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2016 Ford C-Max Energi Review

The 2016 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid has a spacious, classy interior and sharper handling than most other hybrids. However, a poor reliability rating, tight cargo hold, and shortage of advanced safety features hold it back.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious, upscale cabin
  • Agile handling for a hybrid
  • Poor reliability rating
  • Rivals offer more cargo space
  • Subpar fuel economy for a hybrid
  • Few available advanced safety features




Critics' Rating: 7.7
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Ford C-Max Energi Overview

Is the 2016 Ford C-Max Energi a Good Used Car?

Whether you’re looking for a cargo-ready wagon or a fuel-efficient hybrid, you’re better off with one of the C-Max Energi’s rivals. Its low reliability rating makes it unappealing as a used vehicle.

Used 2016 Ford C-Max Energi Performance and Interior

The standard powertrain consists of a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that combine to deliver 188 horsepower. The C-Max Energi feels peppy around town, but highway passing power is in short supply. The C-Max Energi has a 19-mile electric-only range. It achieves 88 mpg-e on electric-only power (see Decoding MPG-e for more information) and 38 mpg combined when using both gas and electric power. Most plug-in hybrids return better numbers. Fully charging the Energi takes seven hours with a standard household outlet and 2.5 hours with a 240-volt outlet. The front-wheel-drive C-Max Energi has zippy handling for a plug-in hybrid and a quiet, relaxed ride. However, its brakes feel uneven, which is a problem that plagues many hybrids.

Read more about C-Max Energi performance »

The 2016 Ford C-Max Energi touts a well-made interior with seating for five. Leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat come standard. Both the front and rear seats are accommodating, even for taller adults. There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats and a tether-only connection in the middle seat.

Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and a household power outlet. The easy-to-use SYNC 3 infotainment system is also standard. It has an 8-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, and satellite radio. Notable available equipment includes navigation and a Sony nine-speaker audio system. Cargo space tops out at 42.8 cubic feet, which is low for the class. However, an available hands-free liftgate makes loading and unloading easier.

Read more about C-Max Energi interior »

Used 2016 Ford C-Max Energi Prices

The average sale price of a used 2016 Ford C-Max Energi is about $28,600. Dealer prices may vary in your ZIP code depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, and features.

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We Did the Research for You: 32 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our reviews on our own personal opinions. Instead, we create our recommendations using multiple professional reviews from around the automotive industry, as well as reliability ratings, safety scores, and more.

Why You Can Trust Us

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been a trusted source of automotive information for 10 years. Our team brings over 75 years of combined industry experience to the table. To ensure impartiality, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers. Also, a third party handles the advertising on our site.

How Reliable Is the 2016 Ford C-Max Energi?

The 2016 Ford C-Max Energi has a reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power and Associates, which is one of the lowest scores among wagons.

Read more about C-Max Energi reliability »

How Safe Is the C-Max Energi?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2016 C-Max Energi four out of five stars overall, which is typical for the class. The C-Max Energi comes up short on advanced safety features, but a rearview camera, forward collision warning, front parking sensors, and park assist are available.

See C-Max Energi safety scores »

Should I Consider Another Used C-Max Energi?

The 2016 C-Max Energi is part of the vehicle’s first generation, which began with the 2013 model year and includes the 2017 Ford C-Max Energi. You can save some money with an older C-Max, but the 2016 model has an upgraded infotainment system that’s easier to use than previous iterations.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 C-Max Energi »

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

The 2016 Ford C-Max Energi comes in one trim level, the SEL. Models with the Equipment Group 303A offer the most features per dollar, including navigation, a Sony nine-speaker audio system, a hands-free liftgate, park assist, and forward collision warning.

You might also want to consider a certified pre-owned C-Max Energi. For all of its certified pre-owned vehicles, Ford extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty. Each CPO vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Ford warranty page carefully. 

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Ford certified pre-owned program »

2016 Ford C-Max Energi and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2016 Ford C-Max Energi or 2016 Toyota Prius?

Although the redesigned 2016 Toyota Prius doesn’t offer as much rear-seat space as the C-Max Energi, it’s a better car overall. There’s no plug-in variant of the Prius for 2016, but it delivers class-leading fuel economy. Unlike the Ford C-Max, the Prius has a stellar reliability rating and a perfect five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. Also, the Prius has more cargo space behind its rear seats than the C-Max.

Which Is Better: 2016 Ford C-Max Energi or 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid?

The 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid offers a lower average price and slightly better fuel economy than the plug-in variant. However, the C-Max Energi is a better option for those who can commute back and forth in less than 19 miles (or 38 miles if a 240-volt public charging station is available). Also, the Energi has more standard features, like leather upholstery, heated seats, and the SYNC 3 infotainment system.

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


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