February 20, 2013
Now, about that SYNC with MyFord Touch interface. I think it’s truly a laudable design and when I drive Fords these days, I have to congratulate the company on the contemporary and farsighted way its vehicles have moved into the connected world.
You can do pretty much anything with this interface, from having it read emails and messages, to streaming music, to running much of the vehicle’s accessories with voice commands, connecting to it with apps and more. The displays are selectable, they coach you how to drive efficiently, and there’s more data than you’ll ever need. You could probably benefit from a morning’s seminar on mastering the whole kit.
Sure, it’s a pain to tune the radio, but that seems par for the course with many systems, so we’ll let that slide this time. But when the whole thing arbitrarily refuses to operate compliments of Microsoft, I get rattled.
2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL. Click image to enlarge
If I get in my car, start it up and reach for my navigation system to input data, I absolutely do not want Microsoft hijacking my vehicle while it attends to whatever needs it thinks are more important than mine. Just like at my desktop, where Microsoft pulls the same stunt while I’m browsing or working or trying to open software, it is beyond annoying when you don’t get a choice.
“Would you like Microsoft to perform its system diagnostics now?” should be the question I see on my vehicle (or desktop) display. Honestly, when it happens in your car, you roll your eyes in disbelief.
I was parked when this happened, I should make clear. I was trying to leave. My vehicle had other ideas. This kind of technical maintenance should be done when I shut it down, not when I start it up.
But enough of that. The Ford C-Max is a vehicle that will give the Prius a run for its money. Exterior design is a bit chunky, but not as quirky as the Prius. It looks modern and tidy and would provide a small family with an alternative to a standard hatchback car and a compact SUV. It does give you the high seating position of the latter, however, given its size, it should be more maneuverable in tight spaces. The jury’s out on the fuel economy. My results were so far off the official estimates that another test is required in more favourable conditions. Senior Editor Jonathan Yarkony managed a slightly better 7.2 L/100 km, also in winter, but not nearly as cold, so there is hope.
In other markets, the C-Max gets Ford’s 1.6L Ecoboost engine or a diesel engine. Here it’s hybrid or plug-in hybrid only. Like Toyota’s Prius, C-Max is a dedicated hybrid line. One more thing to consider is that some provinces offer generous rebates to those purchasing electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles (in Ontario it’s $5,808 when you purchase the C-Max Energi). At a price of $36,999, interested consumers may want to consider the C-Max Energi, therefore, if the price with rebate is close enough to your preferred C-Max Hybrid model. It would be my preferred choice.
Pricing: 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL
Options: Equipment Group 303A – $2,500; Block heater – $100
A/C Tax: $100
Price as tested: $34,449
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