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C-Max Hits a Home Run
By pitchfixer on
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
I just took delivery of a new Ford C-Max yesterday after seeing one at the November 2011 LA Auto Show and seeing several on the road in Turkey; they've been available in Europe for two years now (including a model with three rows of seats that's not available in the U.S.).
In its first 100 miles, it's getting mileage in the mid-30s, well off of the official EPA rating of 47.
But I'm learning how to drive it to improve the fuel economy.
There's a gauge that shows both instantaneous economy and that achieved over several 5-minute intervals.
It's amazing how backing off a little on the gas pedal can switch the instantaneous mileage from 20 to 60 (the top figure on the gauge).
The C-Max is comfortable.
The driver's seat provides great visibility, and it's power-adjusted.
I am still learning to use voice commands but look forward to adjusting the cabin temperature or selecting a satellite radio station without having to take my eyes off the road.
The rear seats (with a 60/40 split) fold flat with the cargo area.
The rear-view mirrors have a little cut-out area that shows traffic beside the car that's not picked up by the main mirrors.
And if you don't care about fuel economy (why would you buy this vehicle then, though?), the C-Max has plenty of zip for entering freeways and changing lanes.
Here's an update.
The owner's manual is correct--after a break-in period, the mileage improves.
I put 2000 miles on the C-Max during the first month, and on a trip at the end of that month, I averaged 47.1 mpg in freeway driving.
There is a gauge that shows whether the vehicle is using electric power or gas, and judicious backing off of the throttle to use mostly electric power allowed me to get that mileage while maintaining about 65 mph.
As with virtually any vehicle, the mileage drops off when one goes faster than that.
I'm happy tooling along at 65 to reap savings; some drivers won't be.
By the end of my first week with the C-Max, I could regularly get 41 mpg by watching the gauges and knowing when to back off the gas pedal.
I think 47 mpg on the highway will be a stretch unless I travel at or below 62 mph, which is the fastest the vehicle will move (on a flat surface) on electric power alone.
By the way, this is a huge improvement over my 2006 Escape hybrid, which wouldn't go over 25 mph in electric mode.
And the switchover between gas and electricity is far smoother on the C-Max than it was on the Escape.