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2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Performance Review

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


Performance: 7.9

The 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid is more engaging to drive than many hybrids, reviewers say. They appreciate its peppy acceleration, sharp steering and strong brakes.

  • "The secret to the C-Max's success is the spirited way it rides and drives." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid doesn't feel like a soulless penalty box, as do many other hybrids. Instead, attention has clearly been paid to how the suspension is tuned to provide both responsive handling and a refined ride." -- 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 (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 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 (automatic) is standard. According to the EPA, the 2016 C-Max Hybrid gets 42/37 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a wagon, but a bit below average for a hybrid. Ford says the C-Max Hybrid can move at speeds up to 62 mph on electric power alone.

According to auto writers, the C-Max Hybrid has lively acceleration for a hybrid. They also note that you can barely tell when it changes between gasoline and electric power.

  • "The ability to run in electric-only propulsion mode at relatively high speeds helps the C-Max Hybrid post its impressive fuel economy numbers. Acceleration is strong for a hybrid, and highway passing will feel similar to that of equivalent gasoline-powered wagons." -- Edmunds
  • "Ford's hybrid system performs near-seamless transitions between the gasoline engine and electric motor, so much so that you'll likely forget you're driving a hybrid - that is, until the vivid LCD displays inside the instrument cluster refresh your memory. Acceleration is another C-Max virtue, an impressive feat given the battery pack's added weight." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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

The 2016 C-Max Hybrid has a comfortable, quiet ride, critics say. It handles well on twisty roads, according to reviewers, and it has a sharp steering system. Auto writers add that the C-Max Hybrid's brakes are strong and operate smoothly.

  • "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
  • "While that ride isn't exactly cushy, there's a substantial feel to the way the C-Max goes down the road. The cabin is also notably quiet, and the Ford's communicative steering is another comparative strong point." -- Edmunds
  • "When the time came to arrest its forward progress, the C-MAX's brakes were strong and easily modulated." -- Left Lane News (2013)

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