Published on December 4th, 2012 | by Christopher DeMorro
Ford’s New Hybrids Falling Far Short Of MPG Expectations
As the only American automaker to avoid the much maligned government auto bailout, Ford has found itself in a strong position to gain market share and credibility with consumers. So far, Ford has done a great job with arguably its strongest product lineup ever…but nothing good can last. There’s a bit of trouble in paradise over the real-world fuel economy of the Ford C-Max Hybrid and 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which are delivering less-than-expected mpg numbers for many consumers and reviewers.
What started as some quiet grumbling is growing into a louder chorus as car reviewers praise everything about the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and the C-Max…except the fuel economy. WIth both vehicles rated at 47 mpg city and highway, it is safe to say that consumers have high expectations for these vehicles.
Consumer Reports is the latest entity to express disappointment over the new Ford hybrid fuel economy, with its testers reporting an average of between 33 and 39 mpg. That’s a far cry from the 47 mpg rating the Ford hybrids come with, and even factoring in the whole “your mileage may vary” argument, these numbers are way lower than customers were probably expecting.
CR even points out that on the government’s fueleconomy.gov website, the average self-reported fuel economy for C-Max Hybrid owners is just around 40 mpg. For the Fusion Hybrid, it is barely over 37 mpg. Just one CR tester, with a long highway commute, was able to get even close to 40 mpg on the highway in the Fusion. Then again, the testers over at C-NET managed to wring an average of 45 mpg out of their C-Max Hybrid.
Has Ford overpromised and underdelivered? Possibly. I’ve also heard from those who have had a chance to drive both cars that there’s more power on tap than most hybrids, allowing (and perhaps encouraging) more spirited driving that kills fuel economy. But try explaining that to someone who just shelled out $30,000 for a new Ford hybrid.
Are we about to see a repeat of the Kia/Hyundai mpg debacle? As a Ford fan, I certainly hope not…but one cannot universally dismiss this growing chorus of disappointed drivers and reviewers either. What are your thoughts or experiences with the new Ford Hybrids and their mpg woes?