2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid: Prius Killer? CNET On Cars Episode 8

Can the Ford C-Max knock the Prius off its lofty perch? And the Top 5 car technologies you won't regret paying for.

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Some 15 years after its introduction, the Toyota Prius still defines the hybrid car business. It's an amazing dominance, comparable with the iPod's position in the portable media player market. Prius models outsell all other hybrids combined in the U.S. but that doesn't mean they always will. Enter the Ford C-Max . The name is about as goofy as "Prius," but the mission is serious: to give the Prius some real competition and perhaps push it to second place. We'll see about that, starting with our in-depth video of the C-Max Hybrid (they also come in a plug-in version) at the top of this episode. And later in the show, I'll take you on a tour of the fascinating Wayne Assembly Plant where Ford builds these cars.

Daytime running lights have always been something of a mystery to me, and they continue to be so to the federal regulators who have allowed them but never required them. We'll take a look at the idea that you should have your lights on in the day during our Smarter Driver segment.

Car tech in the cabin is riddled with good, bad, and obsolete. So how do you pick just the good stuff in the next car you buy? Well, start by checking out our Top 5 in this episode, which runs down technologies I have no doubt will please you as long as you own the car (unless you're one of those who drives a car for 35 years and then takes a trophy with it in a Preservation class at Pebble!).

Car Tech 101 gets us into the technology behind blind-spot warning systems. The jury is out on whether they help much, at least in terms of accident statistics, but that hasn't been keeping people for asking for the technology: around two-thirds of new car buyers say they want drive assistance tech.

Keep that e-mail coming. A number of you have asked about the RSS feed for the show, and that's up at the top of this post. Subscribe away! And follow the CNETOnCars Twitter account and you'll know what I'm up to with the show as it happens.

About the author

Brian Cooley joined CNET in 1995 and always comes at technology from the real consumer's point of view. He brings his high energy, often skeptical style to all avenues of CNET coverage, with an emphasis on car tech. You'll also find him frequently on television, radio and the TV screens at Costco!

 

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