2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid: 47 MPG City, 44 MPG Highway, $26K Price

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Ford C-Max Hybrid, first revealed at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show

Ford C-Max Hybrid, first revealed at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show

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Toyota might be the current undisputed king of hybrid cars, but that fact isn’t about to stop Ford from going after the Japanese automaker’s crown. 

Its 2013 C-Max Hybrid, Ford says, will get an EPA city rating of 47 mpg, some 3 mpg higher than the official EPA city rating for the 2012 Toyota Prius V wagon.

[UPDATE: The final ratings for the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid were a combined 47 mpg, with 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway.]

Like a prize-fighter before a title fight, Ford has been making angry noises from across the ring in Toyota’s direction for months, promising its 2013 C-Max Hybrid will beat the 2012 Toyota Prius V to a pulp.

Back in May, Ford announced that the five-seat hybrid hatchback would retail from $25,995, which is $555 cheaper than the lowest-specification 2012 Toyota Prius V. It also said the C-Max hybrid would beat the Prius V in gas mileage figures. 

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid

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Now, according to Car and Driver, Ford is so confident that the EPA will agree with its in-house gas-mileage figures that it is publicly disclosing gas mileage figures before the EPA has approved them.

Interestingly, Ford hasn’t released its predicted highway or combined figures for the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, making us wonder if these two figures make the Prius V and C-Max Hybrid a little closer in economy than Ford would like. 

The jury may still be out on gas mileage, but the Ford C-Max Hybrid certainly beats the Prius V when it comes to power.

Using a hybrid system that combines a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Atkinson cycle engine with an electric motor through a computer-controlled continuously-variable transmission, Ford’s C-Max Hybrid has around 50 horsepower more than a 2012 Prius V. 

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

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Sadly, Ford hasn’t let us -- or any other press -- behind the wheel of the 2013 C-Max Hybrid yet.  But we have driven both the Prius V and its European sibling, the 2012 Prius Plus

With demand for practical, versatile hybrid wagons and crossovers on the rise, we think the competition between the 2012 Prius V and 2013 C-Max Hybrid could be one of the biggest green car battles of the year. 

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