Today’s test of the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid reveals why Ford is taking Toyota to the mat when it comes to sales. Competing directly against the Toyota Prius v, the C-Max offers all the same utility with a little bit more.
We found it offers a very attractive package of styling, room, utility and unlike much of its competition, it’s fun to drive. It’s spunky personality belies it’s frugal fuel sipping nature.
The C-Max is available in two versions, the Hybrid and the Energi. The latter model is a plug-in hybrid model which has a stronger and longer battery powered mode than the standard Hybrid which we tested here. They both drive essentially the same, sharing the identical drive-train, a 2.0 liter gasoline engine and a Ford engineered electric motor and constantly variable transmission (CVT).
The power-train has a total of 188 system horsepower, which is more than any Prius. With Ford’s new in-house designed CVT and electric drive-train we found that power delivery was strong and smooth. Shutting off and restarting of the gasoline engine is one of the most refined in the business to date.
The motor starts and stops routinely as you drive about town relatively without drama. At full acceleration both power sources provide pretty impressive push. The only complaint we could register on the power-train is that the electric motor noise was a bit louder than we’d like.
The interior of the C-Max is nearly identical to the Ford Escape crossover SUV to which it shares its platform architecture. The C-Max is a bit more pricey of course and therefore the cabin has a higher level of trim standard and a healthier list of technological gadgets.
Among these is an impressively done instrument cluster which displays power source operations as well as offers up a coaching screen that helps you to see how well you are doing to be efficient. A plethora of apps are available for your smart phone to interface with your vehicle too.
The seating position and cockpit was a comfortable place to be with high quality materials that fit well with the $28,365 staring price tag of the C-Max. Outward visibility is excellent and the higher up seating position is more comforting than that of the Prius v.
Rear seat room is phenomenal, with generous leg and head room. Cargo capacity is right up there with many of the compact SUV’s like the Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. The big difference is that because its lower to the ground it handles much more like a car than most SUV’s it matches in capability.
With a claimed 47 mpg city, highway and combined the 2013 Ford C-Max hard to argue with if you were already planning on spending the same money on a small crossover. While hybrids aren’t for everyone, this one offers up a nice styling, value, and dollar sense argument.