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Ford C-Max

The Prius fighter finally arrives.

HYBRID

Although the nameplate has been used in Europe for almost a decade, the C-Max is an all-new vehicle for the American market. Ford’s designated Toyota Prius fighter, the C-Max is a four-door hatchback with a hybrid powertrain. The 141-hp, 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine is aided by a 118-hp electric motor and a small lithium-ion battery pack, resulting in a peak total of 188 hp. (This hybrid powertrain is also used in the new Fusion.) It teams with a continuously variable transmission to earn the C-Max a rating of 47 mpg in both city and highway driving, which surpasses the Prius V by 3 mpg in the city and 7 mpg on the highway. In electric mode, 62 mph is possible. Commendably, the interaction between the gas and electric powertrain components is seamless. Before the end of the year, we’ll see the C-Max Energi, a plug-in hybrid that will afford greater electric-only range. The C-Max delivers more than just good fuel economy, however. Its accommodations are quite roomy, with an impressive 99.7 cubic feet of passenger volume and the added versatility of 60/40-split fold-flat rear seats and second-row in-floor storage bins. As with all new Fords of late, the C-Max can be had with a raft of high-tech goodies, such as Sync with My-Ford Touch, navigation, active park assist, and a power foot-activated liftgate.

COMPETITORS

Chevrolet Volt

Honda Insight

Toyota Prius

Volkswagen Jetta TDI

new for 2013

Everything — the C-Max is a new vehicle for Ford’s U.S. lineup, although it has been on sale in other markets for several years.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Front, side, side curtain, and driver’s knee air bags; ABS; traction and stability control; tire-pressure monitors; the SOS Post-Crash Alert System; programmable MyKey; and integrated blind-spot mirrors are standard. A rearview camera and a reverse sensing system are available.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 47

HWY 47

PRO

Fuel economy

Versatile packaging

Reasonably priced

CON

Heavy

Late to the hybrid party

Base Price Range: $25,995–$33,745

SPECIFICATIONS

DRIVE: Front-wheel

TRIM LEVELS: SE, SEL, Energi

BODY STYLE: Hatchback, 5-passenger

ENGINE: 2.0L I-4/electric hybrid, 188 hp net

TRANSMISSION: Continuously variable

PASSENGER VOLUME: 99.7 cu ft

CARGO SPACE: (rear seats up/down) 24.5/52.6 cu ft; (Energi, rear seats up/down) 19.2/42.8 cu ft

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