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C-MAX hybrid: tech toy got 41.2 mpg hwy

Words and pictures by Mike Torch & K. Honeyager    

When Ford's compact, hybrid, halo car showed up at our car park it was immediately recognizable by a very un-strategically-placed door ding.

It was the actual car the Motown-based automaker had sent us months earlier. Sighs and questions marks hung heavy in the air.

A day later, more sighs and question marks as Ford very reluctantly and very publicly announced to the world it had dropped the ball, and missed the mark on fuel economy for the C-MAX hybrid.

The automaker had no choice but to admit guilt in the matter. For months we had waited in the weeds on this topic. In the big picture does it really matter? Take a look at what is out on the road in any town across this entire country and then do the math. MPG of 41.2 is a Godsend figure in our book.

But truth be told nobody was getting the claimed fuel economy from Ford's new hybrid, and average Americans were talking about the problem as if they were auto industry insiders.

The move will certainly save face for the American-loyal Blue Oval, but ultimately will cost them a mountain of cash.

Meanwhile, back at HQ, an editorial decision would need to be made on what to do with a car we had already reviewed. Minutes later a plan arrived - give the C-MAX hybrid SEL to our resident geek to serve as ultra-safe, ultra-frugal, and ultra-hi-tech transportation for her voyage to an annual gaming convention, and set it up as an assignment. She earned it. The young woman busted her arse for us at Ferrari Club of America's 50th Anniversary 13 days ago, and then again just a few days previous to today covering Le Mans at Road America with a four man crew. Clearly a 'thank you' gift was in order.

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