2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL

By Mauricio Lezcano / carsntravel.com

The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid headlines Ford’s transformed lineup, one third of which will feature a model with 40 mpg or more, building on the company’s commitment to give fuel-efficiency-minded customers the power of choice.

C-MAX Hybrid is a compact hybrid utility vehicle jam-packed with features and room for five people and cargo. The vehicle has a high roofline (63.9 inches) offering ample interior space and flexibility. C-MAX Hybrid offers 99.7 cubic feet of passenger space. For cargo it has a 60/40 split-fold rear seats that easily fold flat with 54.3 cubic feet of space behind the first row and 24.5 cubic feet behind the second row. 

In addition, C-MAX Hybrid features the company’s innovative hands-free liftgate, allowing for quick and easy access to the cargo area without messing with keys. A gentle kicking motion under the rear bumper opens the liftgate when used in combination with a key fob the user keeps in his or her pocket or purse that tells the car it’s OK to engage. The same motion can close the liftgate.

The vehicle also features the newest version of MyFord Touch to help inform, enlighten, engage and empower drivers. MyFord Touch offers multiple ways for customers to manage and control their phone, navigation, entertainment and climate functions through voice commands, menus accessed through controls on the steering wheel, touch screens, buttons or knobs.

C-MAX Hybrid also offers the next generation of SmartGauge with EcoGuide. Designed to help drivers get the most from the C-MAX Hybrid, information such as instantaneous fuel economy can be displayed on the left cluster to help drivers more closely monitor how their driving behavior affects the vehicle’s efficiency.

The left cluster also shows Brake Coach, a feature that helps drivers optimize their use of the braking system so that driving range can be enhanced through proper braking techniques. In the right cluster, redesigned imagery of green leaves shows overall driving efficiency as drivers improve their efficient driving, they are rewarded with more leaves.

The 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid is new, but its software and hardware technology have been evolving for nearly two decades. C-MAX Hybrid is powered through the combination of a gasoline engine and a battery-driven electric motor. When powered by gasoline, the C-MAX Hybrid uses the all-new 2.0-liter Atkinsoncycle four-cylinder engine a powerful and fuel-efficient engine and among the most advanced non-turbocharged four-cylinder powertrains Ford has ever offered.

The electric motor is powered by an advanced li-ion battery system designed to maximize use of common, highquality components, such as control board hardware that has proven field performance in Ford’s critically acclaimed hybrid vehicles.

C-MAX Hybrid also offers Ford’s next-generation powersplit architecture that allows the electric motor and gasoline-powered engine to work together or separately to maximize efficiency. The engine also can operate independently of vehicle speed, charging the batteries or providing power to the wheels as needed. The motor alone can provide sufficient power to the wheels in lowspeed, low-load conditions and work with the engine at higher speeds.

The li-ion battery pack is recharged when the gasoline engine is in operation. Further, the regenerative braking system can recapture more than 95 percent of the braking energy that would otherwise be lost, and is able to use that power to help charge the battery. C-MAX Hybrid requires no plug-in charging.

C-MAX hybrid offer standard safety technologies such as the MyKey teen safety feature, SYNC 911 Assist and seven airbags. SYNC 911 Assist uses hands-free phone capabilities to connect the driver directly with a local 911 operator through the paired phone should an accident occur in which an airbag deploys.

The next-generation MyKey features now allow parents to choose from multiple top speed limits and blocking of explicit satellite radio programming. MyKey also provides a persistent audible warning if front occupants are not wearing seat belts.

C-MAX hybrid also feature standard safety and driver-assist technologies, including Curve Control that is designed to slow the vehicle when it’s cornering too fast and Torque Vectoring Control to help accelerate through a turn when necessary. AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control and electric power-assisted steering also are standard.

In conclusion, the 2013 C-Max is a very good car. It does the most basic automotive things well; it offers versatility, practicality and efficiency. The 2.0-liter hybrid powertrain is seamless in operation and delivers very impressive fuel economy in all driving cycles. Most important, the system develops sufficient power to make driving mildly engaging and enjoyable.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price starts at $28,200.00, the one I drove included the Premium Audio & Navigation Package, Hands-Free Technology Package, Power Liftgate, Rear View Camera, Keyless Entry/Start/Tailgate and Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Paint, and it came in at $31,605.00 including destination charge. The EPA fuel economy estimates 47 MPG city and 47 MPG highway.

Posted in CAR REVIEWS, Ford.

Emilio Lezcano

Journalist - Editor - Photographer
Professional Race Car Driver

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