The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid doesn't have enough ratings to earn a Valid Total Car Score.
Ford’s all-new C-Max hybrid is, simply put, a Prius fighter. It’s as if Ford’s engineers took a list of key Prius traits -- specifically those of the big Prius v -- and, one by one, made the C-Max better. Its hybrid driveline produces more power, its range is longer and its fuel economy is higher. Plus, the C-Max has a lower base price than the Prius v.
And this is just Ford’s opening salvo. A few months after the C-Max hits showroom floors a plug-in hybrid version, the C-Max Energi, will go on sale. It, too, will trump the plug-in Prius, promises Ford, with double the electric-only range and a higher electric-only top speed.
Not only has Ford gotten the tangibles right, it’s done a good job with the C-Max’s intangibles, too. The C-Max feels more like a “real” car than most hybrids. It’s solid, handles well, and has a smooth drivetrain that seamlessly integrates the gas and electric inputs. Even the brakes, long a problem spot with most hybrids because of their power regenerating properties, feel more like those on a conventional car.
This isn’t to say the C-Max is perfect. The seats in the SE models are too firm and the cloth upholstery is a little scratchy; better to opt for the leather found in the SEL. The cabin feels spacious thanks to its tall roofline, but shoulder room in the backseat is tight for three adults. Behind that backseat there isn’t as much cargo space as there is in the Prius v, and some testers were annoyed that the cargo floor is a bit higher than the rear bumper, to make room for the battery pack.
Still, the 2013 Ford C-Max does so much right that it should be on the short list for anyone looking for a hybrid family hauler, especially if the Prius is on that list, too.
The 2013 Ford C-Max is a five-passenger four-door hatchback available with two gas/electric hybrid powertrains and in two trim levels.
The standard C-Max is available with a hybrid drive system that pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine with two electric motors that are powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Together, the gas and electric drive system produces 188 horsepower, which is routed to the front wheels through an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT).
A plug-in hybrid version, called the C-Max Energi, is being introduced following the C-Max’s initial launch. Its drivetrain layout will be the same as the C-Max hybrid, though with a larger battery pack it will offer 550 miles of range and be able to drive 20 miles on electricity alone, says Ford.
The C-Max is available in SE and SEL trim levels. SE models are equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels and low-rolling-resistance tires, cloth upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt/telescope steering wheel, power windows and mirrors, remote keyless entry, and a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with auxiliary jack, USB and Ford’s Sync voice-activated infotainment system.
SEL models feature leather upholstery, heated seats, push-button start, a reverse-sensing system, and upgrades to the audio system that include satellite radio and MyFord Touch.
The EPA has rated the 2013 Ford C-Max hybrid at 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined; the Energi plug-in hybrid model has not yet been rated.
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