HYBRID TO THE MAX
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Mon, Aug 27, 2012
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
FIRST DRIVE Ford is on a mission to out-hybrid the hybrids. They want to knock Toyota off of its hybrid king pedestal. The first salvo from Ford is the crossover wagonesque 2013 C-Max, which doesn’t event come in a conventional gas powered version. The C-Max is the direct competitor to the new Prius v—and it undercuts it in price and beats it in gas mileage. Doug Stokes reports. By Doug Stokes We were invited to drive the new Ford C-Max Hybrid up, down, and around Sunset Boulevard, and in doing so, had a pleasant couple of hours in the company of some (very) young and (very) enthusiastic young marketing and engineering people from the Blue Oval company. The C-Max is a compact class hybrid that incorporates a lot of the feel of the the latest Euro-style Focus while bumping up just about every dimension by about 20 percent. There's plenty of utility here, a strong 2-liter I/C engine (+180 HP), good range, and what looks to be (we didn't measure it) great, class-leading passenger and cargo capacity.
One of the other attendees at the journalists-only preview was heard to say, "I could see myself driving one of these" (as opposed to the competition's obviously "look at me, I'm a HYBRID"-shouting styling). And that is precisely the idea. This one does not have to look like a lab experiment to do the job. As I mentioned to (and got agreement from) some of the on-site Ford people, I think that by the time that the second-gen C-Max comes on line, the word "hybrid" might just not be needed in the badging, with people purchasing the machine based solely on its performance parameters, and not a buzz-name. This one will be at Ford dealers in the Fall with a promised 47 miles per gallon, a rear liftgate that opens (hands-free) with a tango-like leg sweep, boasting heated (and cooled) seats, its own version of the Ford "SYNC" info system, and set of advanced lithium-ion batteries that should be both powerful and reliable for the well beyond the warranty period. My short drive in the C-Max was uneventful and even-tempered. All systems worked for me and I even almost got the hang of the Brake Coach and the Eco Guide (the more leaves and vines on the display, the "greener" you're driving there, Bunkie). You'll have to go see these two reminder-gauges in person, but please watch the road too, the person you don't run over could be ME.
Overall, this one rates a "well done" even though I'm not completely sold on the complications that hybrid power trains must inherently incorporate versus the results. If you're looking for urban that can pass for urbane ... the C-Max will be well worth a look. - Doug Stokes SIDEBAR COMMENT The C-Max should be the biggest competition for Toyota’s Prius v—the biggest model in the tri-Prius line. But the C-Max has a couple of aces up its sleeve. For one, it actually gets slightly better gas mileage. Secondly, Ford is offering a plug-in model—something not offered on the biggest Prius model (and it’s actually cheaper). As for reliability, I’m optimistic. As counter intuitive as it sounds, everyone’s hybrid model seems to be more reliable that the company’s conventional gas-powered model. This also applies to the vehicle that the C-Max Hybrid replaces in the Ford line—the Escape Hybrid. – Roy Nakano For more information about Ford products, go to www.ford.com
SPECIFICATIONS Name of vehicle: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Price: $25,200 EPA fuel economy ratings: 47 mpg (city)/47 mpg (highway) Engines (hybrid): 2.0 liter, dual overhead cam (DOHC), 16 valve, intake variable camshaft timing (iVCT), Atkinson cycle four-in-line Permanent magnet synchronous electric motor with lithium-ion batteries Horsepower: 141 (est.) Torque: 129 pound-feet (est.) Transmission: Continuously variable automatic (CVT) Steering: Electric power-assisted rack and pinion Suspension: MacPherson strut independent front suspension with stabilizer bar and gas pressurized shocks Multi-link rear independent suspension with stabilizer bar and gas pressurized shocks Advance-Trac with Roll Stability Control Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel disc, with four sensor, four-channel anti-lock system (ABS + ELC + HLA), regenerative braking system, Wheels and tires: 17-inch alloy wheels and P225/50R17 all season tires Tire repair kit Dimensions Length: 173.6 inches Width: 72.0 inches Height: 63.9 inches Curb weight: 3607 pounds On sale date: Fall 2012