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Ford C-Max Energi Performance

Many critics write that the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi has nimble handling and strong acceleration for a hybrid. However, others note that when it’s in EV mode, the C-Max Energi could use more power on the highway.

  • "The Edmunds ‘B’ rated C-Max Energi feels better on the road than almost all its similarly priced and sized rivals. Cars like the Toyota Prius are less refined and feel less substantial and connected to the road." -- Edmunds
  • "The C-MAX Energi drives almost exactly like a normal car. The only real clue that you're in something extraordinary comes in full EV mode, when all you can hear is the wind whooshing past." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The C-Max's added weight - nearly 600 pounds - over the Prius should work against it, but we found the car accelerates briskly, loves to play in the curves and delivers a surprisingly comfortable and quiet driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Ford C-Max Energi has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 188 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. According to the EPA, the 2015 C-Max Energi gets 40/36 mpg city/highway or 88 mpg-equivalent when running in EV mode. That’s less than the mpg-e estimates of most plug-in competitors, including the Toyota Prius Plug-in and Chevrolet Volt. The C-Max Energi can go up to 19 miles on electric power.

Most test drivers agree that the C-Max Energi has ample highway passing power, while others report that it has sufficient power in most situations. However, a few reviewers report that the C-Max Energi struggles on the highway in electric mode.

  • "Acceleration is strong for a hybrid, and even highway passing isn't the weak-kneed chore normally associated with hybrids." -- Edmunds
  • "As for power, the Energi can definitely get out of its own way. That's true even in full EV mode, but the gas engine adds a palpable jolt for passing maneuvers." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "On the highway, however, the 118-hp electric motor was breathing hard." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "A rocket it is not, but the C-Max is more than adequate in terms of its ability to keep up with traffic." -- Left Lane News (2013)

Alternative Fuels/Charging

The plug-in hybrid Ford C-Max Energi can be recharged in 7 hours using a standard household outlet, or in 2 ½ hours with a 240-volt outlet.

Handling and Braking

While some critics say the weight of the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi’s larger battery pack makes it less nimble than the C-Max Hybrid, most note that it’s still unexpectedly athletic for a plug-in hybrid. They also like its responsive steering and smooth, quiet ride. Some reviewers also appreciate the C-Max Energi’s strong brakes, but they note that the brake pedal’s location makes it a little difficult to access.

  • "Underpinned by the same platform used by the nimble Focus compact, the Energi doesn't drive like a typical hybrid - the steering is well-weighted, the body motions well-controlled." -- Left Lane News
  • "The Energi is stable through turns, though the weight of the bigger battery pack makes the vehicle a bit less nimble compared to the regular C-Max." -- Edmunds
  • "Concerning noise, there really isn't much of it at highway speeds (in marked contrast to the plug-in Prius). The ride quality is better, as well, and the confident C-MAX Energi gives the surprisingly athletic Volt a run for its money in handling." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "We found the C-Max brakes to be quite good, but the brake pedal's position relative to the driver is a bit awkward." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
Review Last Updated: 11/19/14

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