Ready to take its fight directly to the Toyota Prius V, the 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid is expected to hit showrooms this fall with some most impressive EPA numbers to complement its equally attractive base price. While final mileage numbers have yet to be released, Ford is confident the new C-MAX Hybrid will deliver at least 47 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway, besting the Prius V's 44/40 mpg comparative stats. Its $25,995 base price also undercuts the starting sticker on Toyota's popular hybrid people hauler by some $1,300.
Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development, sees those advantages as a great opportunity for this cheeky C-MAX variant to seriously shake up the segment. Its gas/electric powertrain matches a 2.0-liter Atkinson Cycle 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack to deliver an impressive 188 system horsepower -- 54 more than the Prius V. Ford also claims the C-MAX Hybrid can be driven at higher speeds in pure EV mode than its Toyota rival and features a 500-plus mile per-tank range as well as several class-exclusive technologies that include an available hands-free liftgate and optional active park assist. The C-MAX Hybrid also will offer Ford's SmartGauge with EcoGuide and Brake Coach, features that can further help in the mileage-making process.
Toyota has yet to release information on any changes and/or improvements for the 2013 Prius V. However, it will be interesting to see how the Japanese automaker responds to Ford's direct throw-down in this critical field – and even more interesting to see these two match up in a real-world comparison test.