2016 Ford C-Max Energi Performance

#5 out of 8 in 2016 Wagons

$17,045 - $17,045

2016 Ford C-Max Energi Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Ford C-Max Energi was new.


Performance: 8.0

Test drivers report that the 2016 Ford C-Max Energi has a comfortable ride and fairly agile handling for a hybrid. They say acceleration is quick when the gas engine is running, but some think the C-Max Energi feels weak on the highway in electric mode.

  • "Beyond the useful plug-in functionality, the Energi stands out for its driving personality. Like its separately reviewed stablemate, the standard C-Max hybrid, it offers respectable acceleration, a solid and composed ride and remarkably responsive steering. It simply feels better from the driver seat than most other hybrids." -- Edmunds
  • "The secret to the C-Max's success is the spirited way it rides and drives." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "If you set the numbers aside for a second, the C-Max Energi drives very well. The handoff from pure-electric power to hybrid mode is almost completely seamless (except when you mat the throttle, at which point it just feels like an automatic transmission kickdown), the brakes are easy to modulate, and the steering/ride/handling is good for any car, hybrid or conventional." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 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 transmission (automatic) is standard. Using electricity alone, the C-Max Energi can travel at up to 85 mph, according to Ford, for an EPA-estimated 19 miles. The EPA says the 2016 C-Max Energi gets 88 mpg-equivalent (mpg-e) when running on electricity. Most pure electric vehicles and several plug-in hybrids, including the 2016 Chevrolet Volt, can go faster and farther on electricity alone and have higher mpg-e ratings. After the Energi’s battery is depleted, or if you need more power than the electric motor can provide by itself, the gasoline engine will turn on. The EPA says the C-Max Energi gets 40/36 mpg city/highway when running on a mix of gasoline and electric power. That's worse than the fuel economy of many plug-in and conventional hybrids, including the Ford C-Max Hybrid.

Most reviewers think the C-Max Energi has quick acceleration when the gas engine is running, but some note that highway acceleration is weak in electric mode.

  • "Acceleration is strong for a hybrid, and even highway passing isn't the painfully slow process normally associated with hybrids." -- Edmunds
  • "As for power, the Energi can definitely get out of its own way. That's true even in full EV mode, but the gas engine adds a palpable jolt for passing maneuvers." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "On the highway, however, the 118-hp electric motor was breathing hard." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Alternative Fuels/Charging

The 2016 Ford C-Max Energi can be recharged in seven hours using a standard household outlet, or 2.5 hours with a 240-volt outlet, which is available at public charging stations and can be installed in your home.

Handling and Braking

Test drivers say the 2016 Ford C-Max Energi is fairly nimble for a hybrid, though they note that its heavier battery pack makes it less agile than the C-Max Hybrid. Reviewers also praise the C-Max Energi's sharp steering, powerful brakes and comfortable, quiet ride.

  • "On winding back roads, the C-Max's Focus roots are clearly evident, delivering a smooth ride, a hushed cabin and an immediate response to even the slightest steering-wheel inputs." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The cabin is also notably quiet. … and the communicative steering is another strong point. The Energi is stable through turns, though the weight of the bigger battery pack makes the vehicle a bit less nimble compared to the regular C-Max." -- Edmunds
  • "Concerning noise, there really isn't much of it at highway speeds. … The ride quality is better, as well, and the confident C-MAX Energi gives the surprisingly athletic Volt a run for its money in handling." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "Moreover, its steering is delightfully direct and nicely weighted. … Add to that terrific tiller a firm but compliant ride plus commendably strong brakes and the C-Max's European roots become clear." -- Left Lane News (2013)

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