Video: 2013 Ford C-MAX

Video: 2013 Ford C-MAX

I recently had the chance to test the all-new 2013 Ford C-MAX hybrid, and I have to say I really liked it. It drove well. It stores a lot of stuff. It's comfortable. And for a wagony-crossovery-typey vehicle, it gets decent fuel economy. My primary complaint, however, is that the EPA estimated 47 mpg is kind of a long shot during a Chicago winter. I was only averaging 30 mpg in combined driving, and I was actually trying to be good. So, while that's still pretty good for a large-ish car, it's not quite what Ford advertises. And, lest you think it's just me, I do have a friend who mentioned on my Facebook page, that she owns the car and is getting considerably less than even that. Ouch.

Below is more of an up-close look at the C-MAX during the time that I spent with it at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show.

 

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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  • On the fuel economy point, you might want to read April Car and Driver's analysis by Csaba Csere on why hybrids don't get the EPA rated mileage. He's an engineer and I'm not, but the two bottom lines seems to be (1) the electric motor helps the car get started, but is of little use on the highway, especially above the EPA highway test average of 48 mph, and (2) five tests are necessary to correct the former EPA measurement of highway and city mileage to the current one, but apparently the car makers are allowed to use a fudge factor to estimate the results of the other three, and that fudge factor doesn't work for hybrids. There was also the better known observation that the car makers "program" the cars to excel on the tests.

    Maybe more interesting will be the outcome of the lawsuits on this, on which I'm sure the car makers will say that they conformed to government standards.

    I'm not going into your 10 year old comment, other than C&D also observed in the March issue that the cargo space is not much different than the Focus on which it was based, and since they got no better fuel economy than with the Focus, the extra cost was not justified.

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