C-Max Energi

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2017 Ford C-Max Energi Overview

The Ford C-Max is a bit of an oddity in the U.S. In the rest of the world, it would be called an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle), which is kind of like a compact minivan or tall wagon. Here, it’s in a class virtually by itself—the Toyota Prius V is its only real competition.

The five-seater C-Max has seen few updates since its 2013 U.S. launch. For 2017, Ford makes some minor cosmetic changes and tightens up the available trim levels. Gone is the SEL trim, and a new range-topping Titanium puts the C-Max’s trims in line with those of other Ford vehicles.

As in years past, the 2017 C-Max comes with a choice of two drivetrains: hybrid or plug-in hybrid. Ford offers no gas-only version. Both drivetrains are based on a 141-hp Atkinson-cycle engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that sends power to the front wheels.

The C-Max Hybrid adds a 1.4kWh lithium-ion battery and permanent-magnet AC synchronous electric motor, which is good for a total output of 188 hp.

The plug-in—known as the C-Max Energi—has the same powerplant, but adds a larger battery. The specs aren’t yet out for 2017, but the 2016 model had a 7.6kWh lithium-ion battery that was good for an electric-only range of 19 miles. It could be charged fully in 2.5 hours from a 240-volt outlet or 7 hours with a standard 120-volt outlet.

Across all 2017 C-Max models, a spec sheet from Ford appears to show a new grille surround with updated chrome trim. The silvery gold Tectonic color has been replaced with a similar White Gold paint, and the SEL trim has been replaced with option packages within the SE and all-new Titanium trims.

Whether it’s a Hybrid or an Energi, SE models come with plenty of power outlets, cruise control, a fuel-economy display that encourages efficient driving, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and 17-inch wheels. Ford’s MyKey—which can limit certain drivers to a specific top speed or radio volume—also comes standard.

All C-Max Energi models come standard with dual-zone climate control, push-button start, rain-sensing front wipers, heated side-view mirrors, and an integrated garage-door opener.

Details have yet to be released about pricing or option packages, but we do know that the SE Driver Assist package adds the Sync 3 infotainment system, a power liftgate, and reverse sensors. The SE Comfort package includes leather seating, a power driver’s seat, plus heated mirrors and front seats.

Titanium versions come with standard heated front seats and reverse sensors in addition to the standard rear-view camera. The Driver Assist Package includes most active safety features, including blind-spot detection and a limited self-park function.

Other options include a fixed panoramic glass roof, a keypad on the driver door that locks and unlocks the car, and navigation.

The 2017 C-Max Hybrid is EPA rated at 40 mpg city/36 highway/38 combined, while the plug-in C-Max Energi is rated at 95/81/88 after a full charge.

Pricing has yet to be announced for 2017, but a 2016 C-Max Hybrid had a starting price of $24,170, while a fully loaded Energi topped out around $38,000 before generous incentives.


A member of the New England Motor Press Association who has owned everything from a Town Car to a Prius, Keith has contributed automotive coverage to outlets including Wired, Car & Driver, and USA Today.

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C-Max Energi

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