I recently had the opportunity to test drive a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi for one week. The C-Max Energi is a plug in Hybrid vehicle that uses both a gas and electric motor. It is my understanding that the battery will charge while you are driving and once it has reached a certain level it will run on battery power alone; you also have the option of plugging the car in to charge the battery. In my week with the C-Max I did not plug the car in because it was recommended that I would not need to. The Ford C-Max Energi is a key-less vehicle so that means it has a FOB and the FOB is similar to a regular remote with automatic start, door unlock and a button to open the trunk. In order to start the vehicle you must have the FOB in the car with you (in your purse or pocket) and you just push a button while your foot is on the brake. Once you have parked you can turn off the vehicle by simply pushing the button again; at which time the screen says “Thank you for driving a Hybrid”.
I must say it was easy to drive; comfortable and a smooth ride. I was definitely impressed with the features as well, especially the MyFord Touch screen as well as the leather interior. It was pretty cool to have voice control, independent temperature controls for driver and passenger and a trunk that opens itself as well! The Ford C-Max Energi is equipped with the hands free trunk opening system, that you may have seen on a commercial. Basically you wave your foot under the sensor when the FOB is in your pocket and voila the trunk opens! There is a button for opening it on the FOB as well. Since the car operates on battery power intermediately it is pretty quiet except when accelerating; when it makes a dull siren type noise. It is not loud or annoying but definitely takes getting used to; I thought emergency vehicles were in the area on more than one occasion.
As much as I enjoyed driving the Ford C-Max Hybrid I would not recommend this to a family with two or more children, as the backseat was not very spacious at all. I have two little ones in carseats and lets face it they take up a lot of room but along with the little ones comes their “stuff”. You know all the things you pack just in case they are bored, hungry, dirty, tired, etc. and I felt this car just didn’t offer enough space for those things. It is important to keep in mind when purchasing a vehicle that has additional battery power, those batteries need to go somewhere. In this case the somewhere is in the trunk, which limits the space to about half.
Another thing that I did not like about driving the Ford C-Max Energi was how other drivers treated me; keeping in mind this car had Ontario ‘Green’ Plates which draw attention to it’s energy efficiency. I am not saying there is anything wrong with Eco friendly vehicles, in fact I think they are awesome but it is my opinion that they stick out like a sore thumb in my area. I have driven a small car in the past and I currently drive a truck and I have noticed a huge difference in driving courtesy between the two. In my experience if you are driving a small car other drivers (particularly trucks) drive too close and cut you off as if intimating you by the size of their vehicle and when in a truck other trucks keep their distance (mostly). I don’t know if it is an Alberta wide “problem” but I have definitely noticed this in the Edmonton Area; I believe it is fueled by the amount of trucks vs. cars on the road. Aside from other drivers I really enjoyed my week with the Ford C-Max Energi.