered the underwhelming Subaru Crosstrek XV Hybrid out of very few choices.
      2 wheeled menace
      • 7 Months Ago
      2018? really? gonna wait that long to improve on this car?
      conslaw
      • 7 Months Ago
      The injuries to the C-Max name were entirely caused by Ford's fudging on the MPG. My lifetime average in my C-Max SE is 44.0 MPG. When my family members drive it, MPG is usually around the EPA 40. The C-Max has similar room performance and fuel economy as its contemporary hybrid sedans, the Fusion and the Camry. (The Accord Hybrid is newer and more advanced.) The C-Max is cheaper when comparably equipped than the Fusion and the Camry. Although it doesn't get the MPG of the Prius, it has its own virtues. The C-Max is quicker, has better visibility front and rear, is roomier and is better equipped when priced equally. The Prius V has similar interior room, more cargo room, virtually the same MPG but is 2 seconds slower 0-60. Ford apparently doesn't have the marketing finesse to sell the C-Max as an excellent all-around 40 MPG car. That's a shame. There's not a car on the market that I'd rather have than my C-Max. Well, maybe a Tesla.
        uh, no
        • 1 Month Ago
        @conslaw

        It's not their "fudging". The entire industry builds their vehicles to meet CAFE standards in testing. This does not translate into real world economy. The numbers on the spec wasn't written by Ford either, its written by the EPA.

      Gabe Ets-Hokin
      • 7 Months Ago
      We have a 2014 C-Max Energi and it's an incredibly good car. We love it. I drive for Uber and Lyft and still average 50 mpg. Driving a Prius is horrible. I would rather lose an eye than have to drive one for the next 10 years.
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Gabe Ets-Hokin
        Our 2013 C-Max Energi has also been excellent. We hardly ever use gas when driving around our town, where we get about 25 mi EV range. Handling, great steering feel compared to the Prius, and good acceleration were deciding factors in our purchase. Lifetime MPG 56. We get about 40-43 MPG in highway driving using gas (hybrid) mode. Luggage space is acceptable for two-four people in our experience.
        Bill Burt
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Gabe Ets-Hokin
        Every Man To His Opinion. Yours is quite strong. I was literally swept away by the first run of the C-Max, but wanted the Energi. The battery filled trunk killed it for me. The declining MPG only added to the disappointment. In the end, I turned a corner and went out and bought a 2014 Prius 4. Its the best car I've ever driven....comfort to die for, good driving feel, great economy, well equipped and has made me happy to drive down the street in it. Much more here than anybody seems to want to admit. BTW, I'm 73 years old and have owned many fine cars.
        Bill Burt
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Gabe Ets-Hokin
        Every Man To His Opinion. Yours is quite strong. I was literally swept away by the first run of the C-Max, but wanted the Energi. The battery filled trunk killed it for me. The declining MPG only added to the disappointment. In the end, I turned a corner and went out and bought a 2014 Prius 4. Its the best car I've ever driven....comfort to die for, good driving feel, great economy, well equipped and has made me happy to drive down the street in it. Much more here than anybody seems to want to admit. BTW, I'm 73 years old and have owned many fine cars.