Overview & Reviews
Tall-roofed, space-efficient wagons like the Ford C-Max Energi are very popular family vehicles in Europe but are a rarity in the United States. Add the fact that the C-Max Energi is also a plug-in hybrid and it's obvious this Ford is far from a conventional choice.
Nevertheless, the Ford C-Max Energi has a lot of appeal for families on this side of the Atlantic as well. It's exceptionally fuel-efficient, drives smartly and has a stylish and well-made interior. Its plug-in hybrid design also provides the potential for much lower fuel consumption than other family vehicles you might buy. The main downside is that the Ford C-Max Energi is a lot more expensive than the typical hybrid car.
Current Ford C-Max Energi Specs
The Ford C-Max Energi is a four-door wagon/hatchback with seating for five. It is sold in a single, loaded SEL trim level.
Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, rear parking sensors, leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, Ford's Sync voice-activated controls and the MyFord Touch touchscreen interface. Major options include a navigation system (coupled with premium audio), Ford's nifty hands-free power liftgate (bundled with a rearview camera) and an automatic parallel parking system. A panoramic sunroof is a stand-alone option.
Of course, the big story on the Ford C-Max Energi is its plug-in hybrid powertrain. A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with an electric motor provides an estimated 188 horsepower. Ford claims the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid can travel up to 21 miles and at speeds approaching 80 mph in all-electric mode. Once that electric driving range is depleted, the vehicle operates as a standard hybrid, using the electric motor only to assist the gasoline engine under certain conditions and to recover electricity generated during braking. Using a 240-volt charging system, fully recharging the battery pack only takes about 2.5 hours.
Electric-only driving range of that magnitude allows the Ford C-Max Energi to deliver one of the market's best overall fuel-efficiency ratings, making this family wagon a very appealing choice – especially for those with shorter commutes. However, the C-Max Energi costs more than similarly sized conventional hybrids as well as traditional wagons, crossovers and minivans that offer more space. In addition, the jumbo-size battery pack eats up a large portion of the wagon's potential cargo space.
Underway and on a fully charged battery, the C-Max Energi typically is propelled only by the electric motor for several miles. The wagon remains blissfully quiet and performance is energetic. You'll have no problem merging into fast-moving traffic or pulling away from a standstill. Only if your right foot asks for more thrust than the electric motor can provide is the gasoline engine awakened to provide support. The C-Max Energi also handles pretty well as hybrids go, though it's not overtly sporty and its regenerative brakes also require some acclimatization.
Once the hybrid battery pack is drained, the C-Max Energi's driving appeal fades slightly. The four-cylinder engine has to do the work of moving the car's bulk (those batteries add quite a few pounds) without the help of the electric motor. If you try to accelerate hard, the engine can get rather loud and you'll likely also hear some unseemly groans. Although this kind of behavior is common in hybrids, it definitely makes you yearn for the next recharge. As consolation, the C-Max Energi achieves great fuel economy, as once it's out of all-electric mode and into normal hybrid mode it rates an EPA-estimated 43 mpg combined.
From behind the wheel, the Ford C-Max Energi feels a lot like a small crossover SUV. There's good legroom and shoulder room up front, and the seats are very supportive. They're also mounted high, combining with a large windshield and side windows to create a commanding view of the road. Although the dash layout can look a bit confusing at first, time and familiarity with the intricacies of the MyFord Touch interface clear up some of the initial bewilderment. Rear seat legroom is good even for adults, and there's an abundance of headroom thanks to the tall wagon profile. Folding the rear seats increases the cargo capacity to 42.8 cubic feet, which is about 20 cubic feet shy of a Toyota Prius V or a typical small crossover SUV. Also, the load floor isn't flat when the seats are folded, due to the battery pack, which creates a high shelf that sits about a foot higher than the load floor.
Used Ford C-Max Energi Models
The Ford C-Max Energi debuted for the 2013 model year. There have been no significant changes since.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 36.00
Great car with great features - 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
By sanjay92 - May 31 - 9:34 am
CMAX Energi 2013 with 302 option: Bought on Labor day weekend with good deal. Very good interior. Leather seats , Nice looking dash board, Plenty of leg room, looks very roomy, gives compact SUV look. Pros : 1. You can control lock/unlock, set your desired temp from Web or Mobile app. You can see where car is parked from Mobile app. You can schedule time to charge. 2. Sends emails or SMS when charge is going to start and expected time to finish. You can configure all kind of alerts. 3. Navigation,Phone, Climate Control & Radio Voice Commands works fine. 4. No issue in setting up Garage opener. 5. Car is much powerful than Prius and handles very well.
Loving the C/Max Energi - 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
By 1stpev - March 13 - 8:01 am
Just purchased the new C/MAX Energi. I wanted the fuel economy, but was concerned whether it would provide the power I wanted. I wasn't disappointed. Nicely appointed, this car drives like a dream. But be careful, no road noise leads you to go a little faster than you think. Had it to 85 on the highway today, thinking I was doing about 60. Seats are extremely comfortable with great lumbar support. Smooth ride, excellent acceleration - but very little storage space for long trips. You can go about 100 miles for the same cost of a gallon of gas, depending on where you live. The only downside - they are hard to find! If are lucky to find one at your dealer, grab it before it's gone.
2013 C-Max Energi SEL with all the goodies. - 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
By dathomir - July 23 - 12:10 am
Purchased last month (May), one of the last 2013's on the dealers lot and purchased for well below invoice and 0% for 72. Originally was going to purchase a Focus Electric, but with range anxiety and needing more room, the C-Max Energi was the smarter choice. Even with a battery pack in the trunk, can fit a stroller out back, will swallow groceries with ease, and with the rear seats down, a wheelchair will fit. Car sees 80% city driving and 20% freeway, achieving 120 mpge (EV mode) and 53 mpg (hybrid mode). On a 120v charge, range is 26 miles and haven't been to the gas station in over a month! Made the right choice with this car, love it!
2014 Energi, What a Techno Marvel: Welcome to 2020 - 2014 Ford C-Max Energi
By miboje - July 18 - 7:55 pm
This is our first hybrid car. I wish we hadn't waited so long. The car just makes perfect sense, and what a way to say "screw Big Oil!" We've only had the car about two weeks, and we are already very impressed. Ford did a great job with it. My fiancee drives it to work everyday, about 42 miles round trip. Our terrain is rural back roads, open highway and a bit hilly--great for mild hypermiling. He gets to work in all EV mode and regens a couple miles, and a few miles back toward home before entering hybrid mode. If he could plug in at work, we would rarely ever have to get gas. As it is, I expect we will need to get gas once a month. Wow.. This seems crazy! Very happy overall!
Ford customer service is the worst part - 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
By slant33 - March 28 - 12:59 am
Ford's MyTouch (Nav & entertain system) is truly a lesson in anger management. Tho the car can be equipped with many features, the quality or operation is low compared to the price of the car. But woe to you should you need assist from Ford HQ resolving any issues. Their customer service rates a zero and would test the patience of any preacher.
New to Ford, 2nd Hybrid, Nice but - 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
By pekingrick - March 19 - 1:40 am
First Ford ever- had a 2007 Prius, and while loved the mileage didn't like the low-rent interior. Got this car, loved the interior, the solid-feeling doors, the high-quality plastics, leather seats - and the price w/Costco's auto program. First problem - a rattle developed. Dealer kept the car overnight (gave me a Lincoln MKZ as a free rental - nice!); turned out the antenna was loose. With 10k miles now, a few interior squeaks have developed. Mileage is great - averaging about 49 mpg so far. Electric range can vary from 18- 25 miles (okay, but....). regens nicely coming down from Big Bear to a full "tank"! MyFord Mobile app doesn't work well. Value charge feature - fantastic. Love the car!
Good drivetrain but electronics ruined it - 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
By familycarbuyer - October 22 - 11:37 am
Bought this car 2 months ago and have been driving it to and from work mostly. The concept is very good -- i.e. a plugin hatchback. The car handles fairly well and the motors do what they are supposed to do. The electronics are not there yet, however. Specifically, the charging software, the navigation and the voice recognition are all downright horrible and have really ruined the experience for me.
Never Buying Ford Again - 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
By katmitchell94 - September 4 - 9:19 pm
This is my second Ford, and it is definitely my last. The gas mileage is good, but it is built so cheaply I am embarrassed I bought it. I have had it for 3 months and it is in service for the third time. It has already had an oil leak, the rear passenger door doesn't open due to the entire inner door panel falling repeatedly, and the front passenger window doesn't close completely without many tries and frustration. And as I was taking it in to service, one of the plastic covers in the back seat fell off. I paid way too much for this car, and now I'm stuck for years with it, as I can't afford another new car. I do not recommend a C-Max unless you like hanging out at the dealership.
Zero gas weekly commuting - 2013 Ford C-Max Energi
By peterwx - March 5 - 9:55 pm
I charge at home & at work so the battery easily covers my 15 mile commute each way. I use zero gas for my usual weekly work commute which is really nice. The battery shows 9 miles range left when I arrive at work, and 6 miles range left when I arrive at home. More hills. The breaking regen system is very good. I regen a mile or two in estimated range at each of 2 or 3 stop lights caught on my commute. So far in longer weekend trips and road trips I average around 38 to 39 mpg after the battery charge is finished with EV mode and normal hybrid mode kicks in. This will likely improve when the weather warms up. Embedded cellular card. You can see car location, charge status by phone/web
Too nice of a car not to sell in higher volumes - 2015 Ford C-Max Energi
By MDS - October 12 - 10:46 am
I've been scratching my head for the last year (that's how long I've owned my C-Max Energi) as to why Ford doesn't market this car (the regular Hybrid and the plug-in) against the hot-segment "subcompact SUV's" where it is essentially the same size (though different styling), and is cost-competitive (with the continuous incentives) while being so much better in so many ways - quieter, much better passing/merging power, much better mileage, higher-quality interior, better visibility, etc...My spouse has the Subaru XV Crosstrek, one of the more popular subcompact SUV's and while it's a nice car that we like, my C-Max Energi is better in almost every respect, even though I paid thousands less (after tax credit and incentives) than my spouse paid. Other than the lack of all-wheel drive (which I don't care about) and the XV Crosstrek's higher ground clearance, the Subaru has essentially no advantages even though it costs more. By the way, the exterior dimensions of the two cars are within about an inch or so on length/width/height, and my perception is that the C-Max has a higher ride-height for the driver than the Crosstrek, though that may just be my perception. I think only marketing the car as a Prius alternative (when they market it at all) has severely hurt the C-Max sales, since the C-Max will clearly not win purely on MPG; but it is such a better car in every other way that it's a shame they don't do more to broaden the appeal/category. Even letting it be pegged as a hatch-back/wagon hurts it since it really could fit into a few different categories (my view). Anyway, as someone who years ago swore I would NEVER own another Ford, I've been very pleased with my C-Max Energy. I would also like to say the Sync / MyFord Touch system gets a bad rap; as I've driven many different brands with their proprietary systems and Ford's is fine - certainly no worse than any of the others I've used, and because there are redundant ways to do everything if you don't like one way to do something, you have other options. I understand that the early versions of Ford's system (before most other brands had their own) had issues, the grudge in the auto press seems entirely unwarranted based on my experience. I hope Ford finds a way to keep this car going because it's a joy to drive and own. I was not interested in a hybrid when I started car-shopping, but bought it because of everything else it offered (and at a lower price) than the cars I was shopping it against it. I likely would not have considered it without all of the incentives it had, but have been very happy I landed on this car.