An all new crossover SUV or multi-purpose vehicle enters the Ford line up this year. The C-MAX, a model that has been sold in Europe for several years, will be sold in the United States and Canada beginning this fall. Based on the platform underpinning the all-new Ford Escape, the Ford C-MAX will be offered as a hybrid only, sold as a conventional and plug-in hybrid editions.
The standard C-MAX Hybrid will retail from $25,995, about $1,300 less than the competing Toyota Prius V. Its estimated fuel economy is 47 mpg, beating out the Prius V by 3 mpg. Expect Ford and Toyota to battle heavily for customers in this hybrid niche.
Ford powers the C-MAX with a 2.0-liter four cylinder engine that runs on the efficient Atkinson cycle and pairs it with a continuously variable transmission. This model also features a lithium-ion battery that is smaller and lighter than the previous generation nickel-metal-hydride batteries used in previous Ford hybrid models. The C-MAX makes use of regenerative braking to harness electricity and store it for later use.
Ford is building the C-MAX at its Wayne Michigan Assembly Plant. Another model, the C-MAX Energi, will also be released, the latter a plug-in variety that will yield even greater fuel efficiency.
The C-MAX allows drivers to benefit from SmartGauge with EcoGuide, a feature that offers real-time information that allows drivers to enjoy improved fuel efficiency. SmartGauge “teaches” drivers how to best maximize fuel economy, by displaying what driver actions help fuel economy and which ones hurt it.
The five-passenger C-MAX is equipped with seven airbags including a driver’s knee air bag. This vehicle features an advanced roll stability control system and offers SYNC with MyFord Touch, a voice-activated telematics system that controls the cell phone, navigation, climate and entertainment functions.
Advanced technologies can be found in many of today’s Ford vehicles and the C-MAX is no exception. This model features active park assist, an available option that uses sonic radar to help drivers find a suitable parking space and automatically steer the car into its place. Curve control ensures that the C-MAX always stays planted on the road and electronic power-assisted steering improves handling.
One feature that is sure to please people with full hands is this model’s hands-free liftgate. The way that this works is that as long as the driver has her proximity key on her person or in the purse that she is carrying, the rear liftgate will automatically open when a simple kicking motion is performed under the rear bumper. Just kick and the trunk or liftgate automatically opens.
The front-wheel-drive C-MAX seats five passengers and sits on a 104.3-inch wheelbase. This vehicle is 173.6 inches long, 72.0 inches wide and 63.9 inches tall. Weighing from 3,682 pounds, the C-MAX offers 99.7 cubic feet of total passenger volume, 24.5 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the rear seat and 52.6 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down.