The Toyota Prius has pretty much ruled the hybrid roost since popularizing the super-efficient market segment over the last decade, but that doesn't mean other automakers aren't trying to catch up. Ford, in particular, has been dabbling with gas/electric drivetrains for some time – think Ford Fusion and Escape hybrids – and now has its own dedicated hybrid model: the C-Max.
If you've ever wondered how the domestic newcomer stacks up against the ensconced champion, wonder no more. Motor Trend has taken Toyota's super-sized Prius V and put it up against the new Ford in a head-to-head video comparison. Not only that, they've had fun doing it.
"Fun in a hybrid?", you ask quizzically. "Yes", we reply, "fun." While the C-Max has inherited the sportiness of the Ford Focus chassis that underpins it, the Prius V has also improved driving characteristics, proving that gas-sipping doesn't necessarily have to come at the expense of ride experience. No, they still aren't canyon-carving sports cars, but they certainly aren't your grandparents family haulers either.
Besides fun, MT also gets down to the serious business of fuel economy. Driving in the style of host and senior features editor Jonny Lieberman (somewhat spiritedly, we imagine) returned mile per gallon figures that were slightly lower in the V than what Toyota advertises, with a bigger drop in the C-Max: 39 and 37 mpg, respectively.
Scroll below to move beyond performance numbers on a sheet and see how the two really stack up against each other. Watch 'till the end where Mr. Lieberman lets slip a sweet little hint about what one might expect from the next Prius.