Adding one more econo honor to its burgeoning corporate collection, the 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi has been awarded a 100 MPGe combined rating by the EPA. That stat handily exceeds the 95 MPGe mark of its closest rival, the Toyota Prius Plug-in and the 94 MPGe number of the Chevrolet Volt, making Ford's stylish people mover the most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid currently on the market. A starting price of $33,745 that can be effectively reduced to $29,995 by way of a $3,750 federal tax credit -- and perhaps even less depending on state and local incentives -- also will make the C-MAX Energi the most affordable plug-in hybrid.
Like its C-MAX Hybrid sibling, this even-greener alternative is fitted with a 2.0-liter/4-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery that collectively turn out 188 horsepower. But where the Hybrid returns 47 mpg in the EPA's city and highway cycles, the C-Max Energi nets a stellar 108 MPGe while tooling about town and 92 MPGe in freeway mode. With the price of gasoline where it is today, the EPA projects that C-MAX Energi owners could save nearly $7,000 in fuel costs over a 5-year period compared to driving an "average" new vehicle.
The next member of FoMoCo's Energi-elite family will go on sale next spring, when the Ford Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid hits the showrooms. It too, is expected to top the century mark in combined MPGe.