Original review from 2015: I was in the market for a plug in hybrid vehicle, so choices were limited to the Prius, the Volt, and the C-Max. I test drove all 3, and my favorite was the C-Max. I chose it over the Prius because it was more fun to drive and had more built-in technology such as the navigation, entertainment center, bluetooth, voice commands, park assist, hands-free tailgate opening. The Volt had better acceleration , was low to the ground, and had a sports car feel. Being a family guy, I opted for the C-Max which had a SUV-like look and feel (it is higher off the ground and had better visibility of the road). It is my first Ford car, and it is fun to drive. I have been averaging 70mpg on a 50 mile commute to work. I work in Los Angeles and have found many places that supply the 220v outlets so I plug in while at work. The only negative is the small trunk but that is a small inconvenience I can live with. March 8, 2017: it is now 18 months since I bought this car. Now have about 30K miles on it. My original review still stands. I continue to love my car. It is reliable and never had any mechanical or engine issues. My two complaints are sometimes the hands-free tailgate function doesn't work all the time, and the navigation system is not as good as my iPhone. It's a bit clumsy to use and can't find some points of interest when I try to type it on the screen. The voice recognition when asking for directions is not great either.
I've been scratching my head for the last year (that's how long I've owned my C-Max Energi) as to why Ford doesn't market this car (the regular Hybrid and the plug-in) against the hot-segment "subcompact SUV's" where it is essentially the same size (though different styling), and is cost-competitive (with the continuous incentives) while being so much better in so many ways - quieter, much better passing/merging power, much better mileage, higher-quality interior, better visibility, etc...My spouse has the Subaru XV Crosstrek, one of the more popular subcompact SUV's and while it's a nice car that we like, my C-Max Energi is better in almost every respect, even though I paid thousands less (after tax credit and incentives) than my spouse paid. Other than the lack of all-wheel drive (which I don't care about) and the XV Crosstrek's higher ground clearance, the Subaru has essentially no advantages even though it costs more. By the way, the exterior dimensions of the two cars are within about an inch or so on length/width/height, and my perception is that the C-Max has a higher ride-height for the driver than the Crosstrek, though that may just be my perception. I think only marketing the car as a Prius alternative (when they market it at all) has severely hurt the C-Max sales, since the C-Max will clearly not win purely on MPG; but it is such a better car in every other way that it's a shame they don't do more to broaden the appeal/category. Even letting it be pegged as a hatch-back/wagon hurts it since it really could fit into a few different categories (my view). Anyway, as someone who years ago swore I would NEVER own another Ford, I've been very pleased with my C-Max Energy. I would also like to say the Sync / MyFord Touch system gets a bad rap; as I've driven many different brands with their proprietary systems and Ford's is fine - certainly no worse than any of the others I've used, and because there are redundant ways to do everything if you don't like one way to do something, you have other options. I understand that the early versions of Ford's system (before most other brands had their own) had issues, the grudge in the auto press seems entirely unwarranted based on my experience. I hope Ford finds a way to keep this car going because it's a joy to drive and own. I was not interested in a hybrid when I started car-shopping, but bought it because of everything else it offered (and at a lower price) than the cars I was shopping it against it. I likely would not have considered it without all of the incentives it had, but have been very happy I landed on this car.
I love my C-Max energi. I use the 120 volt powercord that came with the vehicle and get the full 5.5 kWh charge in 7 hours for about $.60. That charge carries me 15-20 miles, depending on conditions. Because I do mostly city driving with daily recharging, I get 67 mpg overall. This average is based on 6 months of daily use. Before I got the C-Max, I had a MINI Cooper. It was nice and sporty, but my daughters had outgrown it. We are a tall family, and all 4 of us are comfortably spread out in the C-Max. The kids like the color-changing "disco lights" in the footweels when we drive at night. The one problem is cargo space, buy hey, I bought this car for commuting--not road trips. I love the controls, the quiet drive and the stereo. The GPS can be a little difficult to program, however. I like the back-up camera, but find it difficult to gauge how close I am to another car on the front end. The curved drop off of the front fender makes it hard to determine how much space lies in front of the vehicle. This is such a great car! I've owned two BMW's, a Saab, a few VW's and let me tell you: the Ford C-max is NICER than all the other cars! Ford hit a home run, as far as this environmentally conscious family is concerned. And it's made in DETROIT!!!! My only complaint is that Ford is not bragging and advertising more. Every American family should own a C-Max. It really is that good.
I own a 2015 Ford C-Max Energi, it now has 20,000 miles. The C-Max only needs one oil change per 10,000 miles that cost around $40. Rides and handles good with peppy acceleration. The power adjustable leather driver?s seat is super comfortable. The dealer convinced me to buy the premium extended warrantee because it?s a $32,000 car. But some of us in CA get $10,000 in credits so the C-Max Energi only cost me $22,000. So for driving comfort, handling and reliability I give it 5 stars. The only thing I dislike is the NAV and clunky radio interface. In the 2017 models they have a better system. I looked at the Nissan Leaf, low range and lower crash test. The Chev Volt is more of a sports car, low to the ground and only seats 4, the 2017 seats 5 if your passengers are small. The C-Max is higher like a Honda CRV and has lots of head room for tall people. Short people will like that driver?s seat will adjust way up. The backup camera works good and it?s nice to be able to swing your foot to open the power lift gate. The key fob is big but it never needs to leave your pocket or purse. The trunk space is small but you be amazed at what you can fit in the C-Max. I can fit 2 adults, 3 kids, large cooler with drinks and snacks, 5 folding beach chairs, 1 beach tent and umbrella, 5 beach towels and 3 foam boogie boards. The C-Max Energi is only cost effective if you get good rebates and have cheap electricity under .15 per Kilowatt. Otherwise your better off just buying a C-Max Hybrid or Fusion Hybrid. I use one tank of gas per month at $33. I plug-in whenever the car is in the driveway so I can do all my local driving using the electricity from the solar system. I was getting ripped off and paying .40 kwh, but now I have solar so it?s about .09 kwh. I also installed the 220V charger so it only takes 2.5 hours for a full charge. I can go 18-22 miles on only electric. The yearly cost for 15,000 miles, based on $2.60 for gas and .15 kwh, 60% Highway & 40% Local is about $800 for gas and electricity for the C-Max Energy. The cost for the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid is about $1000 per year. My fuel cost using Solar is about $396 for Gas and $240 for electric, or $640 per year.
This car gets amazing gas mileage, much better than advertised and much better than my Prius. It is very fun to drive, with much more peppiness and acceleration than other hybrids. Comes well equipped for the price compared to other hybrids in its class.