Who goes in to the dealer looking for a VW GTI or Ford Focus ST and leaves with a hybrid!? This guy. The C-Max is like half a dozen cars all in one. It does 0-60 in less than 8 seconds, and has the quiet, solid handling of a Euro luxury car. It swallows cargo like a small van, with rear seats that fold flat at the pull of a lever, and the driver has a nice elevated seating position for a good view of the road. Yet it gets fuel economy of a tiny, tinny subcompact. Indeed, it's the best of all worlds.
I have owned a C-Max for about 2 months and 2000 miles now and overall think this is an excellent hybrid that is often overlooked. I have the base SE model with no options other than blue paint color. The base model is a good value at about $26K. The closest comparable car is the Toyota Prius V. The only advantages the Prius V has are more cargo space and a more thickly padded back seat (but the seat does not fold flat). I liked the C-Max better in all other areas. The C-Max has a lot more power than the Prius and accelerates quickly. The electric motor, engine, and transmission are very responsive and seamless if you have to punch the throttle to merge into traffic quickly.
Don't be put off by the negative reviews. The C-MAX really does get the advertised mileage. It's a very comfortable ride and fun to drive. The car has about 4500 miles on it, and I'm getting 52-53 MPG. The mileage does improve over the first 3000 miles! At 1000 miles the MPG was 43-44, at 2000 miles it was 46-47, and at 3000 miles it 49-50. If you follow the recommendations in the manual you should get the advertised 47 MPG: go gradually on the acceleration and stay around the speed limit. The key for good MPGs is to maximize travel in EV mode. Heavy acceleration and speeding keeps the hybrid in gas engine mode, and the MPGs drops rapidly: back off the accelerator to stay in EV mode.
I got my C-Max in March, and I have about 1300 miles on it. I have only stopped for fuel twice in that period, and neither time was I empty. When I got the car, the weather was cold and I got about 38 MPG overall. Since the weather improved, I have gotten 44 MPG overall and MPG is still going up. Since my last fill-up I have averaged 46.6. These figures are almost as good as Edmund's long term Prius-C. The C-Max is about more than mileage. It has a lot of power, at 8.5 seconds, its 0-60 is about the same as a 1976 Pontiac Trans Am. If you use that power you won't get Prius-type gas mileage. The cabin is comfortable with soft touch materials almost everywhere.
Researched long and hard, test drove Prius V, Mazda CX-5, and C-Max to replace '03 Highlander (great car by the way).Liked the room behind the second row in the V and CX-5 and the driveability of the CX-5. Liked the mileage (knew it didn't get 47/47/47), acceleration, handling, quietness, and accommodations in the C-Max. I have put about 1500 miles on the car so far and am getting about 43 mpg overall. Having fun playing the hybrid game! Much of my driving is in town or two lane rural highway. The mileage does suffer if you go over 65 mph. Diesel is probably the way to go if you want great interstate mileage.