Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI volkswagen greenreviews ford car comparisons
Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI volkswagen greenreviews ford car comparisons
Top: 2013 Ford C-Max. Bottom: 2013 VW Golf. Click image to enlarge.

Interior Packaging

Regular readers may not want to hear anymore about how well suited the Golf Wagon is for my family, but humour me. It’s just right, front seat space is generous, and rear seat legroom is sufficient to set up our son’s rear-facing infant seat with just enough room for my wife to be comfortable. The seats themselves are excellent in the European fashion, firm, supportive but contoured to provide comfort for more average bodies.

The rear seatbacks can be folded down to turn the large, wide 929 L trunk into 1,897 L of hauling space, although I wouldn’t call the floor perfectly flat. With seatbacks in place and child seats set up, that cargo space was perfectly judged to accommodate my monstrous hockey bag and the full length of our stroller easily fit the width of the trunk, with room for extra bags without impinging on rearward visibility; it was one of my favourite features of the Golf Wagon. Not the nav system (which I almost never used), not the panoramic sunroof (okay, that was pretty nice), and not the climate control (I’m doing just fine without that in our CR-V).

While I prefer the hard cargo cover of the C-Max, it is inevitable that such a long space use a roll-out cover. The last notable feature of the Golf Wagon’s trunk is the trick floor that folds up to reduce the floor surface area (at two different sizes) so that groceries or other packages can be packed in more securely, leaving you free to drive like a maniac home from the supermarket.

Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI volkswagen greenreviews ford car comparisons
Comparison Test: 2013 Ford C Max Hybrid vs 2013 Volkswagen Golf Wagon TDI volkswagen greenreviews ford car comparisons
Top: 2013 Ford C-Max. Bottom: 2013 VW Golf. Click image to enlarge.

The C-Max is notably shorter (4,409 mm to the Golf’s 4,556), but manages to make up for it in wheelbase (2,649 to the Golf’s 2,578) and height. While front and rear legroom offer better measurements (40 and 20 mm, respectively), it’s not noticeable, and somehow the relationship between front and rear seats means there is less knee-room for a front passenger in front of our son’s reverse-facing infant seat – I spent one entire trip home with my legs literally crushed against the glovebox, though my wife, at about five feet, didn’t find it excessively cramped. The seats themselves were comfortable, but not quite as much as the Golf’s.

However, one bright spot in the C-Max was child seat installation: I liked that the LATCH anchors were close to the surface, as opposed to the deepset Golf anchors. Also, the little bit of extra height made wrestling my daughter into her seat easier.

Cargo space was not great on its own, the shallow depth of the 698-L trunk forcing me to pack the stroller above the hockey bag in the “Canadian Dad cargo test.” Also worth noting was the difficulty in getting our long stroller in as it exceeded the width of the door opening and had to be stuffed into the recessed alcove for the rear quarter window in order to fit. But who doesn’t like a power tailgate, even if it wasn’t the hokey-pokey foot-operated tailgate on top-trim models. And despite the hybrid’s batteries forcing the cargo floor up a few inches (which does make loading easier), the rear seats split 60/40 and fold completely flat for a maximum cargo volume of 1,490 L.

Despite that, it’s not enough to better the Volkswagen’s generous cargo space and right-sized passenger space.




About Jonathan Yarkony

Jonathan Yarkony is the Senior Editor for Autos.ca, a Brampton-based automotive writer with eight years of experience evaluating cars and an AJAC member.