The 2013 Ford C-Max Energi just may be the best choice in the market for a highly fuel efficient plug-in hybrid vehicle.
We have recently driven a new 2013 C-Max Energi (it comes in one trim level only) for about a week (300 miles) around town and out into the countryside this month. Based on our experience, we think consumers should put it at or near the top of choices to consider if they are in the market for a low emissions vehicle – wanting more fuel efficiency than a hybrid offers, but do not want the range limitations of an all-electric vehicle.
Our nicely styled 2013 C-Max Energi was in a cool Ice Storm Metallic (there are eight colors available) with a Medium Light Stone Leather interior.
The base MSRP for the five-passenger C-Max Energi (also called a Multi Activity Vehicle or MAV) is $32,950 and includes a generous array of amenities and features plus excellent fuel economy (100 MPGe combined gas and electric) with a driving range of 620 miles (electric-only range is 21 miles).
Standard on the front-wheel drive C-Max Energi are 17-inch Machined Aluminum Wheels, Blind Spot Mirrors included with Turn Signals on the Heated Dual Power Side Mirrors, Puddle Lamps below the Mirrors, Fog Lamps, Rain Sensing Windshield Wipers, Remote Keyless Entry, Push Button Start and Speed Control.
The interior features 5-passenger seating with Heated Leather Trimmed Front Seating with 10-way power for the driver seat, 60/40 Fold Flat Second Row Seating, Ambient Lighting (seven color choices), In-floor Storage -Rear, Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel with Audio and Info Controls, 110-Volt AC Power Point – Rear, Leather Wrapped Shift Knob and Dual-Zone Electronic Air Auto Climate Control.
The C-Max infotainment system includes AM/FM/MP3 Sony Audio, HD Radio, and Sync with MyFord Touch enchanced with specific electric vehicle driving screens.
Also standard in the C-Max are a 7.6 kwh Lithium-Ion Battery Pack with Air Cooling and Thermal Management Control Module, Electronic Power-Assist Steering, Regenerative Braking to recover and convert energy from braking and store it in the battery for additional range, Ford’s Smart Gauge with EcoGuide System to assist the driver in maximizing fuel economy and the unique EV Mode Button with allows the drive to choose modes while driving like all-electric, hybrid or saving battery pack for future use.
The C-Max is very well powered by the improved 2.0L Atkinson-Cycle 4-cylinder gas engine delivering a top speed of 102 mph through its Controllable Variable Transmission (CVT) with a combined (including its Electric Motor Generator) output of 188 horsepower.
Note that a plug-in hybrid does not recharge the battery pack when the engine is running. Instead it requires being plugged into an external power source to recharge the battery.
The standard 110-volt Power Cord that comes with the C-Max is stored in a floor compartment in the rear. Plugging this cord into the home and then connecting it to the lighted charging port on the C-Max will charge the battery overnight or about eight hours. There is an optional 240-volt Home Charging System that can be purchased that reduces the charging time to 2-3 hours and, of course, there are Community-wide Charging Stations available that can be located through a cell phone App available from Ford.
We found the C-Max Energi to have plenty of power for normal driving as well as excellent acceleration for passing on the highway.
With its very comfortable front seating and excellent visibility from what we consider Command Seating, this C-Max is also a pleasure to both drive and ride in. It also has very decent cargo capacity for normal family needs.
Already nicely equipped, you can add some additional features and options to your C-Max and our test vehicle was nicely loaded up.
Ford has clustered the options into three packages (301A, 302A and 303A) each with a range of items included with each successive package adding items to the previous.
Our C-Max was equipped with Package 302A for $2,215 and it included a Premium Audio upgrade and addition of a Navigation System, Hands-free Technology Package, Hands-free Power Lift Gate (you have seen this on the Ford Escape) and a Rear View Camera.
We noted the Premium Audio upgrade in particular as it delivered superior sound quality and, if you were not careful, it would blow you out the rear lift gate.
With delivery, our 2013 C-Max Energi had a sticker cost of $35,960.
If this C-Max would have been equipped with Package 303A ($865 more), it would have included the Forward Sensing System and the Ford Active Parking Assist System (the C-Max could all but park itself),
Ford has taken the U.S. electrified vehicle market by storm with their market share up 12 points to nearly 16 percent of the market due largely to the success of the fuel efficient 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid introduced last summer and the even more fuel efficient C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid that arrived in dealerships late last year.
The C-Max Hybrid is a very good vehicle choice for those wanting “just” a hybrid.
Our choice would be the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid for the better fuel efficiency without giving up any of the consumer value features of the Ford C-Max line of electrified vehicles.