The market of compact hybrid people movers will grow this year with the addition of the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, and it's trying to steal the 2012 Toyota Prius v's thunder. Ford says that the C-Max Hybrid will cost $26,790, some $520 less than the Prius v.
Ford made the announcement today that the C-Max Hybrid, Ford's new C-segment compact people mover, will launch this fall, and that the company will start accepting orders now. The C-Max Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter gas-powered four-cylinder engine (running on the more-efficient Atkinson cycle) and an electric motor supported by a lithium-ion battery pack. It'll be assembled at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, alongside the Ford Focus, Focus Electric, and Focus ST.
If you do want a C-Max Hybrid, Ford says that the car will start at $25,995. While the automaker wouldn't confirm the destination and handling charges, both the Ford Focus and Ford Focus Electric have $795 destination charges. Assuming it'll have the same charge, the C-Max will have a true base price of $26,790.
At that price, the C-Max Hybrid will undercut the 2012 Toyota Prius v hybrid people mover by $520. The Prius v starts at $26,550 including a $760 destination charge. Ford also says that the C-Max Hybrid will have better horsepower, torque, and fuel economy figures than the Prius v, although it could not give specific numbers yet. For reference, the 2012 Prius v has a total hybrid system output of 134 horsepower and an estimated 44 mpg city / 42 mpg combined / 40 mpg highway.
If you're impressed with the Ford C-Max so far but want even better fuel economy, we'd recommend sitting on your wallets for a little while longer. Like the Ford Fusion, the C-Max will soon spawn a plug-in hybrid Energi variant, which will improve on the Hybrid with more battery power and a longer electric-only range. Pricing and availability of that car, however, haven't yet been detailed beyond Ford mentioning that it's coming "later this year."
Update: The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid will cost $25,995, as that price includes the destination charge. That undercuts the Toyota Prius V by an even more impressive $1285.