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Snarky review from Car and Driver


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45 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Medwilk

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:38 PM

Just saw this "instrumented" review from Car and Driver.  Takes lots of shots and pretty grudging with any praise.  Then finishes off with snark, imagining the ideal driver is the head of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara on his way to the Lichen Sustainability Conference in Palo Alto.  Interesting, because the "First Drive" review was quite positive.

 

http://www.caranddri...ck-order-page-2









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#2 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:56 PM

I have several direct replies to that article using the name "Douwe". The pretentious inclusion of the professor driving the car from Santa Barbara to Palo Alto is deplorable.


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#3 OFFLINE   dr61

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:16 PM

Nice job with your responses Don. They also did not go through the menu system to find the tach display. It is interesting to see their performance test results. Another article I read shows 0-60 in13 sec in EV mode, rather than 16 sec that CD got. Perhaps charge level changes allowed acceleration in EV. The time in hybrid mode (7.9 sec) is quick, and one reason it is easy to get bad fuel economy if you use the available power.

#4 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 04:51 PM

That article is first one I have read that actually got me angry.

I did not like the CR article but to have C&D publish such garbage really threw me for a loop.



#5 OFFLINE   altabrig

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 05:12 PM

Its all about the suspension and steering in a comparo - Cmax vs. the Prius not to mention an edge in 0-60.  

 

As far as high mileage hatch hybrids go - the Cmax is the current winner in performance.  What else is there besides the Prii C, V, and Classic?   Plug ins - PIP and Energi.   Fusion is in the pipe, but that is a sedan.

 

If you aren't comparing the Cmax to a boxster, it is a fun little chunk.  The c&d first drive reporter said as much, as did Dan Neil , who stated that the hybrid torque and steering offered up fun moments and then bashed the Cmax mpg and mentioned that the car wallowed and felt unstable at its limits, but heck its a gas sipping conservative drivers mpg machine - not a Modded out WRX STI budget supercar or a BMW 3 which gives every C&D writer a chance to gush or claim that half the staff owns one as a daily driver.

 

C and D's bread and butter is hybrid snark.   Road and track is a little easier on the hybrid cars.  C & D always want to compare the hybrid with a Mazda Protege or a current Focus ST.  Apples to oranges. 


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#6 OFFLINE   Deermouse

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 07:47 PM

  "But the novelty wears off as you discover that your natural braking style produces consistent, sub-60-percent energy-recovery stops. Eventually it becomes annoying as the car frequently informs you that regenerative braking is yet one more thing in your life at which you are tragically inadequate."

 

OK this is ridiculous and an indication of just what a lead-footed, incompetent driver this person is.

 

When my husband and I test drove the Cmax, we both got 96-100% braking scores immediately.  I guess our "natural braking style" is superior to this idiot's.  It's not hard to do. We didn't do anything differently than with our truck and Element. Just don't smash the brake pedal. Try not to give anyone whiplash.

 

I can't imagine how uncomfortable a ride it must be in a car where the driver can only get 60% scores.

 

If this how poorly he brakes, one has to wonder how poorly he accerlates as well. No surprise he got poor mileage. 

 

Thanks, Don, for trying to inject some truth into it. I don't even own an Energi yet and I was ticked off as well. I tried to sign up just to point out the braking issue, but for some reason it won't activate my account. 

 

I know the Energi has some software issues, and that is definitely a problem Ford has to address.  But I get really concerned that this incredibly impressive American vehicle will not get the chance it deserves with consumers because of bad press and bias against American manufacturers and hybrids overall.

 

I intend to offer my email and phone to my dealers (both of them) to pass on to serious potential buyers.  Hopefully I can give them an honest assessment that will help them and help promote EVs.


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#7 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:09 PM

We just got back from picking up dinner and on the way home I was thinking about how that buffoon car reviewer was only getting 60% brake scores and our initial brake scores were all over 90%.

I read your comments and they are exactly what I had been thinking about on the way home LOL.

More and more people are leaving comments that will, hopefully, help set the record straight.

It really does seem the press is missing the point about what the Energi is designed for and what it is truly capable of.



#8 OFFLINE   dr61

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:40 PM

Deermouse, you nailed the C&D guy on the braking issue. Both my wife & I were getting near perfect brake scores after a few miles of test driving an Energi. This guy was playing pretend race driver with his abrupt braking. As a former National level race driver myself, I know the type. He would be easy picking on the track as he upsets the car's balance by braking too abruptly.
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#9 OFFLINE   altabrig

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Posted 22 February 2013 - 11:16 PM

That is funny, when I have really felt like I had to force a brake and was clumsy on the clamps I have scored like 77.  

 

A bad brake is usually like 97 with a few 87s thrown in when someone cuts in to get pole position at a light in their urban rocket. 

 

Sounds like the C&D Stig was hammering the brakes like Dan Neil thrashed the Cmax hybrid for WSJ.

 

 

With any effort 97-100 brake regen score is automatic.


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#10 OFFLINE   mikeb

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 05:14 AM

I pretty naturally got 90-100 brake scores from day one, except for unexpected red lights (or yellows, actually). There's just not much choice when a light starts to change and you're just a bit too far out to make it, you gotta brake harder than regen allows. (And you have to brake even harder if you're on a downhill slope, which I have a number of) So it's possible that the C&D guy is just a horrible lead foot, or it's possible that he's in an area with lots of inconveniently timed lights at the bottom of hills.


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#11 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 07:10 AM

On a positive note the 31 photos associated with the article are very good and some are excellent!


Edited by Don, 23 February 2013 - 07:12 AM.


#12 OFFLINE   altabrig

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:13 AM

The Energi handles far better than my Outback.  It is fun to drive like my Scion xB 1st gen was, albeit ALOT heavier and with a tad more roll at its limits.

 

Measuring the handling and power of car designed for hybrid driving skills is fraught with contradictions.   The only good comparison is with a hybrid hatch (preferably with a plug in battery.)  

 

I wouldn't even want to compare the Energi with a TDI SportWagen because they achieve efficiency in such different ways.

 

It is a great car, a great 21+ mile EV, and a darn good hybrid that has the added benefit of being fun to take through a turn with bolstered comfort and excellent visibility.


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#13 OFFLINE   DonS

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 04:07 PM

Actually I found it a bit funny. Yes, this car will tell him yet another way that he is "tragically inadequate." Nothing worse than a coach for someone who does not want to learn! And he is right: this is not the best car for someone who has long freeway commutes. It is best for someone with a mostly defined regular commutes that are mostly within its EV only range and/or include charging opportunities at work. That 21+ EV range does not deliver, not close, for many months of the year here in the snow belt, and mileage on a long freeway drive, especially over 65 and in the cold, is in truth not so great. 

 

Those of us who buy this car are more likely people who are willing to spend more because we honestly care about how much oil we are burning (some out of global warming concerns, some with more concern over decreasing our dependence on foreign oil) ... teasing us with "Chairman of the Environmental Studies department at UC Santa Barbara" is pretty mild ribbing. I am not ashamed to be educated and I would be very shocked if the average buyer of this car did not have a higher educational level than the typical car purchaser. 

 

Yes, it is a fun car to drive and is the best choice for some us. Seating for five, decent enough cargo capacity, great for those of us with predictable daily commutes within its EV range needing little gas most of the time, while able to serve for the occasional longer drive needs ... that is a pretty big niche it serves. But the perfect choice for everyone it aint.

 

Really given the hatchet jobs the Volt has had to endure, the recent NYT Tesla debacle, and the Pious teasing that the Prius crowd has to put up with, this article is, relatively, more good natured fun.


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#14 OFFLINE   Valkraider

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 05:16 PM

What's a snow belt?

;)

#15 OFFLINE   Don

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 05:43 PM

They finally locked me out from making more comments on that article but it was fun while it lasted. Weird they didn't lock me out until I tried to post the fact that the founder of GM-Volt.com traded his Volt in for a C-Max Energi :rockon: .

http://www.treehugge...rating-epa.html


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#16 OFFLINE   otto tested

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 06:16 PM

My humble response... a Attached File  eMAXODO862.jpg   22.35KB   20 downloadsletter to the editor at C&D

 

TIMIDLY GOING

WHERE FEW JOURNALISTS HAVE

GONE BEFORE...

 

Huffman, comparing prices on a C-Max Energi SEL ($33,745) with a lesser contented C-Max SE ($25,995) and   a Focus S ($16,995) trim levels to justify his palpable pejorative bias (nice tautology, eh?)... totally unprofessional.

 

Referring to the IRS and state rebates of $3,751+ on the C-Max Energi as being "bribes", when I doubt Mr. Huffman thinks twice about taking IRS benefits for his real estate taxes and mortgage interest deductions or charitable deductions (assuming he has any) on his tax return... totally typical.

 

Comparing the net costs of  the C-Max Energi SEL to the C-Max Hybrid SEL, the net difference is $33,745 - $29,160 or $4,585, and after the IRS rebate of $3,751, the net difference is $834... and letting the consumer make the decision if the difference is worth it... totally objective.

 

Experiencing the smile on my face when humming passed the gas stations in my new C-Max Energi this weekend, noticing a more than $.20 per gallon price increase overnight, while zooming past 862.3 as the average MPG at the 500 mile odometer mark by only modestly adapting my driving patterns... totally priceless!

 

 

P.S.  I can only presume that Mr. Huffman was abused by an innocent tree while driving in his youth and must have experienced some damage to his Pearley whites.

 

But... so goes the palaver.

 

otto tested


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#17 OFFLINE   DonS

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 08:17 PM

What's a snow belt?

;)

It's the belt of Scotch I take after shoveling my drive walk! (Yeah, being part of the disparaged intellectual egghead elite I drink Scotch; but being frugal I buy the Costco branded Speyside!)


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#18 OFFLINE   DonS

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Posted 23 February 2013 - 11:09 PM

Seriously I would be curious about the demographics of C-Max Energi purchasers.  Overall EV buyers tend to be well educated and wealthy. (http://autos.aol.com...lthy-white-men/) PHEV purchasers as a group may be only slightly different. Here is one study: http://www.ns.umich....PHEV_Curtin.pdf Thing is that some EV, HEV, and PHEV purchasers are buying to make a statement, an eco-status symbol (part of where the article's teasing comes from); my guess is that many C-Max Energi purchasers are intentionally avoiding making a statement, do not want to be informing the public at large about how green they are, are uncomfortable with that. Hence they are choosing a PHEV that does not shout out "I'm green!" They just want to do it in the most practical way possible. Quietly.


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#19 OFFLINE   altabrig

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:28 AM

My humble response... a attachicon.gifeMAXODO862.jpgletter to the editor at C&D

 

TIMIDLY GOING

WHERE FEW JOURNALISTS HAVE

GONE BEFORE...

 

Huffman, comparing prices on a C-Max Energi SEL ($33,745) with a lesser contented C-Max SE ($25,995) and   a Focus S ($16,995) trim levels to justify his palpable pejorative bias (nice tautology, eh?)... totally unprofessional.

 

Referring to the IRS and state rebates of $3,751+ on the C-Max Energi as being "bribes", when I doubt Mr. Huffman thinks twice about taking IRS benefits for his real estate taxes and mortgage interest deductions or charitable deductions (assuming he has any) on his tax return... totally typical.

 

Comparing the net costs of  the C-Max Energi SEL to the C-Max Hybrid SEL, the net difference is $33,745 - $29,160 or $4,585, and after the IRS rebate of $3,751, the net difference is $834... and letting the consumer make the decision if the difference is worth it... totally objective.

 

Experiencing the smile on my face when humming passed the gas stations in my new C-Max Energi this weekend, noticing a more than $.20 per gallon price increase overnight, while zooming past 862.3 as the average MPG at the 500 mile odometer mark by only modestly adapting my driving patterns... totally priceless!

 

 

 

P.S.  I can only presume that Mr. Huffman was abused by an innocent tree while driving in his youth and must have experienced some damage to his Pearley whites.

 

But... so goes the palaver.

 

otto tested

 

You mean I could have bought a focus for half the price?  Around town I think I would get low to mid 20 mpg if I had purchased the focus.  Nice car, but start-stop city and highway drives with the six speed auto would still have been poor mpg for us.  I doubt we would have been better than 30mpg  in the focus even on the highway due to heavy traffic during commutes.

Great letter to ed otto.

 

Seriously I would be curious about the demographics of C-Max Energi purchasers.  Overall EV buyers tend to be well educated and wealthy. (http://autos.aol.com...lthy-white-men/) PHEV purchasers as a group may be only slightly different. Here is one study: http://www.ns.umich....PHEV_Curtin.pdf Thing is that some EV, HEV, and PHEV purchasers are buying to make a statement, an eco-status symbol (part of where the article's teasing comes from); my guess is that many C-Max Energi purchasers are intentionally avoiding making a statement, do not want to be informing the public at large about how green they are, are uncomfortable with that. Hence they are choosing a PHEV that does not shout out "I'm green!" They just want to do it in the most practical way possible. Quietly.

Quiet indeed, I am loving that torquey grunt and quiet 21+ EV miles I am getting everyday.  As noted, the ENERGI shines for the EV range commuter. 

 

I will be getting my wrath inducing eco-status green stickers to help my wife in the carpool line on her LA commute. 

 

I agree with the sentiment that  the C&D performance loving journos do fuel the anti-greenie fire, almost making an owner willing to debadge his not so obvious EV/Hybrid.  Just a thought, however I am not going to get out the 6lb test or dental floss and start taking of the Cmax Energi badges just to look innocuous to someone who bought a Challenger SRT.

 

Not some much socioeconomic, but there are the start of some car ownership history demographics here:

 

http://fordcmaxenerg...tory/#entry3599



#20 OFFLINE   Valkraider

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Posted 24 February 2013 - 09:55 AM

I have never understood the "anti-greenie" concept at all anyway....

Why would someone *want* to waste? Doesn't it make sense, even if there is no end of the world doomsday scenario, to just use resources more wisely? Wasn't it considered patriotic during periods of war or strife to conserve your nations natural resources and raw materials?

Do people actually like dirty air and water? Are there people who actively want to get rid of pretty forests and natural areas?

I have never got that whole thing. It seems to me that the "environment" is pretty darn cool no matter which political party is on your voter registration or which zip code is on your mail...

When I lived in Mississippi I would ride my motorcycle around in the "country" (Mississippi is pretty thoroughly populated so even in the middle of nowhere there are people everywhere) - there was trash all over. Who likes that? Who really wants to have trash all over?

Not even a "green" thing to just give a shit about where you live...

Aside from that - even *if* there were a magic never ending supply of oil - and even *if* burning it caused no problems whatsoever why would we *want* to keep sending our hard earned money to hostile nations on the other side of the world?

Almost all of our electrical generation is done by local companies with fuel sources which are produced locally by local workers. That alone is enough reason to get behind electric cars - even if there were zero environmental benefit.

Add to that the appeal such as no crappy tailpipe smell when you pull in and out if the garage, no excessive noise when driving down your neighborhood street, and lots of great torque low down - electric cars have lots of appeal even for someone who is actively plotting to destroy every inch of earth....

I just don't see any downside to electric cars no matter the political persuasion, demographic classification or ideological slant.

I never got the backlash against the Volt either... It always seemed to me like that histile group of people would really want to get behind a rallying cry and resurgence of American engineering, technology, and industry...

Edited by Valkraider, 24 February 2013 - 09:57 AM.

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