Ford’s fuel efficient future and Toyota’s hybrid bread and butter in a no-holds barred cage match... Or a simple base comparison?
Wayne Gerdes - CleanMPG
- July 12, 2012
The 2012 Prius v – Stylish, fuel efficient (44/40/42 mpgUS city/highway/combined) and truly large enough for a family of 5.
In this corner, we have the Prius v. For over half a year the v has been the one and only player in the hybrid wagon/hatch market segment. It is equipped with the ultra-reliable Toyota hybrid drivetrain, has 60% more cargo capacity than the Prius hatch from which it borrows much of its design and is currently priced at a somewhat affordable $27,535 incl. D&H with floor mats to start.
In the opposing corner is Ford’s upcoming and 188 HP combined atkinsonized 2.0L ICE mated to Ford’s excellent eCVT hybrid drivetrain powering the all-new C-MAX Hybrid. The Ford eCVT hybrid drivetrain is a power-split based design but with a few HW/SW additions that have yet to be disclosed. It has the ability to glide at 62 mph and provides its future owners with an incredibly efficient 47/44 mpgUS city/highway rating. Those are big numbers! In the early rounds, Ford is touting a $1,540 pricing advantage for the average consumer over its Japanese rival with a starting price of $25,995.
Two fighters ... undefeated ... have entered the ring. Only one will emerge victorious... Ladies and Gentleman, let's get ready to "Ruuummmbbbbllllee
Ready … Fight!
|Make||Model||Price ($USD incl. D&H)||Engine||System HP||Fuel Economy (mpgUS) city/highway/combined||Passenger Volume (cu. ft.)||Cargo Volume (cu. ft.)||Cargo Volume – seats down (cu. ft.)||Total Volume (cu. ft.)|
|Toyota||Prius v||$27,535||Atkinsonized 1.8L||138||44/40/42||97.2||34.3||67.3||131.5|
-- The Japanese Yen has performed a number on the Asian built contender with the built in upward price bias really doing a number on its affordability. The built in Wayne, Micigan C-MAX on the other hand is purely home grown and proud of it while providing customers at least a $1,300 price advantage and up to $1,540 if Ford decides not to pull the $225 for carpeted mats stunt.
-- What we see is the C-MAX wins the passenger volume war with a 2.5% larger passenger compartment while the v wins the cargo volume bragging rights with a 40% larger cargo area. Winner, Prius v.
-- In this arena, the C-MAX does not just walk but runs away with the crown with an impressive 9.5% advantage when considering the combined fuel economy figures. I have never seen a Toyota hybrid with this large of a disadvantage before.
Drivetrain and HP wars
-- If there is an Achilles heel to the Prius v, it is its day to day performance as I hear from my mom all the time that her 2012 Prius v is “doggy” from light to light. With 40% more power on tap, the C-MAX takes this one while literally running away from the highly regarded v. Adding insult to injury, the C-MAX’s 62 mph glide capability is useable on every roadway in America whereas most here know that above 46’ ish mph, in a v, you had better know what you are doing or it will leave a lot on the table.
2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid
Do not ask me why they photoshopped the C-MAX so close to the tanker just head???
The v has thankfully brought to the table an updated HSI with higher resolution and multi-colored meters. The C-MAX Hybrid provides the best display(s) in the business with its award winning SmartGauge with EcoGuide. Winner? C-MAX by a healthy margin.
Ford is touting a new Brake Coach that I have only briefly had the opportunity to experience while behind the wheel of the all-new Focus Electric a few months back. While it adds an interesting display, regenerative braking is a lossy solution at best and encouraging drivers to get consumed in the braking game defeats the purpose of what I suspect the C-MAX is capable of. We will know soon enough, won’t we
All in, if the C-MAX arrives stripped, it will be a tougher sell. If it arrives comparable equipped, the v will have more trouble on a number of fronts vs. no actual competitors that it is currently enjoying. 3,284 new v’s were driven into consumer drives last month which in the car sales business is not what I would consider “robust”.
2013 should turn out to be a very interesting year with these two heavyweights going head to head…
Adding to the fray, we also have the current and also highly regarded Camry Hybrid going up against the soon to arrive, all-new Fusion Hybrid. If Ford’s pricing follows the C-MAX and keeps in-line with the midsize hybrid standard at $25,995 to start, look out as there is going to be a whole new level of ball being played in the fuel efficient midsize ranks.
Real fuel efficiency for the consumer is now available up and down the various market segments with Hyundai/Kia providing the value quotient, Mazda and Nissan opening a lot of eyes and Ford/Toyota battling for Fuel Economy supremacy in the C and D-Segment ranks. This is an absolute grand spectacle to watch and it could nto have arrived at a better time all concerned