2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid: Winter Gas Mileage Test Returns 35 MPG

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The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid is a comfortable, quiet, well appointed five-door compact hybrid hatchback that appears to get 35 to 40 mpg in most real-world usage.

But it is not a 47-mpg car, from the bulk of the evidence available.

The C-Max is selling well--much faster than the original Prius did when it first went on sale, as Ford points out--and in many respects, it's a more pleasant car to live with than the Prius.

The engine is far better insulated, so it doesn't rev nearly as loudly and sound so desperate under heavy acceleration.

There's quite a lot more power from the combined hybrid-electric powertrain--188 hp versus 134 hp for the Prius--so it feels somewhat stronger under many traffic conditions.

And the interior is more conventional in its design, and considerably richer in materials than that of the Prius.

But in our experience, the Prius gets real-world fuel efficiency of 44 to 50 mpg in most circumstances. (Not all, but most.) It's rated at 50 mpg combined by the EPA.

And in those same circumstances, the C-Max appears to get 35 to 40 mpg.

That's a high number for a compact car, especially one as capacious as this, and would be admirable--except that the C-Max Hybrid is EPA-rated at 47 mpg combined.

It appears that few owners are able to get anywhere close to the EPA rating, as Consumer Reports and other outlets learned.

The usual caveats apply: Temperature matters, and driving style matters a lot, as do average speed, trip length, and a host of other factors.

But still.

You would expect a heavier, more powerful, and less aerodynamic vehicle (the C-Max) to get rather lower fuel economy than the Prius.

And it appears that's what happens in the real world.

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, upstate New York, Dec 2012

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, upstate New York, Dec 2012

Enlarge Photo

Previously Green Car Reports tested the C-Max Hybrid twice, the first time at Ford's media drive. We got 37 mpg over 50 miles of mixed freeway and urban driving.

The we got a C-Max to test over a quick weekend route that was meant to be a full road test, but had to be cut short for unrelated reasons. That time, we got 40 mpg over 240 miles, mostly at freeway speeds.

To spend several days of varied use with a C-Max, we borrowed one over the end-of-year holidays--the same one, as it turned out, we'd borrowed last fall.

And we blended freeway driving, snowy weather low-speed driving, running around town, and everything else into a six-day test that covered 650 miles.

The results? Over that distance, we achieved 34.5 miles per gallon. That mapped closely to its lifetime gas mileage, which--according to the end-of-trip readout--was 35.5 mpg.

By that time, the C-Max had 5,600 miles on it, hardly a new car, so we assumed it was fully broken in. Of that distance, 1,574 miles (28 percent) had been covered solely on electric power.

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, upstate New York, Dec 2012

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, upstate New York, Dec 2012

Enlarge Photo

Hybrids get notably lower mileage in the winter, due to reduced battery performance and greater use of power-sapping heating.

So we'd expect the same route at the same speeds to produce fuel efficiency readings more like 38 to 40 mpg in temperate spring or fall weather.

On the other hand, a lot of our winter driving was on slippery or icy roads where 30 to 50 mph was the maximum safe speed. In the summer, we could have covered the same ground far faster--cutting fuel efficiency.

Don't get us wrong: We like the C-Max, and we think it's an excellent and competitive addition to the ranks of green cars from Ford.

We just think that its EPA ratings are far less representative of what most owners will get in real-world use than are the ratings for almost any other car--including the Prius lineup.

And we worry that will become a problem for Ford in selling this important new model.

The EPA said last month it will study the issue of C-Max Hybrid gas mileage, as well as that of the new 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid that shares its powertrain.

Would you take the C-Max, with its advantages, at 35 to 40 mpg over the known-quantity Prius at 45 to 50 mpg?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.


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Comments (77)
  1. Hopefully this adds to the discussion. I get 42 MPG in my Prius in the Winter and 52 mpg in the summer after six years of collecting data.


  2. So, your average over the year is around 45mpg?

    That is still pretty good.

    Winter temperature impact efficiency due to many things. Tires get less pressure, engine needs more time to reach optimal operating temperature, especially with Atkinson cycle engine where the max efficiency is extracted out. If you don't operate it at higher RPM/higher speed, the temperature also sack out more battery power.

    A/C doesn't use nearly as much power as heating related power draw. Defrost/Defog are power hogs. Headlight/Heater are all large power draw.

    When cars get more efficient, any energy use will show up in the final calculation.

    A BEV such as Leaf will fair even worse in the winter.

  3. I can attest already (after 1 month) that winter and the LEAF are not friends. The defog is a major power draw and the car seems especially prone to window fog. Nissan suggests pre-conditioning the cabin. When I do on a cold morning, it fogs all the windows!

  4. Defog uses both A/C and Heat. double killer.

    Defog also kills Volt's EV range as well.

  5. I found the fogging problem more prevalent in late fall early spring when humidity levels are higher. With extremely low humidity levels along with freezing temps, no more fogging.

    If you park outside then clearly humidity levels will be high enough to create fogging as it preheats.

    I use seat heating to reduce reliance on the cabin heater, the mileage isn't hit as hard that way.

  6. I agree, your suggestions are great.

    But it rains a lot here in Northern California (or Pacific NW) during the winter. Defogging is a "must" feature.

  7. An easy way to solve the fog problem is to leave the windows open over night. If the car is parked in a secure place, keep all the windows down by 1-2 inches. Fog appears because when you drive, the inside gets warm and moist because of breathing while outside is cold. If you leave the car with windows tightly shut, the warm air cools down over time and you get the fog. It is like when you take a bath. If you close the door, your mirrors will be foggy. If you leave the door open, the moist air gets out and hence no fog.

    Another way is, of course, to stop breathing during your drive. :-)

  8. Another way is to pre-heat the car and heat up the windshield...

    But heat is a "killer" too.

  9. There are more comments in this thread
  10. Hey John...with the Plugin Prius PHEV....the Hybrid Hwy. is about 60 Mpg....City....56 since the temps are down NEast....NJ.....my mileage is similar BUT the range of the batteries has gone down with the temps. going down...i know this since my first Prius was a Model 5...which also went down from 56 Mpg....to 46 Mpg in the winter still not too shabby....but i limit the Heater use quite a lot....Ford just goofed on the Xtra weight 800 plus and the larger engine ...quicker vehicle but also the numbers tell the story...weight is a huge differance as well as pushing the accelerator too heavily....a Hybrid commonality....in 2014 15 the prius jumps to 60 Mpg and 60/40 front/rear drive...then lets see where the comps go....

  11. Thanks kindly for the added information. I will probably get a new Prius or PiP soon. Despite a certain level of negativity toward the PiP, as a Prius owner, I think I would be most comfortable with another Prius.

    I should have noted that I live in the Boston area. So winters are somewhat cold.

  12. PIP certainly works out well for former Prius owners.

    I am actually curious on what the percentage is for PIP buyers? Just about every PIP owner that I know are former or current Prius owners. So are all the ones commenting on the newsgroup.

    C-Max, Volt and Leaf have all done their share of "conquesting" of other buyers. But how much has PIP done so far? Is it really just "securing" former/current Prius owners?

  13. At $4/gal the C-Max will cost you an extra $230 every 10,000 miles. (37 vs. 47 MPG as stated in this article)

    The fuel cost saved essentially provides lifetime free maintenance on a Prius. (not including the Toyota care thing).

    I guess it depends how badly you want to get to 60 2 seconds faster and have a little extra room.

  14. One thing about deciding between Prius and Ford is where your money goes. Do you want to keep sending money overseas to "get a few more mpg"? Do a total cost of ownership review between them (haggled price+gallons used over lifetime). Many times, you will find that a lower mpg car that isn't driven that much but costs more will be a higher TCO.

  15. I'd much rather see this, and other comparative tests performed in the summer months. Not this hagwash of winter tests. Though, Admittingly "Real World" to the core. The unmentioned "Winter blend" gasoline is a huge factor depending your location in the states. Elevation is probably in the mix on these 3rd party results as well. The discrepancy i have with this is the comparison to the "Prius" is not indicative to wether the prius results are also from winter conditions. as John Briggs indicates, 42mpg in winter with his prius, and if someone at best, Net results 40mpg in winter with the Cmax. How huge of a difference would that really make considering the class of cars?? Not much beside a factor in quality and styling i guess..

  16. @Michael: Not quite sure why winter tests are "hogwash". Many, many people live in climates where snowy weather is a given for months.

    GCR tested the C-Max in the summer, in the fall, and now we've tested it in the winter. And we were careful to indicate all that, along with the things that affect mileage.

    That's why we're careful to peg the C-Max at a range of 35 to 40 mpg, just as the Prius seems to return about 45 to 50 mpg for most people. (John Briggs' recordkeeping is superb, but his 42-to-52-mpg spread covers the extremes of all his readings).

  17. "covers the extremes of all his readings." Well not exactly.

    The 52 in the summer is a typical mid-summer number, not the highest ever number recorded. The highest number recorded is likely to be due to an error in the automated shutoff at the pump.

    The same goes for the 42 mpg in the winter. This is a typical middle of the winter number, not the lowest ever achieved.

    Journalists have the challenge of only having vehicle for a short time. I look forward to seeing more Fuelly data.

  18. What is your sustained mpg at 70mph on the highway in summer? I bet it isn't 50mpg. I see Prius drivers on our highways all the time driving well over the speed limit. I think to get 50mpg combined in the summer, you have to more in the moderate driving speed ranges. Not always hypermiling, but not putting the hammer down either.

  19. I see a lot of them going the exact speed limit and even slightly below it - who does that besides Prius drivers? No wonder they get 48 MPG in real life!

  20. Fuelly is useful, but how do we/you know how aggressively a Prius owner drives their car versus Cmax owners?

    Clearly nobody drives slower than a Prius owner. I haven't seen many cmax's in traffic yet, but seeing it's a lot more powerful, which is a reason to buy it, I highly doubt cmax owners will drive like grandpa/grandma.

  21. There are a few issues here:

    1. Cold weather can have a 5mpg impact

    2. The break-in period for the C-Max Hybrid is 6,000 miles(primarily due to the lithium battery pack) which can cost 5mpg. So there were only 250 miles driving after break-in.

    3. C-Max competes with the Prius V(combined 42mpg), not the prius lift back so the mpg comparison with the prius liftback there is not valid.

    4. The previous article from the spring, traveling the same route, states testing the C-Max on the freeway was a steady 75mph. But when testing the Prius v, the speed was a slower 58 due to lack of power with the gas peddle to the floor. Understanding the C-Max hybrid drive works up to 62, it would have done much better at a slower 58mph also.

  22. That "competes with the V not the liftback" is a crock. It straddles the middle between the two, and apparently gets worse mileage than either.

  23. I bet Cmax owners, not being as weanyish (which the spell-checker suggests "womanish" for!) as Prius owners, drive a lot more aggressively/normal.

    Anyhow, as I posted further below, the delta in fuel costs is small. At 38MPG in a cmax, you are spending little in fuel, so there is not much to be saved with a Prius - as per the law of dismissing returns (and/or simple math).

  24. The mileage from actual owners on fuelley.com may be more accurate:

    - C-Max Hybrid average mileage range from 31 to 55mpg (most not reaching the 6k mile break in yet)

    - Prius v average mileage range from 35 to 53mpg

    What's called 'real world' is based on an individual owner's driving habits, and as you can see from C-Max Hybrid and Prius v owners, there is a wide range of driving habits and mpg.

  25. Fuelly.com, which averages real-world numbers from a variety of drivers:

    '13 C-Max: 38.6 (Hybrid only, discounting Euro versions)
    '12 Prius: 48.7
    '12 Prius V: 42.1

    So yeah, YMMV, but averages don't lie.

  26. In reality, 38.6 is good.

    Unless one is only worried about MPG "bragging rights", the fuel cost difference is negligible:

    Assuming 10k miles per year, 42.1MPG versus 38.6MPG equates to 21.5g less fuel = $75 per year saved. Whoopee!

    The Prius would use 54 fewer gallons per 10k miles. That's $188 per year. It's up to the buyer to decide if that's worth the Prius's shortcomings.

    Prius and the V use the same tiny engine and motor, so it's not totally surprising that they get better gas mileage. If fuel is your central concern, than obviously the Prius is the way to go. If you however want a nice car, the Prius is very "dated" in every way (exterior "dustbuster" shape, interior, and performance) other than gas mileage.

  27. This seems to match what other motor sites's opinion...


    33.5mpg. OUCH!

    I think my Volt has done way better than this in extended range mode even during winter with 10% ethanol fuel...

  28. without a doubt i would buy the CMax over the Prius. the Prius is over-rated and with the success Ford has had lately - I'd want to be a part of the USA manufacturing base than supporting Foreign automakers

  29. A chum of mine operates a C Max Diesel as a Taxi and when he took me to airport last month he told me he average 58 MPG (imperial) which equates to 46.4 mpg.

    I know the climate in the UK is much less extreme but begs the question.

    Ford why did you bother spending all that money developing the Hybrid when you could have spent 25% of that budget marketing a more efficient car (that you already make in multiple regions) to a sceptical US market.

  30. @Jeremy: If your chum runs a C-Max diesel, he's in Europe--which has lower emissions standards and, in many countries, diesel fuel priced lower than petrol.

    To help you understand U.S.-market thinking on the part of companies like Ford, see this:

    Note that diesels will be offered for 2014 in two high-volume U.S. vehicles, the Chevy Cruze compact sedan and the Jeep Grand Cherokee sport-utility. Their relative success may offer some indication of diesel's potential in the U.S.

  31. I understand diesel C-Max might be out of the question for the US market, but their gas variants (1.1 and 1.6 I believe) get better gas mileage than my C-Max hybrid with the imperial vs metric conversion taken into account. I just don't think the 2.0 in the C-Max was justified. Maybe with a 1.6 we could have got closer to the 47 combined, but I'm sure Ford would have marketed that at 50mpg anyway.

  32. UK tests are even more inaccurate than our EPA's...I think it's a fairly large delta...and diesel fuel costs 8-10% more in my state than 87 octane gas.

    Why would you care if it got 47 but was "marketed" at 50? Loss of bragging rights? The difference in fuel between 47 and 50MPG is only 12 gallons every 10k miles!
    You'd still get 47 regardless of whether it's rated 50 or 47.

    Also, it's not "marketing". The car would need to get 50 in the EPA test to be labeled as such. If Ford cheated, they'd get into hot water with EPA and consumers for a long time(EPA doesn't test most of the cars - I think you realize Ford likely did the testing).

  33. I think a better comparison is to the Prius v.

    If v gets more real world mileage (though worse EPA rating) and has a lot more room, why would I get C-Max ?

  34. More power, quieter, better styling, made in USA, cheaper.

  35. I agree 100%...and every review says the Cmax interior is worlds nicer.

    Prius V has the same tiny engine and motor as the normal Prius, so it's VERY slow to the point of being dangerous with the way people drive so fast nowadays. I like the size of the V. I wish the CMax was a tad larger so I could more easily get my wife to buy one (our "mini" van gets 20 MPG realistically, so 40 MPG would save us $15k in 10 years!).

  36. Just drove my CMax almost 1700 miles roundtrip from SC to Cleveland, OH. Now has 4800 miles on it. Included a lot of unplowed roads (up to 8 inches at times). Lifetime average is 35.1 on mine.

    My findings mimic this exactly. Overall mileage on the trip was 35.3, and in the low 20s a few days it was really cold. Conditions, temp, etc. varied, but never more than 50F, and little wind. Ironically enough, I averaged 38-39 in the mountains of WV. I think that the car is much better than a Prius and I wholeheartedly agree with this article's overall assessment. That said, I'll say what I've (and now most others) have noted all along- 47mpg is a stretch and only under extreme conditions and driving habits could it be done.

  37. I agree. People foolishly look at MPG instead of gallons per mile or cost per year.
    Prius doesn't get its ratings either, nor does any car...and in reality, we're talking $160 per year on extra fuel compared to if it got 47MPG. $1600 over 10 years compared to the cost of the car ($25-30k) isn't a huge factor unless one wants bragging rights or some such thing. My wife might be willing to drive a cmax, but the Prius looks smaller (which it is), so better to get 40 MPG (saving us $15k over 10 years) than keep her 20 MPG van (or get another one)!

  38. I bought a Prius v a week ago after test driving the C-max. The C-Max was a bit nicer to drive. It performed and handled a bit better than the Prius v. I wasn't comfortable buying the C-Max since it didn't have any reliability track record. I've been burned a few times before with a newly introduced model.
    I didn't like the way the C-Max bumped up the cargo area floor by 2 inches to accommodate the battery pack. Also, there is no spare tire in the C-Max. You get a Fix-a-Flat can.
    I've experience enough failed tires to make Fix-a-Flat a deal breaker.

    On top of that, I got a $3,000 better deal on a equivalently priced Prius v.
    The fuel mileage difference between the two vehicles was irrelevant in my mind.

  39. That is scary. 28 percent on electric and still 35 mpg???

  40. After consideration, I think I'll be looking into other brands. I just get this sense that Ford is not playing the game straight right now. Not where I want to be when paying out $30k+.


  41. $30k and you're worrying about spending $160 per year more than the EPA ratings? No car gets its ratings, and the bottom line is what it will cost per year..and is it a car you'd like owning.

  42. My co-worker just took his brand new 2012 Volt from SF bay area to Las Vegas and back. He averaged 41MPG cruising at 75mph the entire way. He set his cruise control at 75mph.

    This is winter where it is cold and he used heat the entire way.

    When he arrived in the Venetican Hotel in Vegas, he got a free charging as well.

  43. At 75MPH for that distance heat doesn't matter one iota. the heat wasn't coming from the battery!

  44. Hi John,

    I concur with findings listed above. I purchased a C-Max on Dec-18-2012 and have driven 860 miles. I applied all recomendations from ford on increasing fuel mpg, momitoring my driving chareteristics via "green Leave"and on board accel, braking, and crusing montioring tools. I am averaging 35.6 MPG and have both highway and city mixed into analysis. Very DISAPPOINTING. I was about to call the dealer ship to see if there is a adjustment needed to the onboard computer or? Do you know what options I have with ford? Chromie

  45. Hi John,

    Unfortunately my experience in that regard hasn't been good. I have 4800 miles on mine now and I am still pulling- ironically- 35.6. I like you have done everything, even driving with the coach on, and the most optimal output gauge, to no avail.

    Worse, I did take mine to the dealership at about 1500 miles and they said they couldn't do anything/ nothing was wrong. The tech told me it could be 15,000 before it gets close to stated MPG.

    Honestly, at this stage, I've begun giving up. I hope things will change for you, but I've reached the point where I've accepted 35.5 is all its capable of and just drive it like a regular car. We'll see what happens when the EPA releases it testing on it. Good luck in the meantime.

  46. I am super disappointed too driving in Chapel Hill, NC where it's not so cold and mainly under 60 to be getting around 38 mpg---life of car so far only around 35.6. I have around 3500 miles on it and would like to sell it and buy a Prius. Am I crazy? How much more money will I be losing?

  47. It's simple math - Take the number of miles you drive per year (say 10k) divided by the MPG (36) to find the gallons used per year (10k / 36 = 278 gallons). Then multiply by $3.70 (or whatever it is in your state - likely lower than this awful state) to find the cost per year. 10k / 40 * 3.70 = $1028.

    The Prius is a smaller and much slower car, with an inferior interior, and most people dislike its exterior's "Dustbuster shaped" looks.

    If you managed to get 46 MPG in a Prius, the calculation is 10k / 46 * 3.7 = $804 per year spent on fuel.

    So the Prius would save you $224 annually on fuel. If you sell the Cmax to get a Prius, you'll lose more selling the cmax ($5000?) than what you'll save in fuel anytime soon.

  48. I think you are getting slightly lower than the CMax average on fuelly.com (I have not looked in awhile though)...if so, then you're accelerating too quickly or slowing down too fast and therefore the traditional brakes are engaging instead of all energy going into the battery.

  49. The new 2013 Honda Civic gets 32 MPG EPA average and costs thousands less, and doesn't have to have an expensive battery pack replaced after 10 years or sooner.

  50. I agree, same with the Escape which is rated 33 highway...also the hybrids have smaller trunks.

    People are anal over MPG. Yea, it's annoying that the cmax has a larger deficit (actual versus EPA ratings) than other vehicles, but anyone who is that concerned, yet spends $25k w/o researching the actual gas mileage is a fool. How do such people have $25k to over-spend on a car? Union workers?

    If they would/could do the math, they are only spending $160 more per year on gas than if the car got 47 MPG (and no car gets its ratings in the real world, so any car will cost them money compared to its ratings). The test is done at moderate temperatures and at slower speeds.

  51. Glad FORD made this car, but. My 2013 Toyota Prius V, 5 trim (wagon) that my wife owns is getting 45 mpg overall in Los Angeles area traffic. This is based on 3,000 miles driven thus far. So I am glad we did not get the C-max. It may have a spunkier engine but lacks the utility, reliability, drive comfort and real world MPG of the V.

  52. MPG is everything? For a 2-5MPG difference ($50 or so saved per YEAR on a $25k vehicle) you'd rather have an ugly, outdated, and MUCH slower vehicle designed and manufactured 100% in Japan?

    Doesn't the V cost more than the CMax? How many years before the $50/year saved on gas pays for the difference? The V is larger in some aspects but not all, but otherwise it's an inferior vehicle.

    A scooter will get you 70 MPG and cost $20k less than a Prius V...it doesn't rain much there or snow, so it's doable.

  53. I purchased my CMax in October 2012 and my initial mileage was at best 43 mpg. FYI I live in Williamsburg Virginia. I drive conservatively and never go over the speed limit. As os January 2013 my mpg has continued to drop to about 35 mpg. My current total mileage is 5,200. My previous car was a 2007 toyota Prius and when I sold it in October of 2012 my mpg was always around 47 to 50 mpg. It is becoming painfully obvious that the advertised mpg of 47/47/47 city/highway/overall is at best exaggerated. I have even tried extreme conservative driving, staying under 60 mph, coasting to a stop instead of breaking and very slow acceleration. Nothing seems to help with my poor mpg.

  54. I believe what you call "extreme conservative driving" is what the EPA's test consists of...they are not going 75 MPH during the test, nor doing jackrabbit starts (which 98% of drivers do - I am shocked at how fast everyone takes off from red lights and how long they wait to ease off when a light way down the road turns red).

    Driving above 55MPH results in much lower MPG. In this article below, notice how well the similar Fusion Hybrid does at 55MPH, and that all of the tested cars had a similar proportional loss at higher speeds: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/07/the-penalty-for-speeding-a-loss-in-fuel-economy/index.htm

  55. Have one in s. Fl temps are in the High 70's to low 80's Getting @38 mpg and no I would not have bought it had I known it would be coming up that short figured mid 40's avg Hope ford is sued big time for the false ads there running I think if they retro fit the bigger battery from the engergi in it giving it a %20 boost on battery time it mite get close! to the mid 40's avg.
    (btw it will fit with no other changes)

  56. Agreed - am in Tampa - lows around 50, highs around 75-80, rarely use the AC, and there are no hills to climb, use ECO cruise, pulse and glide, rarely have to apply the gas, have a 96% brake score and I manage to scrape 39mpg. City seems worse as with a 75% charged battery it only seems to use gas. I've no clue how Ford got their figures.. maybe they can fix this with a recall computer update or that CA class action succeeds and we end up paying for what we really bought which is a Focus with better headroom.

  57. Prius gets around 46 versus its 52 rating...not much different of a delta

    The "shortcoming is 43 gallons annually (47 MPG versus 39 MPG for 10k miles per year) which is $160 per year. Not exactly a huge issue, and while cmax has a slightly larger delta, no car gets its rated MPG.

  58. @Eric: No model of Toyota Prius is rated at 52 mpg combined. The highest rating (for Prius Liftback, Prius C, and Prius Plug-In during range-extending mode) is 50 mpg.

  59. I've owned a Prius for 4 years, averaging just over 50 mpg, living in WI. This week, I took the C Max Hybrid and Energi for a test drive. The Ford is larger, more refined, smoother with respect to the Hybrid system, and a better handling car. It will compete well with the Prius. However, the lower mpg is a huge penalty in my book.
    In the end, I think the C Max will continue to be popular and take a portion of the Prius fan base to Detroit.

  60. Worrying about spending $100-150 more per year on gas for a $24,000 vehicle? The cmax's nicer attributes are worth $150 per year.

  61. We have 2154.1 miles on our CMax Hybrid, purchased in the early part of December. While it has been cold which impacts the mileage, over that mileage the vehicle has averaged 31.6 mpg. Thats 67% of the claimed mileage. 75% of that is in town where hybrids should do their best. I will be discussing this with Ford and most likely the BBB if they can't rectify the situation. I would have bought the Prius v Five if I had known the mileage would be so bad.

  62. The reason people write in about this is because they are unhappy. Is there anyone out there that gets better MPG on their C-Max?

  63. See fuelly.com.

  64. i have a 2013 cmax energi and love it. i always did not like the look of the prius both interior and exterior. FORD has done a great job with this car. NAH I DID NOT BELIEVE it would ever get 100mpg but it has reliably taken me the 15 miles i drive to work on one charge and while working I charge again for the ride home. NOT ONE CENT OF GAS since I have had the car in the last 2 months.

  65. Mark. Thanks for posting your all electric range of 15 miles.
    This all electric range is what I'm really interested in. Anybody else have info. on their real world all electric range?


  66. I bought my C-Max about 3 weeks ago. I am trying very hard to change my driving habits. I wasn't reckless but I did like to speed. We are in Wisconsin and it has been cold. It's in our detached unheated garage. Is it worth trying to plug the engine block heater in?

  67. Open letter to Ford:

    I thought my 2013 C-MAX would be a Prius Killer? NOT! As a returning Ford buyer I feel deceived. I want to support US companies and US jobs. What was Ford thinking when they published 47/ 47/47 estimates? Based on the advertised EPA estimates, I would have been ok with low 40's but 28-33 mpg is not even in the ballpark. This is not an issue about EPA testing standards, but rather an issue about setting false customer expectations in order to promote sales. Ford's "47MPG" marketing campaign tarnished what should have been the roll out of a truly remarkable vehicle, the CMAX. Real world MPG estimates should have been promoted in the mid-30's.

  68. Most people get much better than you are getting - see fuelly.com.

  69. Got my Cmax Energi a couple of weeks ago. My wife drives it most of the time. First tank of gas got 48 mpg. Mixed driving in winter (Michigan) temps. Includes up to 20 miles of EV per day.

  70. IYou must be logged in to post your comment. purchased my 2013 C-Max Dec. 2012 and have 6900 miles. No matter how careful I drive I can not get more then 35-39MPG vs. EPA rated 47MPG. Very disappointed and would not have bought this car if I knew true MPG. The car overall is very good and comfortable.

    Peter Fragale

  71. Do the math and you'll see you'd only save around $100-$150 per year if it instead got 47MPG as per the "law of diminishing returns". In other words, once you get 35-40MPG, you're not spending a lot on fuel, so there isn't much to be saved.
    The Prius gets around 6 MPG under its rating, Cmax gets around 8-9 MPG under.

  72. Peter -- You can get 42 MPG on the freeway -- jut set Eco-Cruise set at 69 MPH. You can get 46 MPG or more around town using the "pulse and glide" technique and following the coaching of the Empower screen -- you accelerate gently enough that the bar display goes no higher than 2 bars.

    If you drive the C-Max like a regular car -- cruising 75-80 on the interstate and zooming from stoplight to stoplight in town, you won't get the great mileage

  73. At higher speeds, perhaps the Prius's aerodynamic shape causes the high speed to not be as detrimental to efficiency as the CMax?

    I'm unsure exactly how the drag is calculated (as a force). I am unsure if drag force is linear with the coefficient of drag or is the coefficient squared or ???

    Anyhow, if MPG is so vitally important, buy yourself a $3000 70-100MPG scooter.

    MPG is ONE factor. Ford could have created a 60MPG car, but clearly utility and likability were higher on their list of priorities. When passengers are in my back seat, they car about legroom much more than what gas mileage we're getting. MPG doesn't matter if my huge hockey bag won't easily fit. I might be able to talk my wife into a CMax but not a smaller Prius.

  74. This is by FAR the best article explaining the Cmax and Fusion hybrids and why the EPA test is not a good yardstick for these cars:

    And notice this article is from December 2012, so any educated/informed buyer after then should have understood the situation.

  75. We own a C-Max. The car's mileage improves quite a bit following break-in and in warmer weather. For the month of July I averaged 46.3 MPG in a 50/50 mix of local & highway driving and many owners are doing better than that.

  76. Purchased a 2013 CMAX in October. Had about 800 miles on it and I made a trip from Texas to Maryland. Used the A/C most of the time. My average for the trip was was 42. I now have 10,000 miles on it and the current read out 52.7. I have no problem getting 47 driving in San Antonio--highway and city traffic. I just came back from Memphis and driving 70, 75 & 80 I averaged 34.5. When I left San Antonio the head wind was about 50 and driving 75 and 80 I got 28.8. Had a head wind most of the trip. I think I could get well into the 40s if I keep the speed about 60 or 63 I am completely satisfied the my C-Max. I guess I am conservative driver as I have a 2013 Taurus Limited and get 26-28 driving around in San Antonio

  77. My c max is a nice ride. I am getting 45 Mpg now but its warm. Winter will be different but I love my car. So nice to drive. Great sight and sound. We will see..

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