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Ford: High Hybrid Mileage May Require No-Fun Delicate Driving

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2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid

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Ford is now clearly worried about the mileage ratings of its new 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid.

Company officials said on Friday that while they complied with all EPA test requirements, a driver's individual style is critical to achieving published fuel-efficiency numbers.

Both the C-Max and Fusion hybrids give drivers a choice, the company says, between a thrifty, efficient driving style--assisted by fuel economy tips in the instrument cluster--and a more fun, performance-oriented approach (which likely delivers mileage that's far short of published ratings).

On Friday, two company officials addressed the wide discrepancies between real-world mileage delivered by the vehicles--as documented on this site and by Consumer Reports, among others--versus their 47-mpg combined EPA ratings.

Joe Hinrichs, the company's president of the Americas, told The Detroit News that Ford had followed EPA guidelines when testing the cars. (Most carmakers test the cars themselves, then submit test data to the EPA for verification.)

As the Detroit paper noted, "Essentially, the C-Max Hybrid is optimized for the EPA test" because its electric top speed of 62 mph exceeds the highest speed on the EPA's highway test, set at a remarkably low and unrealistic 60 mph.

But in light of news that the EPA will look into Ford hybrids' mileage, Hinrichs said the company is talking with the agency to "determine if changes are necessary" to the test procedures specifically for hybrid vehicles.

And there's a precedent. Several years ago, the EPA modified its "adjustment factors" to raw test data specifically for hybrids.

Those changes were made to accommodate widespread discrepancies between the combined ratings for both the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid, which ranged above 50 mpg, versus real-world mileage closer to the high 30s or low 40s as reported by owners.

Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president for global product development, expanded on the thought, as reported in Green Car Congress.

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Oct 2012

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, Catskill Mountains, NY, Oct 2012

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“We absolutely agree with EPA that hybrids are far more variable in the test cycle compared to real-world driving conditions in conventional vehicles," he said.

It's the fun driving character of the new hybrids that causes the problem, he suggested.

"We could have detuned the vehicles to maximize fuel economy like some of our competitors have done," he said, "but it would have been at the expense of a fun driving experience."

In other words, it appears that many of the characteristics that Ford designed into the C-Max Hybrid to make it a viable and appealing alternative to the Prius family are the same ones that seem to make it extremely hard to match its mileage ratings.

What do you think? Is it better to have a hybrid car that requires extreme focus on driving style to achieve its ratings, but also offers fun, sporty performance at the cost of fuel economy?

Or is the Prius approach--cars widely viewed as less fun to drive but more reliable in delivering real-world economy close to their ratings--better?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

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Comments (115)
  1. I don't buy the argument at all. Ford is blaming its drivers and the EPA when they are likely to be the real problem. Their hybrids are simply not as efficient as the Prius and now they are trying to "duck and cover."

    The idea that real world driving is above 62 mph causes the discrepancy does not ring true. The Prius engages the ICE at speeds over something like 25 mph and yet "real world" mpg is still good on the Prius.

    Also, what are the physics that say that hard acceleration is less fuel efficient? The energy used in acceleration is stored in the vehicle as momentum and can be regained in regen braking.
     
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  2. John..bravo i totally agree...YES I drive a phev....it gets what epa as well as Toyota claims..TRUE to the touchof the accelerator...I achieve more that 95 Mpge as well as in Hybrid at the least 60 Highway/combined EV/HV and City easily 51 to 56...the fudging at Ford is just that..trying to top Prius was the ONLY GOAL here...its the weight that throws the Cmax off 800 lbs. more that the Prius and Prius Plug IN....check out Fords website..the numbers in weight has maybe given them a better appeal BUT the reason most consumers shop now a days is for economy if you want lower numbers push the throttle it will happen...Ford should NOT be making up the publics minds for them...Fun vs. true figures...fine tuning is BULL heavier less/lighter more.
     
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  3. There is NO way that your Prius Plugin can achieve that 95MPGe with A/c or Heat on. In fact, you can't even stay in EV mode with any kind of heat on...
     
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  4. My PiP is averaging 128 MPGe on electricity (264 Wh/mi - charging loss included) and 55 MPG on gas. This is from driving 2 months in the winter but this year is warmer than usual. Loving the efficiency and midsize 5 seater interior with a flat cargo floor!
     
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  5. I love how you "twist" your wording. Sounds like a "marketing" person or "lawyers".

    Driving in winter is different from "with HEAT ON".

    Turn on your heat and your engine will fire UP. You can forgot about "PURE EV miles" in short trips.

    And your so called 128 MPGe is "SLOW CITY DRIVING". My Volt can get 50 EV miles in the same slow city driving mode. That is equal to 131 MPGe in EV MODE including charging loss.

    Even if I use the Heat (on comfort mode), I can still get 31 EV miles on the hwy and 36 EV miles in the city.
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  6. Xiaolong Li, I am driving PiP as designed. EV for city short trips and HV for highway long trips.

    If you drive your Volt as it was designed for, what MPGe are you getting on electric miles and what MPG on gas miles?

    I am not asking about one ideal trip. I am asking for average of all of your miles.
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  7. Pip was designed to "game" the EPA rating with a short range that is almost "impossible" to stay in. They don't tell you the stuff such as "Heat" will leave you with no PURE EV trips even for short trip. Both of my co-workers are starting to complain about the lack of "PURE EV" miles even for short trips. They commute for 3 miles and 11 miles. Neither of them are getting those in EV miles when Heat is on.

    Volt is designed to be Electric most of the time and gas when you need it.

    I drive it like I always do, sports mode and 75mph+ cruising, I get 39 EV miles. 102 MPGe. I slow down to 65mph and "normal" mode like everyone else, I get 48 miles easily. 126MPGe. In the city, I get 50EV miles.
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  9. I only use the heat /ac...on the LOWEST settings...YES they are running in the winter here in the NE segment....my Prius 5 was exactly the same....the engine runs BUT its limited since I am Not one to freeze or be overheated....just comfortable is fine...the vehicle does have two position heated seats used at the max. setting...also I wear heated gloves since I have a circulation problem with what is called carpel syndrome...it plugs into my lighter along with a heated vest...both work well on a thermostatic heat troller...all low voltage...try it..works better than the crappy electric heaters in these cars...Prius uses the regular heating heating as in off the engine and for defrosting as well...much BETTER than the electric cars type
     
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  10. Warm up takes gas less than the size of two eggs. That would raise the coolant temp to 130 deg F (for heater) and adds the extra power to the battery.

    That's better than a hit in EV range and end up using gas toward the end of the trip when you no longer need heat. Recharging the battery used by the electric heater would take hours also.

    Cordless battery powered electric heater is a bad idea. Heavy, takes a long time to charge, inefficient and a waste of precious battery recharge cycles.
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  11. I call that BS. Warming the coolant temp up to 130 won't sustain the heat requirement needed on a cold day. If you need sustained heat, the engine will stay on.

    Both of my coworkers with PIP have verified that on their daily commute of 3 miles and 11 miles each.

    Using the engine in short trip like that is EXACTLY the reason why it isn't efficient. Even you have stated that multiple times in your own comments.

    Carrying a "cordless battery powered electric heater" is still more efficient than carrying an Engine and use it as heater.

    If you think engine is an efficient heater, then I got nothing more to explain to you. You need to relearn your Physics 101.
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  12. Gas engine shuts down and turns back on and the cycle repeats. You still get MPG boost and cabin heat like a regular Prius. During the initial warm up, some EV miles are used to maintain 50 MPG. A regular Prius warmup would be below 25 MPG.

    What's happenning is, battery boosting gas MPG while gas providing heat into cabin. Gas engine also charges battery if there is any excess. In another word, synergy at work. Gas has energy density magnitude higher than battery and cost and weight much less.

    I don't think there is common sense 101 course offered in any college.
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  14. My name is Wes Sherwood with the Ford PR team, appreciate the chance to clarify our comments. Our hybrids’ 62-mph electric-mode top speed benefits drivers – especially those seeking maximum fuel economy – while spirited driving could reduce mileage, especially for our more powerful vehicles. Also, a variety of factors affect fuel economy, including weather, driving speed, and break-in mileage. If the temperature is 40 degrees instead of 70, you could lose about 5 mpg in our new hybrids. If you drive 75 miles per hour instead of 65, you could lose about 7 mpg. And if you have very few break-in miles on the vehicle instead of 6,000, you could lose another 5 mpg. So, you could drop 17 mpg in what many may view as fairly normal conditions.
     
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  15. Not great PR if 17mpg loss in "fairly normal conditions" is the statement. Prius doesn't lose that in the winter driving. I don't think you meant to "add the losses" up. They should meld together and not be additive.
     
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  16. Thank you for your comments, John. Our hybrids are different than other hybrids with more electric-mode capability thanks to new lithium-ion battery technology and more horsepower, which also makes them more sensitive to spirited driving and other conditions. We would expect these conditions to lead to the mileage cited individually or added together.
     
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  17. But didn't Ford actually reduce the battery capacity with the new Fusion and C-Max hybrids? Car & Driver says the capacity went from 1.5 kWH in the old Fusion hybrid to just 1.4 kWH in the new one. Whether that is NiMH or LiIon makes no difference.
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  18. Sure your mileage may vary, everybody understands that but that doesn't explain why Consumer Reports noticed a far wider deviation from EPA numbers for these vehicles than any other vehicle they ever tested.
     
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  19. Fair point, Chris, and while we cannot speak to Consumer Reports tests they did say hybrids generally have wider variability in their tests compared to conventional vehicles. They also posted a follow-up blog with more explanation, which has not yet been widely reported. Here is the link: http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/12/why-do-fords-new-c-max-fusion-hybrids-ace-the-epa-government-fuel-economy-tests.html
     
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  20. NO WAY....sorry its not the same results my Toyota gets...way off is more like it...u do not buy a hybrid to speed off ...try the ECO mode on the Toyota vehicles it might open up Fords eyes a bit...it does not make sense...the explanation is bogus.....
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  21. @ Wes Sherwood: thanks for the link. Like inspector Columbo would say: "that would explain it".
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  22. ...BTW, Ford is right to do some explaining. Apparently Automotive News suggests that is was Ford that ratted Hyundai and KIA out to the EPA about misleading fuel economy figures. Makes being implied in the same sort of scandal rather juicy...
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  23. Sorry appreciate the info....it DOES NOT ADD UP ...I have driven 4 Toyota hubrid vehicles....over the years...currently the PLUG IN PRIUS....I have always gotten MORE THAN the EPA or Toyota promised...so the blame is got to be somewhere for this...I do get less when the colder climates arrive but even that fact still leaves plenty of room for error...maybe 2 or 3 mpg less in hybrid mode...not 20 % overall..it does NOT ADD UP....good luck though ....
     
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  24. Did you even read the CR's explaination via the link posted by Wes? Please read it before you whine about it again. It is clearly explained why the difference.

    Don't get me started on how your Prius Plugin "game" the EPA MPGe test too...

    If you are getting the so called 11 miles electric in your Prius Plugin in the winter, then you are either lying or "NOT telling the truth" since you don't use heat in the winter and drive below 62mph...
     
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  25. Yes I get 11 and i was getting up to 15 at a full charge when the warmer temps are present....you must realize I do not drive my Hyrid/electric for SPEED...I commute daily 160 miles TOTAL round trip ...so my results are differant...mostly forced local streets with LESS distance...I use my 3 routes available on the guidance system...the system allows SHORT trips for best electric value...also as I said its HOW U use the technology offered to the consumer..I have charged more than you charge in smaller periods to excel the 200 MPGe ...i use the gas station every 58 days one full tank gets me over 2,600 miles..all truths my friend..the use of warmed clothing is beneficial to driving an electric as well, I make sacrifices to push Mpge..!!
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  26. If you commute daily 160 miles with mostly local street, then I truly feel sorry for you. Are you telling me that you spend over 4 hours per day commuting? If so, I am surprised that you even have time commenting here...

    If you drive 160 miles daily in your commute, then a very small part that 160 miles is electric. Why bother with plugins at all? Just get a regular Prius. It would makes far more sense.

    What doesn't make sense is your statment that you 58 days get you over 2,600 miles. That is 44 miles per day. Even if you don't drive all the time, then @ 160 miles per commute, then you are talking about 17 days of commute. So, either way, a regular Prius would make sense.
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  27. The only time that a PIP would makes sense over a regular Prius is if you drive over 100 miles all the time and then for few times a month, you make less than 10 miles trips for small errands. Even for those trips, the "economics" don't sense since the premium that you are paying over of a regular Prius is huge without getting any benefit.

    If saving gas and NOT using heat is what you care about, then why bother with all the extra options on the PIP when you can make more sense with a base Prius.
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  28. There are more comments in this thread
  29. We also believe our hybrids’ increased horsepower is another key factor. Customers may choose to accelerate more quickly with the added power, which could have a major impact on fuel economy. For example, we would expect our hybrids to see a bigger drop in fuel economy than a less powerful hybrid if they both are driven at full throttle. For those customers who are more focused on optimizing their fuel economy, our new hybrid SmartGauge with EcoGuide eco-coaching technology features even more ways – such as Brake Coach and an “Empower” gauge for more efficient stopping and acceleration – to help achieve higher mileage.
     
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  30. Does this mean the Cmax only comes close to the EPA 47mpg efficiency if:

    1) ambient air temperature is a comfortable 70
    2) People drive below 62mph
    3) Land is perfectly flat
    4) All electric and AC is off
    5) Hypermiling techniques are used
    6) You've owned the car for a while.

    Doesn't seem realistic to me at all. Can't automakers downgrade the sticker numbers (i.e. claim of 42 instead of 47) knowing the EPA test is off. Why didn't Ford do that?
     
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  31. We provided a link to a C-MAX Hybrid forum that has a range of customer fuel economy reports in various conditions.
     
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  32. I was surprised to see that the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid is slower 0 to 60 mph than the the old one...it's now 9.1 seconds whereas the old one was 8.5 seconds according to Car and Driver. And that's much slower than the new Camry Hybrid, which is just 7.3 seconds. So why does Ford keep talking about how much fun-to-drive their hybrids are when they got slower than the last-generation, and they are much slower than their competitors?
     
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  34. I don't think the problem is that Ford sets up these vehicles to allow for more fun but that even those denying themselves this "fun" and focussing more on driving economically don't get anywhere near the numbers Ford provided.

    We'll see what sort of numbers the EPA comes up with after retesting.
     
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  35. It is nearly impossible to not engage in "fun" driving as Ford calls it. Even with hypermiling techniques I haven't gotten close to the Cmax EPAs 47mpg (as an owner).

    But what I really don't understand is Ford's response to this. This is quickly turning into a PR nightmare and further angering drivers like myself who are nowhere close. Easy solution: acknowledge that the cars are optimized for the EPA test, but real world conditions will never allow drivers to get close to this. Downgrade the estimates, pay the 6000 or so drivers who have already bought the car like Kia and Hyundai and move on. Ford's solution so far: critique the data and the people who actually buy the cars! Making a bad situation worse Ford.
     
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  36. I'd much rather buy a 42mpg USA-made vehicle over a 50mpg full import - any day. No reason to hype up the 47 by Ford.
     
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  37. I completely agree. I don't know why Ford didn't go this route instead. Now they have a bunch of owners who are upset and bad PR when it could have been avoided in the first place. And it still doesn't negate the fact that very few people can get 47mpg. Some might, but as a growing body of evidence suggests, most won't come close and more than likely hit 40 (though I'm still below that, I'd accept it).
     
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  38. It sucks got the new fusion a month ago and i can only get 32 if that i already have 2000 miles on it and am nowhere near the rated 47 mpg i wish i would had gotten the titanium model instead am so frustrated. I call ford they wont admit their the mess up
     
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  39. I purchased mine in November. I have just about 6000 miles now and still only averaging about 38mpg. :-/ After all I was at 36mpg for awhile and after 5k miles it went up to 38mpg I should of purchased the Titanium model.
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  40. We apologize for your frustration, Justin. While we cannot speak for your specific case, we think it is important to note that our customers are getting a range of fuel economy. The third-party C-MAX Hybrid forum (link below) has a wide collection of customer fuel economy reports, including quite a few between 45-55 mpg.
    http://fordcmaxhybridforum.com/index.php?/topic/288-c-max-fuel-mileage-what-are-you-getting/page-2?
     
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  41. Some are, but many are resorting to crazy techniques in order to do so, either modifying the car with front panels, engaging in drafting, hypermiling extreme techniques, etc. I think very few people buy a new car to modify, most of us (specifically hybrid drivers!) aren't stock car drivers, and hypermiling is impossible in many situations without getting run of the road or worse.

    What about fueleconomy.gov where the average is 39.7 or fuelly.com where it is the same? While individual cases do vary, the aggregate data that's available suggests the Cmax is short. Also, many other cars beat their claims, why not Ford? See: http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/02/reality-check-will-your-car-actually-achieve-the-advertised-40-mpg.html
     
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  42. Most are driving normal, albeit slowly to get good MPGs.
    On fuelecon there is a 2013 Prius (the only one) that is only in the 30s. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=yourMpgVehicle&id=33331 Most of the C-Maxs only have 400-600 miles on them so far. I'm not reading too much into either so far.

    Nor is the Prius v meeting 2012 meeting it's EPA......contrary to your statement that Prius owners have no problem beating the EPA figures.
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/Find.do?action=yourMpgVehicle&id=31836
    Several are in the 30s also. So yes, Toyota DOES have a similar problem with the v. The v is the biggest and heaviest Prius.......take that into consideration.
     
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  43. Not to say the Prius is perfect by any means. And I would rather have an American made 40 mpg hybrid. But it doesn't negate the fact that 47mpg the Cmax is not.

    Here's the problem- there is much more info about the Cmax with 40 owners reporting data to fueleconomy.gov. The average is 39.7. Much more data= much closer to normal. Look at the Prius from 2012 on fuelecon and see that it is 51mpg, slightly above EPA estimate. And see, as noted above: http://news.consumerreports.org/cars/2012/02/reality-check-will-your-car-actually-achieve-the-advertised-40-mpg.html

    Also, I now have 3000 miles so that can't be the issue. Many others are now at this stage.
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  44. Another thought: why is Ford so far off in the real world when Toyota and others don't have this problem with their hybrids? None of my friends who own a Prius even consider issues like this. Might be the weight, but I wonder if it really is something else.
     
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  45. Justin, it is simple. Horsepower and weight. Together they add an obvious deterrent to MPGs.......always have.
    Maybe it is different than Toyota's approach, but with a C-Max it's a matter of choice, at least you HAVE a choice in how you use it: space, power and handling.

    None of your friends have a problem? How about these people?
    http://priuschat.com/threads/not-getting-50-mpg-on-new-prius.87924/
     
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  46. "I have been driving for nearly 45 years now. The Prius gas mileage
    fluctuate's more than any other car I have ever owned.

    In the summer MPG will be in the low to mid 50's, in the winter mid 40's or so.

    These are temps in the 40's or so during the winter.

    When its real cold you can probably expect 35 mpg to be the norm.

    Cold is a true killer for the Prius MPG.

    al"

    Read more: http://priuschat.com/threads/not-getting-50-mpg-on-new-prius.87924/#ixzz2FM6gbF9Z
     
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  47. But I live in the South- no weather problems here. Still doesn't explain the excessive shortness of the Cmax. It's a good vehicle overall, but 47mpg few would hit.
     
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  48. Drive it like EPA test condition and you shall get your EPA numbers.

    Drive it like what C-Max is capable or "designed" to be, then live with your 40MPG (which is still good). You don't want to drive like Prius drivers anyway....
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  49. As with anything in life, "fun" costs more.
     
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  50. I bought the C Max hybrid 2 weeks ago. I get between 37.5-47.2 mpg depending on road conditions and how I drive. The car is "peppy" and fun to drive compared to its competition 42mpg Prius-V. Lets compare apples to apples. The car's displays train you to drive it efficiently, as ICE cars these days also due. If your an old dog and do not want or cannot learn new tricks this is not the car for you. I totally enjoy the car because I have given up my race car days to and from work.
     
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  51. So why is it that some drivers on http://fordcmaxhybridforum.com are getting 47 mpg? And CNET got 45 mpg during their testing? Are their variances in the tuning of different vehicles? or is it all driving style/habits?
    Maybe Ford should update their software to include an "Eco" mode to limit the "fun" when driving for all out economy.
    I'd really like to see someone who is getting the high MPG switch vehicles with one getting low MPGs, let them drive it for a week and see what would happen. That would tell me a lot.
    If you read over the EPA testing procedures, I don't think they simulate real world driving for most people.
    Also, we Americans almost always choose the "fast and fun" mode of operation when given a choice.
     
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  52. I didn't know that you would see the best mileage only after a 6,000 mile break-in.

    I, too, think that the EPA highway test being limited to 60 MPH is insane and accounts for some of the discrepancy between the EPA rating and the CR rating. However, this discrepancy would be for highway driving only, but the larger discrepancy was with city driving where the Ford's 62 MPH EV limit would have no effect.

    For my 2013 Fusion I am seeing an average of mid 30s for city driving, about half of which is in EV mode. Without resorting to some exotic hyper-miling techniques I couldn't do any better. Although I see 47 MPG sometimes on short trips, getting this regularly under a wide range of conditions is not realistic.
     
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  53. EPA testing is not limited to 60 mph. This is a myth Ford would like you to believe, but it's simply not true. The 5-cycle testing the EPA put in place in 2008 has a new, aggressive, high-speed cycle with speeds over 70 mph for substantial periods, and some portions over 80 mph. Here is a description in the EPA's own words: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml
     
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  54. The page you cite lists a Highway test ("a mixture of rural and Interstate highway") and a High Speed test. The Highway test averages 48.3 MPH at a maximum speed of 60 MPH over a distance of 10.26 miles. The High Speed test does very briefly hit 80 MPH, but its average speed over 8.01 miles is 48.37 MPG.

    I stand by my criticism of the EPA test. Neither of these tests mimic real-world highway driving. When was the last time you limited Interstate top speed to 60 MPH?
     
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  55. A lot of detail is missing here! CR admit that even they consume more than what it said they are the best in there category, they consume less than the Camery and ect
     
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  56. You can find the EPA test procedures here:

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/how_tested.shtml

    You can see specific drive cycles. The first two tests are original; three additional, tougher tests were added in 2008. The second highway test goes to 80 mph, but averages 48 mph.

    All vehicles are run in controlled laboratory conditions. Skilled technicians "drive" the cars on a dyno. These standardized tests are repeatable and vehicles can be tested at another lab with similar results (i.e., EPA audit or competitive testing).

    There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that Ford cheated on EPA testing, but that's what was implied based on CR's earlier critique; their latest article is finally much more conciliatory.
     
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  57. I am a C-MAX owner, and one of the ones posting on the forum mentioned by Wes Sherwood. First Mr. Sherwood, I appreciate you taking the time to post here and to respond to the comments. As you state there are some on that forum that are posting results above EPA but if you look closer most of them are posting individual trips, not entire tanks. Even with that most there are getting less than 47. I am averaging about 42. I come from a 2006 Civic Hybrid. As to your comment about driving habits making a difference, of course it does. I drive mostly freeway and with Cruise control on all the time I can't hit 47. It takes city driving to bring it up to 42. Its not my driving, it's the car. The 42 mpg combined, 45 hwy Civic I can hit 50 mpg easy.
     
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  58. I should add that I have about 6,000 miles on the C-MAX and the freeway driving is a mix of 55 mph and 65 mph and I set the cruise at those speeds.
     
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  59. Those speeds are SIGNIFICANTLY faster than the EPA test average speed.
     
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  60. What make you think his average speed is not the same as EPA cycle?

    Stopping at red light and stop signs significantly lower the average speed.
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  61. He said that he set cruise at those speeds of 55mph and 65mph...

    EPA test has profile that shows the speed vs.time...
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  62. The odd thing about Ford's PR is that they keep talking about the impact of cold temperature and speeds over 60 mph...but the new EPA test cycles (used since 2008) include testing at 20 degrees F and speeds over 80 mph, so these things are taken into account in their 47/47/47 EPA ratings.
     
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  63. No EPA test "AVERAGE" over 60mph.

    No EPA test is longer than 11 miles.

    There are only 2 cold start testing and ONLY 1 cold temperature testing at 20 deg F where the results get averaged with other cycles. Even in the "cold cycle", the top speed is below 56mph and distance is less than 11 miles. Average speed is lower than 25 mph.
     
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  64. Sorry, one last comment. Don't get me wrong, I like the C-MAX and it is a better car to drive than the Civic but getting worse mileage trying hard than a lower rated car that I didn't really try in is disappointing. Not as disappointing though as Ford blaming their customers. That is partly because the C-MAX hints at doing better and I think with some software changes it can. An econ switch(it could be a soft switch in the display similar to other settings so potentially something that could be added via a software update) would be great. Other software changes could help to. Those changes might make the EPA results worse, but they might make real world, in other words their customers results better.
     
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  65. How is it that professional drivers cannot duplicate the EPA figures?? I understand that your mileage may vary, but a 20 percent discrepancy is alarming. If I were to purchase a vehicle of any kind, I would want to be able to perform as the window sticker would suggest at least in some situations, and it should not require anything spectacular on the part of the driver to get there. Just my $0.02...
     
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  66. Okay, one major problem is the weight and better performance such as power and tires. But the other problem is EPA testing. Here is link to it.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

    In its description, you can see how SLOW the acceleration is:

    City: 3.3mph/s. 0-56mph(max speed of city cycle) of 17 sec.
    Hwy: 3.2mph/s. 0-60mph of 18.7 seconds.
    High Speed: 8.46mph/s. 0-80mph of 9.45 second (0-60 of 7 seconds)
    A/C: 5.1mph/s. 0-54.8mph of 10.74 seconds.
    Cold: 3.3mph/s. 0-56mph(max speed of city cycle) of 17 sec.

    Also, look at each cycle's average speed:
    21.2 mph
    48.3 mph
    48.4 mph
    21.2 mph
    21.2 mph

    Total distance are:
    11 mi.
    10.3 mi.
    8 mi.
    3.6 mi.
    11 mi.
     
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  67. C-Max Hybrid has a stronger motor and larger battery so it can be driven in such a way to be efficient through most of the EPA cycles while still in the electric mode. But it doesn't necessarily do so in real world since the EPA testing cycle requires such little performance except for the "High Speed" cycle. Prius drivers tend to drive more like EPA cycles in the real world (speaking from my own experience). I bet if people drive the C-Max similar to the EPA cycles, then it would do just fine.

    This is partially EPA's lame test fault. Ford just designed a car that is good at "gaming" the EPA numbers...(No different from Prius Plugin and Accord Plugin that games the MPGe number in EPA tests).
     
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  68. Average speed isn't the key point, peak speed is. And the peak speed is over 80mph. Also, all of the EPA test results are "scaled down" by 20 percent or so to reflect real world driving conditions in the final calculations that show up on the car's window stickers.
     
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  69. Oh, yeah? So, tell me how the ONLY high speed test of 80mph with only 8 miles distance AND 9.9 minutes of test have majority of its "max speed" under 60mph with an average speed of less than 50 mph impact the overall MPG?
     
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  70. Max speed without sustained times/miles don't draw nearly as much energy as a slightly lower max speed with a much higher average speed cycle...
     
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  71. The 6000 mile break-in is new. The owners manual says to wait 1000 miles before starting to calculate MPG. I guess Ford will keep moving the break-in period as cars approach the next magic number.
    I drive 60 miles each way to work, mostly flat in TX so it's warm, using Eco-Cruise set at 65 and I get about 36 MPG. So the car is controlling the accelerator and I steer. I do this at 4AM and mid afternoon so little passing no starts/stops/accelerating/etc. just driving.
     
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  72. One factor not mentioned before is tires. The car comes standard with Michelin 17" Low Rolling Resistance Tires (LRR). But if you get the 18" "Luxury" wheels like I did, you don't get a LLR tire. You get the cheapest 18" tire available at TireRack (Luxury wheels, cheap tires, $495 Option). But Ford doesn't tell you (it doesn't say anything in the sales brochure, and the sales people sure don't know) that if you select the 18" wheel option, you don't get a LRR tire. If Ford was truly committed to fuel economy for the Fusion, they would have provided LRR tires on the optional wheels as they did on the standard wheels. But I guess as it is, I bought the 18" wheels so it's my fault the car doesn't get the advertised MPG.
     
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  73. Tires can make major difference but it shouldn't reduce your 47mpg to 36mpg unless you put on racing sticky tires...
     
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  74. The 2013 Fusion Hybrid was No.1 on my potential car list since the week it appeared in 360 view on the Ford web site; however, it had to earn its way to be in my top spot. I set a limit of $34k, and it had to get better (but not the best) mileage compared to what I’d been getting from my Chrysler Pacifica for the past 9 years. I didn’t even consider another hybrid. The styling and/or price of all the others turned me off. Good looks was my top priority. Good MPG was the icing on the cake.
    I currently have 1,900 miles on my 2013 Fusion Hybrid and my experience is similar to BrcD‘s. I knew when buying my Ford that I would never average 47 mpg. I wasn’t going to become a Prius-like driver. I currently have a lifetime average of 36 mpg.
     
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  75. I know I’ll average 40 or more in warmer weather. Tonight, after going one mile to the grocery store from work (which warmed the Fusion up), I got 42.3 mpg for the 8 mile drive home, with the temperature at 45 and my speed 80% of the time at 60-65mph (heavy traffic, I usually average 70+).
    I also have the Goodyear tires, which from reports from Fusion forums, seems to lower MPG by about 2. I wouldn’t even think of giving up my 18” luxury wheels to get that mileage back. They make a great looking car look even better. Ford does, however, need to make consumers aware of this if it is proven true.
    As Rich said, the second CR report clarifies most issues. I don’t hold anything against Ford for designing their hybrid system to ace the EPA.
     
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  76. BrcD, by setting your CC at 65 mph, you’ll never go into all EV mode on the highway. It will consistently do so at 62 mph, but you may have decided like me that driving slower isn’t worth the extra mileage. For now, my time is more valuable.
    No car is perfect, but what Ford has done with the Fusion Hybrid satisfies my desires for a vehicle more than any other made. If I spent $55K+ on a car, I could find another that did, but I would then feel guilty for spending too much.
    Some Fusion drivers are reporting that their car significantly slows up when coasting, which shouldn’t normally occur. The hybrid is equipped with a Grade Assist button on the stick shift, and I think some may be driving with this accidentally engaged at times.
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  77. I got my Fusion before all the fuss started about the low MPG numbers and didn't know about the 62 MPH EV set point. My other car is a 2009 Prius which I get 41.2 MPG avg. over the life of the car at 48000 miles. I drive conservatively, but I don't drive constantly thinking about hitting high MPG numbers. And that's what I wanted in the Fusion - a car I could drive and get good MPG without thinking about it. It's no fun driving if you constantly have to fight with the car to get good MPG. But you can't drive under 62 MPH on a 70 MPH road in TX - you won't last long.
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  78. After all the talk it sounds more and more like the EPA tests whether done by EPA or the car maker falls short on providing a good enough estimation of real world driving.
     
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  79. Well, in some cases, it is true. However, many cars get EPA rated miles in the real world or sometimes even exceeding it. It is few models that are designed to "game" the EPA test that are troublesome.

    It doesn't matter how the test conditions are set, some automakers will figure out ways to game it. Since consumers actually care about few MPG these days or make decision on 2-3 MPG difference, then it creates incentives for car makers to game it.
     
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  80. We have a 2010 Fusion hybrid and typically average 41 to 45 mpg, which is about 6-7 mpg better than the EPA rating. I find it hard to believe that with the additional tweaks and improvements the mileage would actually get worse.

    Seems to me that Ford should drop a new Fusion off at my house and let me see if I can't get at least 50 mpg. :-)
     
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  81. That's not typical Edmonds Inside line sees a lifetime average for a 2010 Fusion of 33.2 MPG.

    http://www.insideline.com/ford/fusion-hybrid/2010/2010-ford-fusion-hybrid-long-term-road-test.html
     
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  82. Ford simply has to be HONEST. They cannot be gaming the EPA mileage calculation. This is not what their average customer is going to experience.

    It is looking REALLY BAD that the average driver is getting 35 MPG from real world driving on the Ford C-Max Hybrid when the average Prius driver is getting 45-50 MPG in real world driving.

    If I bought the C-Max expecting 47 MPG, I am going to be hopping angry.
     
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  83. Well, how is that different from Toyota and Honda "gaming" the EPA's MPGe test with their plugins?

    Most "die hard" Prius Plugin owners are still happy with it since they are getting very little Electric miles with heat on or high speed. But they manage to "duplicate" the short EPA test cycles in real life by being really slow/gentle with their PIP...
     
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  84. Again VOLT LOVER we ALL make choices...If you are happy with your choice than so be it...we all drive how we choose...I for one feel unsafe over 60 mph....always have been so stop beating my results and be happy MAN..you are far tooooo critical...I have not judged you so live with the fact that...WE ARE ALL DIFFERANT...including our cars and driving habits..is that a fair statement..lets be amicable to what our likes/dislikes are...the Prius PHEV is okay with me.....I have driven/owned 4 Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive vehicles...the Highlander/Lexus Rx/Prius 5/Prius Plug In..they all have exceeded the numbers..all driven as I drive..happily sold/traded each with satisfaction..at lwast 75 % pleased....okay so lets be happy for eachother...
     
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  85. Well, tell that to Dennis Chin and tell him to show "facts" with all conditions listed.

    I have always said that regular Prius is a great buy especially comparing to the Prius Plugins...
     
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  86. C-Max Hybrid will get 47 MPG if you drive exactly like EPA cycle. If you drive a little faster (especially going above 62 mph), it appears to take a big hit on the MPG.

    I think the reasons are simple. Aerodynamic is not as good as Prius. Gas engine displacement is larger. The lack of EGR would take higher pumping loss, beyond the Atkinson cycle limit.

    My PiP is beating EPA estimates in the 2 winter months in NY (warmer than usual) so far. I am averaging 128 MPGe on electric miles and 55 MPG on gas miles. I use EV for those short frequent around town trips and HV mode (gasoline) on the highway longer trips. I can't wait for those warmer months.
     
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  87. Fuelly.com shows average C-Max MPG is 40.1 now that we have warmer weather and this new model is breaking in. Prius V rated at 43 MPG, I'll take the Ford any day.
     
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  88. I completed what is about as close to a controlled test as one could conduct in the real world.

    I traveled the mostly flat 168 miles across the breadth of Illinois from Terra Haute, IN to St. Louis, MO. There was no significant wind and the road was dry. I put the 2013 Fusion into ECO cruise mode and set the cruise control at 65 MPH. I did not manually interfere with the throttle and the engine was fully warmed up. Once I got to speed, I reset the MPG counter.

    When I arrived in St. Louis the MPG counter read 35.0 MPG.
     
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  89. Same as me, except TX is probably a little warmer so I get about 36 MPG.

    Yesterday, went on trip 55 Miles each way, 40% with Eco-Cruise set at 65 (highway), 60% with Eco-Cruise set at between 50-55 (two-Lane) and got about 40 MPG. The cruise was set at the speed limit all the time.
     
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  90. Monday I drove from the central coast of California to to San Diego area, about 260 miles, most of which were driven at 75 mph in 65 degree temperatures. My Fusion got 39.1 mpg. The trip back last night had temps in the low 50s and half the time was pouring rain. I got 32.3 mpg. I used all my old driving habits and didn't attempt to get extra mileage since time during the holidays is too valuable.
     
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  91. I am trying extremly hard to get good MPG ... its not happening I am averaging 30.8 MPG

    I can prove it... http://fusionhybridmpg.blogspot.com/
     
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  92. What Ford should have done is put button in the vehicle so that you could switch between "fun" mode and "Eco" mode like the Prius has. Currently I have to watch the instrumentation and do weird things with the gas pedal to get into and stay in EV mode to get the mileage. The "Eco" button would force you into the that mode without having to constantly think about how you are driving. If you want it the other way just press the button.
     
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  93. I don't know about all you guys technical mumbo-jumbo. I just know that I've driven my Ford Fusion for 3000 miles including two highway trips of 900 and 500 miles and the rest at 60% highway and 40% city going to and from work. I drive like a grandmother (no offense Granny) in the slow lane on the expressway at 59 MPH and get honked at, fingered at and nearly run off the highway (how safe is this?) and am getting less than 35 MPG overall. It is extremely unsafe and I'm taking my life and my families life plus those who wish to run me off the road into my own hands. Yes, on my 900 mile trip from Nashville to Hilton Head I got 41.3 from Nashville to Atlanta when I drove an average of 10 miles under the posted limit, but 35.2 overall.
     
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  94. Had a C-Max now for 3 weeks and am very happy with it. Achieving 47 mpg in a 40 mile round trip commute with speeds between 25 and 65 mph and I don't drive it like a granny! It's about 30% city the rest highway with many hills. Owned a Honda Civic Hybrid before this and the C-Max drives almost exactly the same. I love driving the C-Max between the Prius and Honda it is the luxury hybrid. The interior is miles beyond either the Honda or Prius and it is quiet at 75. Open the door on a Honda or Prius then open the door on a C-Max and the difference is immediately apparent. Yeah the Ford is heavier, has a bigger engine and is higher but I will sacrifice the 6-8 mpg the Prius has over it for the other advantages of the C-Max.
     
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  95. My wife gets about 38 MPG driving her C-Max. I have taken it on some outings consciously trying to do better and have returned 4 trips at 45.3, 50.5, 55.3, and 56 MPG. It can be done, but you can't use all 188 horsies and expect to get good gas mileage.
     
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