By on August 21, 2014

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Our Ford sources have confirmed a Reuters report that claims Ford is readying a new lineup of dedicated hybrids to take on the Toyota Prius.

The new range, set to debut in late 2018, will ride on the next-generation C-platform that underpins the current Ford Escape and Focus. Dubbed “C240”, volume has been pegged at 120,000 units annually, with production taking place at the Wayne, Michigan assembly plant.

In addition to a range of bodystyles, both regular hybrid and plug-in versions are set to be offered. Although much talk has been made of the distinct nature of these new vehicles, Ford already offers the C-Max as a hybrid-only vehicle – though the C-Max was originally set to be offered as a gasoline-powered minivan in varying lengths, with 5 or 7 seats.

The C-Max was originally offered with the 1.6L Ecoboost and 2.5L I4 engines, but in between its 2011 debut and its 2012 on sale date, Ford pivoted to a hybrid-only strategy. TTAC sources claim that Ford’s $5.9 billon loan from the government’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program was used to convert the C-Max (and its assembly facilities) into a hybrid-only offering that would ostensibly offer Ford numerous regulatory benefits (in the form of an increased CAFE rating and regulatory credits) as well as a unique marketing edge.

Although look is more akin to the larger Prius V, the C-Max is Ford’s de facto Prius competitor, by nature of its hybrid-only powertrain and odd (for North America) shape and footprint. But sales have been modest, with 35,000 units sold in 2013, and questions regarding its fuel economy figures, coupled with disgruntled owners, have hurt its image. Perhaps Ford is looking to launch a clean sheet Prius competitor backed by a clean-sheet design and marketing effort.

 

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76 Comments on “Ford’s Also Readying A Prius Fighter, But Don’t They Already Have One?...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Late 2018? The Prius will have advanced another generation by then.

    The ‘v’ was next on my list if I hadn’t bought the Optima Hybrid. I really like the ‘v’ – from a distance, anyway – and the back seat is roomy. But they’re a little pricey.

    • 0 avatar
      jpolicke

      How do you like it? Brief review, please!

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        We love the OH. We got it in May for $20k (25% off MSRP); Kia was eager to move out the leftover 2013s, and this dealer sold their last six on the day I got ours.

        It gets a legit 34-36 mpg in town, and 45 mpg highway, despite being rated at 36/40. With its 17.2 gallon fuel tank, the range is crazy far.

        The car has plenty of power, even if the electric/gas transition is abrupt sometimes. Turning off the ECO button greatly improves the driveability, but we don’t do that much. The front seats are quite comfortable, but at 6’6″ the back is too small for me.

        Ours is the base model, so the Bluetooth and radio are a little crude by today’s fast-moving standards. But it still has automatic/dual climate control which works well. A backup camera would be helpful since the car’s corners are difficult to gauge. However, these extras aren’t worth thousands to me.

        A rare feature among hybrids is the car’s 6-speed automatic; no CVT here. So essentially, you’re getting the regular Optima but with a pancake electric motor, generator, li-ion battery, and controls, not to mention the cosmetic differences that set the car apart (including 1″ lower ride height). The low ride height makes it harder to jack up to rotate tires (I do my own car work), and trickier to park so you don’t curb the nose.

        The OH replaced our beater 01 Elantra, which made it to 201k miles. It has become the family favorite due to its comfort, range, frugality, and good looks (ours is white). When my Leaf lease ends, there is a small chance I’ll just drive the OH, although I’ve become hooked on the EV experience.

        We’ve become a Hyundai/Kia family, since my son got a Sonata last year, and we still love our Sedona. They build a pretty good vehicle IMO, so hopefully the OH will last a long time.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The discounts on the V were epic when my Mother bought hers in late 2011. $5K off without too much trouble, when they would barely budge on the regular Prius.

      A friend of mine has a C-Max and loves it, I have had them twice as rentals and really liked it. Waaaaay nicer to drive than the Prius, just no comparison. But expensive. I would imagine Ford has big discounts on them these days though.

  • avatar
    SayMyName

    At this point, any manufacturer that tries to directly copy the Toyota hybrid formula will likely be a perennial also-ran. They’re just that far ahead. Better to stake out individual niches – the C-Max obviously didn’t work, but something else might.

    Also, when you C&P a large body of text from another source, be sure to sync up the font color to make the “borrowing” a bit less obvious… (EDIT: This may have been simply a matter of pasting your draft text into WordPress, but it looks suspicious.)

    • 0 avatar
      celebrity208

      On that note (i.e. repost stories from web site X)… I’m begining to tire of the non-original TTAC posts. If I wanted an aggregration of auto news I’d set up some google tool or just read LLN or Autoblog or etc. I come to TTAC to find the “Truth” in automotive reporting on subjects where the main stream rags/press are missing the point or just straight up being industry mouth pieces.

      The rate of change has been glacial but it might be time for a TTAC “rediscovering yourself” retreat and review the TTAC mission statement.

      Am I being too harsh?

      • 0 avatar
        williambwarren

        Nope. I agree wholly. I have a rotation I do everyday: TTAC first for some entertaining and informative reads, followed by Autoblog just to see what MIGHT be new that they caught, and then mid afternoon I end up with a Jalopnik break to give myself some mindless fun reading. Wash, rinse, repeat.

        Like /u/Celebrity208 said…it’s been glacial, but it’s getting a bit blase with the same stories as everyone else, written the same way.

        • 0 avatar
          tuffjuff

          I concur, however Autoblog’s commenting community went tits-up 4-5 years ago when they got rid of their original comment system and lost the “honor system” (how to weed out who was a troll), so I don’t mind some similar content only with comments I actually care about reading, here on TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        suspekt

        Let’s be honest here.

        JB was about 51% the overall personality and flavour of TTAC.

        The new site should be added to your rotation.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        celebrity208, no, you are not being too harsh.

        I and others also have noticed changes at ttac that are taking it further and further away from the original premise of the original Robert Farago ttac, where truth was truth, warts and all.

        These days it is all about political correctness so as not to offend, and excerpts or extracts of previously published articles.

        But this can happen when an investment company takes over the site; They’re not in it for the love of it, like Farago was. They’re in it for the money. Kinda like Cerebrus owning Chrysler.

        All we need now is articles authored by individuals who have never been in the business or never had to meet payroll, but who want to advance theoretic academic idealism or promote a special interest.

        I remember when everybody who was in the auto industry followed Farago. Ttac was always a topic included in the conversation at meetings, conventions and telecons. Things change.

    • 0 avatar
      RedStapler

      Ford already had a nice niche Hybrid going with the Previous Gen. Escape and they abandoned it.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    The CMax is comparable to the Prius V. Ford has nothing comparable to the Prius sedan.

    The CMax isn’t selling very well, but then the Prius V has seen a significant year over year decline as well. Maybe it would be better to make a Focus hybrid instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The dedicated Hybrid model has the advantage because for some of the population it is important to broadcast that they are saving the planet. Same reason for the Leaf being a dedicated EV model. Also when those that don’t have the need to broadcast that they are saving the planet the dedicated Hybrid or EV is more likely to come to mind.

      So yes it is a good strategy to have a dedicated Hybrid model or maybe a model that is available as a Hybrid, plug in Hybrid, or EV.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      Is the Prius sedan a European offering?

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      A 40 mpg hybrid is a tough sell when the conventional crapbox class now comes with 38-40 mpg on the brochure too and is $7,000 cheaper besides.

      EPA highway vs EPA combined is comparing apples and oranges but how many buyers are fruit people?

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        And a 40mpg hybrid is a tough sell when the competitor’s similar-size hybrid gets 50mpg and costs less.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        The price difference for the hybrid and conventional versions of the Fusion and Camry is in the $3200- 3400 range. The PHEV Fusion is about $6000 more than the equivalently equipped conventional one.

        It probably makes more sense to put the hybrid in the larger sedans as the dollar amount of the fuel savings is greater in the larger car.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      This.

      And CMax sales aren’t that bad considering Prius V sales.

      OTOH, Fusion hybrid sales are breathing down the neck of Camry hybrid sales.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    I hate to be the one bearing bad news for Ford and others, but Toyota has rightfully won, and wears very proudly the crown of hybrids with the Prius in its many variations, looks notwithstanding (still uglier than sin).

    For everyone else to catch up is well-nigh impossible at this point unless Sunbeam actually develops a real-life “Mr. Fusion” and offers it only to Ford or GM.

    All others fall in line – three generations back, thank you.

    • 0 avatar
      bd2

      Despite Toyota being associated with hybrids, Fusion hybrid sales are right there with Camry hybrid sales (as well as Sonata/Optima hybrid sales) – so it’s not like other automakers haven’t gotten traction with hybrids.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        But to compete with the Prius, you have to have competitive numbers.

        Both GM, Honda, and Ford have tried to compete directly with the Prius without the numbers, and failed. GM misunderstood that the MPG number is the core of the statement that the Prius makes. Honda tried to be 90% as good for 90% of the price, but Toyota dropped the price on the Prius to almost match and wrecked the strategy. And, the C-Max is a fantastic vehicle and drives like a solid sporty Prius – the numbers didn’t stack up in the real world.

        As the owner of an aging Prius, I just can’t trade that thing on a car that is “almost as good” in terms of MPG and reliability. I’d love to see it made obsolete by a car that beats it fair and square on what it does well. But it hasn’t happened yet.

        Good luck, Ford! Qapla’!

  • avatar
    rudiger

    I wonder what kind of wild fuel mileage claims Ford will have with this one?

    But, seriously, it makes sense. The market is large enough for Ford to go ‘all-in’ with a real, dedicated hybrid since the C-Max was a cobbled-up job on an existing, non-hybrid platform. One look at that raised rear cargo floor on the C-Max is enough to tell anyone that (let alone the C-Max Energi, which has a ‘really’ high rear load floor).

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    From a product marketing stand point the current C-Max in its form, as a fuel efficient hybrid, has probably suffered too much brand damage. Add in that its MPGs are now well below the Prius it competes against, which has a habit (the Prius) of meeting or beating the EPA estimates, the value proposition is kind of dead in the water.

    If they want to play, and they want to have a legit Prius fighter, they have to go to a clean sheet.

    Agree with above sentiment that 2018 is an awful long time. However with a new Prius coming shortly, that revision should be close to end of life at 2018. Ford will have to target their offering not for 2018 from a feature/price/economy stand point, but out to 2022 for it to be an effective Prius fighter (anticipating what Toyota may do for a roughly 2019 refresh if they follow current cycles)

  • avatar
    stingray65

    I test drove a C-Max Hybrid this summer when helping my parents car shop, and was very impressed. It has acceleration, handling, quietness, and interior quality that a Prius cannot touch with a 10 foot pole, plus they were offering almost 20% off sticker on remaining 2014 models. My parents probably would have purchased one if they offered the extended wheelbase version available in Europe to get a bit more cargo space. I do not know why anyone considering a Prius would ever choose a Prius over the C-Max if they actually bothered to try both out, as both the regular Prius and the V version are the most miserable cars I have ever driven in the past 10 years.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      How many people shop this class of car for acceleration and handling? If that’s what you want there are any number of cheap conventional cars to put both of them to shame.

      The Prius has impeccable green cred with 50 mpg on the sticker and is proven reliable and cheap to own with 15 years of strong resale and red dots from CR.

      The CMax has no cred of any kind, looks like an utter dorkmobile on its own merits, and CR gave it a solid black dot for breaking too much.

      • 0 avatar
        mikedt

        Exactly. You buy a hybrid for maximum MPG.

        And as for Ford vs Toyota in the hybrid war, I’d be afraid of buying Ford’s first venture into hybrids as well. Maybe Detroit has changed, but for far too many years they used the public as beta testers of their new technology. Maybe in another generation or two the C-Max can compete with Toyota’s record but until then they need to be substantially cheaper to buy or to cheaper to operate in order to sway hybrid buyers their way.

      • 0 avatar
        HotPotato

        Who shops this class of car for acceleration and handling? People who like driving.

        The C-Max provides the MPG and easy parking of a subcompact, the spaciousness and refined road manners of a Eurobarge, the easy ingress of a compact CUV, and the acceleration of whatever hot hatch you’re trading in. Perfect if you need one car to do it all.

        That said, one-car households are more common in Europe, where the Germans and Spaniards have long churned out C-Maxes for the home market. Ford didn’t exactly make massive adjustments for American tastes before bringing it here; they just swapped the turbodiesel/stickshift powertrain for a hybrid/eCVT powertrain and hoped for the best.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      At the time I got Mom into a Prius-V, the C-Max had JUST come out. There were only a couple, fully loaded examples around my area, and the dealers would not budge on the very high price. With a $5K discount on the P-V, it was a no brainer to buy the Toyota. But the Ford is a much, much, much nicer car and had it been my money, it would have been my choice. The difference in mpg between the two is rounding error – I have had no problem getting 40+ mpg with rented versions, Mom gets 45 with the Toyora. I do think in the very long run that the Toyota will probably be a little cheaper, but I wouldn’t own something like this long enough for that to matter.

      And note – THE primary reason we bought a Prius-V is that Mom needed something that would hold more than a sedan, with a backseat that aged parents could get in and out of easily, but was much smaller than a minivan (she traded in a loaded VW Routan). The extra mpgs are a bonus, not a primary motivation. Note for all those who seem to think old folks love tall vehicles. Both Mom, who is 66, and my Grandparents hated getting in and out of the Routan. Mom has a bad hip, and the Grandparents are just old and frail. The Prius-V is the perfect size to slide right into, as opposed to having to climb up or fall down. My 86yo Great Aunt traded her 3yo Honda Odyssey for a new Impala for the same reason. And my family are not short people. My Great Aunt is kinda “great” though…

      • 0 avatar
        turboprius

        Wow, we’re the opposite. We have to have vehicles with higher ride heights because stepping down is too hard on my parents. My parents are only (well, in B&B aspects) in their late 40’s/50.

        That Camry rental we had last year was great, but it was painful for them to get in an out of. We only had it for a couple days.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          Sounds like new hips are in the offing. My nephew stopped by with his new Cherokee Trailhawk today. I slipped into the passenger seat without a thought.

          But when I tried getting into the driver’s seat I could barely contort my neck enough to clear my head. Bad left hip. It makes all the difference.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    Unless it’s called the “Prius”, I feel like they’re going to have trouble selling more than 30-40k of them. And Toyota’s legal department will surely have a problem with Ford calling their car the “Prius.”

    Like the 3-Series, it’s not a car you send a “fighter” up against lightly. Even if the ATS were superior in every way (which it isn’t), it still ain’t a 3.

    Just..don’t let the marketing department make up fuel economy figures this time, eh Ford? That didn’t go so well the last few times.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “Just..don’t let the marketing department make up fuel economy figures this time, eh Ford? That didn’t go so well the last few times.”

      The should let me do it this tine. I warned Ford in September of 2012 that it was going to end up poorly for them. They can just pay me $2000+ this time, instead of everyone that purchases one.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      None of the previous “Prius fighters” have had competitive and/or believable MPG numbers.

      Make a nice car that gets Prius-class mileage… Then all you have to do is market it.

      But that 50+ MPG on the sticker, and Prius-like MPGs on the road, is the “must be this tall to ride this ride” barrier. Once that happens, then you can market the hell out of it and actually get somewhere.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        The problem is that the things that get those numbers for the Prius are the very things that make it an otherwise crap car. Silly little wheels, egregious interior plastics, and so on all contribute to a lower curb weight, and the underpowered engine boosts the numbers even further.

        There is a limited number of people that will make those compromises in the name of higher mileage. The Prius sold 157k units last year; Prius c sold 41k, and Prius v sold 35k. So 233k units overall. I suspect that is pretty close to the upper limits of the “mileage first” hybrid buyer pool.

        (Incidentally, the C-Max outsold the Prius v, so they’re doing something right.)

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    The EREV is a better idea and I suspect the Prius in it’s current form will no longer exist in 10 years. The name will, but not the current hybrid system. Ford would be wise to take a page out of BMW’s playbook and not bother chasing dated/obsolete technology.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    As much as I love my C-Max, it is no Prius fighter. It is more of a CUV alternative weird euro thing. It is evident that the hybrid model was an afterthought when you open the rear hatch and see the raised trunk floor.

    I have never been able to get 40 MPG in the current crop of 40 MPG compact sedans/hatches. In almost every one of them, my MPG hover around 30-32 (Focus, Cruze, Civic, Corolla, Mazda3, Elantra, non-TDi Jetta/Golf). The C-Max feels much larger than any of these vehicles as well. It is also quieter, more comfortable, and I average more than ten MPG more than I ever get with the traditional C-segment cars.

    The C-Max’s biggest problem isn’t the Prius. It is the Focus, Fusion, and Escape. All three have excellent lease deals, incentives, financing, and consumers like them.

    • 0 avatar
      carr1on

      Agreed. I’m leasing a C-Max and it’s been good but not great. It is roomy, quiet, and has a smooth ride. Plus all the electronic doohickeys are good for trips. There have been some quality issues though, including the carpet squares in the cargo compartment coming off (fixed, but still a pain).

      The C-Max has had two – TWO! – MPG adjustments from Ford. When I purchased it was 47MPG. LOL. My lifetime average 1.5 years in is 36.7MPG. Not exactly world class for a hybrid.

      I likely won’t get another C-Max. This was my first Ford in 15 years.

  • avatar
    319583076

    A $5.90 loan? That’s news!

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    In the US, the C-Max is indeed exclusively a hybrid. But in Europe that isn’t the case. That means that the C-Max had to be engineered with both hybrid and gas/diesel only options in mind. I think what Ford is going for is a car that is built from scratch to be hybrid only. Whether it’s sold in the US, Europe, China, or Thailand.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      This.

      I would totally consider the C-Max Energi if it weren’t for the terrible packaging of the battery. A purpose-built hybrid platform (presumably) fixes that.

      (My commutes are so short that a non-pluggable hybrid makes no sense for me.)

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Ford could fill a niche currently left open by Toyota and Volkswagen by making a 5 seat hatch with a combined 200 HP. Bonus points if it had plug in capacity. If they could do all that for under $30K, they’d do well, even if it didn’t do the Prius gas mileage. I would gladly trade a couple MPG for a 0-60 time under 8 seconds (especially loaded up with passengers. “A Prius for the impatient”

  • avatar
    turboprius

    The Prius is like the USAA of hybrid cars.

  • avatar
    Dragophire

    The old saying your mileage will vary continues to be true. Last year the wife and I went to training in San Francisco well she went for training I went for vacation. We were there for a solid 7 days with a rental C Max. I drove around for hours at a time during the day while she was at the APA training and I averaged 46.3 MPG. I am not a soft driver.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    Ford will never be able to compete with the Toyota hybrid. Consider the difference between the two companies. Ford is big on workplace diversity. This means Ford managers are often selected on the color of their skin rather than their IQ. Toyota promotes the best and brightest.

    Many times, a white guy, who graduates from a top college with high SAT scores, is passed over for promotion in favor of a minority who gained entrance to a comparable college using affirmative action policies and lesser SAT scores. So, the smarter white guy has no career opportunities at Ford while less smart minority is steadily promoted. The smarter white guy leaves the state of Michigan. Result? Ford can not compete with Toyota.

    Go ahead Ford. Keep up the workplace diversity. Then, wonder why your vehicles continue to score black dots in Consumer Reports.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Jimmyy,
      If they gave out prizes for how far you can stick your head up your a$$, your chest would be filled with blue ribbons.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Wow, that was enlightening.

      This explains why the F-150 lags the Tundra in sales.

      @jimmyy: Ford may suffer from being too PC, but most other companies are also trying to err on the safe side of the law. So your point has nothing to do with the Ford-Toyota discussion, but with a larger business culture discussion that belongs elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      As a thoroughly white guy who had high SAT scores and went to top colleges, I would like to point out that if you’re equating those things with intelligence, you’re not paying attention. If you think that intelligence is a shared characteristic among the leaders of any large, established American corporation, you’re really not paying attention. The difference between Ford and Toyota is cultural, both in the larger national sense that Japanese people are different from Americans and in the more specific sense that Ford has a different corporate culture from Toyota. It’s made clear by the simple fact that Toyota created and refined the mainstream Hybrid, whereas the Escape, which was Ford’s first hybrid, was manufactured using technology licensed from Toyota. Ford is *still* scrambling to catch up with Toyota. Arguing that this is because they value a diverse employee pool is asinine.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        Hah, Ford catching up with Toyota in Hybrids!?

        If anything, there was hope that the Volt would be a better seller than it is.

        But the Toyota Hybrids already rule the planet. Anything else that comes along will just be another entry for choice.

        There’s no way any manufacturer can ever catch up to Toyota in Hybrids!

        (I’ll never buy one, but more than a million people already have.)

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Ford and Toyota independently came up with very similar hybrid drive systems. Rather than have a legal battle, they entered into a cross-licensing agreement. Toyota certainly made better use of the tech, but you can’t say one is catching up to the other. If anything the C-Max implementation is more interesting, and much less conservative.

        Otherwise, I agree with you. And this as a mixed-race guy who went to an OK state school, then used his mixed-raceness to get a killer scholarship to a second-tier law school.

    • 0 avatar
      360joules

      #Jimmyy, after you pick up your cross-eyed kid from daycare, go home & kiss your polydactyl sister wife, pat your albino son on the head, put on the freshly pressed hood & robe, then skedaddle to the cross-burning. Don’t keep the Grand Dragon waiting.

    • 0 avatar

      There’s a lot of this “white victimhood” stuff going around and it’s part and parcel with the whole “pro-black is anti-white” shtick.

      It basically boils down to “I couldah been a contendaah….if only that undeserving minority wasn’t getting a free ride based on his minorityness.”

      That just proves the guy with that mindset probably couldn’t hack it in the first place, especially if he whines about “less smart minorities” being his one and only stumbling block.

      • 0 avatar
        petezeiss

        And it’s “smarter white guy”s who have orchestrated the affirmative action and multicultural phenomena since day one.

        Disavowing the jimmyys of America has been a negligible price for them to pay for the long term indoctrination campaign that’s resulted in their party’s permanent political domination of America.

        ‘Permanent’ meaning as long as the power grid is still up.

  • avatar
    HerrKaLeun

    Who would compare a Cmax to a Prius V?
    The V can fit the Cmax into its trunk. The Cmax is for someone who has a single suitcase as luggage (and someone who likes to spend time in the shop).

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I certainly did, as did my friend who chose the C-Max over the Prius-V. If you value how the car drives, the C-Max is a no brainer first choice. If you value TCO over all, then you should choose the Prius. I don’t see one as intrinsically better than the other, both are good cars. It’s like choosing chocolate ice cream or vanilla, just a matter of taste.

      And anecdote does not equal data, but he has had fewer problems with his C-Max than Mom has with her Prius. And his is a very early production car. He’s put a lot more miles on it too. They are getting identical mileage in the real world – roughly 45mpg.

      • 0 avatar

        The Prius (family) still wins for space, miles-per-dollar and proven durability. But the C-Max looks and drives better, has newer interfaces, more features, and is just a better presentation. I think I’d make the tradeoff and go for the latter. What would be *really* cool, though, is if Ford would bring over the Grand C-Max. I never liked the Mazda5’s styling, but the similarly-laid-out Grand C-Max looks excellent.

        • 0 avatar
          Dragophire

          Kyree you are on the money with the Grand C Max. Literally this would be the perfect car for my mom who wants more space, slightly elevated seating and great gas mileage but not want a Prius. She could keep the third row folded for extra space. A hybrid version of this was what I thought Ford should have brought over in the first place.

          • 0 avatar

            That was originally the plan. When they displayed the concept at shows all over the U.S., it *was* a Grand C-Max hybrid. And then somehow they had a change of heart, likely due to the notion that Americans are averse to minivans and things with sliding doors…

  • avatar
    ringomon

    I would have looked at a C-Max if they hadn’t gotten rid of the sliding doors.

    In my eyes it would have been a good way to differentiate and find a niche for the vehicle. It’s quite possible it could have hurt sales as well though I’ll admit. I just have specific needs of 2 kids and a narrow garage.

    I got a Mazda 5, and there wasn’t really anything else that I could put up against it.

  • avatar
    afuller

    A year ago I found myself in a position of shopping for a hybrid.

    My wife had her heart set on a Prius and I looked for any reason to buy something other than a Prius.

    The fact of the matter is, if mileage is the important factor then there was really nothing out there that matched the Prius. I prefer the look of the C-Max but the mileage figures left me cold.

    If Ford had something that actually matched the mileage of the Prius then it would be in my garage, but they didn’t.

  • avatar
    z9

    Love my C-Max Energi. Currently at 67 average MPG. Here in the republic of the Jetta TDI wagon, the C-Max is everywhere, and for good reason. If you don’t do the majority of your driving on long highway trips it makes perfect sense.

    If Ford could fix the trunk space problem with a new model, that’d be awesome. Also maybe the doors don’t need to weigh three tons each? I suspect Ford could put their cars on a diet and gain back a few miles per gallon.

    • 0 avatar
      Dragophire

      Due to the fact the fact that it wasnt built as a hybrid to begin with I believe (hope) that the next gen will address this weight issue. However if you look across Fords lineup you will notice that all of their vehicles are not weight competitive at all. If they took out 300-400lbs across their lineup it would help real world gas mileage and they wouldnt be forced to change the stickers every two years. If you take a Cmax and make it as light as a Prius you are looking at Prius mileage plus Ford driving dynamics.

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Wasn’t Toyota supplying their hybrid tech to Ford few years back? I also thought Toyota is working with Ford to implement hybrid tech into their trucks. Either way, everyone has been claiming to kill the Prius sooner or later but it hasn’t happened. Toyota is too far ahead with its tech and consistent enhancements.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Ford independently developed a system with key technologies similar to Toyota’s HSD. Instead of going through legal battles, Ford licensed 21 patents from Toyota in exchange for patents relating to emissions technology. Until the new C-Max and Fusion, Aisin supplied both comapnies powersplit transmissions. Ford builds their own eCVT in Sterling Heights, MI. It is the only FWD hybrid transmission built in the US.

      Ford and Toyota were working on hybrid trucks together. They dissolved that relationship last year after the feasability study and prototypes. Ford stated that they were going to bring hybrid trucks/SUVs, based on that new system, to market by the end of the decade. Toyota hasn’t made any product comments. The truck hybrid is probably less important to Toyota than Ford.

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