Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Hybrid Cars Under $30,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
Go

2015 Ford C-MAX Energi Review

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more. See what you should pay

2015 Ford C-MAX Energi Expert Review

By

Toyota may still hold bragging rights when it comes to best hybrid car fuel economy, but Ford's C-Max for 2015 offers a number of compelling arguments for why second best might be a better choice. When it comes to style, comfort, features and overall driving enjoyment, the C-Max leaves the Prius at the pumps. The 5-door C-Max Hybrid can accommodate four passengers and still have room in back for their gear. Flip down the folding rear seats, and the C-Max's cargo bay rivals some compact SUVs. The C-Max shares its platform with the excellent Ford Focus, which is why we think, when compared to the Prius, the C-Max offers a quieter and more premium-feeling interior, a more engaging driving experience and, frankly, less generic styling.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're seeking good fuel economy in a green car that doesn't look boring or overly futuristic, the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid deserves a good look. Handsome styling, a detailed interior and great driving dynamics leave little downside to this purchase.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're all about facts and figures, the Prius handily beats Ford's 2015 C-Max Hybrid in miles per gallon. The Prius V offers more interior room, while the Prius C offers a lower starting price. Also, with two exceptions, the C-Max's color choices are simply varying shades of black, white and silver.

How It Ranks

#1

out of 4

Fuel Economy

#1

out of 4

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

9.0 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Ford C-MAX Energi Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

Ford has made no changes to its C-Max Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid for 2015.

Driving the C-MAX Energi
2015 Ford C-MAX Energi Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The C-Max's ace in the hole isn't its good fuel economy, but rather the way it rides and drives. We think Ford's hybrid engine setup feels more spirited and responsive...

... than what Toyota has designed for the Prius, making the C-Max feel much more like a Focus or Honda CR-Z hybrid. A near seamless interchange between gas and electric motor will make you forget you're driving a hybrid, although the cool LCD readouts inside the C-Max's cockpit will quickly refresh your memory. Despite weighing nearly 600 pounds more than the Prius, the 2015 C-Max doesn't suffer from sluggish acceleration or poor handling. Quite the contrary, our C-Max was a joy to push through winding roads and we loved the smooth ride and hushed cabin. In around town driving, the C-Max's tall roof and expansive side glass provide excellent visibility, while the raised seats give a commanding view ahead.

MYFORD MOBILE
This clever app allows C-Max owners to manage charge times and check battery levels right from their smartphones. When traveling, the app displays a map of nearby charging stations.

ACTIVE GRILLE SHUTTERS
Better fuel economy is achieved when wind resistance is diminished. This is the thinking behind the C-Max's active grille shutters that close at highway speeds, thus redirecting air over and around the front nose, reducing both drag and fuel consumption.

2015 Ford C-MAX Energi Details
2015 Ford C-MAX Energi Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

Ford's newfound status as a leader in interior design and material quality is evident in the 2015 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 6-footers. The cargo area offers slightly more space than the regular Prius, but significantly less than the larger Prius V.

Exterior
2015 Ford C-MAX Energi photo

In order to fuse aerodynamics with utility, the 2015 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 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid 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
2015 Ford C-MAX Energi Engine photo

Every Ford C-Max Hybrid for 2015 features a 2.0-liter Atkinson-Cycle 4-cylinder engine, a gearless continuously variable automatic 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 19 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: 42/37 mpg (Hybrid), 40/36 mpg (Energi)

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the base 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid SE starts just under $25,000, with the top SEL trim tacking on an additional $3,000. Energi plug-in hybrid models begin closer to $32,500, but are eligible for a federal tax credit of up to $4,000, depending on the state where purchased. Prices for the Toyota Prius and Prius V start around $25,000 and $27,000, respectively. Because federal tax credits for plug-in hybrids are based on the size of a vehicle's battery pack, the Prius plug-in qualifies for a smaller $2,500 tax credit, bringing the starting price to just over $30,000. Be sure to check KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for the 2015 Ford C-Max. We expect the new C-Max to retain higher-than-average resale values over a 5-year period, with residuals that fall just shy of those held by the popular Prius.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.

2015 Ford C-MAX Energi Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.0
Out of 10

Based on 27 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.1/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.6/10
    Styling
    9.5/10

Very pleasant surprise

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,500

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: "always over 100 mpg, very comfortable."

Cons: "Would like longer EV range"

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

"My wife was not excited about the C-Max Energi as a second car. After just a few times driving it she took it over and left me with her SUV. When we go out together (or with friends, it has great room) we always take the C-Max. I have solar so it is a perfect fit for our family. Plus with a Ford you are supporting a company that did not take taxpayer dollars during the big giveaway."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Great Car!

By on Monday, April 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Luxury features and electric driving range"

Cons: "Would be nice to have more space in the back."

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

"I have had this car for one and a half years. I am a previous Prius owner. I must say this car is vastly more comfortable and handles much better. I can commute in pure electric mode every day at regular highway speeds. It has been very reliable. This car has an excellent information system that lets you know exactly how to drive for the best fuel economy. I am extremely impressed with this car. I will definitely consider buying another Ford vehicle. Well done Ford!!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Purchased 05-13. Avg 1380 mi/14 gal & 88¢ / charge

By on Sunday, January 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,650

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "$1112 elect/gas in 19 months vs $2200 @ 3.67/gal"

Cons: "Rear storage could be better, but there's the batt"

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

"We traded our 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid for this 2013 Ford C-Max Energi, the Ford's first plug-in hybrid. After 46 years of driving experience, this is hands down the best vehicle ever! On average, it is driven between 28 and 50 miles per day. At 10¢ per KWh for electricity, it costs about 88¢ to fully charge. Despite some initial recalls, all related to the computer systems on board that control the hybrid system, it has been a flawless friend. With its intelligent oil monitoring system, we have yet to change oil at 18,600 miles. Since the engine runs so infrequently the car tells you when the oil needs changing. Winter driving in snow and ice is "no worry" due the the excellent, intelligent traction control system. Never a worry with Michelin X-Ice tires. Summer e-mileage with AC averages 17 to 20 miles per charge. Winter e-mileage with heat averages 13 to 17 miles per charge. Summer or winter, with no heat or AC, e-mileage averages 21 to 27. We have become very familiar with the build-in "brake coach," that taught us how to get our 98% energy return every time we brake. Though it looks small from the outside, its interior area is identical to our 2006 Escape hybrid. Check the figures - that is true. All-in-all, the best vehicle we have ever owned!"

11 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Advertisement

Why ads?
Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.