2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Consumer Review: High Expectations...but....

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid - Consumer Review

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful
High Expectations...but....
By teddyp27 on


2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)


I thumbed through a lot of the reviews on Edmunds.com and it seems like we are experiencing a lot of the same things.
We ordered our CMax with dreams of high MPG and ruled out a Mazda CX5 solely because of it.
Had I known we'd be averaging low-to-mid 30's overall I think I would have bought the Mazda instead.
We follow all of the recommended driving behaviors but the fact is "highway" really means 70+ MPH (not 60 when EPA standards were written) and some of the nation (even Dearborn, MI) has cold weather.
We will be happy if we can get it to about 40 mpg now that we are past the legendary 500 mile "break in period".

42 month update: Overall we are satisfied with our CMax. We've experienced the same quirks with the Sync/Touch most drivers fuss about. Mileage is about 35mpg in highway only driving (70-75 mph mixed terrain) and 42-47 in urban/rural driving with a lifetime average of 38. We've had a few "software updates" at the dealer and none of them "took" the first time and on one occasion we had to leave the car for a week for a new computer component. We can't wait until we get our Tesla and they come automatically. Just replaced original tires around 57k miles.

Best Features

  • Outward visibility
  • Active safety
  • Rain snow traction
  • Headlights
  • Parking aids
  • Usb ports

Worst Features

  • Bluetooth

Recommend (5) (0)

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By teddyp27
on 06/14/13 11:14 AM (PDT)

Thanks for the comments! We use the graphics a lot to help coach us and we know that hybrid driving is a different skill set, but the reality is highway speeds are over 65 mph in most cases and to drive safely you have to maintain average speed with the traffic. The first 3 months of driving were in winter conditions (ran the heater fan a lot as well which turns the gas engine on more quickly). I can drive 40-60 mph on gentle hills in 40-60 degree weather and I get average trips in excess of 50mpg! We also got a "satisfaction recall" by Ford to update the software in the MyTouch Sync this week. That should help with some of the bugs.

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By hof
on 06/10/13 19:35 PM (PDT)

I agree with tworvpcmaxsel. I have a few more tips. When the computer wants the engine to run, don't fight it. You'll see the MPG meter around 20 MPG while on engine power. Don't panic because it charges the battery roughly a miles worth for every mile the engine runs. Over my first 2000 miles, I have been in EV mode for just over half the miles, with another 160 miles from regenerative braking. The C-Max is at its best as a city car. If you do a lot of freeway driving, especially at over 65 MPH, you might be more satisfied with a VW diesel, or even a Camry or Fusion hybrid. The Fusion's superior aerodynamics are good for an extra 2-3 MPG highway with the same powertrain.

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By tworvpcmaxsel
on 05/31/13 14:23 PM (PDT)

First of all...the Break in Period is actually 1000 miles! Secondly, We’ve had out C-Max SEL Hybrid for just over 2 weeks and just passed the 1000 mile Break in Distance! My Wife drives ours around 38 miles one way to work and she on Both Interstate, State Route Highways and some City Driving and she has been averaging around 40-42 MPG nearly from the start! A friend of Ours has a C-Max and he told us about it before we went to check it out and Informed us how to drive it properly to get the best MPG! Here is what He Told US: "You need to Mastered the art of the Gradual Starts and stops! The Eco-Setting is critical to maximize your fuel economy, go into them and set them up, there is one for the cruise control, that will auto-set the others. Next set up the braking coach, you want to strive for 80% while learning, and work up to a 100% score. Now, don't worry about wearing out the brakes doing this. Why? The C-Max and Fusion Hybrids get special ceramic brake pad that wear much longer and help generate power to help recharge the batteries. On the left side of the dash you see several screens, the one marked *engage is the one I use most. The average mpg should be showing around 40 mpg on the *engage setting, this will climb as the slow an start routines become habit. For now when you shut off the car look at the engage part of the screen and you'll see up to the minute mpg figures. Yesterday it told me I got 49.2 mpg running around town. Driving speeds. No two cars are the same. The C-Max will shift between the gas and ev mode up to 62 mph. My C-Max will run 63 mph in ev-mode. I drove around till I found where the C-Max likes to be run. For instance I get better mpg running 53 mph over 55 mph (nearly 3 more mpg) and 33 mph over 35 mph (nearly 5 more mpg). However 2 mph slower doesn't always ring true, My car likes 47 mph over 45 mph (3 mpg variation). Hope this helps you out like it has my wife and I? One more thing...I noticed that our old car went much Further on a tank of gas when I used the 2-5 cent higher Brand Name Gas than the Cheaper Off-Brand!! So this may have an Effect on your C-Max MPG as well?

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