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Ford C Max, Prius killer?

Discussion in 'Ford/Lincoln Hybrids and EVs' started by UTBuckeye, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. skwcrj

    skwcrj Member

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    Apparently, the C Max Hybrid is not living up to the EPA rating of 47/47. A search of C Max Hybrid forums reveals that even experienced Prius owners who bought a C Max can't seem to get it above 40 mpg. Fuelly even has a couple of 2013 C Max Hybrids registered. They seem to have trouble getting above 40 mpg.

    Ford seems to indicated in the Owner's Handbook to not track mpg's until the car gets 1000 mi. I have a hard time believing that once broken in (after 1000 miles) it will get a miracolous boost in mpg. I really think that the extra hp that makes the car more "normal" is killing the mpg.

    This is all too bad since I was hoping that Ford woould do well with the C Max Hybrid. The sad thing is that there are plenty of newer non-hybrid cars now that get almost (or beat) 40 mpg.

    For comparison, the Prius V has 40% more cargo space and owners routinely beat the EPA mpg estimates. In fact, many (myself included) beat it by almost 10 mpg each fillup.

    I will curiously keep an eye on it. :)
     
  2. libmanj

    libmanj Junior Member

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    Can't go with you there. There's no non-hybrid anywhere near the size of the C Max that gets close to 40 combined.
     
  3. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    I'm sure you have many anecdotes to share but back to the solid, reliable EPA mileage stats.

    Exactly. It is not reliable in regard to mpg as there are too many variables, unknowns and user biases involved. Take with a grain of salt comes to mind.

    EPA mileage ratings...now there is something you can count on, it's repeatable, it's documented and as we saw in 2008 updated.
     
  4. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Keep in mind that C-Max hybrid is a new animal that EPA will have to figure out how to test properly.

    It uses path prediction to optimize the hybrid engine operation. That means, a previously driven route will get better MPG than a brand new one. I believe C-Max hybrid aced and scored 47 MPG due to EPA cycle route awareness.

    In another word, 47 MPG is as high as you can get (ideal condition) because new and unfamiliar routes will get below that. In the real-world, not every drive you take will have the same route/path.
     
  5. jayhawksrule

    jayhawksrule Junior Member

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    I just purchased a Prius v and I cross- shopped the c-max (I ended up not test driving it because the dealership never had one in strock for me to test drive). The C-max may well end up being a great vehicle. We chose the v primarily based on cargo space and configuration, and also on reliability concerns. The types of reliability concerns were different for my wife and me. My wife remembers our one Ford purchase (a 94 Explorer), which was pretty much done by 80,000 miles, and she simply refused to give Ford another try. I am more inclined to give the "new" Ford the benefit of the doubt on general reliability.

    My thought was that the Toyota powertrain has proven itself reliable for a long time now, where the Ford powertrain is much newer. It may also prove itself reliable over the long haul, and it appears the Ford Fusion hybrid has good reliablity so far, but I would rather go with the proven tech.

    No regrets on the Prius v, I love the car, and have immediately been getting over 45 mpgs combined on the computer.

    Ultimately, the gas mileage of the cars was not the deciding factor (if that was my prime concern, I would have purchased a regular Prius). But I am interested to see if the C-max can hit its EPA numbers in real world experience. Where the Prius is engineered for mileage in all respects, such as drag co-efficient and weight, it seemed like Ford took an existing model (albeit a good model by all accounts) and threw a hybrid powertrain in it. And while I researched the C-max extensively, I saw nothing about learning routes to maximize MPG. I am a little questioning of whether this feature really exists and, if it does, how well it will work. If it does exist, did the EPA tests take this feature into account? And if they did, shouldn't there be an asterick on those results?
     
  6. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    That is possible with the EPA test.
    I am still curious if anyone has driven the C-max with the path prediction(EV+ mode) off. It does default to on, and for an experienced hypermiler there might be issues with the system fighting the driver's technique. Cleanmpg has reported such with the Sonota. It has a programed pulse and glide routine for cruising. Simply driving in a manner that keeps the car from making use of it can cause the economy to drop.

    It is still early to call it either way. Cars have only been on the road for about a month now. It's fall, and winter blend can take 10% off the numbers. If path prediction is a major part in the C-max numbers, we won't see it in reviews. I doubt they have a car long enough and/or drive over repeated routes.

    Any old timers here who still have early data for their Prius when they first got it? There wasn't a universal fuel economy tracking site in the early days of the Prius. There were some fuel economy dedicated sites, but they will be skewed by those trying to get the highest numbers possible. Some early reviews of the gen1 Prius weren't doing much better than the Echo in fuel economy. 2001 Toyota Prius - Road Test - Car Reviews - Car and Driver

    So, I think we have to wait a year until we can past judgement on the C-max fuel economy.
     
  7. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    My first 6 fill-ups on my Gen II (2007) Prius were 49.1, 46.3, 50.0, 55.3, 53.0 & 53.8, for a combined MPG of 51.3 for the first 2,376 miles. This was in August and September of 2007 and reflects actual purchases, not the numbers showing on the screen. The original EPA mileage estimate (combined) for that car was 55 MPG. Under the new EPA model, the mileage estimate is 46 MPG.

    My first 6 fill-ups on my Gen III (2010) Prius Model V were 54.8, 54.1, 55.7, 49.4, 56.2 and 55.2, for a combined MPG of 53.6 MPG for the first 2,347 miles. This was in May and June of 2009 and, like the numbers for my Gen III, covers actual purchases. The new EPA mileage estimate for the 2010 is 50 MPG.
     
    usbseawolf2000 likes this.
  8. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    EPA has been testing hybrids for years now. The same criteria for hybrids from Ford, Toyota, Kia, Hyundai, GM.

    Nope. It's 47 mpg on standardized test. As we see from Prius on same test, it is far from ideal as many if not most of us get higher mpg than the EPA's standardized test.
     
  9. a priori

    a priori Canonus Curiosus

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    Anectodal? Reliable?
     
  10. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Yup, the test is the same for every vehicle. However the vehicle are different. It seems, C-MAX hybrid needs to learn and predict the route to get great MPG. Say, for the first run it'll get 33 MPG. The second run, 37 MPG. Third run, 43 MPG and so on.

    For other vehicles, every run produces the same results. This one needs to learn. That's why I said it is a new animal.
     
  11. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    Eyup...vehicles are different or they would all be called Prius or C-MAX's or VW Bugs. Entire point of the EPA numbers is to be able to compare the mileage of DIFFERENT cars using the SAME dependable, scientific metrics.

    It works very well and the EPA mileage estimates are accurate.
     
  12. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Yes, for those cars that don't adapt to the route.

    For the cars with algorithm to detect a previous route and optimizes the engine operation for it, how can the current EPA estimate be accurate?
     
  13. jsfabb

    jsfabb Active Member

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    What the EPA estimates give you is a constant which every vehicle is measured by. Ford may have been able to game the system by figuring out a way to get a higher mpg through repeatability. If you are driving the same commuting route every day it may work to your benefit. If you go on a trip, it may work against you as far as mpg. By being able to game the system for a higher mpg, Ford will probably sell a lot more vehicles.

    The only way we will know is by tracking these vehicles and hearing from the owners, to see how much of a difference between routes makes. As far as being accurate, the test is accurate for what it measured. Whether it's accurate for real world driving is yet TBD. Time and data will tell!
     
  14. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    Cars perform against the EPA metrics. The results are accurate and dependable providing a baseline for the vehicle when driven in average circumstance and a comparison between vehicles, a Prius vs. a C-MAX, for example.
     
  15. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    I heard Ford put on their tin foil hats to get around the EPA testing.
     
  16. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    jsfabb, forget it. It is a waste of our time and energy.

    ProximalSuns, open up a little and try to listen.
     
  17. jsfabb

    jsfabb Active Member

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    In this case, Ford may have had a better idea! Because of this, I'm sure other manufacturers will follow suit. If that does happen, it may get to the point that the EPA numbers will be fictitious again through gaming the system. If that does happen, then the EPA will have to take the repeatability out of the test.
     
  18. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    I knew you'd like the fin foil hat solution.
    EPA numbers have always been accurate, dependable, repeatable and transparent. The testing is upgraded frequently.
     
  19. jsfabb

    jsfabb Active Member

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    I'll give you all of that, but, does it always reflect real world driving!
     
  20. ProximalSuns

    ProximalSuns Senior Member

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    Only if you realize EPA numbers are accurate, dependable, repeatable and transparent...I think you might be looking for magical.