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2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

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2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid 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 Hybrid
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 Hybrid 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 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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