Test Drove a C-Max hybrid today

Discussion in 'Ford/Lincoln Hybrids and EVs' started by fotomoto, Nov 10, 2012.

  1. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Ford and the local dealership were having some sort of test drive program for many of their products that benefited a local high school so I decided to "help out" by test driving the Cmax.

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    Conditions: The route was short (approx 5 miles) and entirely in town stop/go traffic with the a/c crank to 61f on both sides (85f OAT). Being a saturday morning, traffic was laid back and not like the typical mon-fri rush to/from work crowd. I reset the fuel econ gauge. Car had 265 miles on the odo.

    First impressions: the fit/finish was very nice. Paint was beautiful. Outgassing of interior materials was about about the worst I've ever experienced and I LOVE new car smells. My eyes were beginning to water! WOW. Very roomy feel with good visibility all around. Driver seat was VERY comfortable, didn't try the others. I instantly felt at home sitting in it and didn't need to fuss with many adjustments.

    Driving impressions: A key? And you have to insert and turn it in the traditional steering column switch to "start" it? Seriously? Steering felt good. Power felt fine but I couldn't explore it. Ride was comfortable and quiet on the smooth streets I took. I was very disappointed in how easily the ICE activated from a stop. Granted I've been driving a Volt for the past couple of months and have become quiet accustomed to the strong, silent torque of that design but still..... It also has the traditional hybrid drone when the ICE assist comes in. Brakes were very grabby when I needed to actually brake for a poor driver and not regen/light peddle to a stop. My score: 46.5mpg with nearly 100% solid bars on the rating system.

    Likes: build quality, roominess, paint, fuel economy, comfort, visibility, auto-liftback gate, sound system, rear A/C vents.

    Dislikes: noisy hybrid system, regen whined, ICE activated too easily, grabby brakes, tall looking. ICE dominant hybrid.

    Salesdroid didn't know when they would get an Energi but I will definitely try to test one of those for comparison.
     
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  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    What was SOC about at? Could the blasting AC have been a culprit in the early ICE turn over?

    What trim was it? The foot activated rear hatch is on higher trims, and having keyless entry and no push button start would be odd.

    Ford has used a large percentage of renewable plastics in the interior of other models, IIRC, this includes C-max. The outgasses will be different with these soy based products, and it's possible you can be more sensitive to it.
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    nice write up, thanks doug!
     
  4. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    The battery was slightly above 60% on the gauge. A/C could have had some part in the ICE activation; don't know. <shruggs>

    It was not the top trim (SEL?) and didn't have the liftback feature. I tried it on another demo and failed the first couple of times. I believe the sensor is centered and the sensitivity pattern falls off fairly quickly.

    Good suggestion about the interior materials. Besides the intensity, the smell was different from what I consider typical "new car smell". Once the a/c was going, I was OK.
     
  5. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    Interesting - thanks for taking the time to write the review!!
     
  6. Obxmush

    Obxmush Member

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    I spoke to a new cmax owner at a Home Depot the other day. He was extremely disappointed with the mpgs. Said he traded a prius v for it, and will be going back to the dealer with many complaints.
     
  7. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    Alittle OT but I had to add something thats been on my chest. :D

    I know we are on a Toyota Prius enthusiast site and Im not directing this at anybody in this thread at all, but Im kinda new around here and I noticed 1 thing that I find bizarre:

    Prius owners are defensive about other manufacturers hybrid technology.

    Yes, Toyota Synergy Drive is and always has been a pioneer in the hybrid field - Probably why either Ford or GM buys Toyotas technology rights to some of their hybrid drive systems for theirs. Its a proven system and thats great.

    However, since a lot of us drive hybrids for the green factor and sending less money back to the middle east, shouldnt we all be happy that there are more hybrid solutions entering the market?? The Prius will always be popular. Even if the C-Max has 60 more HP that a Prius, it still wont have Toyotas reliability factor and people know that.

    Sure, the Cmax is not a Toyota but looking at the big picture, does it really matter? With every hybrid purchase, the population moves that much further away from being completely dependent on the teat of middle east oil, right?
    So what if it gets 45mpg vs Prius C's 53mpg. It sure is a lot better than a 15mpg SUV that the person who would be buying one was driving before!
     
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  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    I was told the unit I drove was only the second one to arrive at the dealership and the first one was sold to a fellow who came in to buy a Flex.
     
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  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    'big picture', you're right. but on a personal level, many of us feel like pioneers along with toyota who was the first to take a chance on a new idea when all the other mfg.'s were tripping over the same 'ol same 'ol. bring on the hybrids! but we can't help but root for toyota to stay on top of the game. :)
     
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  10. PriusGuy32

    PriusGuy32 Prius Driver Extraordinaire

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    Oh for sure, and I feel that way too about Toyota pioneering it and always give support when talking about it to friends/co-workers/family. When people query me about other manufacturers hybrids, I keep an open unbias mind. In the motor city, there is a huge anti-toyota sentiment so I do get my share of flack.

    When somebody asks me about which hybrid is best, I say they all are. Its a big step in the energy independence direction and as long as you are getting significantly more mpg's than what you used to drive, Ill support whatever hybrid you choose. Buy a C-max, Volt, Prius, Hyundai....you're still the same cool in my book :D

    I get asked a lot it seems about why "didnt I buy a Volt?". I have no beef with the Volt at all, I think its cool and whenever I discuss it with anybody who is car shopping, I tell them to test drive the Volt, the Prius, Fusion, etc and pick which one they like the best. Im just happy they are considering hybrid propulsion, period. Do I give shameless plugs to my Prius all of the time? You betchya. But I wouldnt compare my car to anybody elses hybrid in a condescending manner. We should be working together not against one another (reminds me of a certain congress) :D when it comes to any manufacturers hybrid powered vehicle!

    My obligatory "try to prove im staying on topic" statement... Im going to check out the C-max myself but couldnt afford one so even if I did like it, I'd have to wait 3-5 years anyways until used ones hit the market and become affordable for me.
     
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  11. HeyKB

    HeyKB Not so new member

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    We have the C-Max SEL (which means keyless ignition) and it certainly doesn't require your key to be put into a slot with the key. In fact, there is no place to put the key when you have the Start Button!

    People who are not getting 40+ mpg in their C-Max are probably still a bit heavy footed on the accelerator. The bigger engine means it's pretty easy to let it guzzle fuel. I'm not having a lot of problem with it, but I have 7 years of Prius driving under my belt and I expect most C-Max buyers will not. They'll still get 30+ mpg and that's light years better than a typical SUV. Even after a few hundred miles of ridiculous test drives, our C-Max had a low of something like 28 mpg when we took it off the lot. The liftetime mpg is now in the high 30's and creeping up as we drive it more.
     
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  12. guachodan

    guachodan Junior Member

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    I went to my local Drive Further with Ford event last night and was able to test drive the C-Max. After the past 7 years with my Prius I have to admit I was little excited to try something new. The cabin felt much more refined and had a lot of nice touches to it that are missing from the Prius lineup (new ones included). The driving was very smooth and I enjoyed all the different displays giving information on driving efficiency and whatnot. I didn't get to drive it long enough to get any feel for fuel efficiency but if the reliability is good and the fuel efficiency is close to the EPA estimate I'm going to have to seriously consider Ford for my next purchase. I still haven't seen an Energi and am worried about the trunk space but I was very impressed and pleased than an American auto manufacturer "gets it." The more competition in the Hybrid/EV market the better!
     
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  13. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    If the C-Max is a Bomb it could set the EV movement back years and then you're back to the same issues smog and money going into the caufers of countries who hate the USA . Freedom of speech is a right, but expect some dinging when your in the house of Prius.
     
  14. usnavystgc

    usnavystgc Die Hard DIYer and Ebike enthusiast.

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    Either way, I'm proud of Ford. It just seems to me like they get it. The FMC seems to be well managed and tries to stay on top of things. I think the thing that they're finally getting right is to build a small, entry level car (Focus) that attracts young people. If the quality is good, they'll pass it on to their kids and they will have a Ford customer for life. Toyota has been doing this for years (with the Corolla) and Ford is the only one of the big 3 that caught on.

    Good job to Ford.
     
  15. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    Ford scored the lowest mark in the Consumer Reports Owners survey 2012. I'm again hard pressed to use Quality and Ford in the same thought.
     
  16. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    Do you remember the Ford Edsel? This was before I was before I was born but it's history is well known. Born from a marketing blitz, the Ford Motor Company created an entire division around the car. It seemed destined for success, but it bombed. Nothing was really wrong with the car. In fact, it had state-of-the-art technology for the era (1952), but consumers hated it. To this day Edsel means failure.
     
  17. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    With so much hype, propaganda, and spin online, there won't be anything new labeled as "failure" anymore.

    Instead, attention is simply focused on the next best thing. Two-Mode is the great recent example. When sales were so bad no one even wanted to talk about the situation anymore, Volt ended up getting the spotlight from GM supporters. From those just wanting to support domestic automakers, they stopped caring about Volt... hence all the attention C-Max Energi is now getting.

    It's an ugly reality watching goals be missed. We all know the goal is to replace traditional vehicle production. Sadly though, lots of bragging about capacity & speed still happens along with providing countless excuses. Addressing want rather than need is a fundamental problem contributing to the mess.

    In the day of Edsel, the industry and world market was very different. We can no longer afford massive investments to not provide a substantial return.
     
  18. guachodan

    guachodan Junior Member

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    The Consumer Reports rankings for Ford are definitely in the toilet but as of last year they were doing quite well. The biggest problems that I'm aware of are some stumbles out the gate with their re-designed 2012 models having transmission problems and the universal hatred of Ford Sync. The C-Max uses a CVT so it's not the same transmission that's having problems and Ford Sync supposedly is sucking less (but it's a Microsoft product so you can't expect too much). That said, the C-Max platform is new in the US and 1st year models should always make you nervous (it's the main factor keeping me in a wait and see pattern).
     
  19. SJ PiP

    SJ PiP Member

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  20. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The first C-max users on Fuelly weren't getting 40mpg. The 2013 average is improving there as the sample size grows. I still stand by the prediction that its Fuelly numbers will be close to the gen2 Prius', which won't be bad considering it's larger and heavier.

    And there are reviews here or posted in the other threads that had no problem exceeding the EPA EV range. Passing judgement based on a single review is foolish.

    How so?
    Honda's recent battery troubles with the Civic hybrid don't seem to have hurt any EV or hybrid sales outside the brand. Maybe it swayed some on the fence about hybrids, but they likely would have been swayed by the early Prius FUD or some unrelated reason to not buy a hybrid.
    As too the return of smog, aren't all of Subaru's cars PZEV? None of them are hybrids. Vehicle emissions improved long before hybrids because of tightening regulations. Fuel economy has been ignored do to cheap gas and desires for power. Even then, the CAFE kept the power engines from becoming guzzlers. And CAFE has been tightened for the first time in years. A poor showing of a single car model isn't going to roll those back.

    Ford had a poor showing on the CR survey. As pointed out, most of this was do to the double clutch transmission and MyFord. The design of MyFord was bungled by all appearances. It isn't user friendly, and requires some time to learn. But it does work and doesn't actually break. People were justified in complaining about it, and Ford is improving on it.

    How many complaints on the transmission were actually do to the user expecting a double clutch to behave just like a traditional step automatic transmission? An old time poster's husband was a Toyota tech. She(galaxsee(sp?)) reported people bringing in Camries complaining about the new 6 speed transmission with nothing actually wrong with it. Besides being new and outside the norm. That's what centers around most complaints about Smart's automated manual, and possibly the iQ's CVT.

    Ford's double clutch did have real issues. Its introduction in the NA Fiesta was its first globally. There is some truth to the warning about buying first model years. CR printed a study in 2005 looking at the change in brand or model reliability with new models and redesigns. The results were that no one is immune to it. The second gen Rav4 was the example of how badly it can drop. The important thing is how the manufacturer handles the problems and treats the customer.

    PS: I read that CR study when printed, but the best I could find was it being mentioned here.
    Is it a bad idea to purchase a car in its first model year? - Ask.cars.com
     
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