Used 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid Wagon Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Used 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid Wagon Review

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2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid Wagon

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Summary

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid Wagon

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid is an interesting alternative to compact crossovers, wagons and hybrids. Its high fuel economy and refined driving manners make it especially appealing.

  • Pros

    Impressive gas mileage; stylish and well-made interior; refined ride; responsive handling; quick acceleration; abundant features list; elevated driving position.

  • Cons

    Long braking distances; less cargo space than rivals; finicky infotainment controls.

  • What's New for 2014

    Apart from minor tweaks to the transmission and body aerodynamics to improve fuel efficiency, the Ford C-Max continues essentially unchanged for 2014.

Review

Although the iconic Prius remains the front runner among hybrids and small cars that get great fuel economy, the 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid could very well have you reconsidering your options. Although its gas mileage isn't quite as good as the Toyota's, the C-Max is still very miserly. And more importantly, the C-Max hatchback/wagon has a lot of appeal beyond just EPA mpg ratings.

Starting things off for the Ford C-Max is essentially the same hybrid powertrain that Ford uses for its Fusion Hybrid sedan. Here, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine plus electric motor combo is good for 188 horsepower and an EPA rating of 40 mpg combined.

In profile, the five-passenger C-Max is a little taller than your typical hatchback or wagon, and that gives this four-door hatchback/wagon mash-up a nice little boost in interior room for passengers. The C-Max also boasts a handsome interior design trimmed in quality materials and, depending on the trim level, plenty of handy high-tech convenience features. Behind the wheel, we've been impressed with the car's grown-up, refined feel. This wagon offers composed handling, a comfortable ride and low levels of wind and road noise.

These qualities are even more apparent in comparison to the Prius, which lags behind in terms of interior design and road-going refinement. That said, if you're looking for as much space as possible, the C-Max isn't the best choice, especially compared to the bigger, more wagonlike 2014 Toyota Prius V. Other choices for a roomy family shuttle with a small footprint -- but lower fuel economy -- might include a compact SUV, such as the well-regarded 2014 Honda CR-V, a small wagon such as Volkswagen's Jetta TDI SportWagen or the one true minivan, the Mazda 5. Overall, though, we're pretty fond of Ford's versatile C-Max.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid hatchback wagon seats five and is available in two trim levels: SE and SEL. The plug-in hybrid version -- the C-Max Energi -- is reviewed separately.

The SE trim comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, integrated blind-spot mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, the Sync voice command system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Available options on the SE include the Power Liftgate and Rear Park Aid package, which adds rear parking sensors, a power liftgate and ambient interior lighting. Another package is the Sync and MyFord Touch package, which gets you an enhanced gauge cluster, a touchscreen display, extra Sync services and satellite radio. A navigation system can be added when both of these options are selected. The Winter package includes heated seats and mirrors.

All of the above comes standard on the SEL, with the exception of the power liftgate and navigation system. Additional perks of the SEL include foglights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way lumbar adjustment), leather upholstery and an auto-dimming mirror.

The Premium Audio and Navigation package adds the navigation system and a nine-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio. To this you can add the Hands-Free Technology package, which includes a rearview camera and an enhanced power liftgate that allows you to open it simply by swiping your foot under the bumper. The Parking Technology package (requires the previous two packages) includes front parking sensors and an automatic parallel parking system.

Both trim levels can be equipped with a panoramic sunroof and remote start.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine good for 141 horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Combined, they produce 188 hp. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

In Edmunds performance testing, the C-Max Hybrid went from zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, which is about 2 seconds quicker than a Prius but a little slower than the latest batch of hybrid midsize sedans.

Although Ford recently made tweaks to the car's transmission and body aerodynamics to improve fuel efficiency, recently revised EPA ratings stand at 40 mpg combined (42 mpg city/37 mpg highway).

Safety

Every 2014 C-Max Hybrid comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Also standard are 911 Assist, which automatically calls for emergency services via a Sync-paired smartphone, and MyKey, which allows owners to set certain speed and stereo volume parameters for teen drivers. Rear parking sensors are available on both trim levels, while the SEL model can be equipped with front parking sensors and a rearview camera.

In Edmunds brake testing, the C-Max Hybrid came to a stop from 60 mph in 134 feet, which is about 10 feet longer than average in its segment.

In government crash tests, the C-Max Hybrid received four (out of five) stars for overall protection, with four stars for overall frontal protection and five stars for overall side protection. The C-Max Hybrid received the best possible rating of "Good" in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's moderate overlap frontal-offset, side crash and roof strength tests, as well as a "Good" rating for its seat/head restraint design for whiplash protection in rear impacts. The C-Max Hybrid received the second-highest score of "Acceptable" in the IIHS's small overlap frontal-offset test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The C-Max Hybrid's cabin will feel familiar if you've driven a Focus or Escape, which is a very good thing since these cars all incorporate top-notch materials, solid construction and eye-catching design. The supportive, high-mounted driver seat gives you a slightly more commanding view of the road than you'll get in most wagons and hatchbacks.

Unfortunately, the C-Max also shares its finicky infotainment interface with its Ford siblings. Even the radio controls are somewhat complicated to use in the base model. Meanwhile, the optional MyFord Touch interface remains an imperfect and generally counterintuitive means of controlling the car's many functions. On the positive side, the combination of MyFord Touch and the Sync voice control system does allow for useful hands-free operation and various display customization possibilities. You'll certainly want to spend some time with the system during your test-drive to make sure you're OK with MyFord Touch's learning curve.

Although the C-Max has more cargo capacity than a compact sedan or hatchback, it falls short of similarly priced wagons and SUVs. In fairness, the hybrid system's battery pack (mounted under the cargo floor) reduces potential capacity only slightly. Instead, Ford has chosen to emphasize passenger space, and indeed, rear-seat space and comfort are strong, with generous legroom and abundant headroom for adults.

The trade-off is that there are only 24.5 cubic feet available behind the rear seats -- about the same as in a Focus hatchback. Lowering the rear seats, however, yields 52.6 cubic feet of space. That's much better than a Focus, but still 15 cubes shy of the Prius V wagon or a typical small crossover SUV.

Driving Impressions

Like other recent Fords, the 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid feels like a more expensive European car in the way it's been tuned to provide both responsive handling and a refined ride. While that ride isn't exactly cushy, there's a substantial feel to the way the C-Max goes down the road. The cabin is also notably quiet, especially compared to the Prius V, and the Ford's communicative steering is another comparative strong point. One of the few things you'll have to get used to when driving a C-Max Hybrid is the slightly awkward, grabby feel of the brakes at low speeds (due to the energy-recovering braking system).

Otherwise, the 2014 Ford C-Max's hybrid system is worthy of praise. Running in electric-only propulsion mode at relatively high speeds helps the C-Max Hybrid post impressive fuel economy numbers. Acceleration is also strong for a hybrid hatchback/wagon, and highway passing isn't the weak-kneed chore normally associated with hybrids.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid Wagon

What's New for 2014

Apart from minor tweaks to the transmission and body aerodynamics to improve fuel efficiency, the Ford C-Max continues essentially unchanged for 2014.

Introduction

Although the iconic Prius remains the front runner among hybrids and small cars that get great fuel economy, the 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid could very well have you reconsidering your options. Although its gas mileage isn't quite as good as the Toyota's, the C-Max is still very miserly. And more importantly, the C-Max hatchback/wagon has a lot of appeal beyond just EPA mpg ratings.

Starting things off for the Ford C-Max is essentially the same hybrid powertrain that Ford uses for its Fusion Hybrid sedan. Here, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine plus electric motor combo is good for 188 horsepower and an EPA rating of 40 mpg combined.

In profile, the five-passenger C-Max is a little taller than your typical hatchback or wagon, and that gives this four-door hatchback/wagon mash-up a nice little boost in interior room for passengers. The C-Max also boasts a handsome interior design trimmed in quality materials and, depending on the trim level, plenty of handy high-tech convenience features. Behind the wheel, we've been impressed with the car's grown-up, refined feel. This wagon offers composed handling, a comfortable ride and low levels of wind and road noise.

These qualities are even more apparent in comparison to the Prius, which lags behind in terms of interior design and road-going refinement. That said, if you're looking for as much space as possible, the C-Max isn't the best choice, especially compared to the bigger, more wagonlike 2014 Toyota Prius V. Other choices for a roomy family shuttle with a small footprint -- but lower fuel economy -- might include a compact SUV, such as the well-regarded 2014 Honda CR-V, a small wagon such as Volkswagen's Jetta TDI SportWagen or the one true minivan, the Mazda 5. Overall, though, we're pretty fond of Ford's versatile C-Max.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid hatchback wagon seats five and is available in two trim levels: SE and SEL. The plug-in hybrid version -- the C-Max Energi -- is reviewed separately.

The SE trim comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, integrated blind-spot mirrors, cruise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, the Sync voice command system, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB audio interface.

Available options on the SE include the Power Liftgate and Rear Park Aid package, which adds rear parking sensors, a power liftgate and ambient interior lighting. Another package is the Sync and MyFord Touch package, which gets you an enhanced gauge cluster, a touchscreen display, extra Sync services and satellite radio. A navigation system can be added when both of these options are selected. The Winter package includes heated seats and mirrors.

All of the above comes standard on the SEL, with the exception of the power liftgate and navigation system. Additional perks of the SEL include foglights, automatic wipers, keyless ignition and entry, heated front seats, an eight-way power driver seat (with two-way lumbar adjustment), leather upholstery and an auto-dimming mirror.

The Premium Audio and Navigation package adds the navigation system and a nine-speaker Sony sound system with HD radio. To this you can add the Hands-Free Technology package, which includes a rearview camera and an enhanced power liftgate that allows you to open it simply by swiping your foot under the bumper. The Parking Technology package (requires the previous two packages) includes front parking sensors and an automatic parallel parking system.

Both trim levels can be equipped with a panoramic sunroof and remote start.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine good for 141 horsepower and 121 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery pack. Combined, they produce 188 hp. Power is sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

In Edmunds performance testing, the C-Max Hybrid went from zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds, which is about 2 seconds quicker than a Prius but a little slower than the latest batch of hybrid midsize sedans.

Although Ford recently made tweaks to the car's transmission and body aerodynamics to improve fuel efficiency, recently revised EPA ratings stand at 40 mpg combined (42 mpg city/37 mpg highway).

Safety

Every 2014 C-Max Hybrid comes standard with antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a driver knee airbag. Also standard are 911 Assist, which automatically calls for emergency services via a Sync-paired smartphone, and MyKey, which allows owners to set certain speed and stereo volume parameters for teen drivers. Rear parking sensors are available on both trim levels, while the SEL model can be equipped with front parking sensors and a rearview camera.

In Edmunds brake testing, the C-Max Hybrid came to a stop from 60 mph in 134 feet, which is about 10 feet longer than average in its segment.

In government crash tests, the C-Max Hybrid received four (out of five) stars for overall protection, with four stars for overall frontal protection and five stars for overall side protection. The C-Max Hybrid received the best possible rating of "Good" in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's moderate overlap frontal-offset, side crash and roof strength tests, as well as a "Good" rating for its seat/head restraint design for whiplash protection in rear impacts. The C-Max Hybrid received the second-highest score of "Acceptable" in the IIHS's small overlap frontal-offset test.

Interior Design and Special Features

The C-Max Hybrid's cabin will feel familiar if you've driven a Focus or Escape, which is a very good thing since these cars all incorporate top-notch materials, solid construction and eye-catching design. The supportive, high-mounted driver seat gives you a slightly more commanding view of the road than you'll get in most wagons and hatchbacks.

Unfortunately, the C-Max also shares its finicky infotainment interface with its Ford siblings. Even the radio controls are somewhat complicated to use in the base model. Meanwhile, the optional MyFord Touch interface remains an imperfect and generally counterintuitive means of controlling the car's many functions. On the positive side, the combination of MyFord Touch and the Sync voice control system does allow for useful hands-free operation and various display customization possibilities. You'll certainly want to spend some time with the system during your test-drive to make sure you're OK with MyFord Touch's learning curve.

Although the C-Max has more cargo capacity than a compact sedan or hatchback, it falls short of similarly priced wagons and SUVs. In fairness, the hybrid system's battery pack (mounted under the cargo floor) reduces potential capacity only slightly. Instead, Ford has chosen to emphasize passenger space, and indeed, rear-seat space and comfort are strong, with generous legroom and abundant headroom for adults.

The trade-off is that there are only 24.5 cubic feet available behind the rear seats -- about the same as in a Focus hatchback. Lowering the rear seats, however, yields 52.6 cubic feet of space. That's much better than a Focus, but still 15 cubes shy of the Prius V wagon or a typical small crossover SUV.

Driving Impressions

Like other recent Fords, the 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid feels like a more expensive European car in the way it's been tuned to provide both responsive handling and a refined ride. While that ride isn't exactly cushy, there's a substantial feel to the way the C-Max goes down the road. The cabin is also notably quiet, especially compared to the Prius V, and the Ford's communicative steering is another comparative strong point. One of the few things you'll have to get used to when driving a C-Max Hybrid is the slightly awkward, grabby feel of the brakes at low speeds (due to the energy-recovering braking system).

Otherwise, the 2014 Ford C-Max's hybrid system is worthy of praise. Running in electric-only propulsion mode at relatively high speeds helps the C-Max Hybrid post impressive fuel economy numbers. Acceleration is also strong for a hybrid hatchback/wagon, and highway passing isn't the weak-kneed chore normally associated with hybrids.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 7 reviews) Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Impressed!

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid

We bought this car on a whim 18 months ago and have been impressed with the handling and fuel efficiency. We now have 50,000+ miles and with the warmer weather(50+) am seeing 45+ mpg which is impressive for the high percentage of highway driving. And while I am a conservative driver when accelerating and braking this car is VERY responsive when needed for merging into high speed traffic. I've also never had a car hug the road as well as this car on sharp curves. Only once did the car not start and had to be towed to the dealer. After replacing a faulty part in the ignition the only other service has been the 10,000 mile oil changes. If we continue to have the same experience for the next 50-70,000 miles we will be most satisfied with this purchase.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Too many problems for less than 2 years old

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid

we had to replace the Brakes and rotors in the rear after 6 months of owning the cmax. Now we are being told the whole suspension, rotors, brakes is shot and needs replaced again after having a year and half. This should not be happening. Had to replace the windshield and now the automatic wipers don't work, plus there is only two speeds on the wipers too slow and super fast and even the super fast doesn't work well. The clock will not stay on time, and the electronics went crazy on me. radio randomly shutting off, could no longer get text messages to come in. There is a roaring in the back so you can barely talk to the person next you, for a hybrid it is not quiet on the highway! Now there are some good things about the car. I love space in the front and back seat. Easy to get my daughters carseat in and out and I love the MPG but with all the mechanically issue with only owning for a year and half I am not happy.



9 of 10 people found this review helpful

We love it!

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid

We have our C-Max Hybrid for about 4 months & love it! My wife drives 22 miles 1/way to work and during the winter months she has seen 50 MPG on her drive and 4 month average of about 39 MPG. Now that it has warmed up she has seen 52.9 MPG over the 22 mile drive. I am a engineer and I will say I am impressed with the hybrid control system! Very smooth when gas engine starts/stops. We have learned to leave the heater off for short trips in town because if you have the heater turned on it will start the gas engine to give heat but in a one mile trip it's not going to warm it anyway. Leaving the heater off it will drive via electric vehicle.



7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Could not be more pleased with our c-max

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid

!0,000 miles, 9 months. Getting 44 MPG all around. Very quiet, extremely comfortable, good performance. Have had zero issues. This is the first new car I have owned that hasn't had some defect in the first year. Better than 2 new Toyota's I have owned. Gauges / dash info system is excellent. Sound system is excellent. Fit/finish excellent. Glad to buy a car like this made in Michigan by UAW.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Great commuter car

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid

I LOVE my C-Max. I've had it since the end of July and have 3,700 miles on it. I've averaged 44 mpg on my daily commute over several hills. The colder weather has now dropped it down to 39 mpg but that is still excellent. The ride is quiet, the seats are comfortable, and the Ford MyTouch/Sync system was very easy to figure out and is very easy to use. On my second year and still love this car - still average 44 mpg on my daily commute in the spring/summer/fall and 40 during the winter months. My only complaint on this car is it is hard to park so I would recommend to anyone to get the auto parking feature.



7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Great car, worth taking the time to consider

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid

Very happy with the car after 2200 miles and averaging 44 MPG in a mix of highway and city during my normal commute. Think of the car as a mini-minvan - some cargo capacity (not a ton without dropping the back seat) but a solid commuter vehicle. Will run on electric power up to about 65 MPH. Cute efficiency monitor to train you on best MPG. Driving over 70 will run engine all the time for lowest MPG. Definitely shop for the base SE model - much better deal and the manual cloth seats work just fine. I avoided the MyTouch radio and glad I did. Replaced an Escape hybrid so I knew about driving a hybrid but no problems with learning how to keep it on electric often.



Talk About The 2014 C-Max Hybrid

2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid Discussions See all Started By

Michaell
Michaell
01-06-2015
Thanks for the response. Wish I had seen it before I finished my negotiations; it would have cleared up some confusion. In any event, I got a 2014 C-Max Hybrid SEL with 301A package (navigation) las...


phill1
phill1
04-04-2013
I`m a committed Ford Buyer now and feel the C-MAX Hybrid is my best option. I would have kept the Ford Fiesta and traded in my 2012 Kia Rio5 instead due to its very (poor) fuel economy but it still ...



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 42
  • cty
/
  • 37
  • highway
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