Fuel Fiasco Mk II: Consumer Reports Fingers Ford

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

If you know how to listen and who to listen to, you have heard for weeks that Hyundai is not the only one with overenthusiastic EPA ratings, and that other car companies might soon have to restate their MPG numbers. The carmaker mentioned most often in those whispers was Ford. Today, Consumer Reports magazine said that Ford’s C-Max and Fusion hybrids fall about 20 percent short of their fuel economy claims.

After running tests, Consumer Reports said the Fusion hybrid delivers 39 MPG both on the highway and in the city. The C-Max rated a combined 37 MPG in Consumer Reports’ test. Ford said both vehicles get 47 miles per gallon.

Says Consumer Reports:

“These two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our overall-mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that we’ve seen among any current models.”

According to Consumer Reports, the magazine usually sees-MPG results in its tests that are pretty close to the EPA’s combined-mpg estimate. More than 80 percent of the vehicles CR tested are within 2 mpg. “But the overall mpg for these C-Max and Fusion models is off by a whopping 10 and 8 mpg, respectively, or about 20 percent.”

Reuters tried to contact Ford, but did not get an answer.

Says CR:

“We’re not alone in these findings. Some Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid owners have reported fuel economy below the EPA estimates and other media outlets have experienced a similar shortfall.”

CR reported the results to the EPA.

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  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Dec 07, 2012

    Rental CAr Roulette got me a C-Max this weekend in Atlanta. So far in an evening of highway and suburban knocking around I'm getting 42mpg. Not nearly enough miles to mean anything, of course. Nice car though, probably worth the extra cash over a Prius-V (Mom has one), but it is noticably less roomy. No way it will be as efficient though, given the difference in wieght and power, no matter what Ford/EPA says.

  • Thornmark Thornmark on Dec 08, 2012

    Excellent article fron Dan Neil: Ford's Fine C-Max Falls Way Short on MPG http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324001104578161401552249678.html?mod=WSJ_Autos_LS_Autos_2

  • Jimmyy Jimmyy on Dec 08, 2012

    What a shame. Engine fires. MyFordTouch/Sync. Transmissions in the Focus. Mustang manual transmissions exploding. Real world mileage far below EPA. Near last place rank in respected Consumer Reports and JD Powers reliability studies. This is a crisis, and it will impact your revenue and margins. Ignore the analysts who call this a bump in the road. Ford would be best served changing directions fast. Ditch the complicated technology and keep it simple like Toyota and Honda. Fire engineers, product planners, executives, and any other clown who sold you on complicated technology to differentiate your brand. And, take care of your customers. I would offer near 100% trade in on new Ford products to those with engine fire problems. You need the positive press. Then, you need to clean house.

  • Ddr7 Ddr7 on Dec 08, 2012

    Mazda is not known for super MPG efficiency, at least before skyactive era. My 2006 Mazda 3 2.3 liter, did 32 MPG on the hwy, EPA rating was 29, this was checked by actually filling up gas, not trip computer and it was on NY state hwy on a very long trip. Also, my current car, 2011 Mazda 3, 2.5 liter, did 32 MPG on the hwy, EPA rating is also 29. The only thing I don't understand is how they manage to get such lousy fuel consumption on a car of that size, I knew it before I got the car so I'm not surprised but still, it doesn't look good. If I have to choose again between fuel economy and fun to drive, fun to drive will win big time!