How Can I Improve Fuel Economy in the 2013 Ford C-Max?

"I have had a 2013 Ford C-Max for four months and am getting about 37 mpg. How does one manage to get over 40 mpg? Use little brake? Keep heat low? Buy premium gasoline? I would appreciate any advice and convincing that I did not make huge mistake to not buy a Toyota Prius as originally planned."


You shouldn't beat yourself up over your gas mileage because Ford on Aug. 15 acknowledged that its EPA estimate of 47 mpg for combined city/highway mileage was overly optimistic.

Plenty of other C-Max Hybrid owners fell well short of 47 mpg, and some complained that, like you, they couldn't even reach 40 mpg.

Ford voluntarily lowered the 2013 C-Max Hybrid's mileage estimate to 45/40/43 mpg city/highway/combined and announced it would compensate buyers as a goodwill gesture. If you bought your C-Max, you can expect to receive $550 from Ford, and if you leased yours you will receive $325. Expect to be notified soon about how to claim your compensation.

You also should receive notice from Ford advising that you can bring your C-Max to a dealer to have your vehicle's software updated with measures that Ford says should improve your real-world mileage. The software changes will shorten the time it takes for the engine to warm up, reduce the electric fan speed and how often the air-conditioning compressor comes on, close the grille shutters more often and increase the maximum speed the car can drive in electric mode to 85 mph. Ford has not estimated how much this could improve mileage.

As far as what you can do to improve mileage, let's start with what you shouldn't do, and that is buy premium gas. Buying premium will lighten your wallet, but it will not improve your fuel economy.

One suggestion that could improve your gas mileage is, whenever possible, to start braking early so your car comes to a long, gradual stop instead of an abrupt halt. Hybrids such as the C-Max have regenerative braking systems that capture kinetic energy generated during braking and convert it to electricity that's stored in the hybrid system's battery.

The longer the brakes are applied in a stop, the more energy is captured. The more energy there is in the battery means the hybrid system can run on electricity more often — increasing your gas mileage.

Try that braking technique, see a Ford dealer for the software updates and get back to us in the future about your gas mileage.

Ford to Reimburse C-Max Owners for MPG Discrepancy

Research the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
More Fuel Efficiency News on


Agent Mike

You should have bought the Prius :)


You should have bought an electric bicycle! ;-)


You should have bought a Nissan Leaf (all electric):>


You should have bought the C-Max. :)


You did make a big mistake buying the C-Max over the Prius. My neighbor traded his C-Max after nine months due to ongoing problems in addition to poor mpg (for a hybrid).


The two main complaints that I have is the gas mileage (not bad) and the sync radio. As far as driving the car and the handling it is fantastic with great pick up if/when needed. I think this vehicle in the S-Max would have been the way to go just because of the room available for extra suitcases for the number of retiree's that have purchased this vehicle.


The C-max is such a superior car compared to the cheap, thin plasticy Toyota. After over 4000 miles, my average MPG is over 47! And remember, that's in a very comfortable, powerful American-made automobile. Great warranty, too.

Rob E

I have driven 7600 miles on my C-MAX. I have everything in auto. Climate control and lights. I drive with traffic. I use eco cruise most of the time. I average 40mpg @ 70 mph and 47 mpg city. My overall average is 43.7 mpg. It is a great car and I love love driving my c-max.

Bill S.

First, I live in Michigan which has cold winters. Lithium rechargeable batteries don't like cold weather.

Average miles (city and highway) since new is 41 mpg. The upgraded software fix was done 2 months ago and there is a noticeable fuel economy improvement with the average fuel economy rising 3 mpg after the software changes made by FORD at no cost. Drove from Ann Arbor, Michigan to DC and back this October and averaged 39.2 mpg driving 75-80 mph. Driving over 70 mph is not conducive to hypermiling.

Driving around town to and from work in the warmer months it ranges between 45 to 52 mpg based on how hard you break and how hard you accelerate. Ambient weather and driving technique makes a big difference.

We leased the CMAX for my wife a year ago last December 2012. We have 13,400 mile.

My wife loves her CMAX and she really likes the Bluetooh phone connection of the MyFordSync system. Looked at the Prius and decided it felt like a taxi. The CMAX is quite an upgrade in terms of comfort, interior quality and features compared to the Prius which has a Sears Kenmore washing machine feel to it.


I a very happy with my Ford C-Max it is a quality, comfortable, quiet car. I Love it! Yes it doesn't get the projected gas mileage but so what it gets damn good mileage. My average is 42mpg. It is a much better car than a Toyota, I rode in one and it was a terrible ride and didn't have close to the comforts and ride of the C-Max!

2013 Lexus ES350, not a hybrid, makes 43miles/per gallon when you drive 60miles/hour...


Bought the 2013 C max in may, took a cross country trip in it, from Pa to Las vegas and back, i averaged 40mpg and 9000 miles, speeds through texas were 85 mph, in some places and the wide open spaces, If u cant get 40mpg out of this car u better take some driving technique lessons


Using synthetic oil would help, if Ford doesn't already recommend it.


I have had my c max since aug 28 only have 2,000 miles on it so far I only average 35 miles per gallon. A bit disappointing but I really bought the car because it was just so darn easy to get in an out of. It is nice to drive but it sucks in snowy weather


My Prius-2007 get 35 MPG in winter and even lower on freezing day.

That's normal in all cars. Please wait until summer. Many people already get 49 MPG in good weather in C-Max.

Many Taxis are using C-Max.


I love a lot about my C-Max. I've had it since May and was getting 37 - 39 mpg. I had the computer upgraded in the summer and initially (when I picked it up) the mileage said 43 mpg - not sure where that came from. It has gradually diminished back to the high 30's. So I think that was a waste of time. Now it's winter and on my local trips, I am getting 20 mpg or less - never got that before. Even highway miles are not in the 30's. When I start the car in the garage now, the motor comes on immediately - even when the dashboard says the battery is fully charged. One thing I hate about this car is the dash - which as far as I'm concerned is smoke and mirrors. Can't figure it out at all. My Ford Sync is also not user friendly. In navigation it is difficult to set a destination - after that it works. One more thing - the manual is cheaply made with useless content and I have yet to find anything on the web that explains anything that I am seeing on the dashboard - or, in fact, anything at all. Anyone out there found something? If I had been told that this car would get between 18 and 37 mpg, I would never have bought it.


I bought my C-Max this week and so far (weather in the 60's and 70s), I'm getting about 47 MPG. I'm still learning how to drive the car, I got 52 MPG on the way home yesterday. There are a few videos on youtube that show you how to get to EV mode faster, how to get the battery charged more, etc. I have been following those guidelines and loving the mileage.


Watch this video:

He goes over what the graphs are showing you, how to drive it, etc. I watched this before I ever bought the car.


Just a follow up, I'm routinely getting 50+ MPG now. It took a couple of weeks to really learn how to get into EV mode consistently, but I don't even think about it now.


GET ME OUT OF MY LEASE! We leased a 2014 C-max energi to improve on my mileage that I was getting with my 2008 Prius, 45-50 mpg on my commute. I also wanted to go greener, as we have solar on our house. The NEW numbers are disheartening, and EXACTLY what we have been asking Ford to address and fix. All they say is "We're sorry you feel that way, but the car is performing as designed." I call it FALSE ADVERTISING,and FRAUD.I would never have looked at this car had I known the REAL numbers. All I'm asking Ford to do is let me out of my lease that they are holding. They have refused. They tell me that they will be sending me a check for $475, but that doesn't address the fact that we're paying extra to have 1,800 miles per year on our lease. I avoid driving this car as much as possible. Not at all what we were looking for! ALL I WANT IS OUT OF MY LEASE!


I don't know about you guys but I'm getting 42-45 Mpg and its a way nicer driving car than a prius inside and out. Its hot here now though so that might make a far quite happy. Not much difference between 45 and 50 mpg maybe $100 year in fuel...


Maybe you should consider how you drive. I got my CMAX 3 months ago an could not be happier. I have been getting 45 - 53 MPG, the worse was when we spent a week in the mountains of Colorado.


I bought a 2014 Ford Cmax in July 2014 and love it. I am averaging 44 mpg back and forth to work on hilly roads; over 50 mpg back and forth to my folks in town. Much better than the cheap and plastic looking Prius. Very quiet ride. You have pick-up when you need it to merge into traffic. And just the right size.


My 2103 Cmax has not started x 4. Was able to jump start x 3, but now nothing!!! Any suggestions? Am about to apply the Virginia Lemon Law!!!

Jerry Doerr

Why doesn’t anybody say where their mpg claims come from? – what the car says, or what the owner calculates? My 2013 C-MAX significantly UNDER-reports the gas it uses, compared to what the pumps say at various gas stations I have used. This causes it to significantly OVER-report its mpg – by almost 7%. So after 1 year (bought December 2013) and 16,000 miles, the car claims to have gotten 43.0 mpg, but in fact has only gotten 40.2 mpg (using gas station pump numbers for fuel usage). Is it just my car, or do all C-MAX’s have this flaw? (My Ford dealer says there is no known fix for this.)

I’m disappointed that the self-reporting by the car is so sloppy, but I’m happy with my actual mpg, since Consumer Reports said (before I bought the car) that their test vehicle got 37 mpg, and my 40.2 is much better than that. I would never trust any EPA numbers, since they’re all suspect: 1) human nature dictates that cars are designed to do well for the EPA tests more so than for real-world driving; 2) the car manufacturers themselves do the actual “EPA” tests (so I’ve read), and 3) tests aren’t even required if the company has numbers from a similar vehicle! (I’ve read that the initial numbers used for the C-MAX came from testing the Fusion.)

Overall, we love our C-MAX. Consumer Reports said that their Prius V got 41 mpg, but we bought the C-MAX instead because it was so much nicer and peppier than the V. Our only complaints: no automated way to adjust seat and mirrors for multiple drivers, and the turning radius is too large.

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