• Estimated city fuel economy of 47 mpg.
  • Base price of $25,595.
  • Five-passenger seating and 60/40 fold-flat rear seats.

Ford has announced pricing and estimated fuel economy on its latest electrified vehicle, the 2013 C-MAX Hybrid. The small crossover has a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $25,995 - including destination charge - and estimated city fuel economy of 47 mpg.

Ford expects the C-MAX Hybrid to be competitive with the most spacious vehicle in Toyota's Prius lineup, the Prius v, in terms of price, efficiency and total interior space. The Prius v starts at $27,310 including destination charge, giving the C-MAX a price advantage of more than $1,300 when comparing base models.

Although the EPA has not yet announced estimated fuel economy for the C-MAX Hybrid, Ford expects city economy of 47 mpg and highway economy of 44 mpg to top the fuel efficiency of the Prius v, too. The v is EPA-rated at 44 mpg city, 40 mpg highway.

Both the C-MAX and Prius v combine 4-cylinder gasoline engines with battery-powered electric motors to improve efficiency. Total output of the C-MAX Hybrid powertrain, which uses a larger, 2.0-liter engine compared with the v's 1.8-liter unit, is 188 horsepower. That's 54 horsepower more than the Prius v, but the C-MAX may need the extra brawn; it outweighs the Prius by more than 400 lbs.

The C-MAX Hybrid is shorter in length than the Prius v, but is wider and taller, yielding a slight advantage in total interior volume. The extra height also provides more head room for both front- and rear-seat passengers. But while both vehicles have 60/40 split fold-flat rear seats, Prius v is the cargo champ. It offers more space with the rear seats up or down, and also includes sliding and reclining features on the second row.

Ford says that its research shows a narrowing income gap between the average conventionally-powered vehicle buyer and the average hybrid buyer. An income difference of $30,000 per year a few years ago has shrunk to $15,000 per year. These statistics suggest that hybrids are becoming increasingly mainstream, and mainstream buyers are certainly looking for practicality and affordability along with the fuel economy that hybrids offer.

What it means to you: Ford's new C-MAX Hybrid offers utility and fuel economy along with a relatively affordable price of $25,995 including destination charge.

author photo

Nick Palermo is an automotive writer and lifelong car nut. He follows new and late-model used vehicles for AutoTrader.com, writes about vintage cars for Hemmings Classic Wheels and blogs on all things automotive at LivingVroom. He lives in Atlanta with his wife and twins.

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