Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

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Thread: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

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    Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Another article on the C-max. Author repeats some of what we already know (CR and Greencar report), but also says in his one test, he was dissapointed in the mileage also.

    Full article here: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/for...age-2012-12-08


    Hyundai, Honda and now Ford have been accused of cooking the mileage books, and in the first blush of evidence—I just ran a tank of gas through the C-Max and got 33.9 average mpg—I also judge the C-Max’s rating to be grossly inflated.

    The point is, I drove the C-Max Hybrid pretty hard and that lowered my mileage. Still, with the cruise control set on 76 mph on a dead-flat four-lane highway in mild conditions, the C-Max’s instantaneous mileage readout was fixed at 35.8 mpg, well short of nominal.

    It must be noted: The C-Max’s across-the-board 47 mpg is a monster number, almost patently suspicious. We are looking at a 3,607-pound vehicle with 188 hybrid horsepower (2.0-liter, 141-hp Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder; continuously variable transmission; AC synchronous electric motor; 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack with 35 kW max output). This is a five-seat, five-door hatch boasting zero-to-60 mph acceleration of around 8.2 seconds, considerably quicker than the rival Toyota Prius V, which is rated at only 44/40 mpg. The C-Max outweighs the Honda CR-Z hybrid sport coupe by a half-ton and yet, by EPA estimates, gets more than 25% better fuel economy.

    And while the C-Max is aero-sleek to the eye, it actually puts a significant dent in the air (63.9 inches high and 82 inches wide at the side mirrors). Frankly, I’m impressed I got 33.9 mpg.

    Where does all this leave the C-Max? I think it’s likely that Ford’s hybrid powertrain programming is, let’s say, overly familiar with the EPA’s testing regime. For example: Key to the Ford hybrid’s system big numbers is its all-electric speed range of up to 62 mph. If you are really gentle with the accelerator, you can reach highway speeds without ever switching on the gas engine. That’s a huge win during the testing cycle, though hard to replicate in the real world. I wouldn’t even call it an attempt to game the system. It’s the result of human nature, to the extent that automotive engineers are human.

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    So, Dan Neill drove the car hard and set the cruise to 76 mph on the highway and couldn't get the advertised mpg? And he was surprised?

    The C-Max may not get the advertised mpg, but to flog a vehicle and then write a piece on fuel economy is a bit disingenuous. Had he actually driven the car in a manner consistent with getting good fuel economy, and the car fell short of expectations (which it may well have), then he would have a lot more credibilty.

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    The EPA test does not include hard acceleration nor does it include speeds over 62 MPH. To test a vehicle using hard acceleration and much higher speeds, and then faining surprise at the results, is laughable. I contend there isn't a vehicle from any manufacturer that will equal it's respective EPA MPG ratings while being driven hard and at 76 MPH.

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by impala02 View Post
    So, Dan Neill drove the car hard and set the cruise to 76 mph on the highway and couldn't get the advertised mpg? And he was surprised?

    The C-Max may not get the advertised mpg, but to flog a vehicle and then write a piece on fuel economy is a bit disingenuous. Had he actually driven the car in a manner consistent with getting good fuel economy, and the car fell short of expectations (which it may well have), then he would have a lot more credibilty.
    I was thinking the exact same thing, couldn't have said it much better myself.

    Its as if he was trying his hardest to get bad MPG's, probably also performing equally heavy braking, this comment kinda stuck out for me.

    "Frankly, Iím impressed I got 33.9 mpg."

    Like in his head, he's thinking....... "OMG, I drove the Sheet out of that car and still almost got 34 MPG's WOW!?"


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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    I thought they tested mileage at 55 mph and lower?????

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by andretti View Post
    The EPA test does not include hard acceleration nor does it include speeds over 62 MPH. To test a vehicle using hard acceleration and much higher speeds, and then faining surprise at the results, is laughable. I contend there isn't a vehicle from any manufacturer that will equal it's respective EPA MPG ratings while being driven hard and at 76 MPH.
    Actually the test cycle does include some sprints at a decent throttle percentage. You are correct on the 62 MPH though.


    I think everybody is jumping on the wagon here. This article just proves it. Drive ANY vehicle 76 MPH and it wont be near the rating.
    Just that time again to ignore certain people. I'm certain they will continue to try and instigate and antagonize while throwing up their arms saying they did nothing but are here on a civil basis. Not worth the time seeing how some just seem to know all.

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by andretti View Post
    The EPA test does not include hard acceleration nor does it include speeds over 62 MPH. To test a vehicle using hard acceleration and much higher speeds, and then faining surprise at the results, is laughable. I contend there isn't a vehicle from any manufacturer that will equal it's respective EPA MPG ratings while being driven hard and at 76 MPH.
    The VW diesel MT Passat has demonstrated a calibrated 48.2 mpg(US) on a level Interstate under cruise control at 70 mph. That is 12% above the EPA's Monroney sticker predicted 43 mpg highway. Of course this does does not clarify what happens at 75 or 80 mph. The data that I have suggests 42 mpg at 75 mph ... but that is just an educated guess.

    See also VW's 2 Liter US diesels USER MPG Estimate usually beat EPA combined mpg by 20% to 25%. Audi diesels are beginning to exhibit similar capabilities.

    It is my opinion that some powertrain technologies are more tolerant of "abusive" diving styles, weather, terrains, and traffic patterns than others.

    Gasoline ICEs are generally less robust than small displacement (<2 Liter) fuel frugal turbo diesels for example. Although, just being diesel is NOT enough to guarantee fuel frugality.

    Some hybrid designs are less tolerant than others ... just as some gasoline configurations offer greater stability in fuel economy predictability than other.

    Certainly more potential customers are interested in better fuel economy so those FE values become more important to the OEMs. But if those ratings are too far from real world the consumer becomes suspicious ... we've all seen comments lately about Honda, Hyundai/Kia, and now Ford. I'm certain there will be others.

    Keep in mind it is the OEM's decision/choice whether "fine tune" their vehicle offerings to MAXIMIZE mpg ratings of the EPA tests for "advertising", "gaming" of standardized testing?? Or, to MAXIMIZE for user conditions?


    "BIG BUSINESS" mentality seems to want the "highest highway test value" for advertising advantage ... regardless what the general consumer gets in the real world. Keep in mind there is nothing preventing OEMs from submitting less "aggressive" values for EPA to approve ... as far as I can determine.

    Wouldn't that be a shockingly pleasant surprise ... not having to be suspicious about what is being advertised/offered?
    It is important what WE use as our "moral compass" and ...
    the "measuring stick" chosen for judging progress/success as well.


    44 mpg by 2010 ... 2013?

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    This demonstrates that studying for the test doesn't mean you're smart.

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by bballr4567 View Post
    Actually the test cycle does include some sprints at a decent throttle percentage. You are correct on the 62 MPH though.
    The original "highway" test didn't, but the new "high speed" test does. The fastest test speed is 80 mph. See...
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

    There's also a new accelaration measure, 2.5 times faster than in the past.

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by john1701a View Post
    The original "highway" test didn't, but the new "high speed" test does. The fastest test speed is 80 mph. See...
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

    There's also a new accelaration measure, 2.5 times faster than in the past.
    But all that's just used as an EPA "adjustment" - and there's no explanation of what kind of adjustment it causes.

    The car has a 0-60 on par with an average conventional vehicle, and reviewers are using it. Also, it handles well further eliciting spirited driving. It's setup for the EPA test cycles, but that's not how its driven. Compare to a Prius which can't get near the acceleration, and penalizes you in NVH for anything more than parade style driving. No wonder owners get closer to EPA.
    VOLTEC is the future of everything automotive.
    A plug in Prius is not the same as a VOLT.
    No longer do you have to buy the worst in class car for the best MPG.
    The Prius is now irrelevant.

    Quote Originally Posted by John1701a View Post
    VOLT USES LESS GAS

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by 44 mpg by 2010 View Post
    The VW diesel MT Passat has demonstrated a calibrated 48.2 mpg(US) on a level Interstate under cruise control at 70 mph. That is 12% above the EPA's Monroney sticker predicted 43 mpg highway. Of course this does does not clarify what happens at 75 or 80 mph. The data that I have suggests 42 mpg at 75 mph ... but that is just an educated guess.

    See also VW's 2 Liter US diesels USER MPG Estimate usually beat EPA combined mpg by 20% to 25%. Audi diesels are beginning to exhibit similar capabilities.

    It is my opinion that some powertrain technologies are more tolerant of "abusive" diving styles, weather, terrains, and traffic patterns than others.

    Gasoline ICEs are generally less robust than small displacement (<2 Liter) fuel frugal turbo diesels for example. Although, just being diesel is NOT enough to guarantee fuel frugality.

    Some hybrid designs are less tolerant than others ... just as some gasoline configurations offer greater stability in fuel economy predictability than other.

    Certainly more potential customers are interested in better fuel economy so those FE values become more important to the OEMs. But if those ratings are too far from real world the consumer becomes suspicious ... we've all seen comments lately about Honda, Hyundai/Kia, and now Ford. I'm certain there will be others.

    Keep in mind it is the OEM's decision/choice whether "fine tune" their vehicle offerings to MAXIMIZE mpg ratings of the EPA tests for "advertising", "gaming" of standardized testing?? Or, to MAXIMIZE for user conditions?


    "BIG BUSINESS" mentality seems to want the "highest highway test value" for advertising advantage ... regardless what the general consumer gets in the real world. Keep in mind there is nothing preventing OEMs from submitting less "aggressive" values for EPA to approve ... as far as I can determine.

    Wouldn't that be a shockingly pleasant surprise ... not having to be suspicious about what is being advertised/offered?
    The only issue with a turbo diesel is that a diesel has enough power for highway cruising at a lower RPM to not need boost that much and that is why they excel at highway speeds. The EPA doesnt take this for granted and the engine is loaded a lot of the time during the EPA test reducing the numbers.
    Just that time again to ignore certain people. I'm certain they will continue to try and instigate and antagonize while throwing up their arms saying they did nothing but are here on a civil basis. Not worth the time seeing how some just seem to know all.

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by goblue View Post
    But all that's just used as an EPA "adjustment" - and there's no explanation of what kind of adjustment it causes.

    More realistic results?



    Quote Originally Posted by goblue View Post
    The car has a 0-60 on par with an average conventional vehicle, and reviewers are using it. Also, it handles well further eliciting spirited driving. It's setup for the EPA test cycles, but that's not how its driven. Compare to a Prius which can't get near the acceleration, and penalizes you in NVH for anything more than parade style driving. No wonder owners get closer to EPA.

    Really? - Was this necessary?

    John is being somewhat civil, how long is that going to last with comments like that? Aren't you one of the ones always blaming him of Prius-jacking every thread?


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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Actual owners who have posted on BON report excellent economy. They can easily match and beat the EPA estimates if you use your head, and actually follow the tutoring that the Ford system gives you. Believe it or not, you do not get the best mileage accelerating like a snail on electric only. This depletes the battery, and then you are running completely on the engine. Instead, you accelerate at a normal pace using the engine. This then allows the electric motor to assist in maintaining speed. This puts alot less draw on the battery, and allows the gas engine to run much less.

    You do not have to hypermile to get the mileage, you just have to drive smart. Also, anything north of 65mph is really going to reduce your mileage. So is using winter fuel (oxygenated, meaning ethanol), having any kind of wind, extra cold temps, etc.

    There is a bandwagon being jumped on here. If we want to crucify based on hard driving and very high mph cruising, then no vehicle achieves its EPA mileage. All one has to do is look at the "as tested" mileage in any of the vehicle tests. They are awful, and frankly, most are in the teens and low 20's. There is always a price to be paid for driving hard. If that is your "normal" then that is fine. But don't get pissed at the manufacturers, when your vehicle doesn't come close to the EPA rating.

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by john1701a View Post
    The original "highway" test didn't, but the new "high speed" test does. The fastest test speed is 80 mph. See...
    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml

    There's also a new accelaration measure, 2.5 times faster than in the past.
    You should look at the tests in detail. The new "high speed" test has the vehicle just "touch" 80 MPH for 1.5 seconds and only averages 48.3 MPH. This is hardly equivalent to cruising at 76 MPH where the average will be well over 70 MPH.

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    Re: Fordís fine C-Max falls way short on mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by andretti View Post
    You should look at the tests in detail. The new "high speed" test has the vehicle just "touch" 80 MPH for 1.5 seconds and only averages 48.3 MPH. This is hardly equivalent to cruising at 76 MPH where the average will be well over 70 MPH.
    The graph shows about a quarter of the test with speeds above 62 mph, which was the point of the "high speed" test.

    That average is skewed heavily by several stops and accelerations.

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