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Ford Canada

Review and photos by Paul Williams
Photo Gallery: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL

The Ford C-Max is an all-new Ford vehicle that slots in between the Focus sedan/hatch and Escape compact SUV. Bigger than the Focus upon which it is based, and smaller than the Escape, Ford describes the C-Max as a Multi-Activity Vehicle (MAV). It’s further and most obviously differentiated by its Hybrid or “Energi” plug-in hybrid drivetrain.

Our 2013 Ford C-MaxHybrid SEL test vehicle retailed for $34,497, which included options and freight charges. You’ll see this model advertised without options and freight for $30,199, and in base SE form for $27,199.

Test Drive: 2013 Ford C Max Hybrid SEL car test drives hybrids greenreviews ford
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL. Click image to enlarge

The $2,500 303A Equipment Group with which our vehicle was equipped included Intelligent Access with push-button start, heated and leather-trimmed seats (front seats heated…), ambient lighting, power driver’s seat, fog lamps, heated mirrors, perimeter alarm, power liftgate, rain-sensing wipers, satellite radio, premium audio and navigation system with rearview camera and self-parking technology (SAPP Automated Parking).

Standard C-Max equipment includes automatic climate control, CVT “automatic” transmission, power group with auto up/down windows, 110 volt outlet, compass, outside temperature display, SYNC voice-activated in-vehicle communications; tilt/telescoping steering wheel, rear spoiler and 17-inch alloy wheels.

It’s a full complement of desirable content for the money, in my view, and it was something that got my attention right away. Additionally, the C-Max feels solidly made, possessing a substantial heft to the doors, impressive fit and finish and pleasant interior surfaces. The impression is one of quality throughout.

Under the hood is a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine that in combination with an electric motor supplies 188 horsepower and 129 lb-ft of torque. This is about 50 hp more than the Toyota Prius, the vehicle Ford is targeting head-on with the C-Max.

The interior environment of the C-Max is similar to that of high-end Focus and Escape models, its dashboard layout following the latest Ford designs. Entering this vehicle required no key; you simply grasp the outside handle and the car unlocks. Similarly, inside you press an illuminated button beside the steering column, which brings it to life.

Test Drive: 2013 Ford C Max Hybrid SEL car test drives hybrids greenreviews ford
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL. Click image to enlarge

Because the C-Max is a full hybrid, starting it may mean that you don’t hear the familiar sound of an engine turning over and idling. On some occasions (extreme cold) the engine may fire conventionally, but to compensate for the possible lack of aural feedback, you get an illuminated “ready” display affirming that you can get underway. Of course, the instruments light up like a Christmas tree, which also gives it away.

A scan of the instruments and displays in front of you identifies that this is a truly modern vehicle. I’ve noted this about Fords for a while, now. The company’s SYNC with MyFordTouch is a technology that’s seen several years development and tweaking, resulting in a thorough reinvention of the driver-vehicle interface for their cars.

Yes, you can simply select “Drive” and go, but there’s so much more. We’ll return to this later.

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