Report: The Ford C-Max Hybrid Minivan Does Not Deliver the Advertised Fuel Economy Rating
Fuel economy is the biggest selling point for hybrid cars. People who want to save money on gas often opt for hybrids, which despite their higher purchase price, can help you save money on the long run, since they are far more fuel efficient than conventional cars. That’s why it’s no wonder they have gained in popularity in recent years, if you take into consideration the incredibly high gas prices.
One of the most popular hybrid minivans in the U.S. is the Ford C-Max Hybrid, which is also among the most affordable ones, with a $25,995 price tag. As with all other hybrids, the C-Max was advertised as a vehicle that has excellent fuel economy, which was officially rated at 47 mpg, but now some evidence has emerged that proves that it doesn’t deliver the advertised fuel economy in real-world conditions.
In late 2012, Consumer Reports and Green Car Reports conducted real-world tests with the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Minivan, which did not deliver the 47 mpg EPA ratings. During the tests, the C-Max achieved a combined fuel economy of 37 mpg, which is a significant discrepancy. Many C-Max Hybrid owners filed complaints immediately, arguing that the car had been falsely advertised to be similar to the best luxury vehicles in the world, but with far better fuel economy and much cheaper.
At first, Ford claimed that real-world fuel economy depends on a person’s driving style, as well as weather and road conditions. But later, the company had to admit that C-Max Hybrid’s fuel economy ratings in real-world use are worse than the advertised 47 mpg, and decided to reduce its mileage estimates. Ford said that instead of testing the C-Max Hybrid’s fuel economy, it used the fuel mileage estimates for the Fusion Hybrid, which has the same powertrain as the C-Max. This way, the company saves a lot of money on testing.
Now, Ford will offer the C-Max Hybrid Minivan with a revised fuel economy, which will be rated at 43 mpg. In addition to that, all owners will receive a a check for $550, and those who have leased a C-Max Hybrid, will get $325. This way, the car maker wants to compensate their clients for the financial loss they have endured due to the difference in the advertised and the real-world fuel economy ratings. Over 30,000 owners will receive rebates, according to the company. Furthermore, Ford said that it was talking with the EPA about implementing some changes to the way it tests the fuel economy of its vehicles.
However, this is a major blow to Ford’s reputation, which has invested a lot of time and resources in developing hybrid technologies, and has been regarded as one of the leaders in the green vehicle market. In order to improve the C-Max Hybrid’s mileage, Ford will equip it with front and rear tire deflectors, a new hood seal, as well as liftgate deflectors, but only time will tell whether these changes will help improve Ford’s image, and whether this fuel economy mess will affect C-Max Hybrid sales.
Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “safe driving” specialist. His expertise includes subjects like traffic regulations and green car technologies. He is a writer for DMV.com, which is a collaborative community designed to help ease the stress and annoyance of “dealing with the DMV”.