Author Topic: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI  (Read 6260 times)

Offline Autos_Editor

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We pit the latest hybrid against a proven diesel in a test of efficiency, practicality and value.

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Trouble is you are comparing apples and bananas.   The REAL C-max comes with gas engines up to the 1.6 Ecoboost or diesels up to 2.0.   I admit I just don't see why Ford chose to sell the C-max in Canada with only a CVT/Hybrid powertrain  and I wonder if one of the conventionally engined ones would have outdone the TDI.  But it is not a test that is possible to do.
As the C max is just a slightly stretched Focus I would think that a 1.6 Ecoboost version here would outsell the hybrid by a lot of units and with no extra technician training and not many different spare parts to stock.
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Offline sailor723

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Interesting and balanced article ...well done!


.....and not just because your conclusions agree with my take on that comparison  ;D

The only other area you might of considered is cost of ownership. I don't know about the Ford or all  hybrids for that matter but VW's in general and diesel VW's in particular have a rep for pricey parts and service.
So, why can't the Germans make electronics work in cars?

Offline Flinter

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Agreed, Interesting read. Both cars look like great options for buyers looking for a practical efficient ride. Two things jump out for me after reading the article:

1) The significant discrepancy between real world driving and the Canadian/US EPA estimates for the C-Max. I know this was a topic of heated discussion here in another thread on this forum.

2) While both cars could be optioned to ~35K, both were comparatively equipt in this comparison and there was a fairly significant price premium for the Golf Wagon TDI. Usually, it would be the hybrid that commands the price premium so this does make me question VW's pricing.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 07:47:15 am by Flinter »

Offline Thinking Out Loud

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Agreed, Interesting read. Both cars look like great options for buyers looking for a practical efficient ride. Two things jump out for me after reading the article:

1) The significant discrepancy between real world driving and the Canadian/US EPA estimates for the C-Max. I know this was a topic of heated discussion here on another thread on this forum.

2) While both cars could be optioned to ~35K, both were comparatively equipt in this comparison and there was a fairly significant price premium for the Golf Wagon TDI. Usually, it would be the hybrid that commands the price premium so this does make me question VW's pricing.

Until there is real diesel (not some hybrid / plug-in) competition, VW is basically free to charge whatever the market will bear, and people buy their diesels in droves so moving inventory is never an issue.

Only when (if?) Mazda gets their diesels over here and the Cruze diesel (I think) start to show up here will VW have to respond to market forces for the first time in this category in.....forever.

Always frustrated me to see VW go unchallenged here in this segment - somebody creates the CUV / everyone creates one - somebody gets a DSG / others develop similarish versions - somebody spends a billion $ electric vehicle / most start building similar offferings.

VW offers a 100 year old technology in a compact car for the past 20+ years and sells out annually.... and NOBODY is bright enough to see the opportunity and act.   ::)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 07:50:35 am by Thinking Out Loud »

Offline Snowman

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No cost per km comparison? That is the most important. Fail.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 08:03:02 am by Snowman »

Offline JRM

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Interesting and balanced article ...well done!


.....and not just because your conclusions agree with my take on that comparison  ;D

The only other area you might of considered is cost of ownership. I don't know about the Ford or all  hybrids for that matter but VW's in general and diesel VW's in particular have a rep for pricey parts and service.

I'm not sure about about the TDI, but cost of ownwership is very low for the gas version Golf.  In three years I've paid $280.00 for required servicing and have needed no repairs.  Kinda speaks for itself.

Offline hemusbull

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Comparison of wo very different types of vehicles having just few common points: undersized and price inflated...What a heck is this?

Offline Northernridge

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Good review...actually read the whole thing. I think the comparo is appropriate because these two cars go after the same thing (via different approaches) and cost about the same. I find the C-Max interesting when reviewed on its own but when compared to the TDI Golf it seems...amateurish. As you say VW starts with a good chassis and drivetrain and then builds a wagon around it...results – a good car. Seems like Ford started with the desire to make something that runs on batteries...results – distant 2nd place car that doesn't seem very cohesive...but runs on batteries. And, how can you rule out the driving experience?

If the TDI can win the comparison with driving dynamics excluded from the evaluation (silly idea anyhow) then the C-Max is a very disappointing car.

At 35k the TDI wagon is just too spendy.
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Offline sailor723

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"At 35k the TDI wagon is just too spendy."

I agree, at that point the value proposition starts to fade.........are the Golfs still built in Germany?  Is that the problem or is it just a case of VW having no competition in this segment and charging whatever the market will bare?

Offline Northernridge

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2013, 09:24:39 am »
"At 35k the TDI wagon is just too spendy."

I agree, at that point the value proposition starts to fade.........are the Golfs still built in Germany?  Is that the problem or is it just a case of VW having no competition in this segment and charging whatever the market will bare?

I've heard that it's all about the badge...something you and I couldn't relate to.  :)

Offline sailor723

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2013, 09:29:14 am »
"At 35k the TDI wagon is just too spendy."

I agree, at that point the value proposition starts to fade.........are the Golfs still built in Germany?  Is that the problem or is it just a case of VW having no competition in this segment and charging whatever the market will bare?

I've heard that it's all about the badge...something you and I couldn't relate to.  :)

 :rofl:

Offline redman

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2013, 09:58:28 am »
Good review. I'd like to see a similar review with the Prius V instead of the C-Max.

I to welcome some competition in North America in regards to passenger diesel options.

I'm still floored that manufactures lately put out and justify obscure vehicles with low volume sales but consistently debate the market for a diesel vehicle in N/A.

I'm I the only one who finds this odd ?
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Offline OliverD

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2013, 10:00:15 am »
"At 35k the TDI wagon is just too spendy."

I agree, at that point the value proposition starts to fade.........are the Golfs still built in Germany?  Is that the problem or is it just a case of VW having no competition in this segment and charging whatever the market will bare?

I believe it is still built in Germany. Next Golf will be built in Mexico or Brazil I think, and should be cheaper.

Offline quadzilla

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2013, 10:12:08 am »
"At 35k the TDI wagon is just too spendy."

I agree, at that point the value proposition starts to fade.........are the Golfs still built in Germany?  Is that the problem or is it just a case of VW having no competition in this segment and charging whatever the market will bare?

I think VW owns this segment (wagons under 35K) as I can't think of anything that is as good for less money. Sure there are a lot of hatches or (much) smaller wagons but the VW Wagon can hold a lot of stuff, more than some/most SUVs.

Offline philmcneal

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2013, 10:15:07 am »
Good review...actually read the whole thing.

o_0 i always read the whole thing.... no matter what article is posted on autos.ca....
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Offline mixmanmash

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2013, 10:16:46 am »
Good review. I'd like to see a similar review with the Prius V instead of the C-Max.

I to welcome some competition in North America in regards to passenger diesel options.

I'm still floored that manufactures lately put out and justify obscure vehicles with low volume sales but consistently debate the market for a diesel vehicle in N/A.

I'm I the only one who finds this odd ?

Agreed.  Thank god we'll have GM (Cruze), Jeep (Grand Cherokee) and Mazda (6) joining the ranks of offering a diesel vehicle this year.  The one thing I have seen is that diesels are more consistent and closer to the fuel economy ratings than any gas engined or hybrid vehicle.

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2013, 10:19:37 am »
Good review. I'd like to see a similar review with the Prius V instead of the C-Max.

I to welcome some competition in North America in regards to passenger diesel options.

I'm still floored that manufactures lately put out and justify obscure vehicles with low volume sales but consistently debate the market for a diesel vehicle in N/A.

I'm I the only one who finds this odd ?
Me as well.   The annoying thing about this particular C-max is that a diesel version already exists that would probably only  need an exhaust clean up.
I blame a lot of the lack of diesels on Transport Canada. When they bought into the current EPA emission specs for gas engines they easily could have adopt Euro V for diesels and then we could have had many more diesels...it might have been a small political fight but probably not.  AND the VW diesels would be more economical and be available in the Tiguan.  There might have been a problem that Cdn spec  diesels could not have been exported to the USA but how often does that happen?

Offline whaddaiknow

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2013, 10:26:09 am »
Interesting and balanced article ...well done!


.....and not just because your conclusions agree with my take on that comparison  ;D

The only other area you might of considered is cost of ownership. I don't know about the Ford or all  hybrids for that matter but VW's in general and diesel VW's in particular have a rep for pricey parts and service.

Very well done! Read everything from start to finish.
I find the comparison very relevant though the results were not quite as expected which only adds to the value of this article.
Really nothing to add to it.
Very disappointed that Ford, yet again, stops short with a 2013 model that can't beat "old" tech Golf TDI.

Offline SaskSpecV

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Re: Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2013, 10:28:26 am »
No cost per km comparison? That is the most important. Fail.

Seriously Snowman?  I hope you forgot the sarcasm emoticon there...or else you forgot your grumpy meds today!
This was an awesome comparison - a level of practical detail that NONE of the big-time mags or websites would delve into (ease of child seat installation, ease of handling similar cargo loads, actual - not just "listed" - differences in front and rear seat roominess, etc.)

And Jonathon gives you all the info you need to do YOUR OWN cost per km comparison, which is far more relevant than if he did it for you.  Purchase price of each vehicle (with comparison of equipment levels)?  Check.  Actual vs listed gas mileage?  Check.  I can use that data, along with my own typical driving distances (probably not the same as Jonathon's), cost of fuel locally (again may be different), local insurance costs for each vehicle (very likely to be different for me compared to Southern Ontario), to calculate my own "cost per km" comparison.

The only data not included in the article is potential resale value (depreciation) of each vehicle, but as that info varies depending how long you intend to keep the vehicle, and probably isn't available for the brand-new C-Max anyway, it's a non-starter.

Again, great review.  It's why autos.ca kick the sh!te out of every other auto website (insideline used to be good competition, but since they've folded into edmunds again it's not even close...)