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2014 Ford C-MAX Energi

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2014 Ford C-MAX Energi Review

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When it comes to bragging rights, the Toyota Prius has long dominated the fuel-efficiency argument. However, the 2014 Ford C-Max is looking to change the debate by offering a hybrid with features that go beyond good mpg, namely style, comfort and a fun-to-drive attitude. Like the Prius the C-Max is a 5-door hatchback that can comfortably fit four people, or with its seats folded haul loads of cargo. Because it’s based on the Ford Focus the C-Max is more driver-friendly than the Prius, offering a better ride, a quieter cabin and a more polished interior. While the Prius may have been first to the party, the 2014 Ford C-Max looks to be the kind of gate-crasher that isn’t going to leave without a fight.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re impressed by the good fuel economy a hybrid can deliver, but you don’t want to sacrifice the comfy features yielded by so many non-hybrid cars, the 2014 Ford C-Max masterfully blends both desires into a single vehicle.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you’re car-shopping mojo is motivated solely by the highest mpg ratings, the Prius still dominates the field. The Prius also has a slightly lower starting price.

What's New for 2014

The Ford C-Max sails into 2014 relatively unchanged. New transmission gearing aims to improve fuel economy, while a new approach to fuel-economy labeling results in slightly lower EPA estimates more in line with real-world driving.

Driving the C-MAX Energi
Driving Impressions

The C-Max’s trump card isn’t its excellent fuel economy but rather its very Focus-like driving characteristics. Ford’s hybrid powertrain setup feels considerably more responsive than the system Toyota employs in...

... its Prius cars, and a near-seamless transition between gasoline engine and electric motor, even at higher speeds, makes you forget you’re driving a hybrid car. The C-Max’s added weight – nearly 600 pounds – over the Prius should work against it, but we found the car accelerates briskly, loves to play in the curves and delivers a surprisingly comfortable and quiet driving experience. A tall roof and wide side glass provide excellent 360-degree visibility, while the elevated seats provide an SUV-like driving position. We found the C-Max brakes to be quite good, but the brake pedal’s position relative to the driver is a bit awkward.

MYFORD MOBILE
As the technology behind the plug-in hybrid is still relatively new, Ford created a smartphone app to assist owners in managing charge times and checking battery levels. The app also provides a map of nearby charging stations.

ACTIVE GRILLE SHUTTERS
Aerodynamics is the key to better fuel economy and less wind noise inside the passenger compartment. The C-Max’s active grille shutters close at highway speed, directing air over and around the car’s front end, reducing drag and thus reducing fuel consumption.

2014 Ford C-MAX Energi Details
Interior

Ford’s newfound status as a leader in interior design and material quality is evident in the 2014 C-Max. The 5-passenger cabin is filled with attractive, soft-touch surfaces that combine to produce a remarkably upscale feel, particularly for this class of vehicle. Ergonomics is excellent, with controls that are user-friendly and easily accessible. Headroom is overly abundant in all seating positions, and rear legroom is suitable for six-footers. The cargo area offers slightly more space than the regular Prius, but significantly less than the larger Prius V.

Exterior

In order to fuse aerodynamics with utility, the 2014 Ford C-Max’s exterior design emphasizes function over form. While no less stylish than a Prius, the Ford C-Max features a distinctive shape that associates more closely with a multipurpose vehicle than a hatchback. Although it shares the majority of its underpinnings with the Ford Focus, the C-Max is roughly five inches shorter in length. The C-Max’s taller stature makes it easier for taller drivers to enter and exit the vehicle, while the available power liftgate incorporates a height-adjustable function to accommodate users of all sizes.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

In base SE form, the 2014 Ford C-Max includes dual-zone climate control, manually adjustable front seats, a 60/40-split rear seat, 17-inch alloy wheels and a 6-speaker audio system with basic hands-free voice recognition and a USB port for portable music players. SEL models add heated front seats, leather seating, push-button start and the MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch touch-screen display and conversational voice-recognition software. Safety equipment includes seven airbags, a full complement of electronic stability aids and Ford’s SOS post-crash alert system that activates the horn and hazard lights in the event of an airbag deployment.

Optional Equipment

Features available for both SE and SEL trims include a panoramic moonroof with a power-operated sunshade, remote-start system and touch-screen navigation with customizable routes from MapQuest. SEL models offer a convenient foot-activated power liftgate that opens and closes by simply waving your foot under the rear bumper as well as an active park-assist feature that makes parallel parking as simple as pressing a button. The C-Max Energi comes in one trim level and offers most of the features available for the C-Max Hybrid.

Under the Hood

Every C-Max features a new 2.0-liter Atkinson-Cycle 4-cylinder engine, a gearless continuously variable transmission (CVT) and a 35-kW electric motor to produce a combined 188 horsepower. The Energi boasts a larger version of the Hybrid’s lithium-ion battery pack for an all-electric range of approximately 20 miles. And, unlike the Toyota Prius, the C-Max Hybrid can travel up to 62 mph under full electricity.

2.0-liter inline-4 + electric motor
188 net hybrid system horsepower
129 lb-ft of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 40/45 mpg (Hybrid), 44/41 mpg (Energi)

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2014 Ford C-MAX Energi Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 32 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Great car!

By on Sunday, November 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,680

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quiet, can run on electric only"

Cons: "Cheap plastic & leather."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Having owned increasingly more expensive Infinitis for the last 22 years & becoming disillusioned with their repair service I decided it was time for something new. With 4 kids in high school & younger all playing sports I needed something more practical than a regular sedan & since most of my during was to our school or nearby, a plugin hybrid seemed perfect for us---& it's probably the best vehicle decision I've ever made. In 1 1/2 years I've gone almost 18,000 miles, all but 3500 on electric. My electric bill increased about $25-30 while our gas bill decreased from $80/week (for 2 cars) or more during school to $25-30 every 4-6 weeks! The car has almost paid for itself most months & we've gone from splitting time between 2 vehicles to barely using our other vehicle. As for the car itself, the fit & finish isn't quite what iVe grown accustomed to from my Infinitis. This vehicle isn't exactly cheap & there are cheap plastic parts that don't quite fit together on the interior while the extensive use of such cheap plastic has led to occasional squeaks and light rattles. These kind of noises would normally drive me crazy but they aren't overwhelming so I can tolerate them but it just bothers me thinking that for $38k Ford chose such cheap material--which includes leather for the seats that's so cheap feeling one would think it was vinyl. I have only had 1 mechanical issue--a dead battery which was due to a software issue which they easily fixed. But there have been other fit issues on the exterior that I've had to bring back to the dealer several times & they still haven't fixed--the rubber gasket/insulation around the driver's side rear door keeps folding over on itself when the door is closed & I have to constantly fiddle with the door to get it to unfold properly. Left this way the insulation would eventually tear & fall apart prematurely. Finally, the EPA rated gas mileage was 45mpg & though I've averaged 130 combined mpg, on the highway for an extended trip it will only get 35mpg. On the bright side, since it is a plugin, I've gone 6 weeks or more a couple of times without putting gas in the car & can squeeze 30 miles on a full charge as long as it isn't Summer (ac is a must have in FL during the Summer) when I typically get between 24-27 miles. Cold will more adversely affect your available electric miles as on some cold days I've only had 17 miles available after a full charge. Charging on 120v takes about 4 1/2 hours from empty though this can be cut to 1 1/2 hrs or less if you get a 240v charger which I surely would have done had I not leased it."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Solid

By on Thursday, October 8, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Solid fit + finish as well as driving dynamics"

Cons: "Can you make a 200 hp version?"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Went from a 2007 Saab 2.0l turbo SportCombi wagon to the C-Max Energi and wow... The car feels very solid, both in fit and finish and its drivability. At low speed and high, the driving dynamics don't feel like you're driving a compact car, let alone a hybrid/electric compact car. It has very peppy pick up and the handling is solid. When I test drove it I kept thinking why aren't more people driving this car? In fact, when I test drove a Prius right after, I was shocked at how entirely blah it felt in comparison. Not only am I averaging 49 MPG, the inside the C-Max is much quieter and roomy than expected with a great seating position and view from the drivers seat (again for a compact car this is a surprise). Technology features abound within as well which (almost) make driving my 120 mile round trip daily commute enjoyable. Lastly, as I get to drive in the commuter lane here in Nor-Cal - solo - the 20 mile electric only feature is well worth loss of any rear hatch space. I say, well done Ford."

9 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I love this car!

By on Tuesday, September 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "High tech amenities, great gas mileage."

Cons: "Seats a bit stiff"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"As in another review, I too wonder why you don't see more of the C Max Energy on the road. This is a great car, and fun to drive. I road tested this car against a Volt and Prius, and the C Max won hands down for drivability, quality, looks, and high technology. I only rated the comfort a 9 because the seats are a bit stiff compared to a cushy Honda Accord that I used to drive. I have owned it for 3 weeks now. I have a 50 mile commute to work and I have been averaging 70 mpg. I do plug in before I leave for work and while at work, so that helps the mpg rating alot. This car deserves your consideration when shopping for a hybrid plug-in. It is loaded with high technology such as park assist, voice command of the sound system, and navigation, rear camera, and hands-free tailgate self-opening."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

All around exceptional C Max Energi

By on Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,900

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "comfort mileage quiet"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I decided to sell my Flex and purchase a more fuel efficient vehicle while gas is so affordable. The great price on a plug in hybrid plus all the standard features in the C Max Energi make me wonder why more people don't drive one ! The electric range is from 22-29 depending on my driving and the regenerative brakes contribute to better mpg. I can go three to four weeks without a fill up. Even when my electric charge is empty the C Max spends most of its time in electric mode . I only see the car using hybrid on hilly driving or quick acceleration. The transition from hybrid to electric is seamless. You wouldn't know it was electric. The electric motor is fast and efficient. I use the 110 electric charge cable that was standard. It usually charges in under 6 hours overnight. It is roomy comfortable and quiet. It is easy to enter and exit the vehicle. The vehicle begins to remember your driving pattern and style while maximizing your mpg. It also has an eight year one hundred thousand mile warranty on the hybrid/battery components. You can't ask for a better vehicle."

16 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Stunned at the functions of this car

By on Saturday, August 1, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Last December, I started a search for a car to replace my 10 year old Saturn VUE. Narrowed it down to the C-Max Hybrid, about 1 year used. I've found buying gentle used cars to be better than buying new. Those are few and far between in the area, either due to the low production rate, or popularity of the car. In April, although I wasn't looking for the plug-in hybrid, I found a 2014 1 year used with 16k miles that I thought made good sense. My commutes and trips around Albuquerque are generally less than 20 miles round trip, so it REALLY made sense. I can't say enough about how after 4 months of driving, I'm really enjoying every feature on it, in particular that I can just plug in into a 110 outlet next to my car in the garage overnight and be ready for a day's worth of driving at 1/10th the cost of gas and NO emissions. Long road trips are also a pleasure--I've been averaging over 39mpg on gas alone, which is a far sight better than my old VUE. Comfort and convenience are extraordinary. I feel totally spoiled with all the bells and whistles Ford has built into this model, which came with the technology package and the enhanced sound system. I haven't had any really issues with the large battery pack in the rear. I can still haul a dozen bags of mulch plus various other items back to the house. There is a bit of awkwardness with larger items, but truly, it's not an issue. Quietness? Amazing! Acceleration? So smooth in EV mode. Moving to gas isn't even noticable. I love that I can switch between EV only, EV as needed, or gas only. If I need more punch, I can gun it a bit for that extra horsepower the gas engine will give. NO problems with freeway access. I get a kick out of being able to regenerate a bit of the battery with braking and downhill driving, a bonus I hadn't thought about. I get between 18 and 24 miles on EV only, which is quite decent for my personal around town. For those with longer commutes, I'd just consider it bonus mileage without having to consume gas. I'd buy this car again in a heartbeat."

14 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Why doesn't everyone drive one of these?

By on Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Almost everything"

Cons: "MyTouch slow response, SYNC3 in 2016 will fix it"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've had this car 30 days and I've used ONE GALLON OF GAS! 22-mile commute each way is done in 100% electric mode, consistently getting 27-28 mile range on each charge. I leased it with no options, yet I still have everything I want or need: heated leather seats, dual-zone auto climate control, back-up sensors, keyless entry and start. The most surprising aspect for me has been what it takes to drive it: gentle starts and stops, paying close attention to signal lights and traffic ahead, anticipating and planning your trips. In other words, the old rules of defensive driving work surprisingly well for this car, and I can't imagine a better car in which to teach a teenager how to drive. If you have a standard commute every day of 25 miles per less on each leg and you're a good defensive driver, you'll love this car."

13 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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