Overview & Reviews
The Ford C-Max Hybrid is a tall wagon that seats five and offers an impressive amount of passenger space. Although its hybrid drivetrain and resulting high mpg ratings are the main draws, the C-Max is also quite practical for family use thanks to its interior layout and wide array of convenience features. Furthermore, its seating position feels more like an SUV than a conventional wagon and offers the resulting commanding view of the road that many consumers desire.
There are a few drawbacks to the Ford C-Max Hybrid, however, such as rather modest maximum cargo space relative to competing models. But overall, we think its combination of high fuel economy and SUV-style seating position should make it a compelling alternative to other hybrids and small crossover SUVs.
Current Ford C-Max
The Ford C-Max Hybrid is a tall hatchback/wagon that's available in two trim levels: SE and SEL. The plug-in hybrid C-Max Energi is reviewed separately.
All C-Max Hybrids are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, good for 141 horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque. It's paired to an electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery pack. The gas and electric propulsion systems working in tandem produce an estimated 188 hp. EPA-estimated fuel economy is an impressive 43 mpg combined.
Standard feature highlights on the SE include dual-zone climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, the Sync voice-activated electronics interface (includes Bluetooth phone connectivity) and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player and an iPod/USB audio interface. Moving up to the SEL gets you rear parking sensors, heated seats, the MyFord Touch electronics interface, extra Sync services and satellite radio. Key options include a power liftgate, a rearview camera, a navigation system, a panoramic sunroof and remote start. Also available are front parking sensors, an automatic parallel parking system and an advanced power liftgate that opens when you swipe your foot under the bumper.
Quicker than most hybrids, the C-Max accelerates from a standstill to 60 mph in about 8 seconds. Solid midrange response on the highway means passing is easy, with a seamless blending of engine and electric motor power. Overall, the driving experience is quite pleasant, with a smooth and quiet ride. Around turns, this tall wagon feels steady and even a bit sporty.
Adding to the sense of well-being is the tall hybrid wagon's airy, spacious cabin. The C-Max offers a massive amount of headroom and fantastic visibility out the front. If you're accustomed to driving around in a small SUV or crossover, you'll likely find the driving position exceptionally comfortable. In addition to its sporty cockpit-like design elements, the C-Max Hybrid also boasts top-notch materials and build quality.
The Sync voice control interface makes it easy to call up your favorite music on the fly, and when you combine it with the MyFord Touch and navigation, you get even more functionality. One downside is that it takes a while to get up to speed with either of the electronic interfaces, which can be a bit unintuitive and have been prone to glitches.
Although rear-seat comfort is excellent in the C-Max (with ample legroom even for adults), cargo capacity is modest due to the intrusion of the hybrid's lithium-ion battery pack. There are only 24.5 cubic feet behind the backseat. Lowering the seats opens up 52.6 cubic feet of space, still short of a typical small crossover SUV or a Toyota Prius V.
Apart from these shortcomings, the Ford C-Max Hybrid is an exceptional family runabout. It's quicker and more enjoyable to drive than other hybrids, yet it's far more fuel-efficient than a compact crossover SUV or minivan.
Used Ford C-Max Hybrid Models
The Ford C-Max Hybrid debuted for the 2013 model year. There have been no significant changes since.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 123.00
You bought a Hybrid? and a Ford? - 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By wamba2000 - November 7 - 9:52 am
I have bought close to 20 new vehicles while I have been driving, american cars, european, asian, etc. The C-Max is the first Ford product since the late 1980's. The reaction from my friends is really interesting, can't believe I got a Hybrid, and if I wanted Hybrid, why not a Prius. The CMax was the first Hybrid that appealed to me, Main reasons: - wanted a hatchback capable of moving a larger item than would fit in a trunk. - wanted all the toys that are available in higher end vehicles - wanted gas mileage in commuting that would hit at least the mid-30s - had to have enough power to get out of its own way. It delivers on all of these. Had the car 2.5 weeks, it is put together!
Retired Boomer - 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By hookshot1 - August 3 - 9:12 am
Researched long and hard, test drove Prius V, Mazda CX-5, and C-Max to replace '03 Highlander (great car by the way).Liked the room behind the second row in the V and CX-5 and the driveability of the CX-5. Liked the mileage (knew it didn't get 47/47/47), acceleration, handling, quietness, and accommodations in the C-Max. I have put about 1500 miles on the car so far and am getting about 43 mpg overall. Having fun playing the hybrid game! Much of my driving is in town or two lane rural highway. The mileage does suffer if you go over 65 mph. Diesel is probably the way to go if you want great interstate mileage.
We LOVE it! - 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By Rick_M - June 19 - 9:59 am
We have our C-Max Hybrid for about 4 months & love it! My wife drives 22 miles 1/way to work and during the winter months she has seen 50 MPG on her drive and 4 month average of about 39 MPG. Now that it has warmed up she has seen 52.9 MPG over the 22 mile drive. I am a engineer and I will say I am impressed with the hybrid control system! Very smooth when gas engine starts/stops. We have learned to leave the heater off for short trips in town because if you have the heater turned on it will start the gas engine to give heat but in a one mile trip it's not going to warm it anyway. Leaving the heater off it will drive via electric vehicle.
C-MAX BUMMER - 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By mjsrn2007 - June 10 - 11:05 pm
I loved my c-max at first. Didn't mind the first time it went dead for no reason. I thought it was my fault. But after the third time...Come on Ford, stop making excuses. Now it is in the shop again and they tell me it is the transmission that has to be replaced! Really, only 30,000 miles in 1.5 years and I am driving a rental for the 4th time. I travel for a living. I want out of my lemon, but can't afford to trade off because of the upside down amount. Guess I am stuck.
C MAX First Impressions - 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By seymour_bears - May 23 - 4:51 pm
5 days now with the car; 850 miles: 650 interstate and 200 local roads. Ford advises car must be driven a couple of thousand miles before accurate MPG can be determined, but what I'm seeing now is 44 MPG city (lots of stop and go, and hills) and 37 interstate. Surprising that cold tire pressure is 38 PSI. Dealer was flexible on price, even though this is a new model. This is an SEL model with just one option: premium white paint. Car is a pleasure to drive: sporty feel, comfortable seats, quiet cabin, excellent driver interface with gages and displays. Build quality looks good.
fromflextocmax - 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By charliedee - May 15 - 3:50 pm
Took our Flex to our local dealer for service. Decided to look new Fusion while waiting. Only Fusion available was a hybrid. Drove it, parked it beside C-Max when we returned. Didn't know what it was, drove it, purchased it. The car available was loaded, really didn't think that automatic parallel was necessary. Dealer made us what we considered a great deal, so we took it. Have yet to try the automatic park. Have had the car a little over a week, no highway driving as of yet. Currently averaging 39-41 mpg town driving. Very impressive car,all my friends who have driven it were surprised with the take off power. Wish a power seat was offered for the front passenger, but no big deal.
One month in on the new C-MAX - 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By m8rix - April 4 - 5:46 pm
Our lease came due on our Prius and Toyota did not have product so we went looking and were surprised by the options we had. We drove the C-MAX and were quite surprised by it's features and performance. Overall it is 5 stars. On the test drive we put it thru its paces, rather harshly [I think to the salespersons surprise] but there was not a thing we could find fault with. If I had to list a deficiency, I'd have to list the SYNC system. Like all Microsoft products, it is better on the drawing board. A proper manual [digital would be good] of all the commands and how they fit together would be good.
2013 ford cmax sel - 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By rick_smith - March 23 - 12:42 pm
I just passed the 3000mi. mark on my 2013 cmax. was getting 38 mpg until the weather got cold. now it is down to 32 mpg. i believe the car is not worth the extra $15,000.00 spent. save your money! If and when the electric portion comes on, its a miricle! usually after you drive 30-50 miles. yes i am extremely disapointed!
electronic problems - 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By opallongtail - February 27 - 3:48 am
After less than 3000 miles we had problems with the "entertainment system" and the air conditioning. The repairs took 10 days, the AC compressor had to be replaced. Took it in for servicing after 5000 miles, including 2 recalls it had. After 500 more miles we had electronic problems again. The external sensors died, the entertainment went out again. The AC made more noise than usual. We are thinking we have bought a lemon! We like the way it drives and are satisfied with 40 mpg, and the comfort is good, but we can't trust it. We may have to use the "lemon law". It's back in the shop today.
Love My CMax! - 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
By bevt - February 1 - 3:39 am
The car handles beautifully, both in acceleration & braking; it's very solid feeling, responsive, and very energy efficient. After 2 days of owning it, it's already giving me an average of 46.5 mpg . I can also put the car in cruise control on the highway and set it for 63 for EV energy only. I was thrown at first by how much the gas kicked in because of the hilly terrain where I live, but after learning more about how it works, that no longer bothers me because it's supposed to do that; considering the mileage I've gotten already, it can only get better when it hits 1000-3000 where they say the hybrid feature gets really good!