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2013 C-MAX Hybrid, Ford’s Best Hybrid Debut


2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid WagonFord Motor Company’s latest hybrid offering, the 2013 C-MAX, came on the market in September 2012. Its most-direct rival, the Toyota Prius V, outsold it by 70%, which doesn’t sound like great news, but the C-MAX is off to a good start, though. In its first month, it outdid any of Ford’s other hybrid offerings on their debuts.

In their debut months, C-Max sold 969 units, while Fusion Hybrid sold 402 units, and finally Lincoln MKZ’s miserable debut month with only ten units sold. Ford hybrid sales have picked up, but still haven’t surpassed Toyota’s hybrid sales.

Ford’s “Hybrid Games” marketing campaign has gone head-to-head with Toyota Prius V, its main competitor, claiming to beat Prius V’s 42 mpg rating, as well as price. The 2013 Ford C-MAX seems to have come through with a 5 mpg gain, 47 mpg, over Prius V, as well as coming in $500 under Prius V’s sticker price.

With all the hybrids coming on the market, from compacts to luxury vehicles and everyting in between, it seems that Ford hybrids are finding their niche. Time will tell if Ford can continue to deliver on their promises and make a name for themselves in the hybrid market, especially in light of their ranking on the JD Power’s Initial Quality Study [IQS] for 2012.

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  1. 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. No one would have questioned those numbers and the CMAX would have received the accolades it deserves. How these MPG estimates made it through Ford corporate is beyond me! Maybe it was the rush to go to market? I have been accused of not knowing how to drive hybrid. For the record, during the last three years I have leased both a 2010 Prius and 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid, and consider myself an experienced hyper-miler. My mileage in the Prius is 50 plus, the Insight is 40 plus. The C-MAX is a well-built car, with extremely inflated EPA estimates. I respectfully request that this matter be investigated as soon as possible. My efforts to deal with this locally and through Ford customer service have frustrated me to no end. The constant response? “You need to learn to how to drive hybrid type of vehicle “. Is there a difference how I drive Prius Hybrid vs. the CMAX hybrid? I think we all know the answer to that. I need someone at Ford to reach out to me and assist in a proactive manner so we can put this matter to rest. 
    Ronald Kramer Yankee Ford Customer
    South Portland, Maine

    • RonaldKramer Unfortunately, you aren’t the only one that’s experienced these problems. The EPA is investigating the claims, not only of Ford, but also Hyundai and Kia on some of their vehicles. I did a quick search for “Ford C-Max class action” and you might be interested to note there seem to be a couple of open cases against Ford for these issues.
      You’re right about the fuel economy claims I think. They spent so much time working on marketing that they neglected to actually do any real-world testing. Lab results are fine for lab rats, but out here in the real world, where there are hills and traffic and cold weather, “our mileage may vary,” indeed.


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