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CAR OF THE MONTH March 2013

2013 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL

Driver-Friendly Plug-In Hybrid

A three-quarter front view of a 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi

In short: An ultra-efficient plug-in hybrid hatchback.

Ford C-Max Energi Review

When our Ingot Silver Metallic Ford C-MAX Energi test vehicle was delivered, we were taken aback by a serious case of sticker shock. As we read what is commonly called the "Monroney" in the industry (that's the window sticker you see at dealerships), it wasn't the price that surprised us, but the EPA rating of 100 MPGe. Can you imagine driving around in a perfect city-oriented hatchback with plenty of passenger space and achieving this kind of gas mileage? Well, that's what this next-generation automobile is capable of.

An interior view of the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi

The hybrid engine of the 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi

A dedicated hybrid, the C-MAX strikes a good balance between fuel savings and drivability. Featuring a 2.0-liter inline-4 paired with a lithium-ion battery-powered motor, our plug-in Energi model offered effortless performance. Peaking at 188 horsepower (gas and electric motors combined) the C-MAX can also run for up to twenty miles on electric power alone, making it perfect for taking on the vicious LA commute. Park it at a 240-volt charging station, and 2.5 hours later you are charged up again.

Inside, high ceilings and a sizeable fixed glass roof add space to this relatively small, city-friendly hatchback. Passengers have plenty of room, but cargo space is rather compromised due to the battery set up taking up space in the hatch compartment. The Ford C-MAX plug-in hybrid feels solid and is made with quality materials, and it's a pleasure to spend time in its comfortable and smart cab-forward cabin. Smart gauges with eco guide will help you save more energy and make you feel better knowing you're reducing your carbon footprint. The Sony infotainment console combines with Microsoft Sync, MyFord Moblie and MyFord Touch to keep you ahead of the tech game for the 21st century. You get all the expected safety attributes and blind spot mirrors. Two major downfalls for us were that the turning radius is not outstanding and the very uneven cargo floor levels once the 60/40 split rear seats are folded down. Other than that, we'd be very interested in buying one. Perfect for short range commuters who can plug in at both ends.

A three-quarter rear view of a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi

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View more photos of the Ford C-MAX Energi SEL

Warranty/Service: 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; 5-year/60,000-mile safety restraint system warranty; 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion protection; 8-year/100,000-mile hybrid equipment warranty (10-year/150,000-mile warranty in California and other CA Emissions states); 5-year/60,000-mile roadside assistance


QUICK SHEET
Base Price: $28,365

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 5-door hatchback

Engine: 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder engine with lithium-ion battery-powered motor
Horsepower: 188 hp @ 6,000 rpm (gas and electric combined)
Torque: 129 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: continuously variable transmission

Curb weight:
3,859 lbs
Wheelbase: 104.3 in
Length/Width/Height: 173.6/82.1/63.9 in

Brakes:
4-wheel disc brakes with ABS
Suspension: independent short- and long-arm front; independent multi-link twist blade rear

Traction: electronic stability control with traction control

0-60 mph: 9 seconds
Top Speed: 102 mph

EPA (gas):
43 mpg
EPA Combined:
100 mpg (gas and electric)

Safety:
dual-stage front airbags; front-seat side-impact airbags; driver's knee airbag; side-curtain airbags

Likes: energy-efficient mind; quality build

Dislikes: turning circle; cargo space

 

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Photography: AlphaMedia

PNW030113  

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