So here it is. The C-Max. The first “dedicated hybrid” from Ford. (that means no gas only versions). I’ve been excited/curious about this car since I first heard about it coming to the U.S. from Europe. And I wasn’t disappointed. When I could finally get my hands on one...but more about that later.
I look at this car from a couple of angles:
1. Fuel efficiency and money saving? Absolutely. Here’s the badge on the car from Ford.
One of the more interesting features in the car is how it teaches you to brake “better” (recovering energy - similar to the KERS system in Formula One). At the end of the each trip you get a review and grade from the car (don’t worry, it’s not like your 10th grade Algebra teacher...very helpful and friendly).
2. Practical and daily driver? Yes on both counts. I drive a pretty good distance each morning (Waterford to Oak Park) and the C-Max was not only comfortable for a 6’5” guy like myself, but it fits four adults comfortably with a decent size trunk (and I LOVE the foot assist system for the rear tailgate - greatness).
Acceleration and power band for this car was definitely more than I expected. The new 2.0 liter 4 cylinder motor generates 188hp (over 50 more than the Prius - and it’s noticeable).
The Ford Sync system is still the gold standard when it comes to Nav/Phone/Entertainment system. And THANK YOU for having HD radio - the Stones sound even better (didn’t know that was possible, but they do).
The fit and finish - and this is important to me - looks great and makes sense. One of my pet peeves with new cars is the “over-instrumentation” of the control panel. To steal a line from Jurassic Park “you tried so hard to see if you could, you never thought if you SHOULD”.
Ford has done a nice job laying out the controls for everything from cruise control, mirrors, Sync, etc. in a way that is cutting edge without being a hinderance.
I’ve spent a day with C-Max. I like C-Max. My family likes C-Max. The 5,000 people working at the Wayne Assembly Plant should be very proud. I’d like to stop by and visit the plant. That’s how much I liked this car.
One note of frustration - I’m a Ford fan, Ford supporter and Ford driver (my F-150 pulls our camper all over Michigan). So imagine my surprise that I can’t get a return call or email from anyone at Ford to review this vehicle (or any Ford products for that matter). This won’t change my opinion of Ford - the new products look amazing, just expected better.
That being said, I’d like to give a big thanks to everyone at Suburban Ford in Waterford and Zac Holmes for allowing me to spend a day testing the C-Max for our audience.
The Ford C-Max is an interesting car worth your time. Now I have to return it...if they can find me. Kidding. Maybe.