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2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Review

The 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid finishes near the bottom half of the hybrid and electric car class. It offers agile handling and a quality interior with plenty of room. However, many rivals give you more cargo space and earn better reliability ratings.

Pros & Cons

  • Pleasant ride and handling
  • Brisk acceleration
  • Upscale interior
  • Less cargo space than most wagons
  • Low fuel economy for a hybrid

Rankings & Awards

The 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid's #12 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Hybrid Cars category. It was a finalist for our 2016 Best Wagon for the Money award and a finalist for our 2016 Best Hatchback for Families award and a finalist for our 2016 Best Hybrid Car for Families award and a finalist for our 2016 Best Wagon for Families award. Currently the Ford C-Max Hybrid has a score of 7.8 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 31 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

7.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 7.9
Interior: 8.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Overview

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

The Ford C-Max Hybrid is a decent option in the used hybrid and electric car class. The C-Max has a comfortable ride and balanced handling. It offers roomy seating space, user-friendly tech features, and – unlike many hybrids – peppy acceleration. Still, the Ford C-Max is tough to recommend over more capable wagons, like the Toyota Prius v and the Subaru Outback. The C-Max has low cargo space for a wagon, mediocre fuel economy for a hybrid, and a below-average reliability rating. The 2016 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid is reviewed separately.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 31 Ford C-Max 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 Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid?

You can expect to pay between $14,300 and $23,000 for a used 2016 C-Max Hybrid. These figures are based on 150 listings for the 2016 Ford C-Max our site. The average price is $17,400. Prices will vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Cost to Own?

The C-Max Hybrid’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $20,100 – or about $4,000 per year. That’s slightly above average for the class.

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

The 2018 C-Max Hybrid starts at $24,120 and top trim levels can exceed $27,000. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used C-Max, while still finding comparable performance and many of the same features. There are a couple perks to buying new, though. Only the 2017-and-newer C-Max models support the popular Apple CarPlay and Android Auto apps. Since it’s a new vehicle, you also won’t have to worry about a questionable maintenance history.

Read about the new Ford C-Max Hybrid »

On the other hand, you can save money while still buying new. The 2018 Ford Fiesta hatchback starts at just $14,505. The subcompact Fiesta isn’t as efficient or as roomy as the C-Max, but its lithe handling and peppy engine performance make it very enjoyable to drive.

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid?

The Ford C-Max has below-average reliability, earning 2.5 out of five points in JD Power’s reliability ratings.

Read more about C-Max Hybrid reliability »

2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Recalls

At the time of this writing, there is one recall for the 2016 C-Max Hybrid. Ford has recalled 17 Focus and C-Max models due to insufficient floor pan welds, which could increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash. Before buying a used C-Max, make sure this recall has been addressed.

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

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

The 2016 C-Max Hybrid marks the fourth model year of the vehicle’s first generation. For 2016, Ford replaced the car’s frustrating MyFord Touch infotainment system with the easier-to-use SYNC 3 system. That’s the only major update over the years. While you can save money with an earlier model from 2013 to 2015, the available SYNC 3 system is enough of an upgrade to make the 2016-and-newer models a better option.

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

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

Ford offers the 2016 C-Max Hybrid in two trim levels: SE and SEL. The C-Max SE’s standard features include a 4.2-inch display screen, CD player, six speakers, Bluetooth, a USB port, remote keyless entry, cruise control, cloth seats, dual-zone climate control, and alloy wheels.

Although the base model should be fine for most folks, the Ford C-Max SEL trim is worth considering for its added features. It comes with an 8-inch touch screen, satellite radio, proximity keyless entry, leather upholstery, heated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, rear parking sensors, and fog lights. Available features include remote start, a navigation system, a sunroof, a hands-free power liftgate (motion-sensitive), a rearview camera, and parallel park assist.

See 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid 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. Chevy, GMC, Honda, Kia, and Mazda all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the C-Max Hybrid?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 C-Max the highest rating of Good in four out of five crash tests, as well as the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the driver-side small overlap front test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the C-Max a perfect five-star rating for side impact safety. The 2016 C-Max also earns four stars for overall, front, and rollover crash safety.

The C-Max is available with front and rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and parallel park assist.

See C-Max Hybrid safety scores »

2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Versus the Competition

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

The 2016 Toyota Prius v offers higher fuel economy (43/39 mpg), a larger cargo bay, and more advanced safety features. It also has a much better reliability rating. Though the C-Max has a more inviting interior and quicker acceleration, these benefits aren’t enough to make it a good buy. Go with the Prius v.

Which Is Better: 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid or 2016 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen?

The 2016 Golf SportWagen is another good option. While the Golf can’t match the C-Max’s fuel economy, it outshines the Ford on almost all other accounts. The VW sports higher-quality cabin materials, a roomier cargo space, more-advanced safety features, and offers support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Its crisp handling and peppy turbocharged engine make it even more enjoyable to drive as well.

Compare the C-Max Hybrid, Prius v, and Golf SportWagen »

2016 C-Max Hybrid Performance

How Does the 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Drive?

The 2016 C-Max Hybrid has a four-cylinder engine and an electric motor, which produce a combined 188 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard. The torquey electric motor handles initial acceleration, zipping the C-Max up to speed briskly. The gas engine kicks in seamlessly at higher speeds to assist, giving the C-Max ample muscle to keep up with traffic on the highway. The C-Max rides comfortably even on rough pavement, and its quick steering makes it rather fun to drive and a breeze to park.

It’s a driving experience that feels more like a regular car than a hybrid. However, the brakes don’t earn the same praise. The pedal feels imprecise, which can make it difficult to slow the car smoothly. This is a common criticism of regenerative braking systems, which use braking force to recharge the vehicle’s battery pack.

Does the 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Get Good Gas Mileage?

The C-Max Hybrid achieves 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, which are unimpressive figures for a hybrid car. However, these are unimpressive figures for a hybrid car. By comparison, the 2016 Toyota Prius in the Eco trim returns an EPA-estimated 58/53 mpg (city/highway).

Read more about C-Max Hybrid performance »

2016 C-Max Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 C-Max Hybrid Seat?

The Ford C-Max has five seats. Its front seats are comfortable and supportive. The C-Max’s high roofline provides generous headroom in both rows, along with great outward visibility. There’s ample legroom in both the front and rear seats as well. Even six-foot-tall passengers can find good seating space in the back. Cloth upholstery is standard; heated and leather seats are available. The C-Max’s cabin is handsomely styled, and most interior materials feel high quality.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid?

The C-Max has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The IIHS gave the vehicle’s LATCH system a Marginal rating for ease of use, because some of the anchors are located too deep within the seat.

2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Features

The Ford C-Max offers two different infotainment systems. Base models are equipped with a 4.2-inch LCD screen, which displays the radio, CD player, and Bluetooth functions. The standard screen and its buttons are small and fairly awkward to use. The available SYNC 3 system is the better pick. Its 8-inch touch screen reacts quickly and features user-friendly menus. It also recognizes pinch-to-zoom gestures and swiping, much like a smartphone.  

See 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid specs »

Read more about C-Max Hybrid interior »

2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Dimensions

Ford C-Max Hybrid Cargo Space

The Ford C-Max’s lithium-ion battery pack is located under the cargo floor. As a result, there’s only 24.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, and 52.6 cubic feet with those seats folded. Those numbers are high for the hybrid and electric car class, but they're low for a wagon.

2016 C-Max Hybrid Length and Weight

The C-Max Hybrid is 14.5 feet long and has a curb weight of 3,640 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Built?

Ford built the 2016 C-Max in Michigan.

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