By on November 2, 2012

The Ford C-Max’s first full month on sale was a fruitful one for the Blue Oval – the C-Max managed to beat its arch rival, the Toyota Prius V.

Toyota managed to move 2769 Prius V’s in October, compared to 3182 C-Max’s. According to AutoGuide, 25 percent of C-Max sales occurred in California.

 

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94 Comments on “Ford C-Max Outsells Toyota Prius V In First Full Month Of Sales...”


  • avatar
    gslippy

    I really like the V, but I was surprised to see my first C-Max on the road the other day here in western PA.

    Toyota could use a little competition in this market. Meanwhile, Honda hasn’t got a clue.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      I’d like to see Honda hybridize their JDM Stream microvan and bring it over as their competitive entry.

      Assuming they can get their Hybrid powertrain to actually perform decently and make sure Heather Peters is locked away in a dungeon far far away.

    • 0 avatar
      tuffjuff

      I like the look of the C-Max, but I was under the impression the V was larger? I have a client with a V and that thing has TONS of room for it’s footprint.

      • 0 avatar
        Nicholas Weaver

        The big difference is the seat-up cargo figures: the V gives 35 cu feet of cargo vs the CMax’s seat up 25. The difference is less seats-down, and the C-Max has much nicer folding seats.

        Otherwise, the C-Max spanks the Prius V hard: Better mileage, better acceleration, less cost, quieter ride, stronger electric motor, Lithium batteries, rear climate vents, etc….

        Its like a Prius thats NOT a drag to drive.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Car and Driver achieved 32 mpg in the C-Max, 35 mpg in the Prius V. Even using cruise control at 75 mph for 67 miles only returned 34 mpg. Maybe Ford will be the next Hyundai.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @Nicholas Weaver:

        I’m a big fan of the Prius, but I’ve recently driven both the Prius V and the C-Max, and your characterization is pretty much spot-on.

      • 0 avatar
        spw

        it is one size larger… while Prius is the same size. And sold 4x more. Prius v has 5″ longer wheelbase and 40% bigger trunk. If you dont need trunk, then there is no sense to compare v to C-Max, as C-Max is almost identical to standard Prius, just a bit taller.

        Biggest C-Max problem is not Prius v, but the weight – it is 560lbs heavier than Prius and even 350lbs heavier than Prius v, which will hurt real life consumption (and it does, from people posting on forums and in reviews, it gets less than v, and it should get more).

    • 0 avatar
      danup

      Yeah, I’m excited about Toyota finally getting pushed in the hybrid-hatchback segment–the Prius V is a little bigger, but the C-Max looks like a much better car. It’ll be cool to see what both manufacturers have planned for the next generation.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Me too! The Prius has been the uncontested king of this segment, and I’m a big fan of the Prius. But I’m going to like any car that makes the Prius obsolete even better!

        I’ve driven the C-Max and owned a Prius. I don’t find that the C-Max makes the Prius obsolete — but it’s the first car that I’ve driven that’s a real competitor that’s capable of going toe-to-toe with both the regular Prius and the Prius V. I can argue for either one but, in the end, they’re both great choices.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      Do people from Detroit actually think someone would cross shop a Ford against a Toyota? I doubt Toyota and Honda worry much about any Detroit offering.

    • 0 avatar
      SqueakyVue

      Imagine how many would have been sold if they offered a non hybrid too. I wonder if ford didn’t want to invest in different models because of dismal sales of the Mazda5.

  • avatar
    ranwhenparked

    Californians buying American cars? That’s unpossible! Nothing makes sense anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      There are more than 37 million people in California, and a very large percentage of them buy American cars. Why would this be a surprise?

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Californians used to build american cars too.

      • 0 avatar
        ranwhenparked

        @corntrollio

        There are no remaining domestic brand dealerships in any of San Francisco’s ZIP codes (which cover some areas outside the city proper), and the whole reason why Chrysler tried to open a company-owned store further south in LA was because the franchised dealers weren’t getting the job done (too few remaining, and the ones left are multibrand operations that give the most attention to the foreign names).

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Sure, but that’s like saying there aren’t any Wal-Marts in San Francisco. There aren’t many car dealerships in San Francisco period, and San Francisco is not a business-friendly place unless you are a non-profit. It’s trivial to go over the SF border into Colma if you want to buy a car, which is what many people do anyway to go shopping at chain stores.

        I also see no shortage of Chrysler dealerships in LA County, or Orange County for that matter, and it doesn’t look like the ones that I already knew about have closed:

        http://www.cars.com/dealers/search-results.action?sc.makes=20008&sc.radius=100&sc.zipCode=90028&sc.city=Los%20Angeles%20County&sc.makeName=Chrysler&sc.state=CA&sc.textPath=true

        In addition, there is a huge amount of space between LA and SF where there are lots of people who buy American cars too.

      • 0 avatar
        ranwhenparked

        @corntrollio

        The point still stands – domestic market share in California is dramatically lower than the country as a whole. Whether you want to go dealer counting or not, the fact is that they are not moving the metal as well as in other states, so an American car doing quite well in CA is indeed good news.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        You still haven’t disclosed where you got your numbers, and you still haven’t shown that the majority of cars owned in California are American vs. imports, but sure, if your numbers are right, Californians buy American marques at lower rates (whatever that even means when Corollas are made here (and literally until a few years ago were made in California) and many Fords are not).

        Stll, I’m not sure why we should be surprised that Californians buy any particular American car in large numbers when California is the largest car market in the country.

      • 0 avatar
        ranwhenparked

        @corntrollio

        This is really getting ridiculous. Let’s take this one step at a time. California new car sales figures are reported by the California New Car Dealers Association. National sales figures are from Automotive News Data Center. To figure domestic market share, add Ford + GM + Chrysler. To check reported figures yourself, you can also add the reported sales figures of all manufacturers together. All this information is publicly available and not at all hard to find. I didn’t think anything I was posting would come as any sort of revelation.

        I don’t see how the relative size of California’s market changes anything for the better. The sheer size of it makes California theoretically the most important market in the country, the fact that the Big Three are not doing as well there as they could be is a notable weakness that needs to be addressed at some point.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        http://bestsellingcarsblog.com/2012/10/21/california-usa-9-months-2012-3-toyotas-3-hondas-in-top-6/

        I don’t know the UAW market share for California, but the F-series Ford ranking 7th after 6 Japanese cars doesn’t bode well for the domestics.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        CJinSD,
        Your troll/bias is showing. UAW market share? What about the Mexican/CAW assembled market share? How is that doing in California?

        p.s. your beloved Mazda used to have some UAW love :)

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        The once-big-3 produce cars everywhere, most with low domestic content. One of them has foreign ownership. Meanwhile, 85% of Hondas sold in the US are produced in North America. Many ‘foreign’ brands have US assembly plants for their popular offerings. As far as I can tell, the only distinguishing quality of a so-called American car company is that it is plagued by UAW labor. In some categorizations, the CAW is enough for a car to be considered American. You can call it trolling, I just call ‘em as I see them.

        I actually bought a Mazda 6 that was probably UAW-made for a friend. I think it has been a good car for, but I’m not sure as she moved to Texas. I’m hardly a Mazda lover though. I just said I’d consider a future RX-7 because worthwhile sports cars are few and far between. If the new NSX is a hybrid, that doesn’t seem aspirational to me.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        “If the new NSX is a hybrid, that doesn’t seem aspirational to me.”

        Sounds like hating for the sake of hating. While the Prius is tuned for gas mileage, other hybrid systems have been tuned for performance. If the hybrid powertrain makes the NSX a better sports car, why wouldn’t it be aspirational?

        As for California, as I said, if those numbers are accurate, they obviously are less likely to buy American marques. But California is still an important market because 31% of the big pie is still a lot.

        Also, I’d bet that, among people who are not in the top 10-15% of household income nationally, the percentage of Californians buying American marques is higher. This is because there aren’t nearly as many great cars with American marques in the $45-50K or more range as there are good foreign marques in that price range.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        CJ –

        You’re playing with semantics a bit. Decrying the big 3 for outsourced production while boasting about Honda’s 85% North American production is comparing apples to oranges. North America includes Canada and Mexico, which is where the vast majority of outsourced Detroit production has gone.

        Ford only assembles one model outside of North America, the Transit Connect. I’m not sure if GM has any vehicles sold in the US that are assembled outside of North America.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        CJinSD,
        Just giving you hell. There is a reason why Honda has such a bullet proof quality rating. When you source globally, you get the ‘global’ problems. It’s more difficult to get a handle on incoming quality when you’re introducting quality standards that the western hemisphere is mostly familiar with.

        Even German manufacturing has a different set of distinguishing values to it… i.e. the age old engineering story describing the young german engineer given a block of steel and a file and told to whittle down a 1cm cube – Europeans are craftsmen, not mass producing, process following westerners. Their changes come on the fly – Japanese and US production times their changes.

        It’s hard to describe the Mexican manufacturing mind set. I believe they’re too polite and will put up with problems that they shouldn’t – but thats why they have me.

        Nullomodo is somewhat correct, but a lot of the parts I’m dealing with are true global parts. Ford still retains a lot of manufacturing in the US (not as much as Honda or Toyota), but employs more direct manufacturing jobs than both of those companies (total employment with suppliers is probably different). As programs come under the Mullaly global umbrella, you have seen % US made content drop: case in point – the new Escape.

        I don’t see it as a bad thing. It’s advantages outweight it’s disadvantages. Will you see the % of non-US content decrease? I doubt it. I think purchasing is as leveraged as it can be.

        I’m a convert of globalisation, after working in Mexico for a year. Still here and it really opens your eyes. People want to do a good job, no matter where you are at. One thing Mexico is good at is adhering to set rules. Once you have a plant following your global production system (and was taught correctly), you’re going to see stable quality on par or better than any US based plant. People care more about there jobs here. Grown men will cry over a mistake.

        Like I said, it’s an eye opener.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        Nullo -

        That’s playing with semantics too, Mexico is geographically North America but the North America with anything in cultural common with each other is the US and Canada.

        Every volume Honda offering except the Fit is large majority sourced from the US and Canada.

        Ford’s Fiesta (20%), Focus (40%), Fusion (30%), Escape (45%) and Explorer (50%) aren’t.

        Nobody has outsourced out of the UAW/CAW plants like Ford has. Perhaps related to that is that nobody has avoided bailouts like Ford has, either.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Dan –

        Parts content may come from other places, but final assembly is for the most part in the US (F-150 – F-550, Focus, Escape, C-Max, Explorer, Expedition, Navigator, Taurus, MKS, Mustang, etc). Canada builds the Edge, MKX, Flex, and MKT. The Fiesta, MKZ and Fusion are built in Mexico (along with the F-650 and F-750) but some Fusion production will be moving to Flat Rock, MI (it may have already started, not sure).

        One Ford means there will be more globally sourced parts as many of the same parts will be used on vehicles worldwide, it makes sense to take advantage of economies of scale. Final production is still taking place for the most part in the US, and in UAW plants that help support that middle class and provide a solid living wage along with job security and the benefits that everyone should have. IMO that’s more important that where the individual parts that make up the car come from.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        controllio,

        For me a sports car must respond to driver inputs in an unadulterated way. I don’t want electronically managed transmissions or non-linear throttle response. No body computer should be making torque apportionment decisions for me either. The chances of this happening in a hybrid these days is pretty much nil. Others can do as they wish, but I want as elemental a car as is practical within the law, and probably outside the law if I move to a state that doesn’t stick probes up my car’s…exhaust.

        NulloModo,

        GM sells Regals built in Germany, Caprices from Australia, and Sparks from Korea in addition to CKD Sonics. I believe that a small percentage of CR-Vs are the only Mexican Hondas in the US at the moment. Civic Sis and Acura ILXs may be the only Canadian Hondas sold here. We have a Japanese TSX, a Canadian Civic Si, and a CR-V from Ohio. They’re all better built than each of the other cars we’ve owned, which have included Audis, BMWs, a Chevrolet, a Chrysler, a Dodge, a Fiat, a Ford, a Mercedes-Benz, Plymouths, and a VW. My company’s 2012 Audi has had more problems in seven months than the three Hondas have in almost 15 years of combined use.

        Ford’s globally sourced production does effect the size of their US footprint. People pushing subsidies for US automakers tend to emphasize their supposed 4* multiplier for job support, which only applies when suppliers are also located in the US. Move half of content elsewhere in the world, and you’re also moving half of the jobs.

        tresmonos,

        Thank you for your perspective as an observer of Mexican production facilities. It is always interesting to learn from someone with firsthand experience instead of marketing platitudes. I’ll be curious to see how the next generation Mexican Honda Fits fair. Before Honda came to Ohio, there was no reason to think Americans could build quality cars.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        ‘GM sells Regals built in Germany, Caprices from Australia, and Sparks from Korea in addition to CKD Sonics’

        Regals for sale in the US haven’t been built in Germany for quite some time…probably two years.

        What’s a CKD Sonic?

        Looks like you’re about half right…again.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        “Regals for sale in the US haven’t been built in Germany for quite some time…probably two years.”

        German production for the US ended March 25th, 2011. Not being a paid GM shill, I wasn’t privy to that. How much do you want to bet that there are at least a few Opel Regals gathering cobwebs on Buick dealers’ lots?

        CKD is for complete-knock-down. It is shorthand for kits sent to protectionist countries where local assembly is considered advantageous. Before you start spinning, I still remember when Sonics were sent to customers with no front brake pads because they fell out of the completed front end assemblies on their way over from Korea.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        ‘German production for the US ended March 25th, 2011. Not being a paid GM shill, I wasn’t privy to that’

        Yet you found it out in about 5 seconds on google. You weren’t privy to google? I’m no more a paid shill for GM than you are a paid shill for Honda…you look pretty weak going to that line as one of the so-called Best & Brightest.

        Are you naive enough to think that cars are built from scratch at their final assembley point? So, you pick on the Sonic as CKD?

        If Honda is so ‘all-American’…why did all those Honda plants in the US have to reduce production after the tsunami? CKD Hondas perhaps?

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        On Ohio Honda Civic has 70% domestic content while the Daewoo Sonic and Cruze are in the 45-47% range. 70% may not be as high as a Camry’s 82%, but it is above the level of being labeled a CKD. It also puts it ahead of ‘American’ cars like the Ford Focus(40%) and Ford Fiesta(10%).

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        You need updated #’s….here, I’ll help.

        http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Part+583+American+Automobile+Labeling+Act+%28AALA%29+Reports

        For 2012MY, Cruze was 60%…not 45%-47%. Civic was at 65%.

        Comparing apples to apples and segment to segment.
        Sonic is 45% domestic content. Its Honda competitor…the Honda Fit sits at 0%.

        Actually, both companies net out around 65% or so across the overall lineup. Not sure if Acura is included there but they have much lower #’s.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Acura’s volume models are the MDX, TL, and RDX. They’re all at least 60% US/Canadian content. Notice how Canada counts as if we’re one country because of the CAW?

        The chart doesn’t break out the Civic hybrid and Civic Si sedan, both of which have lower domestic content than the ones made in Ohio. I believe that a typical Ohio built Civic will have 70% domestic content, which is what I stated.

        There are still a few imported from Japan Toyotas and Hondas, but they’re mostly niche models. The volume cars are built here with as much domestic content as possible, even if it merely because of our suicidal quantitative easing while politicians talk about Chinese currency manipulation.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        Like a well-paid Acura shill, you ignore the fact that the TSX is 20% of Acura sales YTD and has 5% domestic content(more sales than the RDX that you mentioned)…but hey…that’s your job.

        BTW…I never argued Honda’s domestic content…I was just correcting you…giving you the ‘truth’ about the GM #’s you mentioned.

        You have first MY Cruze #’s as it was being integrated into the US and I was updating your numbers. And, you weren’t putting the Sonic #’s in proper perspective given the Honda similar model (Fit) has non-existant US/Canadian content.

        And, don’t put Toyota at Honda’s level of domestic content…its not even close when you look at Prius content with sales volume and then add in Lexus.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        You may have corrected me on the Cruze’s revised domestic content assessment, but I said Ohio Civics had 70% domestic content. Unless they’ve moved all hybrid production to Ohio, that probably remains a true statement.

        The TSX making up 20% of Acura sales must cause them some headaches. They want to sell MDXs, TLs, RDXs, and ILXs. The TSX is probably as profitable as the Fit, and the next Fit will be made in North America.

        I don’t accept the practice of counting Canadian production as US domestic content. Perhaps Mexico will become part of the US statistically if Obama stays in office and Mexican workers start having to fund the political left with a MAW tax. It works for Canada.

      • 0 avatar
        lostjr

        Corntrollio: Honda, Nissan, Toyota, VW and most all the lux brands have dealers IN the city of San Francisco. The Toyota dealer has two locations.

        When you see how many SMARTs and Minis there are parked on the street the _big_ one missing might be the Fiat 500. There is now a dealer south of the city, and one in Berkeley, but for about the first year you had to go to Concord.

      • 0 avatar
        lostjr

        CJinSD: “Notice how Canada counts as if we’re one country because of the CAW?” It works this way because of the auto pact. Signed in 1965. That was eventually superseded by the Free Trade Agreement.

    • 0 avatar
      tbone33

      California has expensive gas and drivers here tend to drive quite a bit, so we prefer high MPG cars with good reliability. Civics and Prii are common here because Honda and Toyota have developed cars with the characteristics Californians desire. The new Ford Focus, C-Max and Chevy Cruze all seem to be reliable and efficient, and it is no surprise that they are selling well here.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        ^ THIS!

        There are a few loud people who try to convince everyone that every car purchase is a referendum on their patriotism…

        But most people just want a tool to get them through the day., and reliable, efficient. small cars are the best tool for a lot of commutes. Ford and GM are about 30 years late to the party, but they’ve brought several cars that I’d actually consider owning!

  • avatar
    Speed3

    I’m glad to see a legit alternative to the Prius, but couldn’t Ford have come up with a better name than C-max? Sounds like a tampon or something.

  • avatar
    JKC

    So when are you guys going to review one?

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    To be, the V sold 4000+ copies its first month out.

    • 0 avatar
      ryancurt

      It is important to qualify that. Cars sell at different rates during different months. Different car segments (compact, midsize, hybrid, trucks, etc.) also sell at different rates during different months, This is why it is standard in the industry to compare monthly sales to the same month the year before, and not the previous month.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      I don’t think Ford realized the demand there would be for the C-Max. Most dealers only received two or three, and while we managed to get more than that, we’ve been selling them almost as fast as they hit the lot.

      Sales for November may well be lower than October simply because nobody has any.

  • avatar
    toomanycrayons

    We tested one. Pretty impressive, quiet and solid, especially on the highway. Didn’t buy: 5’5″ wife couldn’t see back when driving, and couldn’t see ANYTHING from the non height adjustable front passenger seat. Staring at the dash and side window sill she said she felt like she was down in a hole and being punished. I suppose we could get the kids’ booster seat out of the basement. Uh huh, and pay $30+K for the privilege? What would that be, about $5-10 worth of metal and plastic per car to add a height lever. No Sale.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      My 5’6″ wife doesn’t seem to have too have a problem. I do wish the passenger seat had height adjustment though. That seems to have been cut out of many cars these days.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      This. I drove my daughter’s old Rio the other day, and after driving a Fusion and a couple other rentals the Rio’s dashboard seemed like it was in my lap. I love that visibility. Today’s bunker-cars are getting ridiculous.

    • 0 avatar
      raded

      Is it just me or is it ironic that pedestrian safety requirements kill visibility? That, combined with massive rear pillars that most hatch-equipped vehicles have now, make crashes both safer and more likely to occur. Weird that visibility isn’t considered a safety issue.

      • 0 avatar
        Advance_92

        Side and rear pillars and narrow windows don’t exist because of pedestrian safety rules. That only applies to the height of the hood. Not the rake of the windshield, the size of the windows and the 18 inch wheels needed to make the thing look remotely proportional.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        I still don’t quite understand why raising the height of the hood so much means pedestrians are safer. I get that it means theoretically there will be more cushioning, but it also means they are more likely to get their legs taken out.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Wow- hard to believe- a brand new mid market car with no height adjustment. Is it in an option package, or is it just plain not available? That would be a deal-breaker for a lot of people.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        “Wow- hard to believe- a brand new mid market car with no height adjustment.”

        The drivers side has a 6 way manual or 10 way power adjustable seat. The passenger side is 4 way adjustable. So, the drivers side has height adjustment. Not sure about the passenger seat, but suspect it does as well.

      • 0 avatar
        jeoff

        Not sure, but the Ford site has the SE having 6-way manual seat, and the SEL having a 10-way power seat. I am interested in the car also, but neither my wife or I are very tall, so no seat adjustment could be an issue.

      • 0 avatar
        toomanycrayons

        “So, the drivers side has height adjustment. Not sure about the passenger seat, but suspect it does as well.”-mcs

        4 way adjustable means…that the base move forwards and back, the back tilts forwards and backwards. We asked the (very motivated) dealer: Not available. But, hey, wouldn’t you rather have a touch screen radio/GPS/ancestory search/ backup monitor instead? You can always drown out/distract from the whining until the lowest-bid electronics fail, at least…

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The driver’s seat is height adjustable on all C-Maxes, the passenger seat is not.

        The default seating position is higher than average for similarly sized vehicles, so I wouldn’t think a non-adjustable passenger seat would be an issue for most people, especially because the passenger doesn’t really need to have an unobstructed view over the dash anyway.

        I suppose that very short people who feel the need to have a commanding view of the road while riding shotgun might be disappointed, but I doubt that’s a very large group, and I haven’t had the issue come up yet from any customers.

      • 0 avatar
        toomanycrayons

        “I suppose that very short people who feel the need to have a commanding view of the road while riding shotgun might be disappointed, but I doubt that’s a very large group, and I haven’t had the issue come up yet from any customers.”-
        NulloModo

        Funny how complaints become character flaws. Is that part of your training: “It’s not us, it’s you?” I’m surprised that people who don’t buy your cars ( non-”customers”) give you so much information about the reasons. We tried out a Rav4 which vibrated on a pool table smooth highway suggesting a wheel balance issue. The sales guy said that no one else had complained. Uh huh…and, since we didn’t buy, I guess his customers are always right? What is, Confirmation Bias…

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        How did my comment imply that I thought wanting to sit high the passenger seat was a character flaw? If the view from the passenger seat is something that your wife values, and the view from the C-Max wasn’t satisfying for her, then that particular vehicle might not be a good fit.

        Having shown the C-Max to many customers for the first time, it just isn’t something that’s come up for me yet (and has only rarely come up on other vehicles). It’s not blaming you (the customer) or the vehicle – you want what you want, the car is what it is, not everyone will love every vehicle, good thing there are plenty of choices.

        I just wanted to make the point that it isn’t some major design shortcoming that the passenger seat doesn’t height-adjust, in my experience most people just don’t care.

      • 0 avatar
        toomanycrayons

        “…It’s not blaming you (the customer) or the vehicle – you want what you want, the car is what it is, not everyone will love every vehicle, good thing there are plenty of choices.”-NulloModo

        There aren’t. There are plenty of compromises. Not the same thing.

        “I suppose that very short people who feel the need to have a commanding view of the road while riding shotgun might be disappointed, but I doubt that’s a very large group….” Ask someone <5' 5" to read that back to you, preferably, female?

        -Average Female Height

        The average female height is roughly 5'4" historically – the tallest woman being 7'7.5" tall. A chart outlining average female heights around the world is illustrated in the following table.

        Country Average Female Height
        Canada 5'3"
        United States 5'4"
        China 5'2.5"
        India 5'0"
        United Kingdom 5'4"

        @ 5' 5" my wife is above average. Maybe her complaints/standards are, too.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @toomanycrayons:

        I’m 5’4″ and didn’t have any problems with visibility out of the C-Max. I mostly sat in the driver’s seat, but it seemed like a perfectly normal vehicle to me. My frame of reference is that I currently drive a 2002 Ford Escape and a 2004 Toyota Prius, which are both pretty normal modern cars in terms of ergonomics and visibility.

        I wonder if you’re accustomed to reclining the seats when you drive? I prefer the seats to be ramrod-straight, because it helps keep my alert when I drive, but I often see people on the highway who recline the seat. If you prefer to have the seat reclined, then the C-Max probably would feel the way you describe. You rollin’ gangsta? ;-)

        Regardless, I agree with NulloModo. It seems like the C-Max just doesn’t match your taste for whatever reason — and there are a lot of other choices that you might like better. While I wish everyone would work harder to save gas, there are a lot choices with above-average efficiency (such as an Escape Ecoboost) that might work better for your particular needs and tastes.

      • 0 avatar
        toomanycrayons

        “It seems like the C-Max just doesn’t match your taste for whatever reason — and there are a lot of other choices that you might like better.”-Luke42

        The “whatever reason” is an industry-wide neglect of the front passenger in the C-Max price range: lumbar support, height adjustment, foam quality/comfort, sight lines. We ended up on the Ford lot despite having sworn NEVER to repeat the domestic experience (early 90′s paint problems, lousy rotors, suspension problems: Ford. Everything: Dodge Caravan).

        There are NOT a lot of other choices. In the zero-sum game of automotive packaging quality seating is being sacrificed for trending gimmicks and electronic baubles. This was not our first test drive. Choosing the least disappointing/annoying plus $30,000 vehicle is not the same as getting what you want.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Buff book reviews make this sound like a pretty good vehicle, but I’m still stunned that it sold so well, simply because the launch campaign has been so awful – some of the dumbest car commercials since Jonathan Pryce was (not) selling Infinitis. A 30-second spot showing a fat cartoon waggling his foot under the rear bumper, with the car only barely visible for a half-second at the end, and no mention of the fuel economy until it’s basically over? WTF?

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      Well, Toyota’s been running some terrible Prius ads for years (the giant person made out of people, the unshaven hipsters playing board games, and the latest one with that inane “let’s hum” song) and it doesn’t seem to have hurt them any. Maybe crappy, unappealing ads are what it takes to move hybrids these days?

      • 0 avatar
        Astigmatism

        Actually, you’re right – I hadn’t even considered the awful Prius ads, probably because I blotted them out of my memory. That world-made-of-people ad was terrible. But I still say the C-Max ads are appalling, and look like they’re selling Zoloft or something. Imagine what they could do with some decent f***ing ads.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        Does anyone really watch TV commercials anymore?

        (My wife and I gave up cable 3.5 years ago because Netflix is a better deal for us. We don’t watch sports, and we’re at a point in our lives where being 2 years behind the smoking remains of pop-culture suits us just fine.)

        I do agree that Ford has had a really soft launch for the C-Max. I kept searching for a release date and signing up for announcements — but I didn’t know it was available until I happened to see one sitting in the lot at my local Ford dealer.

        I’m guessing that, when you’re 10 years behind a highly refined and successful vehicle like the Prius, releasing the car when it’s ready is better than committing to a date. And they do seem to have delivered a fully baked competitor!

    • 0 avatar
      Advance_92

      Most non-US magazines have been praising this thing for years, since it’s been available for a long time. Ford in their wisdom decided we are only worthy of the hybrid, otherwise the C-Max would probably be giving the regular Focus a run for its money.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        My guess is that, in terms of perception in the US, the C-Max is probably perceived to be an alternative to the Escape rather than the Focus.

        If you start from that premise, then releasing only the hybrid makes sense. The people who care about efficiency are probably the only ones who are willing to downsize (just a little bit) and give up AWD. And everyone else would probably just buy the Escape.

        In real life, of course, the C-Max is sized nicely between the Focus hatchback and the Escape — but the American ones do have an oddly restricted list of engine choices when you look at it this way. But the C-Max hit the mark in a lot of ways when I drove it, so whatever — I doubt that really good MPG is going to scare away anyone who would want to buy it on its other merits.

  • avatar
    Thinkin...

    Perhaps the more interesting would be a comparison against the Prius V’s first full-month sales. I have no idea what that number is, but it would certainly make for a more appropriate comparison.

    • 0 avatar
      ryancurt

      iAs i responded to an earlier post, cars sell at different rates during different months. Different car segments (compact, midsize, hybrid, trucks, etc.) also sell at different rates during different months, This is why it is standard in the industry to compare monthly sales to the same month the year before, and not the previous month.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I have to think the Prius-V is not selling up to Toyota’s expectations, given the discounts available on them. Mom got $4K off on hers, a Prius-V “3″. A friend was just recently shopping and they offered him similar, but would not budge on the C or the regular Prius. Mom looked at the C-Max, but only one local dealer had one, it was fully loaded and something like $33K, and they wanted another $2K “market adjustment” on top of that – yeah, right. She liked the Toyota better anyway. She’s had it a month, 45mpg so far in suburban bombing around.

    Friend ended up leasing a Leaf, so it will be interesting to see how it does in a Maine winter. I drove it at lunch today, not bad. $219/mo all-in with taxes and fees for 36 months, 12K miles a year.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    And the Volt outsold the Prius V too.

    What? I’m sure bringing that up will make for some EX-cellent popcorn eating.

    • 0 avatar
      jeoff

      Volt is hardly the small SUV/mini-van alternative that the V and C-Max are marketed as. I still want it to do well, but I really dont understand the packaging of the thing (4-seats) or the price.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        ‘I really dont understand the packaging of the thing (4-seats)’

        Its because it has a massive T-shaped battery running right up the middle of it. 35 miles of electric driving range doesn’t happen by magic.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      Apples, oranges, and popcorn — yummy! :-)

      I’ve owned the 2nd-gen Prius, and driven the Prius V, the C-Max and the Volt. In terms of refinement, I’d probably order the list: Volt, C-Max, Prius, Prius V. The Prius V was the least refined of the lot, and is certainly at the bottom of the list.

      Choosing the best car from this list is certainly a #firstworldproblem, but the relative ordering is what it is. The roughly 1/3rd of Americans who buy new cars tend to be relatively affluent, so this kind of refinement matters.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        That’s quite a perceptive observation on the question of hybrid refinement. Toyota, while still the quality leader, has taken something of a backward step in this area. The most recent versions of the Prius, while still reliable, take quite a drubbing on level of refinement in passenger comfort and driving dynamics. I think it was a TTAC review of the latest standard Prius which compared it to being in the movie 2001 (sitting in the Prius, one could envision hearing the line “Open the pod bay doors, HAL” was how it was put in the review).

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    “And the Volt outsold the Prius V too”

    2961 – a record month for the Volt. Really thought it would break 3K in October.

    The doctor out east that started GM Volt.com sold his Volt to buy a C-Max. Family of 5, wife drives a Leaf, easy to see why the 4 passenger Volt wasn’t very practical for him.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Yeah, that’s where the C-Max and Prius V trump the Volt. The Volt can be used as a primary vehicle, but its use in that regard is only for small ‘empty nest’ type families. The family of the guy who started gm-volt.com simply outgrew his Volt. You just can’t fit two adults and three kids into a Volt. If GM comes out with a 5-passenger, C-Max/Prius V-sized version of the Volt, he might go back to it.

      With that said, I think I’d still pass on the C-Max and go with a Prius variant if I were in the market for that size hybrid (at least for now). There have been a few reports that Ford’s new EVs haven’t been exactly glitch-free (or achieving the advertised, stellar mpg figures, either). Ford bought back at least one Focus Electric because they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it.

      I suspect that, more than anything else, is why Ford is rolling out the C-Max slowly. It’s really a beta-test at this point, and Ford doesn’t want a bunch of buggy C-Maxes getting the car a bad reputation from the start. Unless you have the freakish, ingrained, OCD Toyota level of engineering and quality control, something as complicated as a state-of-the-art, modern hybrid is bound to have some start-up problems (hopefully, relatively minor). With the almost instantaneous disemination of information these days, I’m sure Ford realizes this and is ramping up C-Max production a lot more slowly than they might have done with a new model in the past.

      • 0 avatar
        benders

        You realize that this is a hybrid, not an electric, right? Ford has been selling hybrids since 2004.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @Rudiger: I loved the Volt when I drove it, but I certainly agree that it’s better suited to empty nesters than to young/growing families. I’m in young-family camp for the next 10 yeas or so.

        @Benders: The C-Max comes in two varieties: one functionally equivelent to the Prius, and the other is functionally equivalent to the Volt (but with about half the all-electric range).

        [Long analysis of which vehicle is better for which situation deleted]

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I got an indicated 40 MPG on a test-drive of the C-Max hybrid. Ford tries to market it as a CUV, but the cargo room is really more like that of a Toyota Matrix. Rear seats up, the C-Max doesn’t have a lot more space than the regular Prius hatchback. (On the other hand, the C-Max is markedly quicker and roomier in the cabin than the Prius hatchback.) By the way, my local dealer just got its first C-Max Energi plug-in. They didn’t even have their charging station yet. I was shocked at how little cargo room there is in the Energi. I would be surprised if you could get three grocery bags in there without blocking the view out the back.

  • avatar
    Mr Nosy

    Without getting into like,details,but typing as a denizen of Lossangeles,I can say with full anecdotal authority that Toyota (Except for Prius) and Honda,have ceded control to other marques in markets that were solidly under their control for the past twenty years or so. Mazda Threes are what VW Jettas used to be,cars for people whose next car is a 3 series BMW (Unless CUV-itis kicks in.Oh Mazda has a model for that now.) Ford has bounced back more with the Fusion,more so than the new and slightly overpriced Focus. FIATs-not just for the gays (I’m just as surprised as you are.). Subarus,still taking SAAB trade-ins…Cadillac CTS,German car types want a change,or perhaps some bitter reminder.Oh,and Audi seems to garner/rook potential Acura,Lexus,& Infiniti owners by the baker’s dozen.BTW/Etc,KIA & Hyundai.


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