Ford Hybrids Fail to Meet 47-MPG Claims – Hybrid Trucks Too?

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In a story being circulated around the internet, it seems Ford’s new C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid are both being slammed for not meeting MPG estimates. Ford says these cars should reach 47-mpg in city and/or highway driving. Real world owners aren’t seeing above 40.

Ford Hybrids Fail to Meet 47-MPG Claims

According to several owners, the Ford C-Max and Fusion Hybrids fail to come close to MPG statements. Is this a problem with all hybrids?

According to several news outlets like Automotive News, Green Car Reports and Consumer Reports, owners are getting upset at the cars not meeting Ford’s claimed 47-mpg. In fact Consumer Reports says, “the official EPA website,, has gathered estimates from 14 real-world C-Max Hybrid owners and five 2013 Fusion Hybrid owners. The C-Max owners report averaging 40.5 mpg; the Fusion Hybrid owners, just 37.1 mpg.”

The 37.1 average is a far cry from the 47-mpg claim.

This also got us thinking about the new Hybrid pickups that everyone is trying to build by themselves or together (Ford and Toyota Reach Hybrid Agreement). Will these trucks also have large MPG estimates that fall flat in real world driving? We have long wondered how truck manufactures could possibly build a Hybrid truck that can haul as well as have good gas mileage. Maybe it is all a hoax and it will never happen.

Ford Hybrids Fail to Meet 47-MPG Claims

Will a Hybrid pickup truck ever meet our pie in the sky dreams of 30+ MPG or is it simply never going to be a reality in real world driving?

Most everybody by now knows that fuel economy estimates are laughable at best. And that real world numbers rarely meet what manufactures suggest. However, they should come close. And if they don’t come close, the EPA is taking steps to force companies to “reconsider.”

For example, the EPA forced Hyundai recently to restate their fuel economy estimates after they found 23 vehicles with bloated MPG statements. This is a big loss for Hyundai as automakers know that stating higher MPGs can result in millions more cars being sold.

Whenever we discuss the MPG estimates most everyone lays the blame at the feet of the EPA. What’s interesting is that these stories are showing that is not the case. Apparently, the manufactures test for fuel economy and self-certify them. Then, the EPA tests a small percentage (15 percent) to see if it agrees. If it does, then no problems. If it doesn’t, then the EPA launches an investigation and the automakers have to simply restate their numbers. Here’s an idea, let’s fine automakers a ridiculous amount of money if they are found to be at fault.

What do you think? Are manufactures or the EPA ultimately responsible for MPG estimates? What do you think Ford should do to satisfy these Hybrid owners?

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Filed Under: Auto News


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  1. LJC says:

    I definitely agree that there should be punishment for making false promises, however, fines don’t work with businesses, lawsuits do. A lawsuit will in some part reimburse the consumer whereas a fine won’t.

  2. mendonsy says:

    Does anyone really believe ANY of these mileage estimates? ALL the manufacturers stretch the truth (to put it kindly) about what mileage their vehicles get. Some just stretch it a bit more than others and a rare few get caught at it.

    • Mendonsy,

      I sure don’t totally believe manufactures. Real world driving including how you personally drive really makes hitting their marks improbable if not impossible. However, from what we hear, most Toyota owners are closer to hitting the MPG estimates than others.


    • Mickey says:

      It can happen Mendonsy. It’s training your driving habits to accomplish it. I use to teach the Smith Driving System at my last job for armored cars. Not to mention the cost of saving mpg’s but also wear and tear on equipment for example my original brake pads lasted 130k miles. My wife’s 07 Prius is still on her original pads and she is at 116k miles. Most people don’t have control or to say they are always in a hurry. I just did a 1,800 mile round trip in my 07 CM doing 80mph and I avg 17mpg and also went through the mountains up to northern WV from here in Jax, Fl. I was in a hurry and I sacrifice the mpg’s for the speed. The last time we took that trip in the past summer using the wife’s Prius doing 80mph she got 47mpg. The EPA was 51 city and 47 hwy. When we were sensable on that trip and did the speed limit it was over 50mpg.

    • Art says:

      Agreed. Disincentive to fudge has to at least equal profits from fudging in order to change behavior. A class action lawsuit that compensated buyers for the difference in millage should do the trick. Fines are never enough to change behavior. This regulatory scheme is similar to that of the pharmaceutical industry. Lawsuits fix the problem.

  3. tonyspin says:

    My 2010 Prius gets better mileage than advertised, if driven the speed limit. I have seen tanks over 60 MPG. Some hypermilers are getting close to 70 MPG. Even at 70-75 MPH it will get right around the EPA estimate of 50.

    • Tonyspin,

      I have heard about this. In fact, I believe Consumer Reports is right now redoing their MPG estimates for the Prius. They got a lot of feedback from owners who said their numbers (44 overall, 55 highway) weren’t accurate.


    • Mickey says:

      As mentioned above when the wife who drives 45 miles one way to work does 55mph she gets into the 60-65mpg range. She does 70mph she gets into the 50-55mpg range.

  4. BriBri says:

    I would have initially believed that inflated, especially unrealistic, MPG numbers would constitute fraud or misrepresentation, allowing for lawsuits to be brought against the manufacturer. However, as there are several variables involved, not the least of which is the driver’s driving habits, and also including fuel type used, after-market accessories (particularly if they affect engine performance), and added weight beyond the vehicle’s curb weight.

    I firmly believe in the principle of caveat emptor (buyer beware). There are numerous internet forums for many vehicles, where actual consumers (i.e. drivers) can weigh in on what they get for real-world MPG. And, many of those drivers are honest about their driving habits. While prospective vehicle buyers should not completely ignore or discount the EPA-mandated MPG numbers, they should also do a reasonable amount of homework on the subject, especially if MPG is one of their primary factors influencing their buying decision.

    Also, as pointed out in the article, I am still not convinced that a hybrid truck could pull double-duty as both a capable hauler and a considerably less gas sipper (relative to gas engine only drivetrains).

    But, as with many things, time, testing, and experience will tell.

    • BriBri,

      Good points. I completely agree that car buyers do need to take more responsibility when buying a car and not relying on what the sticker says.


  5. Speedster says:

    I work at a Ford and Toyota dealership. The F-150 Ecoboost is our best selling vehicle this year. The sticker claims 21 mpg for a crew cab 4WD. Some people might see 21 or better in perfect conditions at highway speed limits, but not consistent over a full tank of driving, even if it is all highway.

    Consumer Reports rated the Ecoboost at 15mpg overall. They rated the Tundra 5.7L at 15 overall. I have customers with F-150s with the 5.0L V8 that have gotten over 20 mpg on the highway. I tell shoppers that they don’t need to get caught up in the hype of the Ecoboost, and not to be afraid of the V8 or a Tundra.

    I personally am ecstatic if I see 16 mpg on the highway with my Tundra. I wish it got better, but it is what it it. My cold air intake didn’t do anything for power or mileage, but it sure is noisy!


    • Speedster,

      Good to know. I think Ford’s marketing of the EcoBoost is doing a better job of driving sales than the true MPG of the engine itself.


    • Mickey says:

      Just did a 1,800 mile round trip bringing in-law home from Jax, fl to Wheeling, WV and driving around up there for two days. I di 80mph on the interstate and avg 17mpg in my 07 CM 5.7. Yes I have an AFE stage II CAI. I now have over 149,000 miles on my CM. Will celebrate the 150k mark soon.

  6. Mickey says:

    The reason I can believe these hybrids from Ford can’t match the Prius mpg,s like they claim because of curb weight. Yes people’s driving habits are the biggest issue along in these cornfed/sugar fed gas we are forced to use causes lower mpg’s. It’s like the govt is doing an oxy moron thing. They want more mpg,s from vehicles but give us gas regulated by them that lower’s mpg’s. Go figure.

  7. mike h says:

    I am waiting delivery on a 2013 fusion hybrid,
    my concern is am I paying too much for false claims on mpg?
    should I try to make the dealer lower the price of the car?

    • Mike H,

      Not sure the dealer can do much since everything about MPG is estimates. It is incredibly hard to prove that the dealer and/or manufacture is lying about anything. Good luck with your new Fusion.


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