By on January 25, 2013

In 2005, ABC News Polls claimed the average daily commute in America was 16 miles, a number borne out in our own Facebook poll. If you have a commute like that and want an EV for commuting and a hybrid for road tripping, you’re the target demographic for a plug-in hybrid. Since I’m not a trust fund baby, and neither are most of TTAC’s readers, I’m going to forget about the Karma while we dive deep into Ford’s first (and interestingly spelled) Energi.

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C-MAX and C-MAX Energi

“Energi” is Ford-speak for “plug-in hybrid.” On our shores, the C-MAX competes with the Prius V and to some extent the Prius, while the Energi targets the Prius Plug-in and Volt. Let’s cover the basics first. “Our” C-MAX is an Americanized version of the European C-MAX. Aside from making the requisite changes for American safety legislation and some bumper cover tweaks, the difference boils down to one major change: the American C-MAX is hybrid only while its Euro twin get a traditional gasoline/diesel mix.

The C-MAX strikes an interesting pose on American roads looking like the product of crossbreeding a Focus and a Windstar. The hatchback’s tall greenhouse, tall roof-line and crossover styling cues were no doubt penned to confuse entice the suburban set. I find the design as a whole more attractive than the Prius, but less exciting than the Volt. At 173 inches long, the C-MAX is 2 inches longer than a Focus hatchback, but 3 inches shorter than the Prius and 3.5 inches shorter than the Volt. Exterior dimensions are a tough comparison however since the Prius and Volt have a more sedan-like profile.

Interior

The Energi shares most of its dashboard with the new Escape. The only major change is a unique instrument cluster with twin LCDs like the Fusion hybrid. Since this cabin wasn’t designed with weight savings in mind, it has a more premium feel than the Prius or Volt thanks to Ford’s dedication to squishy dash bits and color matching plastics.

Perhaps due to the non-hybrid roots, you won’t find anything futuristic or weird in this cabin. There are no centrally mounted gauges, no acres of touch-buttons and no all-LCD instrument cluster. That’s not to say the Energi has a sumptuous cabin per se, but it is the only cabin in this trio that could pass muster in a “normal” $37,000 vehicle. Barely. (Our tester rang in at $37,435.) The Prius on the other hand is full of plastics and fabrics more at home in a $16,000 econo-box.

Ford offers two interior colors on the Energi: black-on-black-on-black, or a greyish tan and your choice of fabric or leather. (I recommend the lighter shade as it makes the cabin feel less claustrophobic.) Front seat comfort is good thanks to an upright crossover-like seating position, wide seats and a decent range of motion. The tilt/telescopic steering wheel extends further than I had expected and made finding a comfortable driving position easy for a variety of driver sizes. The tall cabin and upright seats didn’t fool me into thinking the Energi was a crossover, but my back and legs appreciated the seating position and it means the Energi offers considerably more headroom than the Prius or Volt.

The rear seats are a bit close to the floor for adults but are the right height for most children. Despite looking narrow, the Energi is more than 3 inches wider than the Prius and 1.5 wider than the Volt which translates into a wider cabin. Sitting three abreast is more comfortable in the Energi than the Prius and more legal than the Volt which only has belts for four. If you routinely carry adults in the rear, the Energi provides 4 inches more headroom and a 2 inches more legroom than the Volt.

When cargo schlepping, the C-MAX’s non-hybrid roots are obvious because of where the battery is located. As you can see in the photo above, the battery pack takes up the entire spare tire well and about 7 inches of the trunk floor as well (4 more than the C-MAX without the plug). The reduced hold is a few cubes smaller than the Prius Plug-in (19.2 vs 21.6) but about twice the size of the Volt’s 10.6. Keep in mind that 19.2 cu-ft is larger than most sedans, but because Ford didn’t adjust the roller-cargo-cover position, you can only put three carrry-on roller bags under the cover. Without the cover it was possible to fit four such bags (rotated 90-degrees) and still see out the rear window.

Infotainment

All Energi models come with Ford’s MyFord Touch system with SYNC voice commands. The system combines climate, entertainment, telephone and navigation chores into one integrated system that looks snazzy and responds to your every whim via voice commands. When it landed in 2010 the press (and owners) soon discovered the system had more bugs than a bag of 5-year-old flour, thankfully Ford has corrected the majority of the flaws although the system remains sluggish at times. Ford’s system used to be unique in its ability to voice command your tunes and climate control but Toyota’s Entune and Chevrolet’s MyLink systems now offer very similar features without the bugs or “laggy” graphics.

Ford’s decision to make the C-MAX look and feel like a normal car has a downside. While the “normal” displays will make hybrid virgins feel at ease, they do little to tell you what’s going on under the hood. Instead of a tachometer you’ll find a configurable kW gauge showing how much power the engine and motor are providing. You’ll also see a small battery icon that displays your state of charge and your EV range. The system provides a “braking coach” display that grades you on your ability to recover energy but it does so after the fact rather than helping you adjust your foot while braking.

Drivetrain

The heart of the C-MAX and the C-MAX Energi drivetrain is a 2.0L Atkinson cycle four-cylinder engine producing 141HP and 129lb-ft of twist and a Ford designed hybrid transaxle that combines a 118HP traction motor and a smaller motor/generator. When working together, the system delivers 188 system horsepower and a TTAC estimated 200-220lb0ft of torque.This is considerably more than the Prius’ 134 system HP and the Volt’s 149HP. Like the Prius, the Ford sips regular unleaded while the Volt demands premium.

The Energi model uses a 7.6kWh battery pack (7.2 usable) which slots between the Prius Plug-in’s 4.4 (4.2 usable) kWh and the Volt’s 16.5kWh (10.8 usable) packs. If you look at those numbers you’ll notice something, the Volt has a bigger battery but uses less of it. There’s a reason. Battery life is reduced by a number of factors but one of the big ones is being at either a high or low state of charge. By using a “larger” battery and never charging it beyond 85% or discharging it below 20% GM is treats their cells with kid gloves. Because of this I believe the Volt’s battery is likely to last longer than the competition. Ford claims the Energi is good for 21 miles of EV driving while the Volt claims 38 miles and the Prius lasts only 11. In my testing, the real world numbers drop to 16 for the Energi, 29 for the Volt and 9 for the Prius.

Charging times for the Energi vary from 7 hours when plugged into a regular 120V outlet to 2.5 hours if you have access to a 240V “Level 2″ charging station. This (yet again) slots between the Prius Plug-in’s 2.5/1.5 hours (120/240V) and the Volts 16/4 hours (120/240V). As with the Prius and the Volt, you don’t have to charge the car if you don’t want to. (Although why you would spend $8,500 for the bigger battery and never use it is beyond me.)

On the road

Like the Prius Plug-in, what allows the Energi to operate as an EV has nothing to do with what’s under the hood. The battery’s discharge rate is what limits EV travel. The C-MAX’s battery tops out at 46HP while the Energi increases the discharge rate to 91HP. As with the rest of the drivetrain metrics, the Energi’s output slots between the Prius Plug-in’s 51HP and the Volt’s 149HP. Think of the Volt vs Energi in this way: In normal EV driving they operate very similarly, but while the Volt delivers 149HP with or without the engine running, the Energi offers 91 or 188 ponies depending on how far you press the go pedal.

As a result, the Energi isn’t a “Ford Volt” but it is “more EV” than the Prius Plug-in. Unlike the Volt, the Energi will also use its engine to augment cabin heating rather than relying solely on its electric heater in cold weather. While this exacts an MPG toll, defrosting is considerably faster than in the Volt. However, unlike the Prius plug-in, the Energi doesn’t need to run the engine to accelerate to highway speed or climb a mountain pass. The Energi is part of a new breed of car where locomotion blends fuel sources allowing you to trade a portion of the gasoline you pay $4.35 a gallon for in California for electricity at $0.10-$0.15 per kWh.

The C-MAX already heavy at 3,600lbs. Add 6.2kW more battery and the Energi’s 3,860lb curb weight is a cheeseburger shy of a Jaguar XJ. In comparison, the Prius Plug-in weighs a svelte 3,165lbs and even the porky 3,781lb Volt is lighter. The C-MAX’s cub weight and 225/50R17 tires define every aspect of on road performance from how it handles to how it sips fuel.

Thanks to its Focus roots, the C-MAX proved a competent handler with a well composed ride when we had it for a week in November. Thankfully the Energi doesn’t depart much from this formula, simply feeling like a C-MAX that has an extra 260lbs in the trunk. While the extra battery weight no doubt improved the weight balance, no vehicle equipped with low rolling resistance rubber is going to be a corner carver. That being said, it is more engaging than the Prius or the Volt. On the bright side, the Energi rides like a larger vehicle displaying none of the “crashy” tendencies the Prius is known for. While the electric power steering robs the hatch of 99% of its road feel, it manages to be more engaging than a Prius – admittedly not high bar to jump.

Stomp on the Energi’s go-pedal and 60MPH arrives 0.86 seconds later than the C-MAX Hybrid. If you keep your foot on the gas, the Energi recovers some composure finishing the 1/4 mile 0.6 slower. Any way you slice it, that’s considerably faster than any flavor of Prius. While we haven’t had a Volt in our garage to test, most publications seem to place it around 8.5 seconds to 60.

Hybrid systems, batteries and plugs can’t change the fact that weight and fuel economy are mortal enemies. While the C-MAX wears a decidedly optimistic 47/47/47 MPG (city/highway/combined) badge, the Energi model drops that figure down to a more believable 44/41/43 MPG. On my commute the C-MAX averaged 41.5 MPG and the Energi averaged 40.7 MPG without charging the battery. On the same commute, a regular Prius scored 50 and the Prius Plug-in scored a slightly higher 52 (thanks to its ability to recapture more energy on my mountain commute.) Meanwhile the Volt delivered a somewhat unimpressive 34 MPG in the same test.

With a full battery on either end of my 60-mile one-way commute, the numbers jump to 72 MPG for the Prius, 60 for the Energi and 45 for the Volt. The observant will note that a regular Prius delivered 50 MPG. If saving money on gasoline is your goal, consider the payback time vs a standard Prius is going to be decades.

According to my calculations, if your commute is under 25 miles total, at $0.15/kWh, the Volt is cheaper to run, but only by a few cents. According to the EPA, 25 miles would cost you $1.31 in the Volt, $1.37 in the Ford and $1.47 in the Prius. If your trip goes beyond 30-35 miles, the Prius is cheaper to operate because of its gasoline-only MPGs. The more expensive the gasoline, the greater the difference between the Prius and Volt (and to a lesser extent the Energi) thanks to the Volt’s lower fuel economy and thirst for premium gasoline.

With a price range of $32,950-$37,685 (not including $795 destination or the current $3,750 cash on the hood deal), Ford obviously has a limited market in mind. Still, if you’re shopping for a Prius Plug-in ($32,000-$40,285) or a Volt ($39,995-$43,750) you either want the latest in technology or you’re willing to spend nearly $10,000 to use the HOV lanes solo. There are tax incentives available, but they depend on your tax situation and I’m not an IRS insider. Be sure to consult a tax guru before you bet on credits to balance your books.

While it is theoretically possible to save money vs the standard C-MAX, it will take an Eterniti, serious number crunching, and low electricity rates. For instance, on my commute it would take around 300,000 miles, or 11 years. Assuming the battery and car last that long. If your commute is the national average, you’ll have to leave the car to your heirs. Maybe they will realize a savings. Still, there is that HOV lane to consider. On my route the HOV stickers would cut my commute time by 40 minutes or 14 hours a month. How much is that worth to you? If $8,700 is your answer, then Ford’s C-Max Energi will do nicely. Personally, I’d skip the plug and get a Fusion Hybrid.

Ford provided the vehicle, one tank of gas and insurance for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 3.1 Seconds (non-plugin: 2.9)

0-60: 7.91 Seconds (non-plugin: 7.05)

1/4 Mile: 16.15 Seconds @ 87 MPH (non-plugin: 15.55 Seconds @ 92 MPH)

Average Fuel Economy: 52 MPG over 523 miles (non-plugin: 41.5 MPG over 625 miles)

 

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43 Comments on “Review: 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi Plug-In Hybrid (Video)...”


  • avatar
    cargogh

    All the Volt back seats I’ve seen have a console between them, so I’m glad they didn’t opt for a third seatbelt.
    I was hoping Ford could slap the smug off the Prius face, but it gave it a noogie.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      The Volt’s large ‘T’-shaped battery is the reason for the lack of three across rear seating. They all have the plastic console divider (which was redesigned for 2013).

      And the reason for the necessity of premium in the Volt is mainly due to the shelf life of premium gas remaining in the gas tank over a long period of time. It’s not unusual for some Volt owners to go months without using any gas. The much shorter electric range of either the C-Max Energi or Plug-In Prius doesn’t make this an issue, so they get to use regular gas.

      Although the Volt has a smallish 9.3/gal (US) gas tank, even the owner’s manual suggests not keeping more than 3 gallons in the tank for most situations.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        Explain how 91AKI gasoline has a longer storage life than 87? If they are both E10, as it is in CA, I dont see how there would be a difference.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        I have no idea as to how or why premium gas might have a longer storage life than regular. It’s the rationale provided by GM.

        If the engine is tuned to run best on a specific grade of gas, it probably gets better gas mileage (although miniscule) on that grade, as well.

  • avatar
    philadlj

    I was able to walk around and sit in one of these at the auto show. It was the same color, a very cheerful teal that wouldn’t look out of place on a ’92 Civic (not a bad thing), but it was all black on the inside.

    At first glance, the van looked like a Focus that had been stung by a bee – very swollen and bulbous – but get inside, and you appreciate that function followed form. Its’ FAR more spacious in there than the Focus hatch it resembles.

    Touches like the (more-or-less) conventional controls and ability to sip regular gas are also signs that Ford is serious about making a hybrid vehicle a less frightening choice for those considering it.

  • avatar
    oldowl

    For the reader/viewer who is looking for detailed, straightforward information, Alex Dykes ‘s video reviews are exceptional among TTAC reviews.

  • avatar
    sightline

    Nice review. I have yet to see one of these around Silicon Valley, but I did see my first Karma that wasn’t at a dealership yesterday on 280.

    Alex, you must love the phrase “more bugs than a 5-year-old bag of flour”; you used it in your last Ford review, too: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2013/01/review-2013-ford-escape-titanium-ecoboost-video/

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    You got the regular C-max to go 0-60 in 7.05 sec? That’s about a second faster than everybody else and almost 3 seconds faster than the Prius hatchback. In the old days, that would be downright fast.

    You mention that there is $3,750 “on the hood”. Are you talking about a Ford rebate or the government tax credit?

    • 0 avatar
      Alex L. Dykes

      Right now it’s a $3,750 Ford cash off deal.

      • 0 avatar
        sunridge place

        No…its a $3750 federal tax credit.

        That is not Ford cash on the hood.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        It’s the federal tax-credit deal, but if you lease the car Ford gives you the money off up front (since Ford Credit will hold the title the tax rebate will go back to them).

        If you purchase you have to wait for the money from Uncle Sam.

        Autoblog made the same mistake in their post today about the Focus Electric coming with $10,500 cash on the hood from Ford on a lease. It’s true that the incentive exists, but $7,500 of it is the government incentive that Ford just gives you early.

  • avatar
    BryanC

    This review starts out by saying the average commute is 16 miles. It finishes with financial advice with numbers taken from the author’s 120 mile/day commute (complete with mountain in the middle). There’s a disconnect here somewhere…

    I was also hoping for more information on how slow the car drives in EV-only mode – as I understand it, you can keep the ICE off by changing the drive mode. However, what’s the performance like? I’d love to see a 0-60 run in EV-only mode to compare to the Volt – but no publication has given me that information yet.

    Otherwise, thanks for the details.

  • avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Been looking forward to this one, and after reading it I’m thinking my folks would be better served by the hybrid, as they typically drive longer distances and could use more space.

    I really do hope Volt 2.0 has a much better genset, the iron 1.4 off-the-european-shelf lump does not acquit itself very well against these other motors, though given that my commute is entirely electric I don’t really fret too much unless I’m on a road trip..

    (ps: the Volt’s 273lbft of torque is superior to both of the compared cars, and matches the quicker but heavier RAV4EV, in fact the HP/Torque of the Volt is nearly identical to the RAV4EV’s, and yet the RAV4EV boasts 0-60 in the 7s range vs Volt’s 8.5-9s.. I wish there was a Sport+ or SS mode that would get better performance out of the Volt motors..)

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I haven’t been able to verify that $3,750 Ford incentive. Everything that I’ve seen shows a baseline $750 rebate (same as the hybrid) with some additional money for certain buyers of $500 to $1000. On the other hand, there is a federal tax credit of $3,750 applicable to the Energi.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    “Aside from making the requisite changes for American safety legislation and some bumper cover tweaks, the difference boils down to one major change: the American C-MAX is hybrid only while its Euro twin get a traditional gasoline/diesel mix.”

    After driving one of the Diesels through the Ardennes on a Gummint funded junket for Officer Development following the Battle of the Bulge, I was greatly impressed with the sweet, slick 6 spd manual, its tossable feel, and quality fit and finish to a mini-van. I was immensely disappointed when looking for a Sport Mini-van to motivate my family of five and the C-Max was due to arrive without the manual gearbox, diesel motor or anything close to European excitement. Bought a Mazda 5 GT and when that finally give up the ghost, may approach the C-Max again. Maybe Ford will realize its mistake, but won’t hold my breath.

    • 0 avatar
      enzl

      Same here. I was actually looking forward to the ‘Grand’ C-Max myself, but ended up leasing a 5GT.

      Keeping my fingers crossed that they’ll be something interesting at the Ford store come April 2015.

    • 0 avatar
      HotPotato

      Did you drive the C-Max hybrid before you chose?

      I like the Mazda5. I loved my Mazda3. Mazdas are delightful to drive. Functionally, the C-Max is a Mazda 5 but with more power, better MPG, and a quieter ride. That is, everything you like about the Mazda but without the traditional weak points of the brand. (No sliding doors though.)

  • avatar
    DeeDub

    I realize the MyFordTouch system is the same in most new Fords, but does that really make it OK to copy-paste the same text over and over from one review to another. In other words, enough with the five year old bag of flour.

  • avatar
    ott

    A lot of people that can’t afford/don’t care about the Hybrid/Electric hoopla on this vehicle would probably consider buying it for $10,000 less, and with a regular gasoline engine. Why not offer it, Ford?

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      The regular, non plug-in, version should fit, unless you want a manual, or you are specifically opposed to the existence of hybrid tech under your hood.

      Judging by the Camry and Avalon hybrids (40/40 mpg, 200hp, normal car amenities), and upcoming Accord regular hybrid (49/45, 200hp, normal Accord feel and amenities), and Fusion ( 47/47, 188hp, normal Fusion including trunk pass through), it is starting to look like the writing’s on the wall for non-hybrid regular transportation cars.

      Most people spend a good amount of time in city traffic, where even these non specialized hybrids double the mileage of their non-assisted gas counterparts, while providing more city friendly power curves. And by allowing use of more efficient Atkinson cycle engines, highway mileage is 30-50% increased as well. With what is by know pretty much no downsides.

      The Prius (next generation to get 60mph combined, according to Fanbois) that started it all (and more so gen 1 Insight that really did it) came with enough compromises (both practical and, in the US, “political”) to completely clean up, but the tech is now mainstream, and an improvement for almost everyone looking for practical transportation. Even hard right guys who want to retain mobility when the gommiment starts rationing gas supplies.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    The C-Max Energi seems like an okay effort in the plug-in wars, certainly as good as the Volt (but with a different approach), and I applaud Ford for it.

    Nonetheless, it still seems like the admittedly cheap-material (like all Toyotas these days) and mediocre driving Prius c is the only hybrid/plug-in/EV that comes even close to making any financial sense. But that has a downside, too, since the smaller ‘c’ has moved the standard Prius’ price higher and now the hybrid by which all others are measured against isn’t much of a buy anymore (MSRP for a strippo, standard Prius 2 now begins at $25k).

    The rest seem like they’re narrowly-focused to the early-adopter crowd who are willing to make the necessary concessions (price and otherwise). Nice as they might be, the price penalty to propel your transportation solely by electrons (for even a short distance), even with the tax credits, doesn’t make any of them ready for primetime just yet.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    I just noticed something. The cargo net is in the wrong place. It’s below the parcel shelf, where there is no room to store anything. It should be able to be raised from the bottom of the cargo area to the roof, because to use all of the supposed 20 cu.ft. of storage you have to load it to the ceiling (and block the view of the driver in the process). Without a net, items loaded higher than the rear seatbacks become missiles aimed at the occupants’ heads. (I’m not saying I’ve never loaded stuff like that, but do as I say, not what I do, kids.)

  • avatar
    BlackDynamiteOnline

    “The C-MAX (hybrid), rated at a decidedly optimistic 47/47/47 combined, averaged 41.5 MPG and the Energi averaged 40.7 MPG without charging the battery. On the same commute, a regular Prius scored 50 and the Prius Plug-in scored a slightly higher 52 (thanks to its ability to recapture more energy on my mountain commute.) Meanwhile the Volt delivered a somewhat unimpressive 34 MPG in the same test.”

    – TTAC

    After that, you can go home, and choose what color your Prius should be, unless being a distant 2nd best in the real-world is just your cup ‘o joe…..
    BD

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Not really. As MPG numbers get bigger, the impact of a 10 MPG increase gets smaller. Suppose you drive the cars 100 miles. At 40 MPG, the C-MAX would use 2.5 gallons. The Prius uses two, saving a half gallon of fuel– costing a buck-fifty in my neck of the woods now. If you prefer domestic to Japanese, or something else about the about the Ford turns you on, isn’t that worth a penny-and-a-half per mile?

  • avatar
    Alex Mackinnon

    That really depends where you live and what you pay for things. Up here in Vancouver we get slaughtered on gas prices ($4.91/US Gal), but electricity is dirt cheap ($0.068/kWh).

    According to my calcs this makes a Energi about on par with a Cruze LT over the course of about 10 years. This is even factoring a 7% ROI for capital costs. You need to remember things like maintenance are cheaper on EVs (supposedly) and if you’re particularly thorough you assign prices for CO² emissions.

    Something like a Focus ST on the other hand is many thousands of dollars more expensive over it’s lifetime.

  • avatar
    PaulieWalnut

    Madonna? The Dixie Chicks?

  • avatar
    magicboy2

    Alex,
    Are the legroom comparisons based on fake legroom numbers (moving the seat in between measuring front and rear) that Ford has started to use recently?

    http://www.truedelta.com/blog/?p=1022

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    If I’m not mistaken, Alex’s commute is something like 60 miles. So, the plug-in hybrid (anyone’s plug-in hybrid) is not the best fit for his driving pattern. In fact, for him, the best fit might not be a gasoline hybrid at all, but a small diesel like the VW TDI., if most of his drive is not stop and go with idling in traffic and at traffic signals.

    However, the cost savings generated by a plug-in (as compared to a regular hybrid, or non-hybrid, either gasoline or diesel) go way up if the round-trip commute is something like 20 miles. Under those conditions, the car is using very little, if any fuel; so the savings rack up pretty quickly if you’re just buying electricity.

  • avatar
    Plugger2b

    BTW, with all those batteries in the Energi’s trunk, where is the spare tire and is it easy to get to?

  • avatar
    Sonoma John

    The C-Max Energi doesn’t have a spare tire. There is a tire repair kit under the front seat. We bought one of these about a week ago and we are loving it. Most of our driving is around town to school, stores, etc. We plug it in at night and drive on electricity for about 20 miles. For longer trips, it switches automatically to hybrid mode. May not get better mileage than a Prius, but a heck of a lot better than the 20 mpg I was getting from my old Acura that we traded in. Re: the comment on battery life, the Ford warranty is 10 yrs/100k miles on the battery, so some peace of mind there.

    I’m 6’5″ and appreciate the interior space in the C-Max. The extra battery on the plug-in does eat up a fair chunk of trunk, but the back seats fold down if you have a lot of luggage to haul. Also wanted to buy American to support the economy. The state of California will send you a rebate check for $1500, and we’ll get a $3750 Fed tax credit next April 15. Makes the cost of the Energi about the same as the non-plug in C-Max, at least in California. Thinking about installing some solar panels to charge the car, in which case the electricity will be free. Will need to do the math after we’ve seen the impact on our utility bill. Still cheaper than buying gas at $4+/gallon.

  • avatar
    DR61

    Thanks for the interesting review with performance figures. I’ve been pricing these, and the difference between the Hybrid and Energi is about $4800 for similar trim level (SEL) with leather interior and other features. It is worth it to me as we can do 90% of our local drives on plug-in power. We tried and rejected the PIP and Volt.

    Neither car has a spare, but both have a pump/sealer kit plus towing service.

    The cargo net is for a small cargo space between the battery and the rear of the luggage compartment.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    A friend has one and said she just filled out an owner’s survey. It’s a company car and she’s not impressed – she averages 34 mpg – lousy for a hybrid. She doesn’t have a dedicated recharging station and finds it inconvenient to plug it in to her household circuits.

    She preferred the corporate Impala she had previously, but that’s way behind her BMW and Volvo.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Two comments (plus a tertiary point):

    1) That blue/green is the perfect example of a color which instantly dates the car, and will not age well.

    2) I’m sorry, $37 grand? That’s Lexus ES money is what that is.

    People need to realize that any money they save with their EV/hybrid battery nonsense is going to be TOTALLY wiped out when they need a new battery pack after ~6 years, costing over $7000 (figuring very conservatively).

    • 0 avatar
      Sonoma John

      The C-Max warranty is 8 years and 100,000 miles for the hybrid components, which includes the lithium ion battery. In California, Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington the hybrid components (which includes the battery) are covered for a longer 10 years and 150,000 miles warranty.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    The $37k is low-end Lexus money, true, but most people won’t even have to fill up once a month. Depending on what you drive, you’ll save $1000 to $2000/year on fuel. At the upper end, you’ll pay for half the cost of the car, including all of the electric car premium in saved fuel expense. FWIW 9 year old Toyota Prii retain most of their hybrid premium at resale time.

    I have a C-Max hybrid on order. I thought the loss of luggage space was too great to justify the plug-in.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      (PS you should use the reply button! :) )

      I guess if you can dump the car before it needs a new battery pack on an unsuspecting customer (since a dealer is going to call you on it and dock the price), then this strategy would work.

      But you still have a little tiny car with a not-so-pleasant interior to live with.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Autoblog just tested the C Max Hybrid, and like the Fusion Hybrid, it was a fail. 35.6 mpg.

    Its mileage may stink, but like that other stinker, the Fusion, it has a fake Aston grill. I guess that will impress fellow KMart shoppers.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2013/05/02/2013-ford-c-max-hybrid-review/#aol-comments


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  • Jack Baruth, United States
  • Brendan McAleer, Canada
  • Marcelo De Vasconcellos, Brazil
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic
  • Matthias Gasnier, Australia
  • W. Christian 'Mental' Ward, Abu Dhabi
  • Mark Stevenson, Canada
  • Cameron Aubernon, United States
  • J Emerson, United States