The compact C-Max hatchback is what we like to call a natural hybrid, a car designed from the ground up to run on a combination of electricity and gasoline. There's no conventional gas engine available, and the C-Max doesn't need one. Its performance is about as snappy as it gets in this efficiency-obsessed class.
What's New for 2015
The C-Max carries over unchanged.
Choosing Your Ford C-Max
The C-Max uses the same hybrid powerplant and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) as the more expensive Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans, so you needn't worry about being relegated to the slow lane. The 2-liter four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor together produce 188 horsepower and deliver 40 mpg in combined driving. Though its EPA estimates can't top those of its chief rival the Toyota Prius, the C-Max is significantly faster and more adept at tackling curves. With the rear seat folded, the C-Max can handle up to 53 cubic-feet of cargo.
The C-Max is offered in two trim levels:
A fixed panoramic sunroof and remote start are available as single options on any C-Max.
There's a $3,000 difference between the SE and SEL, which isn't much given the latter's array of standard equipment. Unless price is your chief concern, the SEL is the way to go in our view.