C-MAX and Fusion Hybrid starting to get bad press

Discussion in 'Ford' started by Paymaster, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Ford is going to have to install an eco mode switch that restricts power severely and desensitizes throttle tip-in before the suits start flying in
  2. waltermlee

    waltermlee Well-Known Member

    Wayne's 60 mph steady state FE MPG results seems to suggest that the Ford C-Max like the Toyota Prius (but only more intensely so) may also have a significant cold start warm-up MPG penalty and that longer trips (+15 miles/60 minutes ) are needed to help it reach its EPA fuel efficiency rating. The steady state results also suggests to me that C-Max's heavier curb weight makes its fuel efficiency more sensitive to how acceleration is applied. The Prius has both these problems but it seems to a lesser extent. I know that for short trips the Prius MPG will drop like a rock and that hard accelerations - especially going uphill will make the Prius' MPG drop like a rock too. (9_9)
  3. CmaxVsPrius

    CmaxVsPrius Moderator

    My cold start warm up penalty in the afternoon = 150' climb during mile 1. Combine 20 degree temps with the defrost running means my C-max shows about 10 mpg on the dash at mile 1. The SoC gets up to 80-90%. Even though the ICE then stays off most of the next two miles, I am usually at 25 mpg on mile 3. By mile 5, I am on the highway. Its only the last 3 miles off the highway I can get any substantial rise in mpg above 40.

    My Prius hatch on the same route, has a much lower start up penalty, and shows 35 mpg at mile 3. And it climbs on the highway to 45-50.

    I just don't see drivers of the C-max like I own, being able to find any magic driving style that will allow consistent 47 mpg trips. Ford has to change the C-max or change the EPA rating they gave it.
  4. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2018 Bolt EV and 2017 Prime

    Suggestion for Ford: free block heaters for all C-MAX owners!

  5. bullwinkle428

    bullwinkle428 Well-Known Member


    Totally spot-on regarding the ergonomic issues of the Prius liftback. I rented one for a week in November, and crossed it off my list based on driver comfort alone.

    I'm 6' tall, and the center console squeezed me in on the right side while my arm felt like it had to stretch out to reach the arm rest on the driver's door. In addition, I could never find a truly comfortable position with the driver's seat, even with the power adjustment giving me an infinite number of possibilities.

    Just about ready to buy a new 2013 Civic, once I decide on trim level!
  6. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    Filled up today. 509 miles with 11.6 gallons to fill, for 43.9 mpg. The indicated MPG was 45 with 11.3 gallons consumed, so I don't think the indicated numbers are too far off. We have had a lot of rain/damp conditions in the last week. Temps in the upper 30's to upper 50's. Mostly mid 40's, I would guess. And my teenage son and wife helped me out with about 100 of those 509 miles. Yesterday Levi drove the C-Max for about 10 miles. This morning when I turned the key, the radio came on and the volume just about ruptured my ear drums, the A/C was on, temp was set to 78 degrees and the seat warmer was on. :eyebrow: Oh yeah, to be a teenager again. :rolleyes: In the morning I can see 43 - 45 mpg after 25 miles, with a 47 - 51 mpg finish going into work after a 30 mile segment, but the last 8 - 10 miles are at mid 30 to mid 40 mph speeds.

    With the Scangage installed, on the intersate I can see 51 - 54 mpg cruise at 58 - 60 mph on the flats if SOC is high. But when that engine kicks in - WHAM! - 22 mpg! I'm of the opinion that widening the deadband on the SOC that allows ICE on cruising would be a big help in improving the C-Max numbers.


  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Here are the rear cargo volume comparisons.

    Ford C-MAX vs. Toyota Prius v vs. Toyota Prius liftback

    Prius liftback (22 cu. ft. spec) useable cargo volume comparison.

    Prius v (34 cu. ft. spec) usable rear cargo volume comparison.

    Prius v vs C-MAX rear cargo area comparison.​

    The Prius v and liftback was simply insert the bags and go. For the C-MAX, I had to spin the long bag sideways behind and place the smaller silver carry on bag in front of it width wise. With the large bag length in front to back configuration, I could not close the rear hatch.

    C-MAX (24 cu. ft. spec) usable rear cargo volume comparison after reconfiguring cargo.​

  8. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    The Prius v's 0 to 60 times after 6 runs averaged 10.87 seconds.

    The Prius liftback with the 17’s 0 to 60 times after 6 runs was a bit disappointing with a 10.60 seconds average.

    The C-MAX is a rocket ship by comparison with an average after 6 runs of just 8.61 seconds.

    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
  9. waltermlee

    waltermlee Well-Known Member

    To lessen a hybrid's warm-up penalty the solutions are 1) engine block heater (add heat before you start), 2) grill blocking and engine compartment insulation(conserve heat), 3) combining short-trips together (using residual heat from previous trips), 4) park in a warm place or under the sun the sun (use passive heat) and 5) use the hybrid only for long driving trips. Lastly, using real gasoline over E10 or E15, can help with keeping your MPGs up because it has more BTUs per gallon than E10 .

    Having a heavy curb weight (like the 3rd gen Prius liftback) can create a challenging situation. I live in a very hilly area where P&G was only practical on only a few flat roads and on downhill grades. On the Uphills P&G could not be sustained - instead for uphill driving environments I had to master Driving with Load, Driving without brakes, and smart braking - that is to say I had to time building up my momentum when I had the gravitational advantage and conserve my momentum as much as I could to bring the FE up. However, heavy traffic makes these techniques problematic and sometimes impractical - so I found that one more tactic - time shifting -(to avoid heavy traffic) was often needed.
  10. BillLin

    BillLin MASS: 2018 Bolt EV and 2017 Prime

    Looks like great progress, Bob.

  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Walter:

    Good overview of the Gen III techniques that work in hilly areas. Warp Stealth is also a huge addition when and where it can be employed as San Diego is one mountainous hell hole yet every climb, keep under PWR and every descent push Warp Stealth or Warp Neutral if traffic is jammed up. This gen III is pushing into the high 60's (low to mid 60's actual) including the 6 0 - 60 runs without having to push it to its limits.

  12. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

  13. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

  14. CRT1

    CRT1 Newbie McNewbster

    The good news in the long run is that Ford has thrown its hat into the hybrid ring in a big way and clearly wants to beat Toyota. The old FEH and FFH were side projects but now Ford is "in it to win it". The C-Max might not be the Prius killer, but Ford will learn. Perhaps a couple of black eyes will fire up the troops to release a solid mid-model upgrade?

    The fatal flaw is that the C-Max was not designed from the ground up as an all-out efficiency machine like the Prii. The C-Max hybrid was built on a heavy, bulbous pre-existing chassis from Ford Europe. Ford engineering also seems like they have some drivetrain tuning to do.
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi CRT1:

    The C-MAX is an excellent hybrid as the number of positive attributes including the very quick 0 to 60 times posted above (8.61 seconds), great displays, great interior and cool features reveal.

    Unfortunately Ford has been in the hybrid game long enough that owners should not have to wait for the next generation. If they marketed the C-MAX with a 41/37 mpg city/highway rating, this entire comparison would be a moot point but the 47/47/47 mpg rating is a serious contention that could cause them trouble. Having driven the previous generation Fusion Hybrid for a few thousand miles, its 41/36 rating fit. While the C-MAX can best the Fusion in an all-highway drive at the limits, the older Fusion hybrid would have its way with the C-MAX in a slow speed city environment.

    Saying that, I did ride in the back seats of the C-MAX last night and they are not nearly as comfortable as the fronts or as comfortable as the tracked and reclining v's. Also the sun visor is cheap plastic compared to the nice looking but flimsy cloth textured headliner.

    A cool addition to the story… While performing the 0 to 60 runs through Camp Pendleton on the I-5 at 03:00 AM this morning, the border patrol must have been watching this red C-MAX pulling over every mile or so, interior lights coming on, going off, a dash to 60 and repeat a mile or so down the road. A Border Patrol car came up behind and followed me all the way into the border patrol check on the northern end. The agent manning the check point asked me a lot of questions and sort of laughed when I pulled out the stop watch and showed him my note pad with all the 0 to 60 times for all the vehicles. He said we've been watching you for a while and wondered what was going. He said that smuggling occurs in the area so that is why they had me targeted ;)

  16. thunderstruck

    thunderstruck Super Moderator

    Thanks for the tip, I'll remember if I"m ever smuggling not to speed up to 60, jam on the brakes, hop out of the car and take a bunch of pictures then do it several more times.
  17. rhwinger

    rhwinger Well-Known Member

    4200 miles on the C-Max now.

    Today is the 4th or 5th straight day of rain around here, but at least the temps are in the mid 40's. Coming in this morning, it was raining with light ponding on the road surfaces.

    I unexpectedly found the battery SOC high at the beginning of the interstate segment of my commute and with the Scangage was able to cruise between 55 and 60 mph at 47 - 54 mpg for about 20 miles.

    I feel this is a pretty strong indication that if the EV/ICE threshold were widened a bit, a lot of people who are now getting 39 mpg on the highway could get considerably better because the car wouldn't be constantly charging and discharging the main battery with the cycle efficiency losses.

    I don't know how many drivers would be willing to cruise at 60 mph in 65 speed limit zones. I do know know Wayne has managed some pretty good numbers with the neutral glide technique, but the constant up and down speed variations required might be confusing and annoying to others on the road?

    Just my 2 cents.


  18. RichXKU

    RichXKU Well-Known Member

    The Kia Optima Hybrid / Hyundai Sonata Hybrid does this and it's good for some big steady-state numbers. Ford is obviously doing something wrong if it's making things worse.

    Vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTw0G6AT7e0
  19. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    Hi Wayne,

    What amazes me is the 0-60 times on the Prius and the supposed down side. 32 years ago my first Turbo Volvo was turning similar times. It wasn't until they installed the Inter Coolers in 84-85 240's that the times dropped below 8 seconds. The Prius 134 HP and 3100 lbs vs the Volvo 242 130 HP 2900 lbs. In my early twenties I smoked a 301ci Turbo Trans Am through the Liberty tunnels here in Pittsburgh one night with that little 130 HP 2.1 Turbo Volvo.

    I jump on and off the Interstates around me all the time and the Prius acceleration isn't an issue. This from a partially reformed gear head. :p

  20. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Lots of people complain about Priuses

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