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2013 C-Max

rscotts54rscotts54 Posts: 47
edited January 2014 in Ford
Looks like it is time to devote a thread to the new 2013 C-Max.

The Hybrid sounds good. The Plug in with about eqiv. 100 MPG sounds spectacular!

A $3750 tax credit on the Plug-In sure adds to my interest.

I've not had a chance to see, touch or feel the new C-Max. Have You?

Please update us all with what you have learned.


  • Drove the CMax SEL Hybrid yesterday for a total of 3 miles. The vehicle was mis-delivered to the local dealer and they did not want a lot of miles put on it, before it could be sent to the correct dealer. The sales people had not even been briefed fully on it and I was the first to drive it.

    My current ride is a Pontiac Vibe and the CMax looks slighty shorter and a bit taller. I am 6-2 and entry was easy. Seating is high. The look from the drivers seat is like a small minivan, with a lot of expanse of dashboard.

    Initial impression of the ride was very good. Extremely quite, could not tell if in EV or engine powered. Has some sort of noise cancelling feature. Seems to work well. Overall it handled well, but did not try any hard accelerations or tight turns.

    I did not have time to fool around with the dash displays. Will take a lot of reading from the manual to figure them all out, personalize and then use the ones that are most useful. Steering wheel has 4 pods of controls - 2 for the dash display, 1 for cruise and 1 for phone/entertainment controls. Again did not fool with them.

    This was a loaded SEL and had the sunroof. It is fixed sunroof and has an electric powered shade to block/let in the sun. No open air motoring.

    The foot under the rear bumper to open the rear hatch works both to open and close. Being a golfer, one side of the rear seat will have to be down to fit a golf bag. Has some storage bins at the feet of the rear seat passengers and in the back hatch area above the battery.

    Until one of their units come in and is available for a more extensive drive, that is about it.
  • I drove a C-Max SEL Thursday. Dealer told me it was the first on any lot in the Memphis region(I am near Nashville so not sure how big that area is). I only drove it a few miles but acceleration seemed good and handling decent. Very quiet ride. Yesterday I drove a Lexus CT200h and it is an overpriced dog in comparison. I went back yesterday to have my wife drive it as we recently lost a car in accident and need a fast replacement but it had already sold. The salesman said that they had gotten one of the base models in yesterday but someone was driving it off the lot sold as he mentioned it. While reliability will be a question, I am considering it and had never really considered a hybrid before. My last car was a 2008 Maxima SL.
  • My wife and I wanted to purchase a 2013 Nissan Leaf but they are not out yet so after looking at several vehicles we chose a 2013 Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid with the 303 A Package.

    I wanted to do the lease because I know next year they will have a bigger / better one that we may decide purchase or we can look at the trading it in on the Focus electric.
    We traded in a Nissan Altima and with a down payment we got the monthly payment down below $350.
    The dealer was knowledgeable about the vehicle and did a good job with our trade-in / deal.

    Great Ride, extremely quite and solid, quick to charge at home about 5 hrs on wall power (110v) or about 2.5 on level 2 (240v) from empty to full (20 mile all electric with a full charge).

    After a week of driving we are getting 75 mpg as an average, we were getting 999.9 but had to take in two trips and use the ICE (you cannot hear or feel it kick on) the only way we knew it was on was by the left gauge / panel showing that it was on.

    We have used a public level 2 charger at a local Walgreens and in 40 min got a 25% boost to the battery.

    No complaints yet but a couple of things that I would have done differently:
    1. No coasting re-gen to the battery it does have a braking re-gen but must be in gear for it to work.
    2. The shift lever for the automatic transmission will not go from drive to neutral without first pressing the unlock button on the shift lever (no coasting re-gen so I just put it in neutral going down hills to hyper-mile) this is probably a "safety feature".
    3. The navigation screen is just too busy for us so we leave it off and I wonder why they used Mapquest instead of Google maps. Anyway we have a TomTom that works well.
    4. The MyFord Mobile app does not work, I will be calling Ford Support to see what needs to be done.

    We were every close to getting the 2012 Prius but the kicker was the Toyota could not be sold without the $400 carpeted floor mats no alloy wheels and leather seats would need to be locally installed (not factory) but leather seats alloy wheels and floor mats were standard on the Ford.
  • Does anyone know anything about the 2012 tax credit on this car? My tax perparer said Obama may eliminate it and that nothing is certain at this point. If there isn't the $3750 federal dollars, this vehicle may have a difficult time selling.

    Ford says this car should go over 30 miles on the batery, so why did the last post say they only get 20 miles on a full charge? Is this the case of 'Actual Mileage May Vary'?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    A reporter is looking for people who have shopped or bought either a Prius V or a Ford C-Max hybrid as an "alternative family car." If you'd like to share your experience, please send and e-mail to by December 10, 2012.


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • The tax credit was passed during the Bush presidency and it is phased out only after vehicles are sold by Ford. I don't believe your tax preparer had good information. Here's my blog on the topic:
  • My most recent blogs are on smartphone Apps for C-Max owners: and finding charger locations for C-Max Energi owners: Some of you may find my blog on the C-Max helpful. I ordered a C-Max in August, it won't be delivered until Jan 2013, and I'm blogging about the C-Max.
  • cshelley. Thank you for the information. I noticed that the tax form is for 2011 so I assume the 2012 forms aren't ready yet. Hopefully Obama won't kill the tax credit as part of the Fiscal Cliff measures. :( If he doesn't, the C-Max Energi should qualify for the tax credit if purchased in 2013. Since Ford will only have begun making them late this year, it would be unlikely they reached the sales limit next year. I have one on order, but it's not likely to be built til January. :shades:
  • I checked the IRS web site. They haven't listed the 2012 form yet. I don't believe the tax credit is affected by the part of the tax credit that is the "fiscal cliff". Ford must sell 200,000 C-Max Energi, Fusion Energi, Focus Electric or Ford vehicles not yet announced before the tax credit is phased out for Ford models. I don't believe it is possible for Ford to sell this many in 2013. I'm quite certain the credit is safe, but new legislation could be passed to remove it. I doubt this will happen.
  • cshelley. Thank you for your help in researching the credit. 200,000 is a large number of electric cars for Ford to sell, so the credit should be safe for a couple of years, barring new legislation.
  • I ordered a C-Max Energi in December. My salesman said it was built last week, so it should be in any time now. I'm in the process of selling my Jetta TDI, hopefully it will be gone tomorrow. There aren't a lot of charging stations in this area yet, so I figure that I'll have to use gas for over half my commute. I'm still skeptical about the MPGe claims, but I'm jumping in. I'm investigating a DTE Energy provided Level2 charger for the house. The savings sound great and DTE pays up to $2500 to have it installed :) (if your one of the first 2500).
  • We get about 20 mi all electric. The gauge has been as high as 23 and as low as 16 after a full charge.

    My Wife only drives 15mi a day during the week so it does not bother us what the gauge says.

    I purchased a GE charger at HomeDepot for 800.00 and had it installed for less than $200 but we hardly ever use it. We only do if we plan to go out after we get home, we will plug it in for a quick 1 or 2 hr boost and then we go out.

    The 120v adapter that comes with the Energi works fine over night it gets a full charge in about 4hrs since we rarely get it out of electric mode or "EV mode" (except on the weekends).

    In Auto EV mode after the Hybrid battery is empty it will work just like a normal Hybrid: ICE off at stop lights, regenerative braking will keep the battery charged enough that it will usually get to 35 mph or so before the ICE kicks back on. It is hard to know when the ICE kicks on so we keep it on the "Engage" display so you can see when it is running (the ICE shows as a white graph, battery as green).

    I have calculated a little over 40mpg with just the ICE. Combined we get about 90 to 100 until the weekends when we get it down to 70 to 80.

    I have used a charging station at Walgreen's (most all have one).
    If you can plug it in to 120v at work that might be an option.

    Our Electric bill has gone up $10 a month.

    We finally used the 1st tank of gas after 30 days of ownership and over 1000 miles.
    I still cannot believe we bought a Ford, it's funny how many Ford drivers come up to us and ask "What is that?" and lots of OO's and AW's after explaining it to them.

    Enjoy your new C-Max Energi.
  • I took delivery of my C-Max Energi on Friday evening. On Sunday the battery gage showed about 15 miles on battery available. We drove it a few miles to church and to a decorating show 36 miles each way and only got 36 mpg. I found out EV Now mode wasn't available and it was running on EV Auto. Sunday evening I changed the settings to allow EV Now. This morning I started out with about 12 miles available on a full charge. I got about 41 mpg on the 23 mile one way trip to work this morning. That's better, but it's not even between the 43 and 100 mpge advertised :confuse: . No charging facility here at work so I'm sure it will only get about 36 mpg on the way home. I love the ride and comfort of the vehicle and it's so much nicer than a Prius. Only about 112 miles on the car so far. Anyone have any tips or advise for me to increase the observed fuel economy?
  • Once a while my battery shows 15-23 miles when I left it charged overnight on the 110V charger cable. For a whole week it was showing 18 miles. My Energi is in the garage (50 degrees) so its not the cold weather affecting the low miles on the battery. I started using the "extra charge" button next to the shifter when I'm going downhill or need to stop quickly then I noticed my battery would show 20-23 miles when I charge overnight.
    Also use the Empower Gauge mode so it will show when the gas engine will kick in so you can easy up on the accelerator.
    Right now I'm on my 2nd tank of gas (bought it on 11/18/2012) and my lifetime MPG is about 72 and my MPG for my 2nd tank is about 70 MPG.
  • One tip that I have found is ECO Cruise.
    It had to be set on ours (it was not the default when we got it).

    With all the complaints about the hybrid model not getting the MPG people wanted I decided to do a test on our Energi it is a little heavier than the hybrid but all I had to test with.

    I drove 50 interstate miles on ECO cruise and got 48mpg.
    Simple test I know but it gave me piece of mind about the MPG issues.
    It was 64o when I tryed this (I don't know if temp makes any difference at all).

    Try it yourself if you can:
    Put the EV mode (mode cannot be changed if the Battery has been depleted) in EV later (if you have a full charge it will go 2 miles in full EV mode to burn off the charge, I guess it is to prevent over charging the battery?) after 2 miles (when it kicked out of EV mode and the ICE kicked on) I pulled over and shut if off / restarted and check that it was still in EV later mode, accelerated to 62 MPH and set the cruise, I had to use the + and - buttons a little with some traffic I did not use the brakes and after 50 miles I pulled over and shut it off and it showed 48 MPG for the trip.

    My wife let me drive it two weeks on my commute (40 miles each way) 80 miles per day (I can and did charge 110 at work) I used the ECO cruise as much as I could but it did finally go below 80 MPG.

    3000 miles now on it used 42 gallons of gas (about 3 tank fulls) and a little better than 70mpg. It will start going up now since the wife has it back, she drives 15 miles all electric per day.

    My Focus Electric will be here Feb 26th!
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    You said you drove 3000 miles on 42 gal of gas. Have you factored in the cost of electricity for those 3000 miles. If for example this 3000 miles was over three months and your electric bill went up by $10/month to charge the car, then you'd have to figure in that $30. Plus if you factored in the "free" charging at Walgreens or other locations at $$20 for example, then you have a total of $50 in electricity cost. At $3.50 in gas, the $50 would pay for a little more than 14 gal. Add that to your 42 gal used would equal 56 gal for the 3000 miles driven, which would be a more accurate MPG figure of 53.5MPG.

    Still good of course, but only a couple of MPGs better than what a regular Prius will get. My main issue with plug-in type hybrids is that I don't trust that their batteries will last as long as a regular Prius hybrid battery, which has proven itself to last hundreds of thousands of miles.

    Of course it really depends on how a person travels. If it's a lot of short trips, then a plug in would be more efficient, but if person takes a lot of long trips, then probably not. And again the different battery type on plug-ins makes me nervous until they have a longer track record.

    Just my opinion...
  • bobw3, You are right and I see your point about adding it to the total mileage. But since the free charges are "free" I will not add that to my cost to drive.

    I don't worry about the battery it has an 8 year warranty, I will not have the car that long.

    Toyota's are nice, but the Ford seems to be a much better fit for our use.

    The Energi was been in full EV mode all this week since the wife is driving it (15 mi a day) and creeping back to 80 mpg again...
  • After driving just 444 miles, I refilled the gas tank with 10.629 gallons of gas. The lifetime summary says I have driven 191 electric miles. That is about 252 gas powered miles or only about 23 mpg on gas!!! Overall the car computes that it is getting about 43 mpg. I'm in the Detroit area and it has been cold, between 11 and 30 degrees. I have enabled EV Now and ECO Cruise. I have used the remote start sparingly. I can't find an 'Extra Charge' button near the gear shift. Is this car that affected by cold weather :confuse: ??? I must be doing something wrong for it to only be getting 43 mpg. Can anyone tell me why I'm not getting somewhere between 43 and 100 mpg as advertised? This is much worse than the Diesel I was driving where I averaged about 40 mpg. I'm starting to get really frustrated :mad: .
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    So that makes sense for you personally, but I guess for others the caveat is that you'll only get 80mpg if you get your charging for free!
  • greenroger - Electricity isn't free at my house and I assume you are spending something to charge the battery overnight at home, even if it's free at work. So your 80 mpg number is a fallacy, unless it's down hill with a 50 mph tail wind in both directions.

    My on board fuel economy calculator has never shown an average of more than 45 mpg.... Even when it is running in EV Now. I reset it once too.... No affect. This number is some sort of estimate based purely on the gasoline you've consumed. According to the EPA testing Ford did, this car was supposed to get 43 mpg in ICE mode after the battery is used up. I barely get that with the battery miles included.

    BTW... The manual says that it runs the ICE for a short time to warm up the emissions system. The heat for the cabin temp is nice too.
  • The gauge on the dash reads my MPG it does not seem to matter if I use free or paid for electricity. (91 this am so goodby 80's!)

    I think your are missing the point of an PHEV.
    The main advantage of a plug-in (or full electric) car is about helping the US get off of foreign oil.

    That is why our government gives you a tax rebate when you purchase one and gives business (and home owners) tax breaks for purchasing and installing EV chargers.

    Not only does importing less oil help the US financially since we spend billions of (what 80? or more) dollars each year to protect the oil supply in the middle east it also helps keep less tankers on the ocean, that means less shipwrecks and that means less pollution of the oceans and beaches.

    Electricity (free or paid for) makes a much better fuel for vehicle propulsion than gasoline since more than half of the energy produced by burning gas is lost as heat and that with the exhaust gases released helps to warm our planet.

    I know that coal is not much better when burned to produce electricity but coal does not need to be imported it is mined right here.
    Personally I would rather pay the extra $10 a month in our higher electricity bill to a US company rather than give it to a foreign country (friendly or not).

    I think that EVs and hybrids are a great tool to help the US get off of imported oil and I hope Ford (and other auto companies) continue on this path with more fuel efficient vehicles in the future whether they are electric, fuel cell or something else.

    I had not considered a domestic made vehicle for years but The C-Max Energi brought me back.
  • I agree with using hybrids and EVs to stem the flow of many Billions of $ to the Middle East. I've heard the real cost of a gallon of gas is near $18 if you consider all the taxes we pay to have our military nearby to protect the flow of oil. I would also gladly pay $10 or more a month for domestically produced electricity. It just seems like the average mpg the car calculates is misleading since it is only based on the gasoline fuel consumed. 23mpg on the ICE is really bad if the EPA and Ford say it should get 43 mpg combined. I had a Jetta TDI and the Summer/Winter mpg spread was 42/38. My experience with all gas cars is about the same sort of Summer/Winter spread. Detroit is cold in the Winter so based on that I was expecting the ICE to get about 35 to 38 mpg. Also bought this car because it is a domestic company and it sounded like they finally offered something that could beat the mpg of my Jetta TDI.
  • rrollntdi, Sorry I was replying to bobw3.
    So let me respond to you....

    I do not know why your fuel mileage is so bad, but from reading your posts you seem impatient, I don’t know if that affects your driving habits (excessive speed, fast starts and stops) and I am pretty sure the cold has a lot to do with it. I am in the south east, we have had two evenings that the temp got down below freezing here so far this winter.

    I guess I am confused you stated you got 43 mpg on 444 miles in winter driving and since you only got 38 in winter driving with your TDI, that sounds like an improvement to me.
    Even though diesel fuel mileage is actually higher than gasoline fuel mileage. If you can get 30 mpg on gas you can get 40 with a diesel equivalent but it does not burn as clean as gas, it costs more and it stinks.

    You also stated that you have a 45 overall with the C-max when you got an average of 40 in your TDI. Still that sounds like and improvement so again I am confused.

    Have you used the ECO cruise or did you just change the setting? Using it has changed the MPG’s greatly for me when I was doing interstate driving with the C-max. I had calculated about 40 mpg on just the ICE before setting and using it and have gotten up to 48 mpg using the ECO cruise (in my 50 mile test run).

    Did you turn off the “Braking Coach”? If you did turn it off I would turn it back on. It helps you adjust your braking to get more return to the battery. You have to use gentle pressure on the brake pedal to get the best results then when you come to a complete stop it will show you how much energy was returned to the battery. The battery display will show you when you are getting regen, if you press the pedal harder it engages the brakes and your score will go down.
    My wife had a hard time getting used to it, she cannot judge distance’s well but with the braking coach she is getting better (97% up from 65%).
    That energy can then be used to power the vehicle and improve your mpg’s.

    Are you using the Engage or the Empower displays? They will show you in real time what the EV and ICE power modes are doing. EV is blue and ICE is white it will show you when the ICE will engage according to how much you are accelerating.

    I have never seen the “100 mpg as advertised” that you are talking about, you had also mentioned earlier something about a “30 mile all electric range” again I have never seen that either.

    You should call Ford (I am pretty sure they have an 800 number) and ask them why the electricity is not factored into the mpg rating (I do not know).

    You might also see what they would recommend to improve your winter mileage. I used to live in Maine and had an electric block heater on an old Dodge it would keep the oil heated enough that the engine would turn over when it was very cold, plus it improved the mileage because the choke did not need to run as long since the engine was already warm.

    If you will look around on the internet you can find people that swear by them in cold climates. That might be an easy fix for your mileage problems.

    But you need to make your own decisions that way you will not blame others for what you do not know or understand, good luck.
  • greenroger... Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I'm not impatient, more frustrated. I don't think I'm blaming anyone for this vehicle's poor cold weather ICE fuel economy. Ford doesn't exactly give any expectations of cold weather performance, but I suspect they have the figures buried somewhere in Dearborn, which is about 40 minutes from where I live.

    I appreciate your recommendations.... I use the ECO Cruise when I have the occasion to do so, but most of my travel is to and from work on a divided highway with a speed limit of 40 and lots of stop lights. As far as the braking coach, I have that on and my score is 96% over the first 700 miles. I use the Empower display most of the time because it makes it easier to adjust the amount of accelerator to use to stay below the threshold that switches to the ICE. Early on when I suggested this vehicle had a 30 mile range, I had it confused with the Volt. I did more research and found Ford claims up to 21 miles on a full charge. 43 mpg is great, but on this car it's not real because it doesn't account for the electricity costs to charge the battery. If I exclude the electric and regen miles, it gets about 23 mpg on the ICE. That is pitiful for a 2.0L Atkinson cycle ICE when the hybrid Escape was rated about 31 city. I do appreciate the recommendation for an engine block heater. I can see how that would help with the warmup from home, which would help with half the warmups. I will call Ford and see if they have any other suggestions to improve cold climate performance. I'm definitely looking forward to warmer weather and better fuel economy as a result.
  • There is a serious problem with the hands free phone in my C-Max. According to a representative from Ford, it is apparently related to the noise cancellation feature of the C-Max. If I phone while the vehicle is stopped or traveling slowly there is no problem. As I accelerate it becomes more and more difficult for the person on the other end of the phone (the person I am calling) to hear what I am saying. By the time I get to 40 mph or higher my voice is unintelligible to the listener. I have called home and left messages when I am traveling on the freeway and I cannot understand anything I am saying. I have been told that Ford is working on a fix. Without a fix, this is a very serious problem. I believe the fix should be to turn off the noise cancellation feature when the phone is activated --just like the radio/CD is turned off when the phone is activated. I am frankly amazed that Ford's engineers let this slip by them. Otherwise I am enjoying the vehicle. But if the phone cannot be fixed, I consider it to be a lemon.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    That's good you're getting in the 90s MP"G"" That means your're driving a lot of short trips and you're running a lot of time on battery only. Did you ever consider a Nissan Leaf to get infinite MPG? I agree with all your reasons for buying a plug-in with respect to the environment and reducing oil usage. My only issue is that it becomes really difficult to compare plug-in type cars.

    For example, how do you compare a plug-in Prius to a plug-in C-Max since you'll never know how many miles are based on electricity only from an outlet versus how many miles are from using the engine.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    For example, how do you compare a plug-in Prius to a plug-in C-Max since you'll never know how many miles are based on electricity only from an outlet versus how many miles are from using the engine.

    That's why the EPA came up with the MPGe sticker:

    Dual Fuel:


    All Electric Vehicle:

  • My wife is the primary driver of the C-Max she drives it 15 miles per day.
    I did consider the Leaf but ordered a Ford Focus Electric that will be here Feb 26th to March 12th! My Commute is 80 miles per day.
    The EPA / Department of Energy came up with an MPGe rating to compare electric vehicles. link title.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Yes, I realize there's the EPA sticker, but I'm thinking more about the real-world comparison issues. Right now it's pretty easy for a person to manually calculate their fuel economy and then compare it to the EPA sticker or to others very accurately.

    But once you throw in the plug-in factor it will be pretty much impossible for one plug-in owner to compare real-world numbers to someone else because not only do you need to factor in the type of driving (highway/city), but then how many of those miles are from plug-in power and how much more the electric bill cost for those miles.

    I guess in the end we'll just to have to rely on EPA estimates, but was we can see with the C-Max Hybrid vs the Prius V, while the EPA lists the C-Max with better MPG, Consumer Reports found that in real-world driving the Prius V is better. But I think the days of going to someplace like or here on Edmunds to post your real-world MPG figures for comparison aren't practical with plug-ins.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    In reality, comparing your results in an ICE model versus another person's results in their equivilant ICE model isn't good either. To really compare, both vehicles have to be driven in the same conditions without any variation.

    When you compare yourself to other drivers, you are comparing non equivalents.
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