2013 Ford C-Max Energi Wagon - FROM $32,950
The Toyota Prius Plug-in has a new competitor in the form of the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi. Better driving dynamics and slightly better fuel economy should be C-Max advantages.
What's New for 2013
The 2013 Ford C-Max Energi is an all-new vehicle.
Ford launched an ad campaign a few years ago hinged on a theme of "bold moves." Meant to project the automaker's new tolerance for risk and daring, the campaign underpinned the arrival of shake-up cars like the Flex, Fusion Hybrid and F-150 Raptor. Although the marketing bravado has since faded, Ford is still throwing the dice, this time with the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi and C-Max Hybrid.
Although the C-Max wagon has already been on sale in Europe, the 2013 model year marks the debut for the C-Max stateside. It will use a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with an electric motor. The combination, in conjunction with a lithium-ion battery pack, generates 141 horsepower in the standard gas-electric C-Max Hybrid. The C-Max Energi, meanwhile, will be Ford's first production plug-in hybrid.
For the Hybrid, Ford is claiming that it achieves an impressive 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway. The Ford C-Max Energi, meanwhile, is expected to achieve more than 500 miles of driving range between its gasoline engine and its lithium-ion battery pack, and it will be possible to fully charge the batteries overnight through a standard 120-volt electric outlet.
The C-Max line features a high roof design that gives each vehicle plenty of headroom for passengers along with a higher command-style seat position. It also features five-passenger seating that includes a split, fold-flat second-row seat. In the C-Max Energi, there are 43.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row and 19.2 cubic feet behind the second row.
We expect the C-Max Energi to compete primarily against the Toyota Prius Plug-in. The C-Max will likely be more enjoyable to drive and have a nicer interior. But the Prius is more established, and its Entune electronics interface is easier to use than the finicky MyFord Touch system.
We've yet to drive the 2013 Ford C-Max Energi, but check back later for a full review, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.