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Ford’s C-Max Energi comes up shy of fuel economy claims

If Ford C-Max Energi, Ford’s new plug-in hybrid, was a small wooden puppet boy and the same thing happened to it whenever claims were, um, difficult to match, its nose might grow every time the engine is started.

Ford proudly proclaims the Ford C-Max Energi can be driven up to 43 kilometres in electric-only mode with an average consumption of 1.9 litres-equivalent (Le) per 100 kilometres. After fully recharging the main battery overnight, I managed to drive 20.6 kilometres in EV mode, which I thought was pretty good, given the nasty weather. However, it averaged 2.8 Le/100 km, which is 47% higher than advertised.

Things went downhill when the C-Max Energi switched to regular hybrid operation, as it does whenever the battery is depleted. Again, Ford says it has a city rating of 4.0 L/100 km and a highway rating of 4.1 L/100 km, which means it should average somewhere around those numbers. The Energi’s trusty trip computer was showing an average of 7.0 L/100 km, a number that included the electric-only operation phase and the regular gas/electric operation when it went hybrid. This is a 75% increase in consumption compared to the posted number.


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