When it comes to tallish, van-like hybrids, the Toyota Prius V has been the only choice since its debut last year. Now, there’s a competitor in this exact vein (high stubby body, big hatch) with better fuel economy: the Ford C-MAX Hybrid with 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway. That beats the Prius V’s 44 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.
While it’s rare for a hybrid to achieve equal city and highway numbers, Honda has done that already with the Civic Hybrid, which gets 44 mpg at both ends. Typically, hybrids score higher in the city since they can coast at slow electric-only speeds. Ford has sold the five-passenger C-MAX in Europe for years, yet it’s coming to the U.S. solely as a hybrid model (this fall) and a plug-in hybrid called the C-MAX Energi (early 2013).
As for base price, the C-MAX Hybrid beats the Prius V by $1,315 (including destination for both cars). We don’t know yet what’s standard on the C-MAX Hybrid versus the Prius V, nor can we say anything for how it drives, except that Ford claims a 62 mph top speed in electric-only mode, more than double what any Prius can reach. As for the regular Prius and smaller Prius c, no oil-burning car on the market – gas, gas-electric, or diesel – has been able to beat them in an EPA test.
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About Boston Overdrive
|Clifford Atiyeh is an automotive writer and car enthusiast . He has spent his entire life driving cars he doesn't own.
In the garage: 1995 21-speed Iron Horse, 2002 Jeep Wrangler X (by association)
|Bill Griffith is a veteran Boston Globe reporter, having reviewed cars for more than 10 years and serving as assistant sports editor for 25 years. He was also the paper's sports media columnist.
In the garage: 2006 Subaru Baja
|John Paul is public affairs manager for AAA Southern New England, a certified mechanic, and a Globe columnist. He hosts a weekly radio show on WROL.
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|Craig Fitzgerald has been writing about cars, motorcycles, and the automotive industry since 1999. He is the former editor of Hemmings Sports & Exotic Car.
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|Keith Griffin is president of the New England Motor Press Association and edits the used car section on About.com. He also writes for the Hartford Business Journal and various weekly newspapers in Connecticut.
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|George Kennedy is a senior writer for WheelsTV in Acton, which produces video reviews for Yahoo, MSN, and other auto websites.
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