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2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

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2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid Review

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As the mpg wars rage on, there is one word that typically comes to mind when shopping for a new fuel-efficient vehicle: Prius. But the 2013 Ford C-Max intends to disrupt that involuntary word association by offering eco-conscious consumers the fuel economy they expect from an efficiency leader with the driving dynamics of a conventionally-driven 5-door hatchback. Similarly, the interior layout looks, feels and operates like a traditional vehicle, while the plug-in Energi variant bridges the efficiency gap in Ford's lineup between the C-Max Hybrid and the all-electric Focus EV. In a category dominated by the Prius family of vehicles, the 2013 Ford C-Max has all the right stuff to compete head-to-head with one of the most recognized vehicle nameplates in history.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you are on the hunt for a highly-efficient vehicle, but unwilling to sacrifice horsepower and responsive handling, the 2013 Ford C-Max provides the best balance of fuel economy and driving fun in the segment.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If mpg and price are the key criterion in your next new car, you might find the Toyota Prius' superior fuel mileage and lower starting price more appealing.

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid constitute a new breed of fuel sippers designed to split the difference between the regular Toyota Prius and the mid-size Prius V in terms of size, price and fuel economy.

Driving the C-MAX Hybrid
Driving Impressions

When it comes to driving performance, the Ford C-Max enjoys a sizable advantage over the competition. Ford's third-generation hybrid drive system feels considerably more powerful than its Prius rivals, and...

... the virtually seamless transition from gasoline engine to electric motor effectively disguises the C-Max's hybrid nature. Although the 2013 C-Max is nearly 600 pounds heavier than the Toyota Prius, winding roads are tackled with a surprising level of precision and control. Outward visibility is equally good, as the C-Max's elevated seating position provides an SUV-like view of the road ahead. Apart from its awkward location, the brake pedal has a firm, linear feel. Despite the Ford C-Max's relatively tidy dimensions, road and wind noise at highway speeds are well contained.

MYFORD MOBILE
Since plug-in hybrid vehicles are still in a state of infancy, Ford developed a smartphone application to help C-Max Energi owners manage charge times and check battery levels, and it also provides a map of local charging stations.

ACTIVE GRILLE SHUTTERS
When vehicle speeds increase, aerodynamics go to work. By redirecting the flow of air around rather than through the grille opening at highway speeds, the Ford C-Max's active grille shutters reduce turbulent airflow and improve fuel efficiency.

2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid Details
2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid photo Interior

Ford's newfound status as a leader in interior design and material quality is evident in the 2013 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 are 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
2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid photo

In order to fuse aerodynamics with utility, the 2013 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 multi-purpose vehicle than a hatchback. Though 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 2013 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 hybrid
188 net hybrid system horsepower
129 lb-ft of engine torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA City/highway fuel economy: 47/47 mpg (Hybrid), NA/NA mpg (Energi)

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2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 73 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Impressed to say the least

By on Sunday, February 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 102

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good ride, great fuel economy, very safe vehicle"

Cons: "honestly can't think of any"

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

"I owned a 2013 CMax SEL. My wife tboned a car that had run a red light at 45 MPH and walked away without a scratch. Front crumple zone and air bags performed exactly as intended. That car was totaled unfortunately but I just bought another. I had 34K miles on the 2013 and both my wife and I were extremely satisfied with the vehicle prior to the wreck and hugely impressed with the way the vehicle performed in the crash. The front end was totally smashed but the passenger cabin was untouched. We don't do anything special to enhance mileage but we averaged 44 mpg over 34k miles in the 2013. The 2016 CMAX SEL that we bought yesterday has the same "tight" feel that we liked in our 2013 and the fit and finish is excellent. We loved our 2013 and our 2013 took care of my wife well in what could have been a deadly crash. Let's put it this way. When the 2013 was totaled, we bought a 2016. That's how much we like the vehicle."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

I own two and we love them more than the Cadillac

By on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 92,512

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: "Quiet, solid, beautiful, roomy, smooth, fun"

Cons: "cargo space is limited in energi due to battery"

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

"I bought two Cmax Energi ’s because I was tired of paying for $4 gas (of course it has come down a lot since then). I thought I would miss the luxury of my Cadillac but not the case; other than the prestige of Cadillac there is little to miss. My wife’s Cmax is loaded with navigation and Sony stereo and my base model Cmax is equipped as any Ford SEL model would be. These cars are beautiful to look at and fun to drive. Quiet, powerful, and way more room on the inside than some of the larger midsize cars. Fuel mileage is also way better than expected. I charge the cars in two hours for about 70 cents and then I can drive for more than 20 miles before I even need to use gas. My monthly electric bill is maybe $18 for each car and I drive over 480 miles just to and from work each month. So, like 3.5 pennies per mile while the Caddy would be getting about 15 cents a mile (based on $2 gas). So, in full disclosure, I pay about $220 a year to charge each car but I only put gas in mine 4 times last year. Another good point is that there are so few of them where I live. I think I saw a total of maybe ten different ones last year and of them only half were Energi. I would definitely buy another. As a matter of fact I am looking at used Cmax ’s for my daughter for when she turns 16. I love this car, my wife loves hers. I've owned over 30 cars, trucks and motorcycles to include three Mercedes and the one Cadillac, and this car is at the very top (of course technology has some to do with it). Oh, I almost forgot - you can program the car to warm up, in the winter, at a certain time in the morning so when you get to the car it's already warm and defrosted. I live upstate NY and as long as it's plugged in it saves on scraping ice. Very roomy for passengers, seats four adults very comfortably with front seats all the way back (not that you even need to be all the way back) rear legroom is unbelievable. Headroom and shoulder-room is awesome. Cargo space is limited because of the big battery in the back but we still shop for family of 4 with all of us in the car. Not a bad trade off and I'd do it all over again. Of course the higher the gas price raises, the better you love not having to buy it."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

better mpg than expected

By on Friday, February 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,600

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great gas mileage, great pickup, higher seating"

Cons: "Wish the cargo area was slightly bigger"

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

"My 2015 CMax SE hybrid is a joy to drive. I was getting 47 mpg in the summer and 42 so far this winter. It is super quiet and has great pickup for merging on the highway. I test drove the Prius and Cmax and the Cmax won. I also like sitting up higher for better road visibility."

12 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great in town!

By on Saturday, December 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good economy."

Cons: "Mileage reduced in high (head) wind and cold temps"

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

"Very reliable in-town vehicle. Getting 40+ mpg consistently in town. Wind, cold weather, and highway driving reduces efficiency. Likes hot summer days best. Excellent amenities and comfortable to drive."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

It's the best vehicle that I have owned!

By on Monday, October 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

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: "Fun to drive!!!"

Cons: "Nothing!!!"

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

"I traded my Cadillac Escalade for my C-Max, I was getting 15-17 miles per gallon and now I'm getting 48 miles to the gallon. I love it! I can drive 580 miles to a tank that costs about $30 to fill. I wish I would have traded months ago. I have every option available except for the panoramic roof, and now I'm kicking myself for not getting that option."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great Commuter Car, Good Mileage, Fun to Drive!

By on Thursday, October 1, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Mileage, comfort, visibility, price, fun to drive"

Cons: "No spare tire, S-L-O-W windshield wipers!"

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

"I have had my 2013 C-Max SE for 15 months. My previous car was a BMW, so I know a good ride, and for what it is, the C-Max is a terrific car. I bought the lower level SE because I didn't want all the bells and whistles (fobs, auto hatch, MFT) that seemed to cause a lot of complaints. I managed to find one with the winter package: heated seats and outside mirrors, though. I drive 60 miles round trip daily, half highway, and have averaged 42.3 mpg. Weather does affect mpg, but it's never dropped below 40 mpg. After the BMW, the best thing is that I fill up with the cheap gas and go 600 miles!"

17 people out of 22 found this review helpful

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