Scheduled for introduction this fall, Ford’s new C-MAX Hybrid people carrier is predicted to achieve 47 miles per gallon in city driving and 44 mpg on the open road, according to information released by the automaker.
Built off the company’s global C-car architecture, the C-MAX Hybrid sports a 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine, paired with an electric motor, for a total output of 188 horsepower.
Ford says it has simultaneously increased hybrid efficiency and performance while reducing cost. The result is an expected payback period of two years for the hybrid technology premium compared with leading small crossovers. This is about half of the four-year period Ford research shows could trigger more mainstream hybrid sales.
The vehicle has a high roofline (63.9 inches) offering ample interior space and flexibility. C-MAX Hybrid offers 99.7 cubic feet of passenger space. For cargo, C-MAX Hybrid has 60/40 split-fold rear seats. The seats easily fold flat with 52.6 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 24.5 cubic feet behind the second row.
Of the C-MAX Hybrid’s regenerative braking, the company says it is able to capture 95 percent of braking energy that would be lost without the system and like the Focus Electric employs a Brake Coach feature that enables drivers to extend the vehicle’s driving range by optimizing braking technique.
Ford also says that the C-MAX Hybrid is capable of higher speeds in all-electric mode than the rival Toyota Prius v and expects around half of customers to be conquest sales from other brands and vehicles. It’s also attempting to position the C-MAX as the most affordable hybrid utility on the market with a base price of $25,995.
That slightly undercuts the Prius V, which currently lists for a base MSRP of $26,550 and is rated at 44 mpg city/40 mpg highway. Given the C-MAX’s higher fuel economy estimates and high feature content – including SYNC, MyFord Touch, optional Park Assist and hands-free rear liftgate – it will be interesting to see how it fares against its Toyota rival in the next 12 months.