TTAC’s making the big time now! Sure, the dweebs over at Motor Trend are currently driving a free Kia Optima, Nissan Frontier, Nissan Altima, MINI Cooper Coupe, Chrysler 300S, Acura ILX, VW Passat, Kia Rio, Subaru BRZ, Acura RDX, BMW 328i and a 650i Gran Coupe, but we’ve finally managed to snag a totally free hybrid wagon to run our “gophers” and our “YouTube engineers” and our “guys who submitted to violations of the most personal kind so they could attend overseas press launches for certain German sedans” to all the finest restaurants and yoga centers.
Of course we had to pay for the f**king thing.
“We” in this case is also a somewhat tenuous concept. Your humble E-I-C’s babymomma* decided to step out of her Ford Edge SEL AWD lease a little early due to a certain ennui and some considerable annoyance with the egg-shaped Ford’s amazing thirst for fuel. I could feel her pain. When driven on identical loops with my Town Car, the Edge continually returned worse mileage. So much for twin-cam progress and unibody construction, am I right? One of her employees is currently enjoying a Tuscon so she was on the way to the Hyundai dealer when my son and I stepped in to demand she keep it semi-Euro. I had the kid coached to refer to the Tuscon as “the fugly frog” but it never came to that. After a quick drive in the C-Max it was a done deal. She’s already very efficient at using MyFordTouch and likes the various Ford interfaces that are somewhat similar between the Edge and the Focus-based tall wagon.
She picked a “303 package” with the additional panoramic roof. For an MSRP of $33,235 the C-Max does everything beside park itself. No, wait, it parks itself. I thought that as a former owner of various high-speed hardware including three different turbo Volkswagens and a Mopar Stage 3 SRT-4 she’d find the hybrid drivetrain wayyyy too slow, but it turns out she is fascinated with the leaves that grow on the screen and the Prius-alike hybrid power display. She brought the C-Max home tonight and made the mistake of letting my son see her swipe her foot beneath the bumper to open and close the rear door. In a flash he’d popped the thing open, swung his foot a second time, and hopped in the cargo area ahead of the closing hatch “for hiding time”.
Full disclosure here: I asked Ford for employee pricing on this vehicle, citing my immense status in the business and the fact that I once stood next to Dutch Mandel while they were handing out ice cream at an auto show display, but I was told to go stuff myself, with particular reference to the Lincoln MKZ review recently penned by TTAC’s Lion of Judah, Derek Kreindler. Turns out the babymomma can cut a sharp deal without my help so her lease cost is well under $500 a month for a high-mileage, nothing-down three-year term.
Ford’s high-priced Prius competitor has come in for a lot of criticism since its introduction so I’ll be keeping close tabs on quality control issues, driveability, and that raison d’etre of hybrid fuel economy. Naturally, we’ll report all the news that’s fit to print, a task made easier by the fact that we aren’t indebted to a manufacturer for the car or anything having to do with it. Stay tuned!
* Okay, she’s not my babymomma. She’s my ex-wife. We’d been married for well over a decade when my son was born within the confines of legal wedlock and so on and so forth. All very conventional and boring. But I say “babymomma” because it upsets the guys who still live with their parents and read “The Car Lounge” all day and haven’t figured out how to inseminate anything more complex than a Hot Pocket. Come on, guys! At least step up to the Tenga EasyBeat! (Warning: link contains sexual situations that will be unfamiliar to the vast majority of Honda S2000 owners)