2012 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

In a move to chip away at Toyota’s market dominance of hybrid cars, Ford will roll out two new hybrid models in 2012. The no-plug C-Max Hybrid and plug-in C-Max Energi are based on the five-passenger C-Max sold in Europe. In an announcement in June to expand production of the two C-Max hybrids, Ford said it had changed its mind about the seven-passenger gasoline-only version of the Grand C-Max in the U.S and the C-Max will be a dedicated hybrid vehicle. The C-Max Hybrid will arrive in the first half of 2012 followed by the C-Max Energi.

“This is our Prius fighter,” said Ford’s head of global marketing, Jim Farley, during a recent press announcement. “We did a lot of research that suggested having a distinctive shape that is easily recognizable not only helps Toyota sell more Prius hybrids but gives an image benefit to the rest of its lineup.”

Of note, the C-Max Hybrid and plug-in C-Max Energi will both be built on the same assembly lines as the 2012 Ford Focus and Focus Electric at a Ford plant in Wayne, Mich. Also, Ford recently announced that the electric drive transaxles would be produced at another Michigan facility instead of using the current supplier in Japan. Additionally, the lithium-ion batteries for both hybrids will be assembled in a third Michigan plant rather than the existing supplier in Mexico.

About The C-Max

The 2012 Ford C-Max is an American version of the European five-passenger C-Max that shares its underlying global C platform and many key components with the 2012 Ford Focus. “C” refers to an international size class, which in the U.S. falls into the compact class. In Europe, the C-Max is called a multipurpose vehicle (MPV), while most Americans will dub it a hatchback.

Like virtually every car in the category, the 2012 C-Max has front-wheel drive. Front drive positions the weight of the engine and transmission over the wheels that propel the car. That benefits traction on slippery road surfaces and, by placing the powertrain components in the front of the car, provides maximum space for passengers and cargo.

A critical dimension is wheelbase, which is the distance between the front and rear axles and a key factor in cabin space, particularly rear-seat legroom. At 104.2 inches, the 2012 C-Max’s wheelbase is just one-tenth of an inch less than the 2012 Focus, indicating adult rear-seat passengers will have adequate leg room.

In other dimension comparisons, the C-Max is two-inches longer than the Focus hatchback, a fraction wider and, at 63.7-inches in height, is six-inches taller. Space behind the rear seats is 25 cubic feet, and cargo space expands to a generous 60.7 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Hopefully the U.S. C-Max will have the clever rear seat arrangement as its European counterpart. The three individual 40/20/40 seats can slide, fold or be removed completely. An optional Comfort feature allows the two outer seats to slide backwards and towards each other to give huge leg and shoulder room while the narrow center seat is folded out of the way.

Styling of the C-Max was created by Ford’s European design group and follows the company’s new “kinetic” styling themes. Ford calls this edgy look “energy in motion.”

Up front, a large, lower, inverted trapezoid grille and small upper grille are becoming signature design elements of Ford cars. Long flowing headlights establish an athletic look and the sculpted hood kicks up at the rear edges adding a touch of sportiness. The outer corners of the bumper boast eye-catching fog lights that direct the eye to prominent front wheel arches. The business end features an upright tailgate and taillight shapes that mimic the headlights.

The profile of the steeply raked windshield continues with a sweeping, coupe-like roofline that ends with a strong-rising C-pillar, similar to the smaller Fiesta. The shape is not only striking, but plays a major role in the C-Max’s aerodynamic drag coefficient of just .30.

Although not confirmed, a look inside the Euro C-Max is an indicator of what to expect when the U.S. C-Max arrives. Like the Fiesta, the same Ford kinetic design language shapes the distinctive features and surfaces of the dashboard, reflecting the dynamic and modern character of the exterior. Center console controls are inspired by modern mobile phones. It’s clear the design is targeted at a generation that’s grown up with all manner of mobile infotainment devices.

C-Max Hybrid

The less-electrified C-Max Hybrid will be the first Ford model to employ the third-generation version of Ford’s hybrid system. It also marks Ford’s first integration of lithium-ion battery technology in a hybrid. According to Ford, lithium-ion designs are 25 to 30 percent smaller and 50 percent lighter, which makes them easier to package in a vehicle, and can be tuned to either increase power to boost acceleration, or to increase energy to extend driving distance.

Ford is light on details, but technically speaking, the C-Max Hybrid is similar to the Fusion Hybrid. Both drivetrains have a high-voltage electric traction motor generator that drives the front wheels and recharges the battery. And both feature an Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine. (C-Max engine size has not been released.) Without delving into details, an Atkinson-cycle engine gives up a little power output in exchange for improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.

Ford C-MAX Hybrid

Ford’s hybrid system is a powersplit architecture design. In a powersplit hybrid, the gasoline engine and electric motor can work together in blended mode or individually to maximize efficiency. The engine also can operate independently of vehicle speed, providing power to the wheels or charging the batteries as needed. The motor alone can deliver enough power to the wheels in low-speed, low-load conditions, and can work with the engine at higher speeds. A planetary gear set transmits the blended output to an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT) that directs the power to the front wheels.

With updates to the hybrid system, including the new lithium-ion battery pack, Ford says the C-Max Hybrid will deliver better fuel economy than the Fusion Hybrid, which has an EPA-estimated 41 mpg city/36 highway/39 combined. The company is also hinting that the top electric-only speed will be higher than the Fusion’s 47 mph.

C-Max’s direct competitor will be the new 2012 Prius V. While both are four-door, five passenger hatchbacks, the Prius V has a five-inch longer wheelbase that yields eight additional inches in vehicle length. The results are more interior cabin space than the C-Max.

As for fuel economy, to be competitive, the C-Max will have to at least match the Prius V’s EPA-estimated 44 mpg city/40 highway/42 combined. But don’t be surprised if Ford pulls a little fuel mileage one-upsmanship.

Pricing for the C-Max Hybrid has not been announced. But again, to be competitive it needs to be close to the estimated $26,000-$27,000 price of the Prius V.

C-Max Energi

The Ford C-Max Energi applies the technology found in the less-electrified C-Max Hybrid and the Focus Electric and will be the automaker’s first-ever production plug-in hybrid.

Ford says the C-Max Energi’s battery pack will reach a full charge overnight on a 120-volt outlet. The company doesn’t mention the availability of a faster charging 240-volt system, but it is likely the Energi can use the same charger as the Focus Electric which has a four-hour fill-up time. The charge port is the same as on the Focus Electric, with lights surrounding the charge port that light up in sequence to visually indicate state of charge.

Ford C-MAX Energi

The Energi’s lithium-ion batteries are engineered for recharging and extended discharge during all-electric mode, whereas the C-Max Hybrid batteries are designed for shorter surges of electrons. Another difference between the two vehicles is the hybrid batteries are air cooled while the plug-in has a temperature-control circuit for its battery pack.

When the Energi is started, it operates as an electric vehicle until the battery reaches a level that requires charging. It then switches to a charge-sustaining mode and operates in regular hybrid mode.

As with the C-Max Hybrid, Ford is sketchy on details about the Energi and has only provided limited information about the electric drive operation. We recently tested the Prius Plug-In and, with a full charge and using a fairly light foot, we consistently traveled close to 15 miles before the gas engine took over. Top electric-only speed was slightly more than 60 mph. Expect the Energi to closely parallel those numbers.

One number that Ford has thrown out is 500, as in 500 miles of overall driving range using the battery and engine. That’s the most range of any current plug-in vehicle, including the Chevrolet Volt.

Not surprising is a MyFord Touch telematics system tailored for electrified vehicles with specific electric and hybrid information. A novel feature is Brake Coach that helps drivers optimize the regenerative brake system. At the end of each trip it will show information including miles gained from regenerative braking, miles driven and total fuel consumption.

Ford C-MAX Energi

MyFord Mobile app can keep owners connected to their Energi. Free for five years, the app can locate charging systems, show the battery pack’s state of charge, preset charging times for off-peak utility hours and a host of other functions. These can all be done via a smart phone or laptop.

Like the C-Max Hybrid, Ford is mum about the Energi’s price. Best guess is $30,000-$33,000.

Ford’s Electrification Future

Against a backdrop of increased fuel economy standards in the U.S. and tougher European emission mandates, hybrid-electric and pure-electric vehicles will play a significant role in complying with these regulations. The Toyota Prius is king-of-the-hill when it comes to hybrids and Nissan is hoping the Leaf will have that position when it comes to EVs. General Motors has made a splash with the Chevy Volt and Ford; while Ford appeared to be asleep, or at least drowsy, behind the wheel—until now.

Ford says it is tripling production capacity of electrified vehicles through 2013, from a current volume of around 35,000 today. That starts with five advanced battery-powered vehicles planed by 2012: Transit Connect Electric, on sale now; Focus Electric before the end of this year; The C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid will be followed by an additional next-generation hybrid in 2012. Our guess for that model is either an all-new Escape Hybrid or the European Kuga small crossover.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s director of global product development, says the automaker is predicting that electric propulsion—conventional hybrids, plug-in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles—will make up anywhere from 10 to 25% of its global fleet by 2025.

Kuzak notes that the electrification technologies have been developed in a manner that will allow them to be adapted for other global platforms. That indicates the likelihood of additional battery-based models from Ford in the not to distant future. We vote for a Grand C-Max Hybrid, and perhaps a plug-in version as well. That would keep the C-Max as a dedicated hybrid vehicle.


Price quote for Ford C-Max Hybrid

2012 Ford C-MAX Hybrid
Base MSRP: $25,995
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  • veek

    Good thoughts and comments, but it’s not over yet. Ford may well introduce a more hybrid.com-pleasing version of the C-Max.

  • Charles

    I am looking for a high MPG replacement for my 2004 Ford Focus station wagon (138K miles and going strong). If the C-Max hybrids are long enough for my bikes to fit inside as they do in the Focus, I will probably buy one. I will also look at the Prius V. If the room is not there, I will try to hold out for a Grand C-Max hybrid.

    Keep up your pressure for a hybrid Grand C-Max. I may need it, besides it would be a great car even if the smaller ones meet my needs.

  • Yegor

    From the video – C-MAX is too small to have both third row seats and battery – you can fit seats or battery but not both.

    Also I am not sure that it is safe as 7-seater – it looks like you have to pack the middle seat in the second row away to get access to the third row – it is not simple – there is a procedure – it takes time.

  • FamilyGuy

    It’s hard to get overly excited about the C-Max (7 seater) until I get more details such as price and MPG.

    It’s hard to get overly excited about the hybrid and plug-in C-Max because there is NO THIRD ROW.

    Both cars are interesting, I’m interested in learning more about them. I’ll consider both cars. But in the end, there will be a decision to be made; do you want the MPGs or the passenger space? Again, we can’t get both.

    Choices are good, I’m happy to have them. There’s just no clear cut winner for the family car.

  • Elliot

    Ok, I understand why they might not be able to offer third row seating in a hybrid due to batteries, but why no sliding door? There is no good reason to leave it. It must have due to styling concerns.

    Big mistake imho.

  • Charles

    In Europe there are two versions of the ICE only C-Max. The C-Max and the Grand C-Max.

    The European Grand C-Max is the 7 seat version Ford is going to sell here that is very much like the Mazda 5. The Grand C-Max has sliding doors and is what I think of as a micro-van. For some unknown reason the “Grand” was dropped from the name for the US version. The US version of the Grand C-Max is ICE only (for now).

    The European C-Max is what the two hybrids are based on. No sliding doors, seating for 5. I think the C-Max is more of a direct competitor to the Prius V. I think these maybe the most direct replacement for the long gone Focus station wagon. At this time these are only going to be sold as hybrids in the US.

    I hope this clears up some of the confusion that Ford caused by dropping the “Grand” from the US version of the Grand C-Max.

  • Shines

    It will be very interesting to see the comparisons between the C-Max and Prius V in terms of fuel economy, performance, handling, comfort, egonomics, etc.
    Looks like Ford and Toyota see the same marketing opportunities.
    Even more interesting when the plugs-ins and maybe EV versions arrive.

  • Anonymous

    Awesome, this sort of functionality we can see only in a CUV or Minivan or Wagon like vehicle and not in a Sedan.

    So the Hybrid minivan is still dodging us.

    Why not they just make the 1st row seat a 3 seater, that way the smaller vehicles can become 6 seater. Are they waiting for Chinese/Indians to offer such configuration.

  • J

    What a let down. I really thought they were going to meet a demand for a hybrid micro-van or station wagon. It appears to be a missed opportunity.

  • Carles

    J,

    I think it does meet the demands of a station wagon. My wagon has a maximum load length of 67 inches, a width of about 44 inches and a height of 36 inches. I checked out a European web sight for Ford and found that the C-Max (not Grand C-Max) has a load length of 67 inches and a height of almost 39 inches. I could not find the width. So for me the hybrid version of the C-Max will replace my wagon, assuming that the battery does not take away too much space. Your needs maybe different and Ford could change the dimensions, but if you have Focus, Jetta or Outback size wagon, the C-Max could be a very good replacement.

    More info at:
    http://www.cmax.ford.eu/stats/stats.asp?locale=en-gb&m=cmax

  • evnow

    Interesting comments. I’ve some dimesion comparison of C-Max, Volt, Prius v etc in my blog.

    http://www.c-maxenergi.com/2011/01/estimating-energis-internal-dimensions.html

    Regarding the 3rd row of seats and people “desparately” wanting them – I’m sure there are some families who want those. But according to Toyota, very few (only some 5%) of the vans currently Toyota sells that have the 3rd row option actually select that option. So, according to Toyota, there just isn;t all that big a market for the 3rd row of seats. This information is from priuschat forum.

  • Will H

    I am not sure which Toyota van with “optional” third row seating you are talking about. Perhaps you are referring to their SUV and crossover selections. The reason why third row seating is not popular in these vehicles is that it is a pain to climb into. That is certainly the case in my Highlander. I can pretty much guarantee an instant Prius like following with a C-max hybrid microvan.

    I too am terribly disappointed re: the hybrid C-max not having a third row and sliding doors. That was going be the first ever purchase of an American make for our family. Come on, Ford, go that extra mile.

  • Frances Griffin

    No sliding door?
    Baaad idea. Would not bother me too much and I might buy if vehicle is otherwise large enough- let’s say as roomy and as handy as the Toyota matrix(too bad they shrunk the windows so much on that one–otherwise I would already own one).

  • em2

    Probably because kids can’t sit in the front seat of cars, so that would be inefficient for most families.

  • David C. Mueller

    If you experienced the versions of the C-max at the Detroit Auto Show as I did and heard the comments about 2nd and 3rd row seating, you know why Ford dropped the idea of a 7 seater. Leg room is non-existent in both rows – sadly similar to the ’12 Focus. As was mentioned – that’s a “deal-breaker!”

  • Jim K

    What a joke. Who are the auto makers kidding bragging about 40mpg? My wife and I rented a Renault Clio compact car in France for two weeks. Sure, it’s a diesel and not a hybrid. I drove on country roads and toll roads in Burgundy and got 50mpg! Three summers ago, we also rented a diesel and got 47mpg. When can I buy one in the USA? Probably never. Why? Is there some collusion between Detroit and Big Oil? Some marketing genius thinks the auto-buying pubic isn’t ready for economy? Hahahaha.

  • Jim K

    What a joke. Who are the auto makers kidding bragging about 40mpg? My wife and I rented a Renault Clio compact car in France for two weeks. Sure, it’s a diesel and not a hybrid. I drove on country roads and toll roads in Burgundy and got 50mpg! Three summers ago, we also rented a diesel and got 47mpg. When can I buy one in the USA? Probably never. Why? Is there some collusion between Detroit and Big Oil? Some marketing genius thinks the auto-buying pubic isn’t ready for economy? Hahahaha.

  • Nate

    Family of five, frequent carpoolers (i.e. has to have that extra seat or two), and will by the first 6-7 seater hybrid or plug-in hybrid that hits the market. Have an aging Odyssey that will continue to age in our garage until that time. I think the first hybrid minivan (in my eyes with five seats its just a wagon) will dominate the minivan market, such as it is, and really hope Ford gets there first. An Energi with a 3rd row strikes me as the perfect family car.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    Ford is smart by offering several cars going forward as pure electrics, plug-ins or just hybrids…..

  • FamilyGuy

    Did anyone notice that the picture featuring the interior of the European hybrid c-max looked like it is a stick shift?

  • PaulRivers

    I wish I could be excited, but…meh. It just looks like a station wagon. I mean I’m glad they offer it, but…I mean it’s like a lot of people say. It looks like a station wagon, but doesn’t offer the utility and 7 row seating of one.

    Wish someone would come out with one that looks like a Toyota Venza, or the new Ford Explorer…they both look decent to cool.

  • Max Reid

    Lets hope this is a real Prius Fighter. So Ford has
    Focus EV
    C-Max Hybrid
    C-Max Plugin

    Lineup is Complete.

  • kevin b

    No third row. That is self-destructive!

  • markG

    Hybrid and plug in C-maxi will B huge in the U.S., just as an alternative to Prius at 45MPG and up.. If they are as good as my 12 year old Focus station wagon, which has never had a bit of problem and still looks new and relevant inside and out, they cannot miss. Ford smart to not bring the Grand yet; after all, that one smacks the most of miniVan. Once the masses get hooked, then spring the big one as a hybrid/ Prius V fighter. I think they will sell all they can build.

  • Viviana

    I am so upset!!! I was waiting for the C-Max to come out and give me a small 7 passenger vehicle that has the ingenuity of the fold away seat for easy access to the back seat. And the power doors were perfect. No need to worry the wind will catch the door with kids open it and hit another car. I wish there was some way to convince Ford to bring the 7 passenger here. And I was looking forward to a better handling 7 passenger. I have never considered buying a Ford until I heard about the C-Max. What a disappointment!

  • Chevy John

    I am looking at alternatives to bailout motor companies, and I also have considered the Leaf, but for some reason Nissan only has 4 headrests in their 5-passenger cars. If the new Ford is a 5-passenger with 5 headrests, I would consider it over the Nissan and the 4 passenger Prius. Nice informative article…

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  • Anonymous

    I have been waiting for the Cmax to come out after doing some research on the Focus. I have a PT Cruiser that I use extensively as a transport vehicle without the rear seats in it. The cruiser is getting on in years (193000 mi.) and while looking for a replacement the only cars on the market that I could find that come close to the amount of room have been SUVs which is not something I want to own. I started reading about the CMax and found that the rear seats are removable as well. So hopefully in the next year I’ll have a new car to replace the Cruiser.

  • Shine

    I need a bigger vehicle…we are a family of 6. Does hybrid mean you can use both fuel and battery to run it? Can somebody please explain more about hybrid cars? Thanks!

  • George W

    very disappointed. first I was hoping for a hybrid 4wd Escape like my current 2008, and then a 4wd or awd C-Max, but it seems that all we will get is fwd which isn’t the greatest here in New England. I love the hybrid and am willing to give up a few mpg to get 4wd. I currently average about 29mpg all summer.

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  • Amanda

    I’m still driving a ’97 Nissan Altima. I get 28/32 mpg and have 185,000 miles on it. I’ve been test driving a few cars lately and have been so incredibly disappointed in my current options. Why haven’t there been vast improvements in fuel economy in the past 15 years? Sure, there’s the Prius, but if I pay $25k for a car, I want it to fit 5 people comfortably. So now, I would look at the Prius V or the C-Max, but with a price closer to $29k and gas mileage not much better than my Altima I’m still quite disappointed…

  • Amanda

    I’m still driving a ’97 Nissan Altima. I get 28/32 mpg and have 185,000 miles on it. I’ve been test driving a few cars lately and have been so incredibly disappointed in my current options. Why haven’t there been vast improvements in fuel economy in the past 15 years? Sure, there’s the Prius, but if I pay $25k for a car, I want it to fit 5 people comfortably. So now, I would look at the Prius V or the C-Max, but with a price closer to $29k and gas mileage not much better than my Altima I’m still quite disappointed…Will one of these companies please step it up already?

  • Pete

    Ford released the tech specs for the C-Max models here:
    http://media.ford.com/images/10031/2013_CMAX_Specs.pdf

    I’m very interested and the c-max Energi but right now the numbers seem a little wonky. The energi has a 14 gallon tank with a max driving range of 500 miles that would give it a MPG of 35.
    That’s really week. My ford fusion hybrid gets 41 MPG. The Engeri is 260lbs heavier but I would expect that the plugin will help more with the MPG’s. There’s no info on how far it can go in EV only mode (proably 15-18 miles). Seeing that my work is 20 miles away, the plugin part will not help a massive amount. The Volt can go 40 miles in EV mode so i could go to work an back all in EV mode.
    I hope my numbers are wrong but right now the C-max does not look any better than Prius V or Volt.

    BTW you guys should make a Work commute MPG calculator for Plugins, that way people could see what MPG they would get going to and from work every day and plugging in @ night.

  • malherbe

    This is a compact vehicle. Most would not consider buying a compact with sliding doors and 3 row seating. This is like a prius. Pruis does not offer 3 rows or sliding doors. This looks like a great car, as long as the mpg’s are there.

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  • Greg L

    I am with Viviana and others: I am *very disappointed* that Ford dropped its plans to introduce the seven-seat C-Max in 2011 and the seven-seat C-Max hybrid in 2012. The Mazda5 now monopolizes this hot niche, even though Ford has strong C-Max seven-seat sales in Europe and can obviously roll it out here. Whoever made this decision at Ford is really missing the market (and the replies I have gotten to very specific complaints to Ford Customer Relations have been just plain moronic.)

  • Number Plates

    I think 2012 will be the year of the hybrid cars. The year that they really become a mainstream part of new model offerings and a realistic proposition for new car buyers who want to move beyond private car number plates.

  • bloggin

    Wer are getting the next gen S-Max here in North America, as the Grand C-Max is really too close to the size of the C-Max and really small for the ‘large’ Americans and their kids to fit. The S-Max is a much nicer mini-van.

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  • Bernie

    No 3rd row = I wont buy it!

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  • AMP

    Thanks for listing the specs!!

    Everything else on the web seems to be from last year.
    I need a car very soon. I have been watching for info on the C-Max, and plan to go to the Chicago Auto show soon. I heard they weren’t even showing the C-Max.

    I looked at the Prius V. Good, but not very exciting. A bit long for City driving. This sounds perfect for a family of 4 that needs some cargo space.

    Where is the video posted?

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    What I want to know is why you didnt think to include the other side of this issue ? There are so many things that youre missing here that I dont see how you could actually form an intelligent opinion on the subject. Its like you didnt even consider that there me be another side here.
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  • Travellite

    I saw the C-max prototype at the LA auto show and was impressed. I think they said the technology in the Cmax is similar to the Volt (which GM has halted production due to poor sales – only 7,000 so far) the gas engine charges the battery when it gets low. this car has a lot more room and functionality than the Volt, which is a compact sedan. If ever get my finances together I’m definitely considering one.
    Not: a 2kW solar power system can keep the batteries charged. totally green transportation, and when the oil supply starts getting scarce you’ll be one of the last ones standing.

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  • Vincent Wolf

    Your best guess for $30K to $33K for the CMax Energi is way underestimated. Way way way underestimated.

    Try $43K is more likely as Ford too tires too over price the cars $15,000 so they can grab the $7500 rebate for themselves. So they are trying to stick the government with $7500 and the customers with $7500 by overcharging $15000 for the cars.

    Greedy little bastards aren’t they?

  • rula

    all i need are front seats with creature comforts & cargo room behind. my back seats will be down most of the time so if the hybrid accelerates better then the prius v (a safety concern here on long island) and is close to affordable (no pun intended) I’m in. pleae be in the 30-range. would have loved the sliding door, too. oh well. i hope my current car lasts until the fall!

  • rula

    vincent wolf: what 7500 rebate? i don’t know of any in US. Is this Canadian?

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  • Kabs

    From the specs posted it appears there is a little more comfortable than the focus (including more leg room for backseat and head and hip-room all around) and a little more storage space. This doesnt seem like a highest-volume single-car family car though (cramped to manage kids, occasional treks).
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    Since couple of years I was thinking about buying a C-Max or S-Max. THis hybrid C-max is one of my favourite cars. I try to find a good bank that will give me a cheap loan since I cannot afford to spend so much money for it.

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  • RAF

    How do the sight lines of the C-Max compare with the Prius? My last two cars, Prius and Saab, both had really bad rear sight lines — in my opinion.

  • Chris Raff

    Hey guys,

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  • hybridhybrid

    the cmax basically sits in between the prius and prius V. it has slightly less cargo room than the V but slightly more than the regular.

    ford is smart by continuously comparing this car to the V when to be honest, its direct competitor is more like the regular prius. shame that a 2012 product still can’t beat the fuel efficiency of a 2009 product (i’m talking about the regular prius).

    true that it has 188 combined HP, but the 0-60 is still a mere 10s which is the same as the regular prius due to its elephant weight. but still kudos to ford for offering a hybrid of its own.

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    again only time will tell how the cmax and the rest of the ford’s new hybrid line fare. i don’t care how many patents ford have on its hybrid but if it can’t even stay on the road for long before being sent back to the garage again, it will only be known as another unreliable product.

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    I have a Prius now but would consider this car if it can get the mileage of my Prius. Currently I get a consistent 50 mpg combined. Also I would expect the warranty to match Toyota as well as it’s price be less or equal to the Prius price point.

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  • Jesse

    Don’t waste your money on the c-max. It does not live up to its epa rating and only gets 36mpg at 65mph on the flats at 65 degrees.

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    Go look at the arrangement of the 3 row Mazda5, the same would be done for this almost identical C-max. The C-max uses lithium ion batteries not the NiCads in the Prius, meaning they are a lot smaller, hence I’m sure they could make it work. They just don’t think it would sell, I think they are wrong as I’d buy one instead of the Mazda5 I will buy.

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  • Guy in the Desert

    I might be getting a job that requires me to drive about a billion miles a day–around town–so I’m really interested in the Max C. I always figured I’d get a Prius. Here’s my “problem,” however–my car history:

    1967-1971 4 years 1 American car [Plymouth]
    1971-1981 10 years 2 German cars [VW, Mercedes]
    1981-2012 31 years 6 Japanese [Honda or Toyota]

    Did you see the trend–
    First 4 yrs: American
    Last 41 yrs: non-American

    In spite of who, in 2012, makes what parts or assembles what car in what country, I am still today very wary of American cars. I’m very pro-American, but with big-ticket items like cars, I have chosen/purchased based on quality.

    So, whether I drive a billion miles a day or only 20 mi/day, why should I suddenly buy American? Why a Ford? Why the C-Max? It’s a great lookin’ car. The reviews I’ve read tend to favor it over the Prius for drivability, dashboard design, etc. But this is the first year of the C-Max in America. Even though it will be made here, I wonder about the wisdom of buying a first-year model.

    Thanks for any input. I’ll go back through the other posts more slowly to see if I can glean more info than the first time through them.

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    Took a drive in a C-Max 2 days ago… It was nice, handled well, roomy, seemingly well appointed, and unexpectedly a bit peppy. We currently have an ’08 Escape Hybrid which has been very reliable for our family and have been getting an average of 31 MPG, but one frustrating thing for me has always been the electrical side cutting out at about 21-23 mph (on flat roads). So as I was driving the C-Max, the salesperson responded to that saying on flat or declining roadways the C-Max electrical side will stay engaged to 62 mph…? Interesting that he could not show this to me on the test drive as he did not know how to display elctro/mechanical cut off when we were driving on flat surfaced roads. When we returned to the dealership the resident expert said the same thing, but he too could not find in any pull down displays where that aspect was indicated. Was this the usual “saleman jive” or was I getting the truth? Does anyone really know this to be a fact? Note, the car was “confidently marked up” $2,800 from a full list price in Chico, Ca.

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