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2015 Ford C-Max Energi

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/30/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

Two new exterior colors have been added to the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi: Magnetic and Tectonic.


Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Ford C-Max Energi is the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) variant of the four-door C-Max Hybrid wagon. The car is powered by the same 2.0-liter hybrid I-4 with a total system output of 188 hp that's paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and has an estimated range of 20 miles when driving in electric-only mode. Fuel economy is good for the class at 40/36 mpg city/highway but is less than the regular C-Max Hybrid's due to the Energi's added weight and larger batteries.


While passenger space in the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi is good for four adults, cargo room isn't impressive for a wagon with a maximum capacity of 43.4 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded — 10.9 fewer cubic feet than the non-plug-in C-Max. Its interior is also well-appointed for the class with good materials across the board. For a people-mover, the C-Max Energi drives better than expected, is fun to toss into corners, and has decent acceleration. The C-Max Energi received a four-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and a Top Safety Pick designation from the IIHS, scoring Good on four categories and Acceptable in the small overlap front test. (Good is the highest possible score.)

What We Think

While we didn't review the C-Max Energi, we did test the regular C-Max hybrid, which shares the Energi's powertrain but has a smaller battery pack. For those who want a fuel-efficient car that's enjoyable to drive, the 2015 Ford C-Max Energi is a good choice. In a comparison test against the Toyota Prius V, we said the car's Ford Focus underpinnings make the C-Max "a genuine treat to drive" while its cabin "seems to come from a higher tax bracket" and has nice materials all around. Additionally, in a 2013 First Test review, we noted that the car's extra-large windows made its interior "feel open" and provide the driver with "superb all-around visibility."

You'll Like

  • Surprisingly fun to drive
  • Excellent visibility all around
  • Well-appointed interior

You Won't Like

  • Smaller cargo space than the non-plug-in C-Max
  • Less efficient than non-plug-in C-Max after EV-only range
  • Engine gets thrashy at wide open throttle

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Prius PHEV
  • Toyota Prius V
  • Honda Accord PHEV
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • Volkswagen Golf SportWagen TDI


4 star


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