First: Excellent first post, and welcome! I am guessing that your C-MAX was not used, and therefore has next to no miles. So, you will definitely be up in the 60's after break-in. Nice!
I've never used the tachometer. So, I can't directly comment. Is there not a correlation between RPMs and bars? If so, what does 2,000 RPMs come out to be, somewhere between 1.75 and 2 bars?
I have found that there are different ICE burns that I use for different purposes. For example, I tend use lower bars for longer burns when going up a very long incline, or if I am at a low SOC. I go with 2 bar burns when going up a shorter significant incline (we have lots of bridges around here), or where SOC is higher. If SOC is very low (after I have just done a really long glide), I can go with a few pulse and glides at about 1.75 bars. If I am doing well at keeping up the SOC, I will go at least 1.75, often 2.
If I am traveling a memorized route, I can do burns that don't quite fit with the above, because my goal is to keep moving. For example, I am willing to waste a squirt of gas in order to hit the traffic light in sequence, more than making up for the gas consumed by not having to stop and start.
In general, my main rule is to have ICE operating the least amount of time possible. I find that more important than plus or minus .25 bars.
Looking forward to reading more of your posts!
Thank you for your reply. I did buy my C-max new. (I'm actually a Ford Sales Rep) I have about 3300 miles on it at this point. I do believe I have noticed some difference in it in the last 500-600 miles. One thing that is so very different about this car vs my Civic Hybrid is the way it works and charges the battery. My initial reaction to the Cmax was a bit negative. With my Civic, if the ICE was running I was able to easily keep the instant mpg around 50....so naturally was concerned at first when the engine would come on with the Cmax and my instant FE would drop to 20 or below.
Realizing that the Cmax is charging the battery and becoming more experienced with how it worked, I understand better, the Civic didn't charge the battery near as much and this is probably why the batteries in those cars fail so often. (I had 2 failures in mine). Anyway you can see why this was an adjustment.
To get to your question about the bars vs RPM. The bars merely represent load on the engine. Sometimes I can be at 1 bar and be at 2000 RPM, or 1.5, 1.75, or 2. Generally when I drop out of EV the engine is right at or right below 2000 RPM, and in most cases I can tell when I'm at 2000 merely by the way the engine, sounds/feels, if that makes any sense.
I can totally see where a 2 bar burn is practical up short steep hills however given that I have enough momentum I can make it up many hills pretty quick keeping it at 2000. Temperatures here are ranging from 50 (65-75) the last day or two, down to 17 degrees. I have noticed that when it's that cold the instant FE will get really high if the battery is charged and the heat is on. Anyway, I was wondering around what mileage would you consider the vehicle "broke in" the manual says not to bother worrying about FE until after 1000 miles and we generally tell everyone break in is 5000-6000 miles. I'm just curious what people are finding to be the most accurate, on average how much difference you noticed, and how much warmer climate temperatures affect FE, warmer as consistently over 70. I just got mine in November and it will be several months before I get to find out for myself. (I'm a little impatient)