I spent a week driving around Mississauga a little while back in the 2016 Ford C-Max Hybrid Energi. When I first got the car I really didn’t know what to expect. I’ve always thought of hybrid cars as the ones that when you get on the highway you move to the right lane and stay there till you exited. Boy was I wrong!
Pulling off from a red light was the first thing that surprised me about this car. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor that generates 188 horsepower combined won’t slam your head back into the headrest as it takes off from the the line, but it will get from 0 to 60 in about 8 seconds.
The cabin is spacious with good legroom and quite a bit of headroom which I know some of my taller friends would appreciate. I loved the feel of the leather seats and the eye catching dashboard in which all the controls were within easy reach for the driver. The seats were also mounted higher than the normal cars which provided a better view of the road, in my opinion.
Bells And Whistles in the C-Max
Now who really buys a car these days without wanting some fun features included. Ford really did their research and delivered with the C-Max Energi. Here are just some of the features, and yes, these are all standard.
In it’s previous life this was called the MyFord Touch system but overall user experience was mostly negative. Ford went back to the drawing board and did a total redesign and developed Sync 3 for it’s 2016 lineups.
Sync 3 isn’t the best looking interface out there but it’s simple to use and offers one of the fastest response times I’ve seen. The buttons on the touchscreen are large and the layout is simple. Tap any of the buttons on the large display and they expand to full screen.
The Sync 3 system also plays very nicely with Android Auto, or, Apple CarPlay so if you’re a Google Maps fan then you can sync up your phone to use that instead.
During my normal drive I never think about the energy that goes into stopping my car, but the folks at Ford certainly did. The “Brake Coach” feature does exactly what it’s name says and more. Firstly, the C-Max captures the energy spent during breaking and returns that to the battery. Secondly, the Brake Coach teaches you how to brake efficiently so that all of the energy could be returned. After a little while it started to feel like a game where the goal was to return 100% of the energy to the battery, I got quite good at it too.
To Plug Or Not To Plug
The C-MAX gives you the option of plugging in for a recharge or not plugging in. It comes with an advanced high-voltage lithium-ion battery and electric motor with a gasoline engine. The plug-in capability allows you to fully charge the vehicle in 2.5 hours, using the available 240-volt home charging station, or overnight, with a 120-volt outlet and standard convenience cord. Another feature, EV Mode, lets you choose which mode to drive in – electric only, gasoline only, or a combination of gas and electric.
I do love a vehicle with all the bells and whistles, but what good are all of these features if the safety features aren’t up to par? Thankfully the Ford C-Max Energi is packed with safety features that come standard.
The C-Max comes with airbags all around the cabin to provide maximum protection to both driver and passengers in the event of a crash. These include front seat side-impact airbags, driver knee airbag and the Safety Canopy® side-curtain airbags. The driver knee airbag is located under the steering wheel and works with the driver’s front airbag. Combine these with the side-curtain airbags and you have an impressive total of seven airbags.
Personal Safety System
This piece of computerized wizardry is made up of sensors that kicks in whenever a crash is detected. It monitors the location of the crash and activates crash protectors designed to prevent or reduce injury to the driver and passengers. Protectors such as the airbags described above or seat belt pretensioners. Not only does it know when to deploy the safety features, it’s smart enough to know when not to deploy them.
SOS Post-Crash Alert
The SOS Post-Crash Alert System can activate the horn and emergency flashers in the event of airbag deployment. The key fob is used to deactivate the alert.
The 2016 Ford C-Max has quite a bit going for it besides the ones I mentioned above. The foot activated hands free liftgate definitely comes in handy when trying to load up the trunk when your hands are full. The Park Assist helps you find a parking spot on the street and then will automatically parallel park the car for you, and finally, the windshield wipers somehow magically know when it’s raining and will turn themselves on.
These are all fun features but there are somethings that I would like to see improved on. Things such as battery life. Ford claims that it has a 33km battery life but I found that it was less when I had to drive a little faster than normal to get somewhere on time. Trunk space isn’t as big as one would think and that’s because the battery is stored below the cargo floor. Lastly the legroom in the back was a bit tight when you had bigger adults sitting in the front.