For Ford, 47, not 42, is the answer to Life, The Universe, and Everything. The Ford C-MAX hybrid gets 47 mpg in the city, 47 mpg highway, and—we’ll award a consolation prize if you don’t get this one—a 47 mpg combined mileage rating from the EPA.
It’s like the automaker specifically engineered it like that, or something.
The C-MAX hybrid’s mileage now means that it’s possible for a hybrid to match its city figures with its highway figures. Or, if you’re a pessimist, it could achieve an even higher highway rating—but hybrids have never excelled in highway conditions compared to urban driving. It took Ford 500 new patents to develop the technology in the C-MAX, “while driving costs down 30 percent so we can bring these fuel-saving vehicles to more customers,” says Joe Bakaj, Ford’s Vice President of Powertrain Engineering. The highway mileage is higher than Ford’s previous estimate of 44 mpg,
Ford’s perennial nemesis, the Toyota Prius V, is rated at 44 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. And the price for the C-MAX Hybrid? $25,995, which, as we’ve reported before, is also cheaper than the ‘Yota. Does it look better too? That’s subjective, but at the risk of riding the Ford cheerleader van…yes, it does.
The hybrid isn’t the biggest news in the Ford lineup—the C-MAX Energi is the fastest plug-in hybrid in electric-only mode: 85 miles per hour, which is a veritable Bloodhound SSC of environmentally-friendly family schlepping. It’s curious to see Ford tout its mileage on one hand and its speed demon trickery in the other, but highway speeds with nothing but the cooling, calming hum of electric-only motoring is an experience that, again, the Prius V can barely match, with its top speed of 65 miles per hour.
If you get pulled over in the Energi for breaking the speed limit, take solace in the fact that you didn’t burn a single drop of gas.