Her and His Reviews

April 2013

2013 Ford C Max Hybrid

There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

Price: $ 31,065 Price: $ 31,085
The C Max Hybrid SEL is a new model for Ford this year. This hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a combined power output of 188 horsepower. An electronically–controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT) sends power to the front wheels. All in all the acceleration on this car, and sustained power, is pretty strong (relatively speaking). Power comes from a hybrid system that included a 141 horsepower, 2.0 liter Atkinson-cycle gas engine and a small electric motor, all with a grand total of 188 horsepower. It's actually pretty darn quick for hybrid, and considering it's on the heavy side. Handles well, too!
Fuel Economy
See HIS remarks for a thorough report of the assertions regarding the fuel economy for city and highway mileage. While it's pretty good according to the feds at 47 mpg overall, few people seem to be getting that, and boy, are they mad. Ford's been getting negative buzz from everybody from Consumer Reports to the average buyer--not good. We know that we fell considerably short of the ”47 mile“ mark, and apparently so have a lot of other journalists. The best we could manage was 36 miles per gallon.

That's good mileage, but a lot of non-hybrid products from a number of automakers, including Ford, can match or beat that, which may make consumers wonder why they should buy the C-Max.

According to the website, www.consumeraffairs.com, ”Consumer Reports magazine tested both the C-MAX and Fusion and said they both came in well short of the claimed 47 mpg fuel efficiency. The C-MAX achieved 37 mpg, the Fusion 39 in the magazine's tests. ”These two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our overall-mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that we've seen among any current models,“ Consumer Reports said in a statement.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which determines the mpg ratings, has said it is confident the 47 mpg finding is sound but has said it will review the ratings of both Ford vehicles, the Detroit News reported. Ford's President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs has defended the fuel efficiency claims, saying Ford followed the EPA's rules.

But in a story written by Joann Muller of Forbes Magazine, Raj Nair, Ford's group vice president of global product development, said that ”the way I drive“ the C-MAX falls short of the 47-mpg rating by 12 miles per gallon, or 25 percent. He also said what many other car writers–including myself–will tell you: It all depends on how you drive. Many people may well be able to hit the 47 miles per gallon mark–or even more–because of their driving habits. In the Forbes article, Mr. Nair said ”such variability is to be expected in a hybrid, where factors such as speed, temperature and even the age of the vehicle can dramatically impact one's fuel economy.“

Forbes says consumers can get 47 miles per gallon ?? and Nair says he has consistently done so ?? by driving in EcoCruise mode, at 60 miles per hour, and using all the coaching tools Ford provides on the instrument panel to perfect your braking and acceleration behavior. Among them is the cool display of green leaves that Ford uses, with better mileage and driving giving you plenty of greenery–and it is discouraging when all those leaves start to fall of because you're driving like a gas guzzling fiend, trust us on that.
The Car
Ford sees this car going head to head vs. the Toyota Prius. It looks a value at the entry level coming in around $25.9K, but with all the add-ons, our test model was over $31K; providing no discernible value for the C Max. For a new model, there is much to like about the vehicle. It's very attractive on the inside and has excellent curb appeal and design. The brakes were very sensitive or grabby, which results in some ”jerky-ness“ at even a soft touch of the brakes.

We did notice there is quite a disparity between seat comfort in the front and the back seats – not a huge surprise. The vehicle has seating for five. The panoramic sunroof provides great visibility and sunshine for all.
The C–MAX has much to recommend it. It's remarkably quiet, feels solid, and is quite a handler around corners and curves. Acceleration–about eight seconds or so to 60–is much better than most hybrids, and it feels almost sporty.
Of course, this vehicle has all the air bags like driver knee airbags, front and side airbags, first and second row curtain airbags. Perimeter alarm, SOS post crash alert system, turn signal mirrors, AdvanceTrac with RSC, etc. The usual. Full complement of airbags and thenn some,perimeter alarm, SOS post crash alert system, turn signal mirrors, AdvanceTrac with RSC, etc.
This vehicle is loaded in this category. Tire pressure monitoring, turn–signal heated mirrors, dual zone climate control, reverse perimeter sounding alarm, and push button starter–– for starters. Innovative in–floor storage helps for longer trips, second row 60/40 split seat all helps with larger items.

Driver size doesn't matter – especially you ladies under 5'2“, with the 10–way power driver seat adjustability and adjustable steering wheel.

Microsoft Sync w/MyFord Touch infotainment system and smart gauge/ECO Guide. Power lift gate saves on back stress. Satellite radio and NAV, also
Standard equipment included full power accessories, electronic steering, dual power mirrors with heat and security approach lights, intelligent access system with push button start system, speed control, Sync w/MyFord Touch, AdvanceTrac with RSC, driver knee airbags, front and side airbags, first and second row curtain airbags, perimeter alarm, reverse sensing system, turn signal mirrors, tire pressure monitor, dual zone electronic auto climate control system, rear in–floor storage, leather trimmed heated, ten–way power driver seat, leather wrapped shift knob, second row fold–flat 60/40 seat, ambient lighting, smart gauge/ECO Guide and a host of other standard items.
Aesthetics & Styling
This longer–than–usual hatchback offers extra room and is a great car for the urban or suburban driver. The interior is quite attractive with the dashboard and organization are well thought out and, well– striking. It's pleasing all the way around. While the C–Max is certainly is not ugly, and is in fact a pleasant looking vehicle, it can be a bit of a puzzle to look at. That's because the styling is not helpful for consumers trying to figure out what the heck it is. Yes, Ford's right. It's a hatchback. But we're talking hatchback like the Subaru Impreza is a hatchback, not hatchback in terms of being sporty and sexy looking.

I think most people would consider it a small minivan, which really isn't all that accurate either.

Once inside, I loved the interior. It was classy looking, with very nice, comfortable leather, and tastefully done chrome and aluminum. The gauges were gorgeous and easy to read, and frankly, the interior is so nice that I would rank that as the car's best feature with the fuel economy coming in second. There's plenty of room for stretching out.
3 year, 36,000–mile bumper–to–bumper. 5–year. 60,000–mile power train. 8year, 100,000–mile warranty covers the hybrid system. Extended hybrid warranty. See dealer for details.