Lower Base Price than Prius VWhether they like it or not, all new gasoline-electric hybrid models get compared to Toyota's Prius, the golden standard for over a decade. Ford seems to embrace the comparison, referencing the Prius V many times in its news release about the upcoming C-Max hybrid, claiming that Toyota will be dethroned (at least in the category where the Prius V operates -- the traditional Prius is still safe for now).
Indeed, Ford claims that the C-Max hybrid should get an EPA rating of 47 MPG in city driving and 44 MPG on the highway, numbers that compare favorably to the Prius V's 44 MPG city and 40 MPG highway. But that's not the only claim to fame for the C-Max hybrid; it also has a combined (electric + gasoline) horsepower of 188 versus 134 for the Prius V, and with a base price of $25,995, including destination and delivery, it should be $1,300 lower than the Toyota Prius V (unless Toyota retaliates with a price cut).
And for those who make these decisions with their wallets, the higher fuel efficiency combined with the lower price means that the C-Max hybrid's premium over a gasoline only model should pay back for itself in only about 2 years (though that could be shorter with higher gas prices).
Part of the reason why the C-Max is expected to beat the Prius V is no doubt because it will use a lithium-ion battery pack, vs the nickel-metal-hydride battery still used by Toyota, which is lighter and more energy-dense.