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2017 Ford C-Max Energi Review

The 2017 Ford C-Max Energi ranks in the bottom half of its class, mostly because of its subpar safety and predicted reliability ratings. On the plus side, it has admirable performance for a hybrid.

Pros & Cons

  • Swift acceleration
  • Decent driving dynamics
  • Low ownership costs
  • Below-average safety and predicted reliability ratings
  • Lower fuel economy estimates than some hybrids
  • Wagon rivals offer more rear-seat and cargo space




Critics' Rating: 7.1
Performance: 7.6
Interior: 6.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 9.0 for safety is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Ford C-Max Energi Overview

Is the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi a Good Used Car?

The 2017 C-Max Energi is a so-so used wagon. It's a plug-in hybrid, which means it can go for short distances on only electric power. Its drivetrain also has plenty of torque for quick off-the-line acceleration. However, it's still not as fuel-efficient as non-plug-in hybrids, many of which have lower operating costs than this Ford.

The C-Max Energi has an upscale cabin, but the position of the battery takes away from back-seat space and cargo room. Some models feature pretty basic infotainment features, so you'll have to hunt around if you want a model with the most up-to-date tech.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 30 Ford C-Max Energi reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking cars since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of automotive industry experience combined. While we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To ensure our reviews remain impartial, we refuse expensive gifts and trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi?

Prices for the 2017 Ford C-Max range from about $15,500 to about $26,000, with the average price landing just over $19,000. This data comes from more than 150 listings for the 2017 C-Max on our site. Actual prices fluctuate depending on the vehicle's features, mileage, condition, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi Cost to Own?

The 2017 C-Max Energi tends to be more affordable than many of its competitors when it comes to gas, insurance, repair, and maintenance costs. You can expect to pay around $16,800 for these expenses over a five-year period. In comparison, five-year cost estimates for the 2017 Toyota Prius are typically about $1,500 higher than the C-Max Energi for the same expenses. The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq's cost estimates are about $1,300 higher. A regular 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid (non-plug-in hybrid) would likely cost you about $3,000 more over five years than the C-Max Energi.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New C-Max Energi?

2017 was the last model year of production for the Ford C-Max Energi. As such, there are no new models to choose from.

There are no new hybrid and electric cars or alternative-fuel vehicles that you could buy for around the average price of a used 2017 C-Max Energi. The least expensive rival is the 2018 Toyota Prius c, which starts at $20,630. The Prius c offers good value, with standard features like a touch-screen infotainment system and advanced safety features like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. The Toyota also gets better fuel economy on gasoline power. However, with under 100 horsepower, the Prius c's anemic performance may turn off some shoppers.

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Which Model Year of the Ford C-Max Energi Is Best?

If you’re set on buying this vehicle, a used 2016 C-Max Energi is your best bet. There was only one trim that year, so all models will come with amenities like the SYNC 3 touch-screen system, leather upholstery, heated front seats, and satellite radio. SYNC 3 was introduced for the 2016 model year, replacing the less intuitive MyFord infotainment system found in the 2015 C-Max Energi.

For 2017, Ford split the C-Max Energi into two trims. Lower trims have cloth seats and the basic SYNC system. You'll likely pay less for a 2016 model than a 2017 model, and the 2016 is a better value.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 C-Max Energi »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi?

The 2017 Ford C-Max Energi has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about C-Max Energi reliability »

2017 Ford C-Max Energi Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are no recalls for the 2017 C-Max Energi.

See more information on Ford C-Max Energi safety recalls »

Which Used Ford C-Max Energi Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Ford C-Max Energi is available in two trim levels: SE and Titanium. Many features that come standard in the Titanium, such as the touch-screen SYNC 3 system and leather seats, are available in the SE. The best configuration for you depends on the features you want.

See 2017 Ford C-Max Energi trims and specs »

What Does Ford's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Ford offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Ford extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Each Ford CPO vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like vehicle history reports, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Ford warranty page carefully.

Ford does not have one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. According to our analysis, Chevy, GMC, Honda, Kia, and Mazda all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the C-Max Energi?

The 2017 Ford C-Max Energi has low crash test scores compared to the rest of the class. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the C-Max Energi four out of five stars overall. The Ford also received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests.

A rearview camera and Ford's MyKey driver monitoring system come standard. Front and rear parking sensors are the only other available driver assistance features.

See C-Max Energi safety scores »

2017 Ford C-Max Energi Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Ford C-Max Energi or 2017 Toyota Prius?

The 2017 Toyota Prius is a better car than the C-Max Energi, and it should be on your radar if you’re shopping for a hybrid vehicle. The Prius gets better fuel economy than the Energi, saving you about $100 on average in annual fuel costs. However, it lacks the long-range electric-only mode of the Ford. The Prius enjoys a great predicted reliability rating and solid safety scores, in contrast to the C-Max's subpar marks. This Toyota comes standard with a whole host of driver assistance features and a touch-screen infotainment system, and it offers more cargo room than the C-Max Energi.

Which Is Better: 2017 Ford C-Max Energi or 2017 Hyundai Ioniq?

The 2017 Hyundai Ioniq is a better buy than the C-Max Energi. The Ioniq is available as a hybrid or electric vehicle (a plug-in hybrid version debuted for 2018). The Ioniq Hybrid gets excellent fuel economy. Compared to the C-Max Energi, it’ll save you up to $150 on average in annual fuel costs. The Ioniq Electric has a range of 124 miles, and it'll only cost you about $500 per year to charge it. Like the C-Max Energi, the Ioniq doesn’t sacrifice fun for eco-friendliness. Its spry acceleration and agile handling give it some of the best overall performance scores for compact cars, hybrid or not. The Ioniq comes standard with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, plus several more cubic feet of cargo space than the C-Max Energi. The Ioniq also boasts higher safety and predicted reliability ratings. Choosing the Ioniq over the C-Max Energi is a no-brainer.

Which Is Better: 2017 Ford C-Max Energi or 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid?

The main difference between the C-Max Energi and the standard 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid is the Ford’s plug-in capabilities. You can travel short distances solely on electric power with the Energi, which is something you can’t do with the regular C-Max Hybrid. That adds to the Energi's efficiency, which is why its fuel costs are $150 less per year (on average) than the hybrid Ford C-Max. Most other aspects of these cars, including general performance and feature availability, are similar.

Compare the C-Max Energi, Prius, and Ioniq »

2017 C-Max Energi Performance

How Does the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi Drive?

The 2017 Ford C-Max Energi has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that produce a combined 188 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is also standard. The C-Max Energi has similar performance to many of its gas-only rivals. With plenty of torque from its plug-in hybrid powertrain, the C-Max Energi delivers quick acceleration from a stop. The additional gas power helps the car get up to highway speeds and pass other vehicles with no issues.

The C-Max Energi has a comfortable, quiet ride. It also has agile handling for a hybrid, thanks to sharp and responsive steering. Like all hybrids, the C-Max has a regenerative braking system that captures energy during braking to recharge the battery. These brakes can feel grabby compared to standard friction brakes, and using them will take some getting used to if you haven't driven a hybrid before.

Does the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2017 Ford C-Max Energi can go up to 20 miles on electric-only power with a full charge. It gets 95 MPGe on electric-only power, and it returns a combined 39 mpg city/highway with gas and electric propulsion (find out more in our article, What Is MPGe?). Those figures are lower than many conventional and plug-in hybrids. The C-Max Energi costs an average of about $900 per year for electric charging and gasoline.

The C-Max Energi can be fully recharged in about seven hours using a standard household outlet. You can also charge the battery in about 2.5 hours with a 240-volt outlet, which is available at public charging stations and can be installed in your home.

Read more about C-Max Energi performance »

2017 C-Max Energi Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 C-Max Energi Seat?

The 2017 C-Max Energi seats five. It comes standard with cloth upholstery and a 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat. Heated front seats, leather-trimmed seats, and a 10-way power-adjustable passenger seat are available.

The front seats are comfortable, spacious, and supportive. Their elevated position gives you a good view of the road, along with plenty of head- and legroom. However, the rear-mounted battery limits second-row space. No more than two passengers fit comfortably in the rear seats.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi?

The C-Max Energi has two complete LATCH car-seat connections on the rear outboard seats. The middle seat has a top tether anchor, and it can borrow lower anchor attachments from either side. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the system the second-lowest rating of Marginal for its ease of use. All the tether anchors are easy to find, and they’re distinct from other hardware on the backs of the seats. Both sets of lower anchors are too deep in the seat cushions, and it's hard to maneuver your hands around the anchors of the passenger-side seat.

2017 Ford C-Max Energi Features

Standard features in the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi include dual-zone automatic climate control, a six-speaker sound system, a USB port, a rearview camera, and the voice-activated SYNC infotainment system. EcoGuide is also standard, which displays how efficiently you're driving.

Available features include proximity key entry, push-button start, remote start, and a panoramic sunroof. The optional SYNC 3 infotainment system has an 8-inch touch screen, a nine-speaker sound system, HD Radio, satellite radio, two USB ports, navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

The C-Max Energi's available SYNC 3 system is easy to use and responds well to voice commands. The touch screen reacts quickly to smartphonelike gestures, such as swiping and pinching to zoom. Additionally, you can stay connected to your C-Max Energi from almost anywhere with the MyFord smartphone app. This app allows you to lock and unlock the doors and monitor or schedule charging. It can also set the climate control and locates nearby charging stations.

See 2017 Ford C-Max Energi specs »

Read more about C-Max Energi interior »

2017 Ford C-Max Energi Dimensions

Ford C-Max Energi Cargo Space

The 2017 Ford C-Max Energi has 19.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats and 42.8 cubic feet with them folded. That’s more than most hybrids offer, but it’s less than many wagons give you. Utility is limited because the C-Max Energi’s battery is mounted near the rear of the car. This creates a large bump that restricts cargo space and makes it difficult to load items. An available hands-free liftgate is helpful when your hands are full; it opens when you wave your foot under the rear bumper.

2017 C-Max Energi Length and Weight

The 2017 C-Max Energi is 14.5 feet long. It has a curb weight of 3,899 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi Built?

Ford built the 2017 C-Max Energi in Michigan.

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