The Los Angeles Times published an article on March 12th, 2013 for the “Top 10 cars: best gas mileage, lowest sticker price”. To create the list, they divided the car’s base price by its EPA rating for combined fuel economy. Electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf were excluded from the list. That gave plug-in electric vehicles (PHEV) the upper hand, because the MPGe combined was used for them rather than MPG used for all the other cars on the list. The Ford C-Max Energi was top on the list with a cost per MPGe of $329.50. That doesn’t take into account the $3751 federal tax credit or tax rebates in states that lower the cost even more. [The IRS has now stated that the tax credit is $4,007. It was previously listed at $3751 and stated by Ford as $3750.] Although one can argue that using both MPGe and MPG gave PHEVs an unfair advantage, I think it is very clear that if you can drive your Ford C-Max Energi largely on electricity, it hits the sweet spot for base price versus fuel economy.
This blog was updated September 27, 2013.