2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Review

2013-ford-c-max-hybrid-fd

Last week I was given the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid to review and I have to say while I’ve not been a car guy for awhile (I have a family and drive SUV’s now) I was pleasantly surprised.

A quick disclaimer before I continue though. This will be my second vehicle review and it’s still quite new to me.  You can check out my first review over HERE, where I test drove a 2013 Ford Escape.

Now I have to contain my surprise for you as it had nothing to do with rip roaring horsepower or laying down 100 meters of rubber down the Anthony Henday.  My surprise was around how sophisticated this hybrid was compared to other hybrids I’ve driven in the last few years.  I can certainly tell you hybrid technology has come a long way in a short amount of time, much like the technology I work with on a day to day basis at work.  For example this C-Max features an advanced lithium-ion battery that is 30 to 50 percent lighter than nickel-metal-hydride batteries used in first-generation hybrid vehicles.  Sounds very familiar, do you remember when cell phones first came out and used similar battery technology?

The Car Specs

I’ll get into more of what I thought was “sophisticated” in a moment however I’ll get the spec’s out of the way as everyone likes to know details.

  • 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid with 2.0 DOHC inline four-cylinder, Atkinson cycle
  • CVT Transmission
  • 141 hp
  • Top speed in electric only mode – 100 km/h
  • City 4.0 L/100km or 71 mpg
  • Hwy 4.1 L/100km or 69 mpg (first time I’ve ever seen Highway less than city)
  • Ford SYNC
  • Active Park Assist
  • Hands Free Liftgate
  • Curve Control

Power and Handling

Now when I say I was surprised at how sophisticated this hybrid was I was getting at one of the spec’s listed above.  This hybrid is capable of using the electric motor at 100km/h which is quite impressive when I compare this to earlier versions of hybrids that could barley hold steady at 60km/h.  I was also impressed with how well the electric motor could get the vehicle going up to 60km/h without people behind me complaining about how slow I was from a red light or stop sign.  Typically hybrids will just give out and switch over to the gas powered engine to get you going and then when coasting it kicks over to the electric motor.

I was able to take the vehicle out on the QE2 and get it up to speeds of 125km/h and the concerns of smaller vehicles at this speed were not felt at all.  Usually smaller vehicles like the Honda Fit will feel like a tin can and create a lot of vibration over 120km/h which isn’t comforting when driving the QE2.

I wasn’t comfortable testing out the new curve control technology that will help reduce the vehicles speed if entering a corner to quickly.  I think Ford would be appreciative of that and this would be something you’d want to kick in if you were for some reason not paying attention to the road conditions.  Sounds like an innovative feature to me.

Comfort and Ergonomics

The interior and seating is much similar to that of the 2013 Escape which was comfortable as well.  The cabin space is very spacious and Ford has done a great job of making the cabin wide open with huge windows and lots of natural light.  Compared to what I’m driving today this is a huge improvement and something I noticed right off the bat.

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid

I still have a concern with the way the Ford SYNC is positioned within this vehicle like the Escape.  The same viewing angle of the SYNC system is cut off on the lower left corner because the unit isn’t focused on the driver.  It’s focused right down the middle which I think is a design flaw.  The driving experience needs to be about the driver and the information such as the SYNC system should be directed towards the driver.  A slight 10 degree tilt towards the driver would rectify this flaw in addition to bringing it forward as I mentioned in my previous review.

2013-Ford-C-Max-Energi-Interior

A very cool feature that has been available in most new Ford vehicles, including this C-Max is the adjustable LED lights available in the cup holders, foot wells and door handles. You can choose from a handful of colours that best suits your personality.  This is a nice touch for any vehicle and creates that sexy atmosphere.

Technology

There is a lot of technology packed up in this little car, enough to please any technology enthusiast.

While there seems to be a common theme amongst the Ford fleet these days I did see a few things missing that in my opinion should just be standard.  The BLISS (Blind Spot Information System) was missing which for an additional safety feature should just be standard.  One tiny item on the dash that would have been nice from a consistency perspective was having the cruise control speed show up.  Virtually the same dashboard in the Escape has this and should be consistent with the C-Max.

There were a few things that were missing in my opinion, however this vehicle is still packed with it’s own set of technology for the price.  The SYNC system never disappoints when connecting with a Bluetooth enabled phone.  You’ll be connected in under 30 seconds and dialling your friends in no time.  I also had a much better time navigating the SYNC system via voice commands this time and was able to dictate addresses without to much trouble.  I still believe the voice command technology is within it’s infancy and road noise within the vehicle doesn’t help with this feature.

I’m confident Ford’s commitment to the SYNC system powered by Microsoft will include continuous updates which I’m sure will continuously improve the system in terms of quicker responsiveness and voice commands improvements.

FordCMax-Moving

Conclusion

While this type of vehicle doesn’t really suit my personality, I could be interested if it was strictly for a commuter vehicle.  I have to say when driving this vehicle I was very conscious of my driving habits and tried to keep within the hybrid zone.  This really hit me after I returned the vehicle and started driving my own.  I hammer on the gas far to much and without the technology informing me of my driving, I really have limited ways to know how efficient I drive.  I can say without a doubt I was a much better driver when driving the C-Max.  Now if we could all just drive a little better the highways would be much safer for those travelling them.

Thanks again to Waterloo Ford – @waterlooford and Ford Canada – @fordcanada for the vehicle and opportunity.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Vehicle Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Review

  1. Pingback: Ford C-Max Reviews | C-MaxChat

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s