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2013 C-max- only 28 MPG?!??? Is there an ON BUTTON!


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#1 OFFLINE   ecogirl2206

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 04:11 PM

So I bought a new to me C Max hybrid 2013 with 32K miles on it. My first tank the computer says i got 28 MPG-- i was just able to get it to 30 MPG with some decent hypermiling...coating through stops, super slow starts,  and gliding....this is just insane! I bought this expecting a MINIMUM of 40 mpg, I am so disappointed. Is there a ON button to use the EV battery? It rarely shows its using the EV, even if i'm coasting or crawling along.  I know i MUST be doing something wrong here.. yesterday it took me 15 minutes to figure out how to open the gas cap (yeah, i know now there's no unlatch button!) I drive 5 miles 4 times a day. 35-45 MPH streets.

 

I used to get 30 mpg with my 2003 pontiac vibe, which had a 1500lb tow capacity...

 

 

Thanks!









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#2 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 04:50 PM

Welcome ecogirl2206.

 

Has it been cold (rhetorical question)? and it appears your trips are rather short   :)

 

The problem is that the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) needs to warm up in cold weather especially if you have the heat on to heat the cabin.  If you want to improve FE, get some 3/4" pipe insulation from Lowes / Home Depot and cut to length and insert in the openings in the lower and center front grille to cut air flow through the radiator.  Also, you should turn the HVAC off and use the seat heater for some warmth.  On My View you can monitor the coolant temperature.  If the coolant temperature gets above the first line,  you can turn the HVAC on.  You should see FE improvement but your FE in the winter is highly dependent on ambient temperature.  You might be able to achieve 40 mpg if the temperature is above 25 F and the your trips are 5 miles or less by doing the grille block and HVAC off..

 

There is no EV on button but turning the HVAC off will optimize use of EV during cold weather. 

 

Now the good news.  When it warms up you should be able to get 45-55 mpg on your short trips. :)  :)


Edited by Plus 3 Golfer, 02 March 2016 - 05:02 PM.

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#3 OFFLINE   ecogirl2206

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 05:18 PM

First of all, that stinks! I really don't want to turn the heat off when its 20 degrees (or negative 20 degrees out!) I don't think there's a seat heater on my car-- is that std on SE model?  But if i did want to brave it, how do i turn off the heat? I tried turning it down and it would only blow less, then i put the temp down and the A/C turned on! How do I just turn it off?

 

Isn't it dangerous to cut off air flow to radiator??? If I go for HW trips should i take them off?

 

I feel like i really bought the wrong car if 28 mpg is an expected mild end of winter normal fuel economy. I am beyond disappointed. My junker car got better fuel economy then this. :(:(:(



#4 OFFLINE   WNY

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 05:51 PM

that seems a bit low.  Mine as dropped some because of winter, snow tires, winter blend fuel, i;m still avg. 32-40mpg depending.  also, allowing it to warm up for extended periods will also decrease the mpg's. You lower speeds and short distances, should get you mostly battery trips. 

 

I have the lower and middle grille covered and the engine temps will run 200 or less when it's 30 or less outside depending.  I did a 150 mile trip with temps 45-55 and it only got to 225 and avg. around 220 or so. I avg. 38 going out and 42 mpg coming back. more down hills.

 

Do you have your heater turned way up? i keep mine about 65-66 in the car, that will effect the EV modes on down hills and coasting.

 

There's a lot of good threads on here for improved mileage especially in winter .
http://fordcmaxhybri...ve-winter-mpgs/


Edited by WNY, 02 March 2016 - 05:55 PM.


#5 OFFLINE   Plus 3 Golfer

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 05:53 PM

I don't have an SE.  So, can't answer how to turn the heat off.  

 

You can leave the grille blocks in on the highway in the winter and likely most of the year in Chicago.  There's a lot of data on the grille blocks in various threads.  I've done 70+mph at 50 F ambient uphill on the interstate and noted coolant temperatures in the mid 230 F.   I generally take mine off when I begin to use the AC. But others don't.  When we lived in the Phoenix area, I would only run with grille blocks for a few months. :)   It really didn't help much as our trips were longer and temps were rarely below 40 F (mornings only).  But in eastern TN, the grille blocks help a lot as most of our trips are of the same range you are talking about 4-5 miles one way maybe several times a day.  Currently, I have about 400 miles on the tank and am averaging about 44.5 mpg ambient temperatures generally between 20 F and 50 F with maybe 60 miles of interstate driving. 

 

The C-Max is a heavy car (due to high voltage battery weight) compared to a VIbe (probably 10%+ less than the C-Max).  So, driving with ICE only in both vehicles will likely favor the Vibe with respect to FE.

 

With such short trips, the Energi (the plug-in C-Max) might have been a better option assuming you have access to charge it.


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#6 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 05:57 PM

Well the CMAX isn't like your VIBE, it is a Hybrid so the engine doesn't run all the time making heat which wastes gas. ;)  Go to this Thread to get informed on what can be done during the winter. http://fordcmaxhybri...ve-winter-mpgs/ :)

 

The problem is that the CMAX has to much cooling capacity so the ICE never gets up to Operating temps where it is most efficient. :)

 

Paul 

 

PS I leave my covers on most of the year!


Edited by ptjones, 02 March 2016 - 05:58 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 10:27 AM

So I bought a new to me C Max hybrid 2013 with 32K miles on it. My first tank the computer says i got 28 MPG-- i was just able to get it to 30 MPG with some decent hypermiling...coating through stops, super slow starts,  and gliding....this is just insane! I bought this expecting a MINIMUM of 40 mpg, I am so disappointed. I drive 5 miles 4 times a day. 35-45 MPH streets.

 

I used to get 30 mpg with my 2003 pontiac vibe, which had a 1500lb tow capacity...

I highly doubt that you got 30 MPG in your Vibe in the winter under these exact same driving conditions. All the suggestions above are excellent. As has been often reported, hybrids are very sensitive to driving style, temperature & other factors for fuel economy. Since the ICE doesn't run all the time, any factors that make it run more (like cold weather, high heat settings, etc) will have a big impact on MPG compared to the effect of cold weather or using the heat in a car where the ICE runs all the time.


Edited by hybridbear, 03 March 2016 - 10:28 AM.


#8 OFFLINE   ecogirl2206

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 10:43 AM

Does anyone have pics on what these grill blocking insulation tubes look like on their car? It would be helpful to see.  Turning the heat off I am getting about 3 mpg more, but of course am freezing cold! :( So getting about 32 mpg :( 

 

Yeah, my vibe was awesome. I would get 25 mpg TOWING.. I'm seriously considering selling my new C max and just getting a 2009 or 2013 vibe/ matrix.. the last years they were made. Such a shame they stopped production.

 

I spent so much time researching the perfect vehicle for me, but never came accross this cold weather hybrid fuel economy issue. I think I made a mistake :( Oh well, live and learn. I will try blocking the grill if it doesn't look horrendous. I bought a new car b/c i wanted a more professional look (my vibe's body panels don't exactly meet up anymore;) so I am concerned insulation blocking the grill will really not help my career (property management, i drive around meeting clients, they do tend to judge;)  



#9 OFFLINE   ecogirl2206

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 10:54 AM

I googled pics.  I think I'll just put them on and see what I think in person.

 

Thanks for all the tips. If I could get up to 40 MPG winter I'd be a happy camper. 

 

thanks, andrea



#10 OFFLINE   Marc Smith

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 11:26 AM

Andrea

 

My last tank in northern VA was barely 44.    and thats with an 18 mile drive to and from work.  yeah  I don't run the heat much in the early stages of the commute.  the cabin temp setting makes the ICE  more likely to kick on with moderate throttle inputs..  but I do have a seat heater which helps and the car is garaged which also helps.

 

I had the same disappointing fuel efficiency when I went from my chevy HHR to a prius.  its takes a lot of getting used to on how to drive a hybrid to get the best MPG.  As others have stated the combo of short trips and winter fuel  means you are likely just running on the ice  and never getting the battery to kick in.  It will get better...


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#11 OFFLINE   kostby

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 12:04 PM

When you said the Vibe mpg while towing 1500 pounds is 25mpg, you revealed one key to your lower mpgs with the C-MAX.

The Vibe weighs about 2700 pounds. 

The C-MAX Hybrid weighs about 3600 pounds.

So compare your C-MAX results when towing 900 pounds with your Vibe.

 

I own a 2003 Vibe base automatic. 

We're retired now and live in a small suburban town in the Indianapolis area, so we drive lots of short local trips, year round, often 2 miles or less. In the Vibe, I get 16-19mpg in the winter including a few minutes of warm-up time, always at 0mpg, on short local trips, versus about 30 mpg for mostly interstate driving.

 

Year round, we average about 26mpg in our Vibe, lower in winter, higher in summer.

Link to the last several years of Fuelly data for our Vibe:

http://www.fuelly.co...3/kostby/280860

 

Year round, we average a bit above 40mpg in our C-MAX, lower in winter, higher in summer.

Link to Fuelly data since purchase for our 2013 C-MAX Hybrid SE:

http://www.fuelly.co...3/kostby/280857

 

With your driving patterns, a Toyota Prius or Prius V hybrid wagon, or C-MAX Energi plug-in Hybrid MIGHT have been a better choice for you purely based on fuel mileage. This is a C-MAX Forum, so I'll let you research the Prius and Prius V hybrid wagons on your own.

 

The C-MAX Energi Hybrid can be pre-heated or pre-cooled while attached to an electrical outlet (a feature not offered on the C-MAX Hybrid SE or Hybrid SEL). The up-to-20-mile maximum range in full-electric mode of an Energi Hybrid might cover most of your trips on one charge per day. The major disadvantage of the Energi is the larger battery, so greater weight (3900 vs 3600 pounds), and a higher rear 'floor' over the larger battery, resulting in  decreased storage in the rear of the car.


Edited by kostby, 03 March 2016 - 12:35 PM.

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#12 OFFLINE   livesmith

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 02:50 PM

With your driving patterns, a Toyota Prius or Prius V hybrid wagon, or C-MAX Energi plug-in Hybrid MIGHT have been a better choice for you purely based on fuel mileage. This is a C-MAX Forum, so I'll let you research the Prius and Prius V hybrid wagons on your own.

 

The C-MAX Energi Hybrid can be pre-heated or pre-cooled while attached to an electrical outlet (a feature not offered on the C-MAX Hybrid SE or Hybrid SEL). The up-to-20-mile maximum range in full-electric mode of an Energi Hybrid might cover most of your trips on one charge per day. The major disadvantage of the Energi is the larger battery, so greater weight (3900 vs 3600 pounds), and a higher rear 'floor' over the larger battery, resulting in  decreased storage in the rear of the car.

 

I had the same "WTF MPG" sort of feeling a month ago when I was used to my 2004 Prius which would generally only get as low as 35mpg on some really lousy circumstances in the dead of winter up and down hills WITH the heat on all the time.  Highway MPG never really went below 40 that I can recall and was generally mid to high 40's.

 

Well, I drove home my 2013 C-Max Energi 450 miles and got... 27MPG...  I've gotten that sort of mileage out of our 5000lb AWD Toyota Sienna minivan...(yes it would be more like low 20's under the same conditions)

I knew not to expect 40's.  I was thinking maybe low 30's.  

 

From the sounds of it, I would definitely think you'd be better off with a Prius.(heck, I've got a 2004 for sale with trailer hitch if you want!)  (:

 

As for my Energi, I've grown to come to an understanding with it more, but that's really only because of the plug-in portion which yours lacks.  With that I can get 160MPGe on my way to work as long as I don't mind freezing.  But then return trip is about 34MPGe with only about half the trip on EV before I'm out of juice.

 

 

So on the above bits regarding getting an Energi, please note:

Pre-heating on 120V will only get you about 11F from what I've heard. I've not measured, but that sounds right.  If it runs for half an hour it feels like there's slightly less chill in the air, but the cabin is definitely not warm.

If you have 240V in your garage and get a L2 charger then you can get about 40F of heat.  It's on my list of things to do.

 

20 Mile range is completely subjective and WAY more dependent than what you're experiencing now as far heat, hills and speed.  

-If I head to work on an 18F degree morning and cruise at 45mph with no heat I can just make it there on 50% of EV left.

-If I turn on the heat to like 67F and cruise at 55MPH then I'm down to about 7% left.

 

Same 13.7 mile trip.  But the heat will suck out almost half of the charge.

 

That said, if you're in town and only driving 30mph and not using heat there are people who have gone more than 30 miles on a charge.

 

Levi


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#13 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 03:17 PM

So I bought a new to me C Max hybrid 2013 with 32K miles on it. My first tank the computer says i got 28 MPG-- i was just able to get it to 30 MPG with some decent hypermiling...coating through stops, super slow starts,  and gliding....this is just insane! I bought this expecting a MINIMUM of 40 mpg, I am so disappointed. Is there a ON button to use the EV battery? It rarely shows its using the EV, even if i'm coasting or crawling along.  I know i MUST be doing something wrong here.. yesterday it took me 15 minutes to figure out how to open the gas cap (yeah, i know now there's no unlatch button!) I drive 5 miles 4 times a day. 35-45 MPH streets.

 

I used to get 30 mpg with my 2003 pontiac vibe, which had a 1500lb tow capacity...

 

 

Thanks!

Driving those short distances is absolutely the worst kind of driving for a hybrid. The engine doesn't have time to warm up. I'm not sure if that model has seat heaters, they help a lot for not using the heat. Turning on the heat will cause the ICE to engage with the hybrid model, because that engine is the only heat source.

 

The good news is that in warmer weather your mileage should go way up.



#14 OFFLINE   fbov

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 03:26 PM

You can get to 40 MPG in winter, just not your first winter!

 

Porter Fuelly Track.jpg

You've heard some references to "Fuelly" a web site that tracks fuel usage. Above is my lifetime track, for Rochester, NY.

 

Winter 2014, I drove the expressway and stayed warm, but only got about 30 MPG.

 

Winter 2015, I drove the back roads, shivered a lot more, but almost made 35 MPG, despite a near-record cold winter.

 

Note that both summers (2015, 2016), I have tanks well over 50 MPG, with trips in the 60's... same exact commute every time.

 

There is a learning curve, and short trips are the stress case. Hang in there, and if anyone mentions the grill blocks (I have them too), just say it's an old truckers' tip you got from your Dad. When you see a long-haul semi with a zipper up the grill, you know their grill block is adjustable.

 

Have fun,

Frank



#15 OFFLINE   ecogirl2206

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 05:40 PM

Thanks everyone. I looked at the Energi but since i drive 75-90+ miles every couple weeks from Chicago to Milwaukee AND/OR madison, that puts it out of the question (plus i have no way to charge it from the apt parking lot).  I had gone back on forth between the Cmax and the Honda Fit 2015 which fuelly says gets an average of 36 mpg, of course fuelly also says the 2013 cmax gets 40mpg, so i'm not sure i trust fuelly anymore. The Fit probably would have gotten better fuel economy for me in the winter (half the year up here!) from what I now understand since it's much lighter, and i'm not benefiting from the hybrid when it's cold/ OR on short trips.  Plus I haul a lot and the way the seats fold up in the Fit would have been perfect for my two large dogs -which are terrified of the auto close door on the C-max- ( a huge PITA b/c if i try to keep them in the car, the auto close feature opens back up!!!) These are the things you don't figure out until you own a car though. I spent months researching, I just wish i had known then what i know now. I would certainly have made a different decision. But I've got the car now and am empty bank account so I will deal! lol.

 

Will stuff the grill and keep fingers crossed. Getting a hammock for the dogs in the backseat so they can avoid the terrifying hatch!

 

Thanks everyone, I'm trying to stay positive.


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#16 OFFLINE   SnowStorm

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 06:52 PM

Interesting that you mention the Fit as we drove one about 150k before getting the C-Max.  Then it became a "college car" for some years and now its back as our "extra" run-around car.  The Fit is no comparison to the C-Max overall.  My wife took it out recently and thought she had gotten in a toy by comparison - and she used to drive it all the time.  Don't get me wrong, it is a very nice smaller car with lots of flexible cargo space - especially for its size - we liked it a lot.  But its in a different class as far as overall driving feel goes.  We don't have many short trips so get very good mileage - present lifetime indicates 48.1 MPG.  IIRC, the Fit was averaging about 36 MPG so to date we've saved like $1500 on gas.  Learn from the folks here, hang in there for a year and you may feel a lot better.
 

(A total aside: when we first got the Fit in 2006, people kept asking us if it was a hybrid!)

 

Edit: A few thoughts on heat.  With what little short-trip winter driving I've done I'm totally convinced that max use of recirc is essential to managing the smaller "waste" heat from the ICE.  Constantly heating outside air from 20F to 70F (or whatever) takes way more heat than taking cabin air from, say, 50 to 70.  Also close unused vents (like the back) - heat yourself, not the whole car.  The system likes to kick out of recirc after some time so keep an eye on it.  Similar thinking goes for A/C in summer.  Of course when humidity gets too high you need outside air but I've found that is quite infrequent.  As mentioned, seat heaters are a big help - they came with the "winter" option.


Edited by SnowStorm, 03 March 2016 - 07:17 PM.

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#17 OFFLINE   HotPotato

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 07:27 PM

Does anyone have pics on what these grill blocking insulation tubes look like on their car? It would be helpful to see.  Turning the heat off I am getting about 3 mpg more, but of course am freezing cold! :( So getting about 32 mpg :( 

 

Yeah, my vibe was awesome. I would get 25 mpg TOWING.. I'm seriously considering selling my new C max and just getting a 2009 or 2013 vibe/ matrix.. the last years they were made. Such a shame they stopped production.

 

I spent so much time researching the perfect vehicle for me, but never came accross this cold weather hybrid fuel economy issue. I think I made a mistake :( Oh well, live and learn. I will try blocking the grill if it doesn't look horrendous. I bought a new car b/c i wanted a more professional look (my vibe's body panels don't exactly meet up anymore;) so I am concerned insulation blocking the grill will really not help my career (property management, i drive around meeting clients, they do tend to judge;)  

 

Hi Andrea. I have been in that very scenario.

 

Biggest issues are likely distance and weather. 

 

When you set out in the morning, especially if it's cold, your C-Max will fire the engine for a few miles to warm up the heater, get the catalytic converter to operating temperature, and get the hybrid battery to 50% state of charge. If you've already at your destination by the time that's done, then the benefits of a hybrid (e.g. cycling the engine off when not needed) don't really get a chance to kick in...instead, you have essentially just driven your Vibe to the office. For a while I had a very short drive to work and a very similar issue, about 23-24 mpg on my super-short commute. 

 

The MPG of an ordinary car also suffers in a short-distance cold-weather scenario, BTW. For example, my old 2006 Mazda 3, very similar to your Vibe, got about 18-19 mpg on that same short-cold route. But that's a small portion of your total lifetime driving. My Mazda had a 27.5 MPG lifetime average; my C-Max has a 37.8 MPG lifetime average.

 

A longer shot: The C-Max was recalled at one point for a software update. If the dealer never did it, mileage will suffer a little (though the car will be a little more enjoyable to drive, frankly). If the dealer tried but failed to properly complete the update, then mileage can suffer a lot (that happened to someone on this forum). Your dealer should be able to check and, if necessary, try re-applying it.

 

And a parting thought: Someone on this forum is always going to advocate blocking the drill and overinflating the tires, and with all due respect to hypermilers, I will not do those things because I'm certain Ford understands the car better than I do, not vice-versa. I would, however, keep the tires inflated to the pressures stated on the panel inside the driver's door frame (low tire pressure will cost you a bit of MPG).

 

P.S. The hybrid system also means you have a lot of torque, which is fun when it's dry but can lead to needlessly triggering the traction control when it's icy (which brakes the slipping wheel). But it sounds like you're savvy and know to baby the throttle in winter anyway.


Edited by HotPotato, 03 March 2016 - 07:30 PM.


#18 OFFLINE   ecogirl2206

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 09:25 AM

Hmmm..I may look into the software update issue. The car was such an amazing deal ($12,500 for 2013 SE with Pano roof, 32K miles, 1 yr bummer to bumper warranty--i thought it was an amazing price) from the dealer because it was a lemon buy-back due to the software issue. The sheet i signed had a list of software updates that had been performed. How do I determine if they were done correctly? All the paperwork I have indicates the problem was fixed...is there a way to verify, or check which software version is currently installed?

 

Turning the heat OFF I'm getting 33mpg, which i still feel is low, but some people seem to think that's a winter normal mpg, so I don't know. Also, oddly, the vents seem to be mostly closed--black plastic louvers maybe, so i feel like there's nothing left to do, unless people are blocking 100% of the vents?  The car was in California, and its lifetime MPG is 40. 



#19 OFFLINE   ecogirl2206

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  • Current Vehicle:C Max Hybrid 2013

Posted 04 March 2016 - 09:41 AM

We don't have many short trips so get very good mileage - present lifetime indicates 48.1 MPG.  IIRC, the Fit was averaging about 36 MPG so to date we've saved like $1500 on gas.  Learn from the folks here, hang in there for a year and you may feel a lot better.
 

(A total aside: when we first got the Fit in 2006, people kept asking us if it was a hybrid!)

 

 

Just a note it looks like you were driving an old fit, the 2015 and later models have significantly higher fuel economy.  33/41  I bet your average with a new model would be at least 3-4mpg higher putting at 40-41mpg ave. Since i live in a cold climate, i don't think i'll even hit that average. So the Fit really makes more sense in colder climates by my estimation, for someone who doesn't care about "driving experience"--  I just want to haul a ton of stuff and get my dogs to the park! Also the 2016 fit i test drove i preferred to the C-MAx, i LOVED the lane change video, backup camera, visibility, and overall drive feel. I gave that up for the C-Max for higher fuel economy, which was a bad gamble in my case. But I understand most people think the C-Max is a better ride. 



#20 OFFLINE   C-MaxSea

C-MaxSea

    C-Max Hybrid Member

  • C-MAX Hybrid Platinum Member
  • 960 posts
  • Region:U.S. Pacific Coast
  • LocationSeattle, WA USA
  • My C-MAX's Year:Decline
  • My C-MAX's Color:Sterling Gray
  • Current Vehicle:2013 C-Max SEL, 303A, Pano Sunroof, Born Aug 2012

Posted 04 March 2016 - 12:02 PM

Turning the heat OFF I'm getting 33mpg, which i still feel is low, but some people seem to think that's a winter normal mpg, so I don't know. Also, oddly, the vents seem to be mostly closed--black plastic louvers maybe, so i feel like there's nothing left to do, unless people are blocking 100% of the vents?  The car was in California, and its lifetime MPG is 40.

 

Tis indeed the cold of winter for the most part Ecogirl.  (Congrats on the purchase & welcome too.)  We don't have much winter here in Lichenville (Seattle), so I can't relate, but freezing weather is the bane of all cars for gas mileage.  Enjoy the new ride, and don't fret too much this winter since it is near completion and look forward to spring & summer. 

 

Keep in mind that the gas mileage will vary day to day subject to the state of charge of the hybrid battery beginning each day, and the routes you drive - and that the final measure is an annual reading.  Elevation is very significant in the energy equations, and distance traveled (as stated above) is huge.  Take a nice long drive on the next nice day off and watch the MPGs climb. 

 

Again, enjoy as best you can, and remember that you did good for the air you and your neighbors breath !

 

Hope it works out,

 

Nick

 

(PS  Great price, but as you know, a risk factor with yours - I think it will be just fine if you get to know the manager of the service department - serious, go have a nice long chat with that person (all about developing your personal advocates in the service department).  Also, you might want to invest in an extended warranty !)


Edited by C-MaxSea, 04 March 2016 - 12:10 PM.







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