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2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid was new.


Performance: 7.8

The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid offers a more engaging driving experience than many hybrid rivals, according to critics. They say it’s powerful for a hybrid car, and most like its responsive handling and comfortable ride.

  • "Despite weighing nearly 600 pounds more than the Prius, the 2015 C-Max doesn't suffer from sluggish acceleration or poor handling. Quite the contrary, our C-Max was a joy to push through winding roads and we loved the smooth ride and hushed cabin." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Instead of feeling sluggish and floppy, the Edmunds ‘B’-rated C-Max is quick off the line and enjoyable to pilot around turns." -- Edmunds
  • "… the C-MAX doesn't drive like a typical hybrid - the steering is precise, the body motions well-controlled, and, while acceleration isn't overwhelming, it has more than enough power for most driving situations." -- Left Lane News
  • "If you're considering a Prius or Prius V but are dreading a driving experience marked by ersatz steering, an ATM-like dashboard, and a spongy throttle, the C-Max has arrived just in the nick of time." -- Car and Driver (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that generate 188 horsepower combined. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. According to the EPA, the 2015 C-Max Hybrid gets 42/37 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a wagon, but a little low for a hybrid.

Test drivers write that the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid provides stronger acceleration than other hybrids, and they add that its highway passing power matches what non-hybrid wagons offer.

  • "Acceleration is also strong for a hybrid, and highway passing will feel similar to that of gasoline-powered equivalent wagons." -- Edmunds
  • "We think Ford's hybrid engine setup feels more spirited and responsive than what Toyota has designed for the Prius, making the C-Max feel much more like a Focus or Honda CR-Z hybrid." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Moreover, the 188-hp combined output of the system produces a lively throttle response and a distinct kittenish growl from up front." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "When traffic opened up, I was able to give the accelerator a good squeeze and found that it wasn't lacking in the power department. Now, 188 combined horsepower isn't a ton, but it's more than enough to get the little MPV up to speed." -- CNET (2013)

Handling and Braking

According to automotive journalists, the 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid stands out from many hybrid cars with controlled handling and a comfortable ride. They also praise the C-Max Hybrid’s responsive steering and strong brakes, though some report that the brake pedal isn’t ideally positioned.

  • "The 2015 Ford C-Max Hybrid certainly doesn't feel like a soulless penalty box as many other hybrids do. Instead, attention has clearly been paid to how the suspension is tuned to provide both responsive handling and a refined ride." -- Edmunds
  • "We found the C-Max brakes to be quite good, but the brake pedal's position relative to the driver is a bit awkward." -- Kelley Blue Book (2014)
  • "The steering is firm and connected with a strong on-center feel, and the body stiffness is outstanding. Bumps get soaked up and dissipated in the stout structure, the rolling and pitching by the tall body are tightly damped, and the brakes are activated via a firm pedal." -- Car and Driver (2013)

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