Ford C-Max comes to America to challenge Prius

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Ford C-Max

The Ford C-Max hybrid has come to the U.S. Image: engineerd/Flickr/CC BY-SA

The Ford C-Max has been available in Europe since 2003. The Prius-fighting hybrid, built on a Focus platform, is finally coming to U.S. shores. And the reviews have been generally positive.

Ford C-Max appeal beyond eco-crowd

The five-passenger Ford C-Max is a likely competitor for the Toyota Prius, which, to date, is the only hybrid to sell in a big way in the U.S. Ford claims a mileage of 47 mpg in the city and on the highway. That beats the 2012 Prius v, EPA rated at 44/40 mpg.

AOL Autos says the C-Max has an interior of superior materials and design to the Prius, and delivers a better ride.

According to AOL’s Scott Burgess:

“Eco-centric buyers won’t be the only people looking at this vehicle — at least they shouldn’t be.”

Under the hood

The C-Max packs a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine, that delivers 141 horses, 6,000 RPM and 129 lb-ft of torque. The gas engine is supplemented by a permanent-magnet AC synchronous motor and small lithium-ion battery pack that delivers the equivalent of 188 horsepower. Under gas power it can achieve 115 mph, and the electric power-train delivers a respectable 62.

Ford says it has a range of 570 miles on just 13.5 gallons of fuel and a full charge.

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Special features

The C-Max has a whole slew of special features. Perhaps the most interesting of which is lift-gate that opens and closes by a simple wave of a foot under the rear bumper. Perfect for when your arms are occupied with a load of groceries.

The active-park assist also makes parallel parking and squeezing into tight spaces a breeze.

AOL Autos says:

“It’s a hybrid full of surprises.”

The drive

Inside Line, Automobile Mag and AOL Autos all say the C-Max delivers a smooth ride and climbs to 60 and beyond without effort. However all of them also noticed that on on steep hills and in quick accelerations the pick-up can be choppy.

As for the steering, Erin Riches summed it up for Inside Line:

“The C-Max feels balanced, even entertaining, through the sweeping turns on our route. Its electric-assist steering nails the effort levels, too, so it’s not at all artificial — it’s just good steering.”

Plug-in version on the way

An alternate version of the C-Max. The plug-in C-Max Energi, with a battery pack double the size of the one in its cousin, comes to dealer showrooms in green car-friendly markets in November, and expanding to ford dealers in Spokane and other main-street markets in 2013.

MSRP

The C-Max Hybrid starts at $25,995, and it it isn’t available in your area yet, it soon will be.

Sources

Inside Line
Automobile Mag
AOL Autos


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