Today’s selection of hybrid vehicles grows one larger with the compact 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid.
Ford C-Max base SE and up-level SEL hatchback models enter the gasoline-electric hybrid arena with fuel economy of 45 miles per gallon in town and 42 mpg on the open road. No plug-in required.
C-Max shares middle ground with the compact Ford Focus sedan and Ford Escape sport utility vehicle casting a shadow that is 6.2 inches taller than Focus and 2.5 inches shorter than the Escape SUV.
“Our Ford C-Max Hybrid customers span generations with buyers that range in age from their early twenties to past 60 years old,” says Don Middleton, sales representative for Webb Ford in Highland. “C-Max Hybrid’s technology and exceptional mileage is appealing. Young families appreciate its roominess and versatile hatchback styling.”
Five-passengers enjoy the C-Max cabin with adult-size headroom front to back and a driver position liken to the Ford Escape SUV.
Forward visibility is enhanced with small triangular-shaped windows anchored to the C-Max windshield pillars for greater front-side vision.
C-Max passenger quarters are impressive with use of quality materials and soft-touch surfaces for a rich look and feel lost in other hybrid competitors.
Seating position in the second row is lower and with seat backs folded down creates a flat load floor for carrying capacity that can handle over 52 cubic feet of cargo.
An available Hands-Free Technology Package provides C-Max operators with a power liftgate that opens automatically by waving a foot beneath the rear bumper for access to the cargo bay.
However, finding the bumper sensor’s "sweet spot" to open the hatch turned to only a 50/50 success rate during my test car period. A sensor location indicator stamped onto the bumper face would be helpful.
Ford C-Max Hybrid uses an electric motor and 2.0-liter four cylinder gasoline engine to build 188 horsepower for confident passing and highway use.
A continuously variable automatic transmission manages the hybrid powertrain.
Ford C-Max Hybrid is well balanced with effortless steering control around town. Turning radius is not as tight as other hybrids on the market, however.
C-Max ride quality is comfortably firm and controlled through highway speeds.
The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SE comes nicely equipped with all power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming.
Also included is a USB/iPod-compatible stereo, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise control for a starting price with freight of $26,995.
Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL adds to the SE content with heated leather upholstery, power driver seat, keyless access with push-button start, SYNC with MyFord Touch system, blind spot mirrors, fog lamps, and 17-inch machined aluminum wheels for $28,995.