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2015 Ford C-Max

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 4/24/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

The 2015 Ford C-Max gains two new exterior colors: Magnetic and Tectonic.


Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Ford C-Max is a four-door hatchback available in hybrid and plug-in variants called the Energi. A 2.0-liter hybrid I-4 with a total system output of 188 hp paired to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is the only powertrain available. Fuel economy is good for a hybrid at 42/37 mpg city/highway for the regular hybrid and 40/36 mpg for the Energi. Plug-in variants are also able to travel up to 19 miles using the electric motor only and reach speeds of 85 mph. Non-Energi models, on the other hand, are able to accelerate to 62 mph using the electric motor.


Since it shares underpinnings with the Ford Focus, the 2015 Ford C-Max handles well, even with its taller height. Its punchy engine also means acceleration is good, with power for passing and merging even at high speeds despite both versions weighing over 3,500 pounds.

As you'd expect of a tall hatch, the C-Max is practical, with up to 52.6 cubic feet of volume behind the rear seats in the regular hybrid and 42.8 cubic feet in the Energi. Space for four passengers is generous with plenty of head- and legroom for adults even in the rear seats. Tech and convenience are plenty and include the foot-activated power and hands-free liftgate, self-parking system, Sony audio system, SYNC with MyFord touch infotainment system, navigation, satellite radio, and remote start.

The NHTSA gave the 2015 Ford C-Max a four-star overall safety score (out of a possible five stars). In IIHS evaluations, the car received the Top Safety Pick award, earning a Good score on four categories and acceptable in the small overlap front category (Good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

Those looking for a fun-to-drive and fuel-efficient wagon should consider the 2015 Ford C-Max since it offers great handling, a spacious interior and great gas mileage. In a comparison test against the Toyota Prius V, we said that the C-Max is "a treat to drive" and has an interior that "seems to come from a higher tax bracket" with its high-grade materials. Refinement is also a strong point with its quiet ride and relatively silent powertrain except at wide open throttle where it "tends to sound a bit thrashy." However, in that same comparison test, we got slightly better fuel economy with a Prius V than with a C-Max Hybrid.

You'll Like

  • Good ride and handling
  • Fuel-efficient
  • Well-built interior

You Won't Like

  • Energi model doesn't offer much benefit over the regular hybrid
  • Reduced cargo capacity in the Energi variant
  • Engine sounds thrashy at wide open throttle

Key Competitors

  • Toyota Prius V
  • Toyota Prius
  • Ford Escape
  • Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
  • Mazda5


4 star


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