Ford has been talking quite a big game lately about their upcoming C-MAX Hybrid. Now, they finally have the MPG numbers to back it up.
The EPA certified fuel economy numbers for the CMAX at 47 city, 47 highway and 47 overall miles per gallon. Just as they’ve said it would, Ford has bested the Toyota Prius v by a significant amount in the race for maximum efficiency. The question is: will it be enough to make Ford more eco-friendly than Toyota in the eyes of the U.S. customer?
That may take a little more time and a few more gas-sipping models, but the C-MAX Hybrid does undoubtedly raise Ford’s credibility in the Green game. Several technologies were developed for the C-MAX – which is available at select Ford dealerships now – that will carry over into future models.
For instance, ECO Cruise optimizes highway driving, allowing for a highway rating equal to the city rating. Normally, hybrids are more efficient in city driving than on the highway, but with ECO Cruise and the ability to travel up to 62 mph in electric-only mode (UPDATE: Ford now says that 85 mph is achievable in electric-only mode), the C-MAX doesn’t suffer that fate. The C-MAX also employs traditional hybrid tricks like regenerative braking and an interactive gauge cluster that encourages efficient driving habits.
So, it’s now clear that the C-MAX will be available with greater efficiency and a cheaper price tag – $25,995 vs. $27,295 – than the Toyota Prius v. Its next main hurdles will be customers’ familiarity with the Prius, and the drastically different appearances. The C-MAX employs the new Ford front fascia, which works great on the Fusion but may be more aggressive than the head of your local food co-op has in mind.
Still, Ford has put together an impressive case to pry your eyes away from the Prius. Time will tell whether the U.S. market decides to jump ship for the C-MAX or stay on board with the O.G. (Original Greeny.)