Ford CEO Admits the C-Max Underperforms EPA Standards in Real World Test

Last night I was at a dinner with Ford CEO Alan Mulally at the Ford Trends conference in Detroit.  After taking a couple of questions on electric cars, emissions, and mileage standards, Mulally touted the C-max platform with the words:  “I want to tell you a funny story”.

The punch line of which is as follows, Mulally had one of their product executives drive a C-Max hybrid in real world conditions to test out the concern that in actual driving experience the cars were not getting the target gas mileage. Mulally stated they found that when driven perfectly, the executive could hit the 47 mpg EPA rating, however the experience was horrible, quote “spent the whole time terrified driving in the right lane.”  When driven with the normal flow of traffic and not adhering strictly to a driving protocol designed to enhance mileage, he underperformed the EPA rating on the same trip by 3-5 mpg.

Mulally seemed highly entertained by this story.  I love the C-Max, great technology, amazingly cool car.  I was not entertained by this story.

1 reply
  1. john cambier
    john cambier says:

    I have now owned a C-Max for 3 months and enjoy many things about the car. It has never, ever, come close to achieving the EPA mileage ratings either in the city or on the highway, and while I don’t drive like a grandmother, I am far from an aggressive driver. That said, I average around 39 mpg per tank of fuel in combined driving. Fortunately, I read many reviews online before making my purchase and this was what I expected, so it hasn’t been a disappointment in that sense.

    What has been a disappointment is that the car has left me stranded once already as it completely died and would not start without a jump due to a software programming glitch. While Ford and the dealer fixed it under warranty, it was a rather unexpected inconvenience on a 2-month old car.

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