2015 Ford C-Max Review


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2015 Ford C-Max Overview

In taking aim at the presently premier hybrid on the market, Toyota’s illustrious Prius, Ford again unleashes its capable C-Max Hybrid and C-Max Energi gas-electric duo for the 2015 model year. Both the Hybrid and the Energi are delivered in compact hatchback garb, and both seat 5 folks in fuel-efficient and fairly comfortable surroundings. And then things get a little weird.

The C-Max Hybrid offers 2 trim levels, the base SE and the up-featured SEL, while the Energi is delivered only in SEL garb. As a traditional hybrid, the 2015 C-Max Hybrid totes a comparatively pint-size lithium-ion battery allowing some 52.6 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seatbacks folded. The plug-in Energi, on the other hand, lugs a much larger battery pack that lets you carry only 42.8 cubes of cargo capacity with, alas, rear seatbacks that don’t fold quite flat and leave a bi-level space that can lead to awkward loading. Thus, neither C-Max iteration is going to win any prizes for its luggage-bearing volume, but the Energi is especially stingy that way.

No major tweaks are slated for the 2015 C-Max twins, leaving the base Hybrid SE to return with standard 17-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler outside, with cloth upholstery, full power accessories, cruise control and telescoping tilt-wheel steering inside. Also along for the Hybrid SE’s ride are such conveniences and creature comforts as Sync infotainment interfaced with Bluetooth hands-free technology, as well as dual-zone climate control and leather and simulated alloy cabin accents. Standard entertainment, meantime, includes a single-CD player with 6 speakers and an auxiliary audio input (USB port).

Moving up to the Hybrid SEL, look for such added standard bling as a power-opening liftgate, leather upholstery, heated front seats with a power-adjustable driver’s seat, a remote garage door opener, rear parking sensors, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and an upgraded Sync system featuring improved navigation functions and an 8-inch touchscreen display. Oh, and the SEL also boasts standard satellite radio with 6 months of free service. Of course, features-wise the Energi SEL is a mirror image of its non-plug-in Hybrid SEL cousin.

Noteworthy options in both C-Max variations include HDD navigation, a 9-speaker Sony premium stereo, a rear-view camera, front parking sensors and automated parallel-parking technology. While all of the above available add-ons are delivered in various package deals, a panoramic sunroof and remote engine start are available as standalone options.

Powertrains in both the C-Max Hybrid and its Energi kinsman start with a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder gasoline engine and standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). And there the resemblance ends, with the Hybrid packing a gas/electric system that’s rechargeable only via the engine and regenerative braking, while the plug-in Energi can be recharged using an available 240-volt charging system, with a full electrical load taken on in about 2.5 hours.

Look for 188 combined horsepower in both 2015 C-Max variants, with the Hybrid pumping out 121 lb-ft of torque as its Energi co-conspirator puts out 129 lb-ft. Meantime, as mentioned, a 1.4kWh (kilowatt per hour) lithium-ion battery does the job in the Hybrid’s more traditional system, while the Energi totes a king-size 7.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack that Ford alleges will allow this compact plug-in to travel up to 19 miles on electric power alone.

Finally, besides the usual 4-wheel antilock braking (ABS), traction and stability control, front side-mounted airbags and dual-row head airbags, both the C-Max Hybrid and the C-Max Energi come with a standard driver’s-side knee airbag. Additionally, both trims boast turn-signal-integrated mirrors, a post-collision safety system and Sync emergency telecommunications. Each SEL trim level, meanwhile, is additionally delivered with standard front fog/driving lights and a remote antitheft alarm.


Have Laptop. Will Travel. I'm retired and travelling the country in a 34' motor home. I'm really digging meeting people . . and sometimes their cars . . . getting a sense of what makes this nation tick. The plan is to visit all the national parks in the continental US, then cruise to Alaska to visit Denali, and to Hawaii to check out Haleakala and the Hawaii Volcano's national parks. Anyhow, when I'm not horsing the motor home around the roadways, I'm tooting around in the 2012 Ford Focus that we tow behind, or making runs to Home Depot and various malls with the 2004 F-150 that just won't die.

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