Ford (NYSE: F) has a new hybrid vehicle set to hit the market.
The company's 2013 offering, the spacious and elegant C-Max Hybrid, could be a direct—and serious—competitor against Toyota’s (NYSE: TM) Prius. The C-Max carries a federal government fuel economy rating of 47/47 mpg city/highway, which already puts it ahead of the 2012 Honda (NYSE: HMC) Civic Hybrid’s comparable 44/44 mpg rating and definitely ahead of the 2012 Prius v’s 44/40 mpg rating.
The older, “regular” Toyota Prius still wins out at 51/48 mpg. That model, though, suffers from fairly dated looks—something the C-Max definitely beats it on.
The C-Max, for example, has an intelligent braking system that monitors how much energy is recovered during each braking process. The C-Max is also $1,350 cheaper than the Prius v, with a suggested retail price (including destination charge) for the base model at $25,995.
Each model carries a 2 liter, four-cylinder engine connected to an electric motor and lithium-ion battery for a combined 188 horsepower output. The C-Max Hybrid is not plugged in; the onboard battery pack takes care of that. A plugin version called the C-Max Energi is scheduled for later unveiling.
The C-Max is shorter, at 14.5 feet long, than a regular Prius and around the same length as the Honda Civic Hybrid sedan.
Total passenger volume is almost 100 cubic feet, and cargo volume is 52.6 cubic feet when rear seats are folded. That allows the C-Max to outdo both Prius and Civic Hybrid. Plus, the tall ceiling and tall-riding rear seats make for a more roomy experience.
Due to a larger engine displacement, the C-Max’s engine can boast a maximum horsepower of 141 compared to the Prius or Prius v’s 98 HP. The C-Max also has a torque of 129 foot-pounds against the Prius’ 105. And Ford's car is currently rated for a range of slightly more than 500 miles.