If you've been following our news stories, you will no doubt be aware of Ford's brazen mpg claims about the Fusion Hybrid sedan and the C-Max Hybrid minivan, and how both trump Toyota models.
To remind you, Ford states that both the new 2013 Fusion Hybrid and C-Max Hybrid deliver "47 city/47 highway/47 combined mpg".
Fueled [pun intended] by the recent discovery that Hyundai and Kia overstated the gas mileage on some 900,000 vehicles sold in the U.S. in the past couple of years, Consumer Reports (CR) put Ford's mpg claims to the test, and the results were far below the 47mpg mark.
"In our tests, the Fusion Hybrid delivered 39 mpg overall and 35 and 41 in city and highway conditions, respectively. For the C-Max Hybrid, we got 37 mpg overall, with 35 and 38 for city and highway," said CR.
"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," the publication added in a posting on its website.
The report goes on to say that while it does expect some discrepancies, depending on the driving style and conditions of the road, in the case of the two Ford models, the difference is too big to be ignored, as "the overall mpg for these C-Max and Fusion models is off by a whopping 10 and 8 mpg, respectively, or about 20 percent".
So according to CR's tests, while the Fusion Hybrid still beats the Toyota Camry Hybrid by 1mpg on the combined cycle, the C-Max Hybrid loses to the Toyota Prius V minivan, which gets 41mpg versus the Blue Oval model's 37mpg.
As pointed out by CR, it should be noted that EPA fuel economy ratings are mostly certified by carmakers themselves.
CR asked Ford to comment on the results. A Ford spokesman sent the following email:
"Early C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid customers praise the vehicles and report a range of fuel economy figures, including some reports above 47 mpg. This reinforces the fact that driving styles, driving conditions, and other factors can cause mileage to vary."
Jake Fisher, Consumer Reports' director of auto testing said, "Most buyers won't get anything near 47 mpg in the real world," adding, "Even though these two Ford hybrids are very efficient, this big discrepancy may leave customers disappointed."