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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 71 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
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

better mpg than expected

By on Friday, February 05, 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."

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."

4 people out of 4 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."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great Commuter Car, Good Mileage, Fun to Drive!

By on Thursday, October 01, 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

Love this car.

By on Friday, August 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

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: "excellent"

Cons: "can't think of any"

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

"Had this car for 9 months, 26,000 miles. Handles wonderfully, super comfortable, plenty of room for all kinds of stuff, tall adults have plenty of room in back seat. I love this car! Wisconsin winters the average mi/gallon goes down - maybe 35 mi/gal. on average getting 41 + miles/gallon. and it's powerful and fun to drive. I'm having a hard time thinking about anything I'd complain about."

9 people out of 18 found this review helpful

I love MAX

By on Saturday, August 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

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
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, nice features"

Cons: "Rear cargo compartment size"

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

"I traded in my VW Jetta Sportwagen for the C-Max about 9 months ago. While the size is comparable, the amenities are like day and night! It has upgrade features similar to much higher priced vehicles. I have a bright blue one that draws lots of compliments and the interior is just as nice. I am getting 42+ mpg - mostly stop/go city driving, but even on highway going 70 mph I still get almost 40 mpg. Rear lift gate is tricky to open with your foot, so I usually don't use that feature. If I had a complaint, it would be the size of the rear cargo compartment. It is not very deep and not nearly as large as my VW Sportwagen. With the rear seats reclined, however, the storage space is about the same."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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