Unlike most hybrids on the market, Ford’s compact C-Max hatchback is a “dedicated” hybrid. (So is the popular, long-lived Toyota Prius.) The C-Max was designed from the beginning to operate on a combination of electricity and gasoline. Thus, no gas-engine equivalent is available in the U.S. market, but Ford does offer a plug-in hybrid version known as the Energi.
What's New for 2017
The C-Max receives mildly revised styling at the front and rear. A new Titanium trim level replaces the previous SEL. White Gold is a new exterior color.
Choosing Your Ford C-Max Hybrid
The front-drive C-Max uses the same hybrid powertrain and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) found in the more expensive Ford Fusion and Lincoln MKZ sedans. So, you need not worry about falling short on performance. The 2-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine is rated at 141 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. Together, the gas engine and electric motor produce 188 horsepower. The lithium-ion battery is rated at 1.4 kWh.
Though its EPA estimates can't top those of its chief rival, the Toyota Prius, the C-Max is significantly swifter and more adept at breezing through curves. Fuel economy is estimated at 40 mpg in combined driving, or 42 mpg city and 38 mpg highway. Pushing the EcoSelect button can boost economy, while softening performance. A C-Max Hybrid can reach only 62 mph in electric-only mode. A SmartGauge with EcoGuide is standard, offering customizable displays.
With its rear seat folded, the C-Max can handle up to 52.6 cubic feet of cargo. Space drops to 24.5 cubic feet with all seats up.
The C-Max Hybrid is offered in two trim levels:
There's a $3,000 difference between the SE and Titanium, which isn't all that much considering the latter's array of additional equipment. Unless grabbing the lowest price is your primary concern, we think the Titanium trim may be the sensible way to go. Before deciding, consider what’s included in the SE’s option packages. Both trims deliver the same energetic performance and thrifty gas mileage.