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Ford Hybrids Don't Live Up to MPG Claims in Consumer Reports Testing

Excellent fuel economy is the main reason most people buy a hybrid. Now, Consumer Reports says that the 2013 Ford C-Max and Ford Fusion Hybrid don't get the gas mileage Ford has advertised.

Ford says the C-Max and Fusion Hybrids each get 47 mpg in the city and on the highway. "In our tests, the Fusion Hybrid delivered 39 mpg overall and 35 and 41 in city and highway conditions, respectively," writes Consumer Reports. "For the C-Max Hybrid, we got 37 mpg overall, with 35 and 38 for city and highway. 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."

Yahoo! Autos says, "After the recent debacle involving Hyundai and Kia inflating mileage estimates on 900,000 cars, there's been more concern about automakers overstating their efficiencies." Though procedures for determining fuel economy are set by the Environmental Protection Agency, most car makers do the testing themselves. The EPA tests only a portion of cars on the road.

"Ford has been ballyhooing its claims that Fusion and C-Max, a new people hauler, both get 47 miles a gallon in the city, on the highway and combined," says USA Today. "Ford has been using the EPA-approved numbers to needle Toyota and its Prius V wagon." A challenge to those numbers would be a major blow to Ford's marketing of the C-Max and Fusion Hybrid. USA Today spoke to Jim Farley, Ford's head of sales, last week about rumors that the 47 mpg claims were false. "He says Ford won't get caught in a scandal like the one that snagged Hyundai and Kia because it followed proper testing procedures."

The Detroit Free Press spoke with Jake Fisher, head of automotive testing for Consumer Reports. He told the paper that the C-Max and Fusion Hybrid may have been designed to do well in EPA tests, which don't necessarily reflect real-world driving.  Consumer Reports does not follow the same testing procedures as those laid out by the EPA.

Though the mileage numbers Consumer Reports got with the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid aren't as good as what's advertised, the magazine still says, "Make no mistake; both the Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid still deliver excellent fuel economy. The Fusion Hybrid's 39 mpg is the best of any family sedan we've tested, edging out the Toyota Camry Hybrid by 1 mpg. And the C-Max Hybrid's 37 mpg is second only to the Prius V's 41 mpg in its class."

The 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid and Ford C-Max Hybrid are currently the number one and two ranked cars in our hybrid car rankings. Our rankings do not take a car's fuel economy into account.

Looking for a hybrid car? Check out the U.S. News rankings of this year's best cars. Then, look for a great deal on a new car by checking out this month’s best car deals. You can also find the best local prices in the area by using our Best Price Program. Also, be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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