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#7

in Wagons

MSRP: $24,170 - $27,170
Invoice: $22,539 - $25,337
MPG: 42 City / 37 Hwy
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Ford C-Max Hybrid Performance

Critics say that the 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid has nimble handling and strong acceleration, making it surprisingly enjoyable to drive for a hybrid. Test drivers write that the C-Max Hybrid has a comfortable ride on all but the bumpiest roads.

  • "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
  • "Because it starts with superior underpinnings derived from the Focus, the C-Max Hybrid offers a reasonably satisfying driving experience, too, although exhilarating isn't the superlative we would use in describing acceleration." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "If you're considering a Prius or Prius V but are dreading a driving experience marked by ersatz steering, an ATM-like dashboard, and a spongy throttle, the C-Max has arrived just in the nick of time." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "Your grandmother, still tooling around in a 2002 Mercury Topaz, could drive the C-Max Hybrid without instruction (try that with a Prius)." -- Autoblog (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce 188 horsepower combined, as well as a continuously variable transmission. Ford says the 2014 C-Max Hybrid can travel up to 85 mph on electric power alone.

Reviewers say the Ford C-Max Hybrid delivers strong acceleration for a hybrid, both off the line and at highway speeds. They note that it transitions smoothly from electric to gas power.

  • "Ford's hybrid powertrain setup feels considerably more responsive than the system Toyota employs in its Prius cars, and a near-seamless transition between gasoline engine and electric motor, even at higher speeds, makes you forget you're driving a hybrid car." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Moreover, the 188-hp combined output of the system produces a lively throttle response and a distinct kittenish growl from up front." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "From the driver's seat it's easy to forget the C-MAX's hybrid status. Yes, there's a healthy hit of electrically-assisted torque off the line, and with the throttle on the mat the 2.0-liter and CVT transmission combination quickly hits a high note and stays there, but mainly the C-MAX simply goes." -- Road and Track (2013)
  • "When traffic opened up, I was able to give the accelerator a good squeeze and found that it wasn't lacking in the power department. Now, 188 combined horsepower isn't a ton, but it's more than enough to get the little MPV up to speed." -- CNET (2013)

Handling and Braking

Most test drivers like that the Ford C-Max Hybrid has a firm, but compliant, ride that they say is comfortable on all but the bumpiest roads. They think the C-Max Hybrid has well-controlled handling and a communicative steering system. Reviewers write that the C-Max Hybrid’s brakes provide plenty of stopping power.

  • "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
  • "The steering is firm and connected with a strong on-center feel, and the body stiffness is outstanding. Bumps get soaked up and dissipated in the stout structure, the rolling and pitching by the tall body are tightly damped, and the brakes are activated via a firm pedal." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "The C-Max Hybrid's worst trait is the stilted way it took bumps on the Ventura Freeway. At speed, the car's corpulence is too evident. We wish it could weigh 1250 pounds less, but it doesn't." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "Extra ballast is rarely cause to celebrate, but there's no denying the Ford has a more substantial feel as we're going down the road. It's a quiet, respectably smooth ride, too, though alongside the Prius, which floats along in compliant bliss, you might find the C-Max choppy at times." -- Edmunds (2013)
Review Last Updated: 5/13/14

Next Steps: Ford C-Max Hybrid