Welcome to a new series of reviews. Here, we will be looking at some of the recent offerings by the American-based auto manufacturers. To start, the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid: a mid-sized, wagon-shaped American competitor to the best fuel-efficient cars in the world. Looking for a new car that is family friendly, good to drive, and easy at the fuel pump? The Ford C-Max is worth a second look.
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2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
The new for 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid is built on the same platform as the excellent to drive Ford Focus. As a result, the C-Max does something that few other hybrid cars manage: the C-Max drives like a car. Where other hybrid models suffer from grabby brake pedals, gimmicky buttons, and lackluster performance, the C-Max ends up being a pleasant hatchback that gets above average miles to the gallon. The EPA rates the C-Max Hybrid as getting 47 MPG in the city and on the highway. In the real world, during our mixed driving, we experienced numbers in the high 30s.
A competitor for Prius
In Europe, a non-hybrid version of the C-Max is sold as a minivan competitor. For America, Ford is only selling the C-Max as a hybrid in an attempt to compete with the Toyota Prius lineup. It is clear that Ford had the Toyota Prius V (the wagon backed version) as their target while building the C-Max. Pricing starts at $25,995, the SEL model that we tested starts at $28,995. Those numbers undercut the Prius V while providing more content for your dollars. The car we tested also had Ford's navigation system, an upgraded Sony stereo, a backup camera, a power rear opening door, as well as their foot operated hands-free liftgate. In case you're building cars online, this translates into the Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL with the 302A package at a price of $30,925.
The Driving Experience
Driving the C-Max is a pleasant experience. The seats are high from the floor and, as a result, entries and exits are easy. Visibility out of the tall hatchback is very good and is assisted with standard blind-spot mirrors. The gasoline engine, assisted with battery power results in more than adequate acceleration and the additional weight of the hybrid system translates into a buttoned down feeling that is rare in small hatchbacks. The two major signs that you are driving something focused on fuel economy are the ability to pull away from a stop in silence while running only on electric power and an animation of a growing set of leaves that coaches drivers to be easy with the gas and the brake. In our experience it was the silence of the C-Max that impressed the most. While most hybrids suffer from unpleasant engine sounds while accelerating and then a lot of road noise on the highway, the C-Max remains quiet and pleasant in all manners of driving.
If you are looking for a family and fuel friendly new car and might not have considered something from the American manufacturers in the past, stop by your local Ford dealer. The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid has a long list of features, leads its class in the way it drives and manages impressive economy.