2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid
From the front, the C-Max looks a lot like a Ford Focus. That's because the two cars share their Kinetic design language and are underpinned by Ford's the Global C Platform.
Under the hood is a 2.0-liter gas-electric hybrid that outputs a maximum 188 horsepower while also averaging an EPA estimated 47 mpg combined.
C-Max Hybrid and Energi
Later this year, a plug-in version of the C-Max -- dubbed the C-Max Energi -- will debut, featuring increased EV range and potentially higher average fuel economy.
The C-Max features an enlarged lower grille relative to that of the Focus, but similar wind-swept headlamps. From this angle, it's difficult to discern its size.
The C-Max is smaller than it looks in photos, slotting in between the Ford Focus and the Ford Escape crossover where its size is concerned. This is likely the reason that the automaker chose to discontinue the Escape Hybrid.
The C-Max also straddles the divide between the Toyota Prius and Prius v, offering more passenger room than the Prius but also better fuel economy than the larger v.
Safety and convenience tech
Rearward visibility is good in the easily parkable C-Max, but drivers can still benefit from optional proximity sensors, cross traffic alerts, a rear camera, and Ford's park assist system, which can automatically parallel park the vehicle for you.
When equipped with the smart keyless entry and the hands-free liftgate options, drivers open the motorized rear hatch by simply approaching the vehicle and holding a foot beneath the rear bumper.
Inside, the C-Max's dashboard resembles the configuration present in the Ford Escape. Materials are high quality.
The C-Max Hybrid comes standard with Ford's Smartgauge instrument cluster. This will look familiar to anyone who's read our review of the previous-generation Ford Fusion Hybrid, but the new system has been tweaked and revised substantially.
The Smartgauge's left LCD can be configured to display a variety of information. Four presets include Engage, Inform, Empower, and Enlighten. Engage, shown here, displays the most information, including power output, EV mode info, and fuel economy.
Inform is the simplest of the four display modes, showing only instant fuel economy. There is also a user-configurable preset and a simple histogram of fuel consumption.
Right LCD (Smartgauge)
The right-hand LCD gives users the ability to mirror information from the navigation system, the hands-free calling system, and the media player. There's also one of those "eco leaves" gauges that rewards green driving with virtual plant growth.
Ford's MyFord Touch system can also be spec'd on the C-Max Hybrid and is available both with and without navigation.