How many gallons of gas did you use on your last trip into the big city?
In this extended video road test, I took a 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi from Central New Jersey into mid-town Manhattan. I experimented with the Energi’s EV Now and EV Later modes to see how it reacted on backroads and Interstate highways, as well as in New York City traffic. The trip started with the battery showing 18 miles of charge. The fifty-odd mile route resulted in a 61 MPG result – easily the most fuel efficient trip I’ve ever taken into NYC.
The C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid has a pure electric range of approximately twenty-one miles when fully charged. While the stated EPA mile per gallon (MPG) estimates are 108 city / 92 highway – compared to 47 / 47 for the standard C-MAX – gas mileage results will always vary, depending on route and distance. 100+ MPGs will only be seen on shorter trips.
Folks often ask me, “what’s the ‘greenest’ car?” This is one of my favorite questions, because it can spur deeper conversation. Some people are shocked when I reply that the ‘greenest’ car is a recycled car. “Wait a minute,” comes the typical response, “a used car … for real?”
They often expect that I would answer with “oh, a (insert the most common name here) hybrid or an electric car (like the one that’s caught the tech world’s fancy that real world folks can’t afford).” Truth be told, 40 mile per gallon (MPG) cars are nothing new. You can find a ten or fifteen year old Honda Civic HX or Volkswagen TDI on eBay that will get 40 MPG on the highway. The older VW Jetta, Golf, Passat, and Beetle TDIs can even run on 100 domestic renewable biodiesel. Vintage Mercedes-Benz diesels can run on biodiesel as well, and they can all be converted to run on recycled fryer grease. There are great bargains to be found on fuel-efficient Saturns, too …
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me an old fryer-grease-powered Mercedes-Benz. All my friends slobber over Teslas, I must make amends …
There’s a common misconception among drivers that all hybrid vehicles are sluggish, unresponsive, and generally not fun to drive from a sporting perspective. While that may be historically true, the tide is changing. The latest crop of hybrids contains a bunch of cars with plenty of ‘get up and go’ to go along with that fuel-stingy technology.
When most people think of hybrid cars, the Toyota Prius is the first model that comes to mind. Introduced to America near the turn of the century, more than a million Prius have been sold in the United States. It’s hugely popular in California and among the environmentally conscious and spendthrifts alike.
MPG-o-Matic 2013 Ford C-MAX SEL Hybrid Review Summary:While it falls short of the mark in cold weather and high speed fuel-efficiency, the Ford C-MAX dominates on every other front. Controversy aside, the C-MAX rolls a respectable level of performance, a solid ride, plenty of comfort, ample technology, and a remarkably roomy interior in a compelling package. Ford touts that the C-MAX is “the fastest-selling hybrid ever at launch, with 8,030 sales in its first two full months on the market in October and November.”
I’m in the midst of an extended two-week test of the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. Given all the brouhaha in the press lately, I decided to post our fuel economy testing notes, with details on each of the driving segments.
I picked up the C-Max in New York City on the evening of Monday, December 3. The first test run left Manhattan through the Holland Tunnel to the New Jersey Turnpike South to Route 78 West to Route 287 North to Route 202 South, before hitting local streets. I didn’t discover the EcoCruise setting until the highway segment was complete.
1) 12/3 NYC -> Home / Evening – approx 60 miles, 41.8 MPG HVAC on driver + 2 passengers EcoCruise off Target Speed 68, mix of cruise/no cruise, headlamps
The next day, I set out to replicate the high MPG back road/small town cruise that scored exceptionally well with the 2012 Prius C earlier this year. I was able to echo those results.