2013 Ford C-MAX Review

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2013 Ford C-MAX Review

April 17, 2013

It’s been a while since my last car review.  We welcomed our second baby into the family 3 months ago, so my reviews will now include getting 2 car seats installed!

I was asked to take the 2013 Ford C-Max for a week.  The first thing I noticed was how quiet the car is.  The C-Max is a hybrid and has a push button start, so as soon as you put your foot on the brake and push the button, the car is ready to drive, without the normal starting sound of a noisy engine turning over.  This hybrid uses a li-ion battery pack which is recharged when the gasoline engine is in operation.  The dash gives you information on when the car is charging and when it is consuming, which is very handy if you are trying to drive in the most environmentally friendly and efficient way possible.  Ford calls this their SmartGauge with EcoGuide.   Even the braking system (known as regenerative braking) helps charge the battery by recapturing more than 95% of the breaking energy normally lost.   The C-Max was designed to achieve better fuel economy than the Toyota Prius V!   Imagine – at 4L/100km, you would only go through 20L of gas on a 500km road trip!

Side view at dealership

As with all the new Ford’s their MyFord Touch SYNC system is superior.  I find it the easiest on the market to get your smart phone connected.  Within 2 minutes of receiving the car, my phone was synced and ready to receive calls, listen to music and even voice activate calling.

The cabin is very roomy for such a compact vehicle.  I really liked the layout of the dash and instrument cluster.  As someone who always has a water bottle in my cup holder, the gear shifter is in a great place; slightly angled on the dash, just under the climate control, rather than being between the driver and passenger seats taking up room.  The touch screen enables the driver to easily manage the climate, entertainment, phone and navigation.  If you are thinking about buying this vehicle for a younger driver (read – teenager!) it has a cool safety option that mutes the stereo until seat belts are buckled.  Such a great concept!

Console       Buckle Up        2 Carseats

If you have struggled with vehicles that have major blind spots, this vehicle goes above and beyond to fix that.  The windows wrap around the entire car and also cover most of the roof.  There are even small corner windows between the driver and passenger window and the windshield and the back seat windows and the hatch window.  Where blind spots normally exist in other vehicles, this car offers another small window for exceptional visibility and safety.  The back seat had plenty of room for 2 car seats with ample leg room.  The car seats were a breeze to install.  The headrest just had to be removed and the the seats were installed within a few minutes.

The options on this vehicle totaled $4200, which included the MyFord Touch handsfree, premium audio and NAV, power lift gate, back up camera, keyless entry, park assist, metallic paint, block heater and panoramic sunroof.  I already mentioned the SYNC above and everyone is familiar with the usual power lift gates, back up camera and keyless entry.  What you might not know about Ford are two really cool options including Active Park Assist and the hands-free lift gate.

Rear of Car

Active Park Assist is a really amazing technology.  I was first able to try it out on a Focus Challenge weekend in Vancouver.  The car is able to use an ultrasonic based sensing system to locate a suitable parallel parking space, calculate the trajectory and then steer and position the wheel.  All the driver needs to do is listen to the cues from the car that include putting your foot on the break and putting the car into reverse and slowing letting off the break while the car parallel parks itself!  This is a really great feature for downtown dwellers or workers who are constantly parallel parking.  This is a really unique Ford technology.  I first saw the Hands-free liftgate system when I was at the LA Auto Show with Ford.  One of their chief engineers actually demonstrated how it worked.  As a mom that generally has her hands full with groceries and kid’s stuff, this is such a mom-friendly option.  It allows you to use a simple kicking motion under the rear bumper and the trunk will open without getting out the keys or hitting the trunk button on the hatch.  The technology also deciphers the difference between say a foot and a ball rolling under the car or even a cat or dog when the car is unlocked.  It should only work with an actual foot motioning a kick.  Such a great idea!  I can see this being a very handy grocery store feature!

Speaking of the trunk, the hatchback trunk was definitely small and only fit my stroller and nothing else.  So, if you are someone who is lugging groceries for a medium to large sizes family or you always need a stroller in the back, this car might not work for you

.Trunk with Stroller

Lastly, I want to mention the performance.  There was surprisingly responsive acceleration in the C-Max.  The last hybrid I reviewed (Lincoln’s  MKZ) had some serious lag.  The C-Max had the same zip you would expect from the Focus or Fiesta and easily accelerated when necessary.

This vehicle has a base price of $30,199 with $4200 in options.  At $34,399, it is definitely a very affordable vehicle, especially when you consider the extremely low fuel consumption and what drivers would save the pump.  Overall, I would definitely recommend this car if you are looking for a small hatchback with lots interior room and great featu

res.Side of Car next to RR

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