The record-setting debut of the redesigned 2013 Ford Escape—which helped the Blue Oval’s small crossover outsell the Honda CR-V by more than 5,000 units last month—was certainly good news. But the transition between the 2012 model and the new one does have the potential to leave some customers out in the cold. That’s because Ford has axed the Escape Hybrid and will be looking to cut into Toyota’s hybrid-sales leadership with the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid instead.
The C-MAX is slated to arrive in dealerships before the end of the year and was designed to provide the interior versatility that has long made crossovers so popular, but without sacrificing any of those benefits to fit inside a crossover-shaped package. As a result, the vehicle actually shares many of its design cues with the striking Ford Focus (and is built using the same dynamic vehicle platform). More to the point, the C-MAX has been configured as a direct competitor to the Toyota Prius v—and one that bests its Toyota rival in terms of price, power and fuel efficiency.
“The C-MAX Hybrid builds on Ford’s 20 years of hybrid innovation and fuel-efficient offerings to take on Prius v with better city fuel economy at 47 mpg and at better value—[it’s] a great chance for us to shake up the hybrid market,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development. “C-MAX Hybrid delivers 3 mpg more than Prius v with 50 more horsepower and exclusive technologies such as our hands-free liftgate—and the $1,300-lower base price means the payback period will be the smallest in the segment.”