By on May 17, 2012

Ford has priced their C-Max MPV with a base sticker of $25,995, or $555 less than its main rival, the Toyota Prius V.

Ford claims that the C-Max has a few more cubic feet of cargo room, as well as a taller roofline than the Prius V for more headroom. Features like MyFordTouch will be offered as standard.

Ford expects the C-Max to best the Prius V in fuel economy as well, but figures weren’t announced. Also conspicuously absent was pricing for the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid – which Ford claims can beat the fuel economy of the Prius Plug-In. The base C-Max uses the 2.0L Atkinson cycle engine and hybrid powertrain similar to the Ford Fusion Hybrid.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

41 Comments on “2013 Ford C-Max Undercuts Toyota Prius V By $555...”

  • avatar

    I don’t think that is one of Ford’s better efforts for a front-end. It combines the grill of the Focus Electric/Fusion with the upper slit of the Escape. I understand they’re trying to show some commonality between the “Energi”/Electric models, but the upper grill just doesn’t work right and should have been eliminated. Your eye moves between the two trying to figure out which is the focal point.

  • avatar

    Is the Ford a hybrid as well? Apparently the Prius V is rated 44/40…I find it hard to believe the C-max can best it without being a hybrid.

    • 0 avatar

      I think it is a hybrid as well. That said, I would still get the Prius over this, as the Prius is an established efficiency champ, OUTSIDE of the EPA’s test facilities.

    • 0 avatar

      They canceled the non-hybrid options for the C-Max in the USA, and they canceled the 3-row model here too.

      The remaining options are 2-row hybrid, and 2-row plugin hybrid.

      I guess Ford thinks that distinctive hybrid models matter. I’m not so sure, but I don’t think the cancellation of the gasoline models is a big loss — except for the 3-row variant of the C-Max. People like myself who are looking for an efficient little wagon are going to be interested in this car aren’t going to be deterred by the hybrid drivetrain — and everyone else is probably going to be buying Escapes anyway.

      • 0 avatar

        s/gasoline models/non-hybrid models/

        All of the energy that our 2nd-gen Prius uses comes from gasoline, because it’s a regular hybrid.

        Plugin hybrids, which are just coming on the market, actually have two energy sources (electricity and gasoline).

        This was sloppy wording on my part, and I can’t edit the comment to correct it.

      • 0 avatar

        Ouch. My wife & I were looking at it specifically for 3rd row seating to carry 6 or 7. We decided not to wait & ended up with Sorento. With no 3rd row seating & no sliding doors, it’s just another car.

  • avatar

    I don’t care how goofy or unsporty people think it looks, cars like this and the Kia Rondo (not available in 2012) need sliding doors on the back. These huge doors combined with a kid are just door dings waiting to happen. I was considering the CMAX but the rear doors were a dealbreaker. We now have a Mazda5.

    • 0 avatar

      The (slightly) larger Grand CMAX has the sliding doors and a third row of seats.

      The one in the main article is just a taller Focus, I’m not really sure what the point of it is.

    • 0 avatar


      Though I’m willing to trade the sliding doors for a few MPG. I still think any vehicle with 3 rows needs sliding doors, or gullwing doors with hinge-points near the middle of the roof (like the Tesla Model X).

      I’m a family man who values efficiency and practicality. I’ve been a geek my whole life, so conventional attitudes about coolness don’t apply.

      (BTW, why doesn’t the Ford Flex have doors like the Model X?!? It looks like they trying to be a funky non-minivan, but they managed to kill some of the minivan’s practicality by making it sub-optimal for loading up several kids in carseats. A new door design, possibly inspired by the Model X, or maybe a really good sliding door that would let people climb directly into the 3rd row, would fix that. But I guess the Flex is only intended for families with at least three children between 10 and 18. Fail. For me, at least.)

  • avatar

    I would consider getting one of these. It’s not much of a looker, though.

  • avatar

    Interesting that Ford’s web site features only female models with this vehicle. Must be a chick car. [end sarcasm]

  • avatar

    The C-Max is only a hybrid or plug in hybrid. No regular gas version.

  • avatar

    As a Mazda 5 owner, I like this vehicle,except I agree it’s unusually styled and not well, not compared to the rest of the Ford lineup. The lack of sliding doors is a minus, in a vehicle designed to haul families, it’s a glaring omission (in the Prius V too). It was one factor, of many, that made us choose the Mazda 5 over the Rondo that was on the market when we bought in 2009. That and it drove terribly compared to the Mazda, wasn’t as nice looking as the Mazda. Would need the sliding doors to consider trading the Mazda.

    • 0 avatar

      +1 Mazda5

      There seems to be a stigma about sliding doors, but I like them anyway.

      • 0 avatar

        Somebody else is bound to say it, or already said it. Sliding door = mini-van = soccer mom = uncool. Regular door = CUV =/= soccer mom = cool.

        A rose by any other name…

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, I get it wrt sliding doors and soccer moms.

        Still, my car has never been dinged by a mini-van with sliding doors but has been dinged by an SUV door. That makes soccer moms pretty cool in my book.

        Let me pose a philosophical question: if soccer moms suddenly bought diesel wagons with stick, would it make the moms cool or would it ruin the car? :)

    • 0 avatar

      As a recent 5 GT purchaser (the wife loves it), I too was trying to hold out for 3 rows and 5+2 seating in the longer C-max. Good lease & cheap insurance rate made it a no-brainer.

      It is incredibly packaged and perfect for a 4 person fam with a dog. I like driving it….its not a GTI, but it is remarkably close for something I can stuff an extra person into.

      There’s a place in this market for more of these machines, I just cant stand that they’re being choked out by lesser CUVs.

  • avatar

    Strange looking front end/grill(s). Looks like two different designs both reproduced. Styling definitely won’t be the reason people buy this.

  • avatar

    The front end looks like the nose of a 1950’s fighter jet – but not in a good way. The massive grille the air intake and the fog lamps the twin 20MM machine guns mounted on either side.

  • avatar

    Can it tow a 4’x8′ utility trailer with a 1200lb gross weight?

    (I’m not asking for serious towing, I’m asking for towing that’s as good as the Toyota Matrix and the Focus.)

    If so, my Escape’s days will to and end as soon as I get a raise! :-)

    My wife is thrilled with her Prius, though, so a Prius V has the home-field advantage without either the ability for light-towing or a reasonably priced plugin.

  • avatar

    Isn’t that just an Escape without the lift kit?

    • 0 avatar

      …and a plug-in hybrid power train.

      • 0 avatar

        Its the replacement for the Escape Hybrid.. Ford borrowed an idea from Toyota, a successful hybrid must look different from a regular car otherwise people will start making those odious comments such as why does the Escape Hybrid cost $5k more than the regular Escape?.. it will never save that much on gas so I’m going to take that money and get leather seats and alloy wheels and so on.

        Mechanically its very similar to a Prius, using an atkinson engine, two motors and a planetary gear device to blend all the torque together, so its a CVT without a clutch or sliding gears and no possibility ever of a manual transmission.. there is no transmission. One big difference is that it uses a small lithium-ion battery pack instead of nimh as the Prius does, and that probably accounts for the better mileage.

        Inside it has more passenger room than a Prius V but much less cargo space. You can read all the details here:

  • avatar

    There is no towing rating that I’ve seen on any of the cars mentioned already. These vehicles are light duty for urban dwellers that can barely handle a fat ‘merican in each seat. Let alone a few bags of mulch, cement or sand.

    If you want similar highway economy my Saab 9-5 Sport wagon can see 39 mpg and is rated at 3500 lbs towing. My sedan has pulled the wagon in 90F degree heat through the hills of Tennessee, or about 4,000 lbs, without breaking a sweat accelerating or braking. Fuel economy drops almost in half when towing another vehicle, but it is still more efficient than a full size gas truck with no load.

  • avatar

    It looks interesting enough to go check out, but if it comes with MFT standard, count me out.

  • avatar

    The dumb front end styling, although non-cohesive, isn’t much worse than the Prius V.

    In that regard, street-price for the C-Max will likely be quite a bit less than the Prius. Coupled with a better equipment list, the C-Max could be quite a worthy alternative to the V.

    For instance, the C-Max is supposed to have what is turning out to be a very popular option (already available on the new Escape), the ‘kick’ operated rear door opener.

    OTOH, the closest thing Toyota has, the Smart Key System (SKS), has been cheapened up on all models (except the most expensive) to only operate the driver’s door. Previously, ‘any’ Toyota SKS-equipped vehicles operated three doors. But, as usual, Toyota is decontenting the hell out of their vehicles while keeping the MSRP high.

    I, for one, am hopeful that the C-Max will kick the V’s ass.

  • avatar

    This vehicle is no sales threat to the Prius V.

    The only way the CMax could be a factor is if the price tag was thousands and thousands under the Prius V.

    However, at 500 dollars under, Toyota is laughing at the CMax.

    The Prius family of hybrids is the gold standard. The CMax is a Prius look alike. I thought Chinese were the ones that copied vehicles, then sold them at a huge discount. Here, we have Ford copying the Prius, then trying to sell them at the same price. Wow. What has become of the American auto industry. What a shame.

  • avatar

    you guys should probably clarify that title since the C-max isn’t a hybrid in most of the world so I was quite confused how it would be getting better mileage.

  • avatar

    I won’t buy one because I don’t trust Mike Rowe.

    He should dress at least a little bit better; he looks like a pauper in drab colors in those Ford commercials. That won’t make me trust him any more because I find him annoyingly annoying anyhow, but it wouldn’t hurt his image.

Read all comments

Recent Comments

  • Art Vandelay: Transmission would be my guess. Not worth the fix
  • Art Vandelay: Solid. Would buy. At least it is an actual Nissan.
  • 56BelAire: @ToolGuy… That’s why I’ve had a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood in the back of my...
  • Art Vandelay: Just here for when the usual $#!+heads start gleefully celebrating unvaccinated folks dying again.
  • Art Vandelay: If I could, I wouldn’t. It is in decline. Even the red meat stuff gets a third of the comments it...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber