2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid

Performance


#5 out of 8 in 2017 Wagons

$16,620 - $18,565

2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

The 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid has a more engaging drive than many other hybrids thanks to its communicative steering and energetic acceleration. It has composed and agile handling and it doesn't have any problem accelerating up to highway and passing speeds. Although it has superior fuel economy for a wagon, some of its hybrid rivals have better mileage.

  • "The C-Max feels solid and well-planted on the road despite its compact footprint." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "… 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 (2016)
  • "… it offers composed handling, a refined ride and sleek interior to set it apart from rivals." -- Edmunds (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that together generate 188 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT), which operates like an automatic, is standard. Fuel economy estimates are not yet available for the 2017 model year. The 2016 model year C-Max Hybrid gets 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Though this is excellent for a wagon, it’s a bit lackluster compared to some hybrid competitors.

The 2017 C-Max Hybrid has strong, powerful acceleration, especially for a hybrid. Getting up to highway speeds is not a problem in this wagon. There is little difference in the feel of driving between the C-Max Hybrid and its gasoline-only competitors, but the C-Max Hybrid has the added benefit of being able to travel on electric-only power at speeds of up to 62 mph, according to Ford. Additionally, drivers will barely notice when the car switches between gas and electric power.

  • This hybrid's gasoline-electric powertrain works well to provide somewhat spirited acceleration, though like other hybrids ... using an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (eCVT), there is noticeable drone under hard acceleration." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2016)
  • "Ease into the accelerator pedal and the C-MAX pulls away quietly in electric-only mode, which is good for up to 62 miles per hour if the battery is sufficiently charged (and your right foot is very gentle). When the 2.0-liter internal combustion engine kicks in, a relatively seamless transition enables more aggressive acceleration. It's surprisingly peppy given those lofty fuel economy ratings; punch the go-pedal and this modest-looking hybrid will spin its tires off the line." -- Autotrader (2015)

Handling and Braking

The 2017 C-Max Hybrid has a comfortable drive thanks to its nimble handling. It takes corners with confidence and its suspension is tuned just right so the driver gets a responsive and refined drive. Its steering provides good feedback and is quick to respond to even the smallest steering adjustments.

Like all hybrids, the C-Max Hybrid utilizes a regenerative braking system to capture energy from the car’s stopping power to recharge the battery. A typical complaint of these systems is that they can feel grabby compared to traditional braking systems. Reviewers found that the brakes in the C-Max Hybrid are about average for a hybrid.

  • "For a car that prioritizes fuel efficiency, we dare say the C-Max feels playful in corners, at least compared to a Prius. On straighter paths, the C-Max is quiet and comfortable." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "One of the C-MAX Hybrid's strongest suits is a nimble driving character. When pushed, it handles tight corners skillfully, feeling more like the Focus hatchback it's based on than the tall wagon it actually is. On the highway, the cabin remains pleasantly quiet. Not many hybrids can match these qualities." -- Autotrader (2016)
  • The regenerative brakes feel linear enough, as hybrid brakes go." -- Cars.com (2013) 

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