C-Max Energi[/caption]It was time to purchase a new car. My wife and I are fans of Top Gear, a european auto show. On that show they don’t like many cars, however, they all love the Fiat 500 Abarth. We also liked the Ford C-Max. These cars do not have too much in common, however it was the two we were picking from. We finally decided on the C-Max Energi. (my Abarth dreams are still alive) Her previous car is a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid. The Civic is 9 years old with a little over 100k on it. I currently drive a 2006 Dodge Mega Cab Cummins Diesel pickup. We have decided to keep the Honda as I have been averaging about $254 a month in fuel expense commuting to work each day. However, I need the truck to travel to trade shows and fly-ins so we’ll be keeping that. I just don’t need to be driving it so much. I am planning that by driving the Civic will save us about $127 a month in deisel fuel.
The C-Max comes in several varieties, we choose the “Energi” version. The Energi is a plug in Hybrid It has an EPA rating of 100 miles per gallon. The car contains a lithium ion battery and can go 10-20 miles on battery alone.
I plan to write in this forum about the C-Max and out experience with it.
When we picked up the car, the avergage fuel economy guage was reading 13.5mpg and it had 59 miles on it. (YIKES!)
One of the things that concerned us was the lack of people reporting fuel economy for the C-Max, both Hybrid and the Energi Plug In. The few that did report all reported less than EPA sticker mileage. Typical for the C-Max Hybrid (sticker 47mpg city, 47mpg highway and 47mph combined) was from 32 to 36mpg. That is alarming. However, these reports all seem to come from reviewers who have cars on loan for a day to film and make reports. Also, for photogenic reasons the driving almost always was in the hills and canyons of California or similar. Test speeds always seem to be 70mph plus. We don’t drive like that. Also, what does any reviewer or test driver do? They stand on that throttle to feel the power, they film passing, they film jack-rabbit starts, the test the handling. All things your likely to get tired of doing after owning a car for a 1000miles or so. What am I saying? You can’t trust the media here (like you can’t trust them anywhere). In this case, they don’t have an axe to grind, they have a report to finish. There is no axe to grind, just human nature. So, I’m anxious to see if I am correct or in error. Will the car do much better than previously reported?
Also, not reported by any report is the Ford’s manual which warns not to measure fuel economy during the first 1000 miles. The most accurate time will be between 2000-3000 miles. Having mechanical and racing experience (and a dose of healthy logic), I can assure you with todays computer controlled ignition and fuel delivery systems could easily be programmed to run a little richer for a better break in. The manual does not state it in that way and no research indicates they’ve done that. However, there is no research that indicates they did not either. So, we’ll follow the directions and give it the miles before we get too critical.
I wonder if any of the online reviewers of the C-Max Hybrid bothered to read the manual? Remember, these are humans.
We have the Energi version which is perported to get 108mpg in the city and 92 highway. Of course with an electric range limit of about 20 miles, I would presume most of your trips need to be very short with charging before each trip to acheive this mileage. My wife’s commute is 60 miles a day and most of that is Highway. I’ll be quite happy if she averages 60mpg. We are starting with the car in the winter which creates heating loads.
Here is our first set of guage photos. I’ll try to add these from time to time so you can see how the Energi is doing.