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2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Test Drive Review

With a base price of less than $25,000, vast amounts of storage space and a hybrid drive system, the 2017 Ford C-Max is one of those vehicles that blurs the line between compact car and small crossover. It’s been with us since 2013, but with lines similar to that of a second generation Ford Focus, you may not have noticed it. However, with the introduction of the C-Max hybrid, things began to change as consumers could now have a stylish hatchback that delivered excellent gas mileage during city driving.

For the full 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid review, specs, pricing and data, read on…

2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Exterior:

The C-Max lives its life in the zone of practicality. The high beltline and large rear hatch denote that it’s better suited for around town chores and after school soccer games than open road family touring. That in no way implies it’s not capable- quite the contrary. Items such as the grille, wheels and rear panels all have a European flavor and take queues from the Ford Focus and Fusion.

And while at first glance you might think the C-Max is somewhat small, when you break it down, you’ll find the overall wheelbase is just 1.6 inches shorter than that of the Ford Escape SUV. That means a lot of room, decent road feel, and thanks to a height of 63.9 inches, fantastic outward visibility.

2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Interior: 

There is nothing sophisticated or complex about the C-Max’s cabin. Instead, the interior is comfortable with electronics and an HVAC system that are easy to use. The dash is nicely sculpted and pleasing to the eye. Ford’s SmartGauge cluster with EcoGuide includes a large speedometer, information center and an animated eco-screen that guides the driver to achieve optimum performance and fuel economy. At first, the system seems hokey. However, the more you use it, the more it becomes a fun game to see how many miles you can get out of one tank of fuel.

Ford’s SYNC 3 system with unique hybrid electric content allows quick connectivity for mobile phone pairing, but the display screen is set far back on the dash panel, making it difficult to see. The power adjustable leather covered seating surfaces have good bolstering, providing comfort for long trips. There was an overwhelming amount of dark black plastics on our SE base model that unfortunately left us with a cheap overall impression. Leg, shoulder and headroom both front and rear are plentiful for even the tallest adults, while an overall storage capacity of 99.7 cu.ft. (rear seats folded down) help to accommodate most storage needs.

2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Performance:

Under the hood is a 2.0L I-4 Atkinson hybrid engine that makes 141-hp / 129 lb-ft of torque. When combined with a 44-hp boost (35 kW) from the electric drive Li-ion battery pack however, peak horsepower rises to 188-hp, allowing the C-Max to reach 60-mph in 8.1 seconds. Power delivery to the front wheels via a CVT transmission is immediate, and it’s only when your foot is pressed firmly on the floor that you’ll notice the faintest hint of torque steer along with some engine noise. 

Ride quality is decent overall, as is outward visibility. Braking performance is also good. Handling was confidence-inspiring and the C-Max felt calm and composed on the interstate, in urban environments and on back roads. Mileage will vary due to driving style, however we experienced a pretty consistent 40-mpg overall, or around 500 miles per tank. And for those wondering, mileage on the 2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid is EPA rated at 42-mpg city, 38-highway and 40-mpg in combined driving*.

2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Safety:

Ford is just as committed to safety as it is to economy, which is why the 2017 C-Max Hybrid SE is equipped with features like AdvanceTrac with Roll Stablity Control, airbags throughout the cabin, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, electronic-assist parking brake and a standard rear view camera. It also received a 4-Star overall safety rating from the NHTSA.

2017 Ford C-Max Hybrid Overall:

This is a car with a bit of an identity crisis. Its proportions and wheelbase say small crossover, but the exterior design says compact. And while it drives well enough with its nicely integrated hybrid system, it feels a bit dated. However,  with a vast amount of interior space and an unassuming personality, the C-Max may still find an audience with those looking for good reliable hybrid transportation for a competitive price. Drop by your local AutoNation Ford dealer today to check one out!

*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.

**Vehicle MSRP of $26,990.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.

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