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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Comments (9)
  1. Nikki,

    What is the battery pack capacity in the C-Max, and is it a plugin?


  2. @Neil: There will be two versions of the 2013 Ford C-Max sold in the U.S. The base model is the C-Max Hybrid & the plug-in is the C-Max Energi. There will be no un-electrified C-Max sold here, unlike Europe.

    As for specs, Ford has been stunningly uninformative about even the most basic of data. As far as I'm aware, the company has not released info on the battery pack size, cell chemistry, traction motor peak power, projected electric range for the Energi, etc.

    Ford has become very reluctant to answer media questions in any meaningful way. it prefers to repeat verbatim statements from previously-released press materials. The goal is likely to manipulate media coverage more aggressively.

  3. Ford's information disclosure has been somewhat reminiscent of a certain tech industry giant. Perhaps their trying to take a page out of Apple's playbook?

  4. All I can say is that is about time Toyota had some competition on the MPG front. Now if only someone can best the normal Prius, we will have made real progress.

  5. Great News! Competition is good for everybody.

  6. Any update on when the C-MAX Hybrid will finally be available for consumers? Well, here in N. America, that is...?

    As others have noted, it's great to have more options?

  7. Competition could force price cuts on both cars, a good thing. $26k?' Still too high for me. I'd do $23k, maybe.

  8. What I don't understand is why Ford is comparing the C-Max hybrid to the Prius v.

    The Prius v has a 34 cubic feet of cargo space. C-Max hybrid has 24 cubic feet. Prius v is much bigger but gets similar fuel economy to the C-Max.

    Compare the C-max hybrid to a more similar-sized Toyota hybrid, i.e. the regular Prius Liftback, and the C-max's fuel economy figures looks less impressive-- 47mpg vs. the Prius Liftback's 50mpg.

  9. ? I've heard that the C-max has more cargo space than the Prius V, more acceleration, more MPG and less price. Also a plug-in version that gets 20 miles in EV mode.
    Sounds like a big contender for the Subaru Outback too, but not quite as big as an Outback.


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