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2014 Ford C-Max

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 12/9/2014 Austin Lott

New for 2014

After C-Max's introduction in the 2013 model year, Ford limited changes to the addition of two new exterior colors for 2014: Magnetic and Tectonic.


Vehicle Overview

The C-Max is Ford's first dedicated hybrid vehicles for North America. The five-passenger hatchback fits above the subcompact Fiesta and below the midsize Fusion in its lineup. The C-Max comes with either a hybrid or plug-in hybrid powertrain, allowing it to appeal to a wider range of efficiency-conscious buyers.


The 2014 Ford C-Max comes in two similar flavors: Hybrid and Energi plug-in hybrid, the main difference being the size of the onboard battery packs (1.4 watt-hours on the hybrid versus 7.5 watt-hours on the Energi). Both models are powered by the same net 188-hp 2.0-liter I-4/electric motor combination coupled to a CVT, which is good for 42/37 mpg city/highway for the hybrid and 40/36 mpg on the Energi. The lower rating for the Energi stems from the weight of the larger battery, which allows it to travel up to 19 miles in electric-only mode. Charging the Energi's larger battery takes 7 hours on a standard wall outlet (120 volts) or just 2.5 hours with a 240-volt outlet.

The 2014 Ford C-Max received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and is considered a Top Safety Pick for 2014 by the IIHS.

What We Think

Since Ford released the C-Max, we couldn't help but compare it to the Toyota Prius, which was the mark Ford aimed for when designing the C-Max. "Simply put, the Prius hates to turn; the C-Max Hybrid, however, is different," we said in a First Test. "While no means a sports car, it is a sporty little upright hatchback that's actually fun to toss around." In a comparison against the Toyota Prius V, the largest of the Prius lineup, the C-Max edged out the Toyota in most categories (rear cargo capacity and as-tested fuel economy the exceptions). While the C-Max earner a rating of 40 mpg combined, we observed just 37.3 mpg against the Prius V's 39.4 mpg. Although it didn't beat the Toyota in sheer miles-per-gallon, the C-Max was easily the more comfortable vehicle in everyday driving, as we noted: "The C-Max's interior is also worlds better than the Prius V's. The materials are nice; the ride doesn't upset you; and it's quiet, except at wide open throttle where the engine tends to sound a bit thrashy."

You'll Like

  • The Energi if you have a regular place to charge
  • Good handling for a hybrid
  • Doesn't look like a Prius

You Won't Like

  • Non-PHEV isn't as efficient as a Prius V
  • Less rear cargo capacity than the Prius V

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Prius PHEV
  • Toyota Prius V
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid, Fusion Energi


4 star


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