2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Review

There's a lot to like about the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid, but most rivals come out on top thanks to their higher reliability ratings, greater cargo capacities, and more intuitive tech features.

Pros & Cons

  • Top-tier fuel economy
  • Roomy cabin
  • Small cargo area for a wagon
  • Finicky infotainment system
  • Low reliability rating




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 7.8
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 9.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Overview

Is the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid a Good Used Wagon?

A used 2013 C-Max Hybrid is a good choice for your next wagon. It is well-rounded, boasting a nice interior, reasonably athletic performance, and excellent gas mileage. Its shortcomings include a poor reliability rating, a frustrating touch screen, and limited cargo room.

Used 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Performance and Interior

This wagon's hybrid powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an electric motor, and a continuously variable automatic transmission that deliver 188 horsepower to the front wheels. Compared to many rival hybrids, the C-Max Hybrid is fairly quick. Still, it's not as powerful as many gas-only wagons. The powertrain makes smooth transitions from gas to electric power. The C-Max Hybrid gets some of the highest fuel economy estimates in the class: 42 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. That's just a bit shy of the Toyota Prius v's 43/39 mpg city/highway. The C-Max outperforms the Prius v and other hybrids in turns, however, as it has fairly athletic handling. There's little body roll, and the power steering feels precise, though the ride can feel a bit rough over broken pavement. Like most hybrids, this hatchback has regenerative brakes. They can feel unusual to drivers who are used to traditional friction brakes.

Read more about C-Max Hybrid performance »

The cabin has appealing, modern styling and is built with high-quality materials. The C-Max's five seats are covered in cloth upholstery as standard. Available upgrades include leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, and heated front seats. The two front seats have ample support to keep you comfortable, and the rear seats are roomy enough for adults. There's a full set of LATCH child-seat connectors on each of the outboard rear seats, along with an additional upper tether anchor for the middle rear seat.

The base SE model comes well-equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a USB port, a six-speaker audio system, and the SYNC voice control system. Optional tech features include satellite radio, HD Radio, a navigation system, and a nine-speaker Sony premium audio system. The MyFord Touch infotainment system is also available, and it has an 8-inch touch screen. Though there are lots of features in MyFord Touch, the system is hard to use and can be slow to respond to inputs. Additionally, most competitors offer more cargo room than the C-Max Hybrid, which has a maximum capacity of 52.6 cubic feet.

Read more about C-Max Hybrid interior »

Used 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid Prices

The base Ford C-Max Hybrid SE costs about $8,900, while the SEL model is priced around $10,600. Pricing is dependent upon vehicle condition, mileage, and location.

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We Did the Research for You: 21 Reviews Analyzed

We analyzed 21 Ford C-Max Hybrid reviews to give you an idea of this wagon's pros and cons. We’ve also included information on fuel economy, safety, and reliability to help you decide if the 2013 C-Max Hybrid is the right vehicle for you.

Why You Can Trust Us

The U.S. News Best Cars staff has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry, and we've been ranking the best vehicles for a decade. To keep our reviews free from outside influence, we don't accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and the ads on our site are placed and sold by a third party.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid?

The C-Max Hybrid has one of the lowest reliability ratings in the class: a two out of five from J.D. Power. Most competitors earn ratings of three or higher.

See C-Max Hybrid reliability scores »

How Safe Is the C-Max Hybrid?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the C-Max Hybrid four out of five stars overall, with four stars in front crash and rollover tests and five stars in the side crash test. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the C-Max earned the highest rating of Good in four categories, but an Acceptable rating in the small overlap front test. While these are generally solid safety scores, many wagon rivals performed even better in crash testing. A rearview camera and front and rear parking sensors are the only available safety features.

See C-Max Hybrid safety scores »

Is the 2013 C-Max Hybrid the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 C-Max Hybrid is the first model in the car's only generation, which includes the current 2018 model. There are no differences between the 2013, 2014, and 2015 models. If you can stretch your budget to buy a 2016 C-Max, you'll get the SYNC 3 infotainment system, which is more user-friendly than the MyFord Touch system found in older models.

Compare the 2013, 2014, and 2015 C-Max Hybrid »

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

With only two trims to choose from, picking the right C-Max Hybrid is fairly straightforward. The base SE trim has lots of features and is available with most of the features from the pricier SEL model. You really only need to step up to the Ford C-Max Hybrid SEL if you want leather upholstery, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, push-button start, or the Sony premium audio system, as those features are exclusive to the upper trim.

You may also want to consider a certified pre-owned C-Max Hybrid. 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. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »

Read more about the Ford certified pre-owned program »

2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid or 2013 Toyota Prius v?

The Toyota Prius v is a more versatile wagon than the C-Max Hybrid, offering more cargo room and better fuel economy. The Prius v's excellent reliability rating, straightforward infotainment system, and sliding and reclining rear seat further add to its appeal.

Which Is Better: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid or 2013 Chevrolet Volt?

The Chevrolet Volt is a plug-in hybrid (similar to the Ford C-Max Energi). That means the Volt can be driven in electric-only mode. The Volt is quick to accelerate and feels poised around turns. However, the Volt has much less cargo space than the C-Max Hybrid, and with only four cramped seats, it's less accommodating for passengers. In the end, the C-Max Hybrid is the more sensible choice.

Which Is Better: 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid or 2013 Ford C-Max Energi?

The Ford C-Max Energi is the plug-in version of the C-Max Hybrid. You can drive it up to 19 miles in all-electric mode without using any gasoline, and you’ll get up to 88 mpg-e when driving in gas-electric mode. Since these two vehicles are identical in every other way, you'll need to decide if the fuel savings are worth the added cost of the plug-in powertrain. Over five years, you can expect to save around $500 in fuel costs with the C-Max Energi over the C-Max Hybrid. Still, with a base C-Max Energi priced around $11,000 (about $2,000 higher than the base C-Max Hybrid), it may not be a good deal for you.

Compare the C-Max Hybrid, Prius v, and Volt »


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