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KBB Expert Rating 7.8 / 10
This Car - 2018 Ford C-MAX Hybrid
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Consumer Rating 8.4 / 10

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KBB Expert Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By Joe Tralongo, Contributing Editor

Ford’s C-Max gas-electric hybrid for 2018 delivers great fuel economy in a roomy and fun-to-drive package that is both green and good-looking. While it faces tough competition from the new Toyota Prius, Hyundai Ioniq and Kia Niro, the C-Max still has a few advantages, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility plus cool upscale features like an available hands-free foot-activated power liftgate. There’s also a plug-in hybrid called the C-Max Energi that can run up to 19 miles solely on electric power. The C-Max has a more athletic feel than the Prius or Ionic, but its 42-mpg/city-fuel-economy rating can’t touch the Toyota’s 58 mpg, the Ioniq’s 57 mpg or the Niro’s 52 mpg.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you’re looking for a modern hybrid with a domestic angle, the 2018 Ford C-Max has much to offer. Its large interior belies the car’s diminutive size, and its suspension delivers a sportier ride than a Prius or an Ioniq. The C-Max Energi seats five, something the Prius Prime can’t do.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The C-Max’s aging design can’t keep pace with the new Prius, which is not only more efficient, it comes with more safety features like automatic emergency braking. Both the Ioniq and Niro offer a sleek design and lower price.

What's New for 2018

The 2018 Ford C-Max carries over unchanged.

Driving It Driving Impressions

In spite of its tall roof and small size, the 2018 Ford C-Max feels remarkably planted. The 2.0-liter gasoline engine and electric motor combo deliver fairly quick response and passing power, although the electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT) returns an irritating droning hum under hard acceleration. To be fair, other hybrid CVTs possess similar characteristics. This fuel-efficient eco-warrior is more than just miserly; it is actually quite fun to toss around winding roads and tight curves. In less aggressive settings, the C-Max rolls along smoothly and quietly, even more so when the Energi’s electric-only mode is engaged. In fact, the C-Max Energi’s electric mode delivers immediate acceleration that can only come from a torque-heavy electric motor. And, while the C-Max’s fuel economy is in the mid-40 range, both the Toyota Prius and Hyundai Ioniq handily out-distance it.

Favorite Features

A swipe of one’s foot below the rear bumper is all it takes to make the C-Max’s power rear liftgate automatically open. Handy for when your arms are full, this clever feature makes loading the C-Max’s ample cargo bay all the easier.

Efficient driving (also known as hypermiling) is rewarded by an electronic bouquet of glowing, growing “efficiency leaves” displayed across the C-Max’s customizable dual-LCD instrument cluster. It’s a cute and clever way to help drivers be more mindful when pressing the accelerator.

For vehicle details and pricing notes… Read More
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