My C-MAX

Auto magazine reviews

One of the things I did before buying Big Blue was to read the reviews.  If you are going to spend some money you might want to educate yourself.

So I read Ford’s info and looked at information on various auto magazine sites to educate myself.

Ford gave me the spec’s and the auto sites gave me the micro details. Like… turning radius wasn’t as good as it could have been; acceleration was slow; gas mileage off; braking could be better; g force on cornering not the best, etc….

I understand you get out the tech tools and measure everything and put that data up against the other cars in that grouping. Done. Your model car is now rated and slotted into the appropriate lineup.

Well here is my rating as an everyday user having had Big Blue out in the wilds of America since the beginning of July 2013.  Some of this I’ve already written but this is my summary of how the car did on my We The People 2013 project.  And as an aside I purchased the C-Max especially for the project after reading the reviews.

In the beginning the car has been whisper quiet and the electric boost is deceiving.  Down the ramp and onto the freeway and if you don’t pay attention you are doing 80 and not knowing it. With the Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) so smooth and almost impossible to tell when you are on gas or electric, motoring down the highway can be effortless.  And the takeoff from the light is very quick for a short distance.  And driving in traffic this car has no problems from stop lights, merging onto a freeway at most any speed or sitting in stop and go traffic, think LA to San Diego with traffic backed up for miles. And the other really cool thing is going up a hill or mountain. With the electric kicking in the car never seems like it’s working too hard.  Plus you can keep it on cruse control up the hill, just seems to keep keeping on.

Something was written about turning radius. I’ve never found that to be an issue anywhere and for those of you that took the good high school driving class, 3 point turn around is your friend.  Big Blue has been in some tight spots and we moved around just fine.  Parking has been easy too.

Gas mileage is what you make of it.  I don’t pamper the car and I get an average of 38.  Consider in Nebraska the speed limit is 75 and your doing 80 to maybe keep up, plus the temp outside is around 107… Big Blue did just fine and I seem to remember getting around 35 mpg from the section of the trip. Love to have better gas mileage, sure, but given what I’m doing and the speeds and elements I’ve been in, I’m happy with it.

As far as braking and taking a corner.  Other than human error – me – braking is just fine and again, from stop and go to high speed freeway Big Blue has done just fine.  The cornering is interesting.  The car isn’t that long, great head room, seats, you sit just up from car and down from SUV, a nice balance for getting around twists and turns.  During the We The People 2013 trip I traveled over some of the better twists and turns the US has to offer.  And not just flat land turns either!  Coming out of the mountains in CA or NM can be a lot of fun in the right car.  Somewhere in the 5000+ videos I recorded I’ve recorded going down some of those twists and turns.  Must find and post to here.

Long story short, this C-Max is not perfect, is any car?, but for a couple of people, dog and lots of gear this is one of the best cars I’ve had!

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Nav system

Nice look at Big Blue’s nav system… it knew that we are on the ferry..

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

One of the things that I enjoy about this car is how effortless it is to do most things.  I’ve had Big Blue from sea level to 12,000 ft and from the desert 120+ to a wintery -15.  We driven in the middle of nowhere an the traffic mess of Chicago and LA/San Diego.

This car has never missed a trick.  Stayed warm or cool and moved down the highway or stop and go freeway with ease, mostly.

The mostly is a bit of a mystery to me and I’ve haven’t heard any good feedback from Ford.  There are times when I’m traveling down the highway and the car seems to float on air.  Just a light touch on the petal and the cruising is easy.  But later after going up a hill or an acceleration it seems like I’ve dropped an anchor.  Gas mileage seems ok, just there are times when the gitty up is gone.  And the other thing that I have noticed is the button for keeping the car slower going down hill has never worked?!  I’ve asked about that and since the light comes on it is supposed to be working.

So I’m not sure if I’m imagining things or this is just how a hybrid works…  ?

Must say other than that it’ is a great ride hands down.

 

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The Why

Upfront I am not a reviewer of cars, just an owner of this one and a few in my past*.

I bought the C-Max after having spent some time in Dad’s Fusion Hybrid.  It was a 2010 model and very, very nice. Lots of room, great interior, moon roof – love to have that on a C-Max – and good MPG.

I was planning a photo shoot across US Rt 30 which turned into a trip around the US. About the same time Ford announced the C-Max and that it was built on the same chassis as the new Fusion and the same powertrain.  I really liked Dad’s Fusion and was not sure how I’d like the C-Max, but had a few good reasons to get one.

For the trip I wanted something that would get a good MPG, have room for the equipment, comfortable and an ease of usability.  I did my online research, couple of test drives and listened to the flap on over stated MPG.

The flat loading in the rear and the way the seats fold down are a plus for what I am doing. Although the C-Max may look small on the outside if feels very roomy on the inside. The driver’s seat can be placed in most any position and does not feel uncomfortable after sitting a long time.  Great radio and SiriusXM, large touch screen, nav system, heated seats, etc..

So seemed like it would be a great car to use for the trip and I could do it in 15 tanks of gas.

Future posts will look into pros and cons after having used the C-Max for a while.

 

*going to work on a list of past cars, will be a fun trip into the past…

Gentleman start your engines…

Or in the case of the C-Max,

push a button and hear nothing but the radio and maybe the slight whine of the electric motor as I start out on the day.

So I’ve had the C-Max for a couple of months now, little over 5k miles, and in the beginning wondered if I would be happy with this car.  In my memory the first Ford was a 60ish T-Bird we had in the early 60’s and then Dad and I went to the Ford dealer in the Hinsdale, Il area to look at this new car call a Mustang. $2,000 to $3,000 and as we started to lean on the car next to the Mustang  to get a better look the salesman rushed over to make sure we didn’t touch that car.  You could bent or dent it too easily.  And it was $6000 if I remember, which for little 2 seater seem way too much for something so small.  We should have bought 2 of that Cobra and squirreled them away.  But we got our golden-colored Mustang and it was great fun.  Many, many Fords later, I’ll try to list all of them later, and I’m sitting in a new C-Max and wondering about how this Ford will do.

Perfect, no, but what car is and like any guy in the America I’ve had my share of cars.

With few suggestions and/or complaints, I really like what Ford has done with this car.  Looks so small when it is next to a van or SUV or even a mid-sized vehicle.  But get in and it is so roomy, lots of head room

, comfortable seating front and rear, great visibility all around, quite, great gas mileage – more on that later – did I mention the comfortable seats, plenty of room to store/stow ‘stuff’ and a killer sound system.  The car tracks nicely, won’t do the Indy 500 but you can push the C-Max around and with little complaint and stop quickly.  For a little bit the ‘rice burner’ next to you will wonder what happened as you leave them behind, ok maybe for that block between lights, but the kids in the car next to me had a big smile over it.

In short it is a fun car, practical, enough room for most things and great mileage.

Up front on the mileage flap and this just in over the wire. http://t.autos.msn.com/news/ford-to-fix-hybrid-fuel-economy

I had Dad’s Fusion hybrid got 34 mpg overall and for everything that car had, very nice and comfy, thought that was great.  This C-Max is getting 38-40 and I’m not babying it at all.  I’ve seen between 40 and 50 mpg at 70/75 consistently and find I have all the pow

er I need to get around in the city or interstate.  That I’m not getting 47 mpg seems reasonable given HOW I DRIVE.  I’ve heard of people getting the 47 and better and I’m sure there are those getting less than me, it’s the way of anything.  The same computer, camera, home, range, TV, pants, anything works DIFFERENT for EVERYONE.

So now I have a C-Max and it is great for me, you have to see for yourself.

Got the Candy Blue color for a reason and that reason is why I got the C-Max in the first place.  Also must still have a bit WV in me cause I named the care Big Blue. You will never not find the car in any parking lot, trust me on this.  Great color!

In posts to come I will write about the little things that are nice and a couple of things that could a little bit better in my opinion only.

Go over the SYNC® with MyFord Touch® touch screen and voice commands that really are not that bad.  Remember, garbage in, garbage out for those of you from the early computer days.  Well we now have a built-in voice active computer in cars today and like any computer some people do just fine with them and some don’t.  it took me forever to understand when the car kept asking for street and state and I would tell it and get the same question again.  I think they build-in an attitude voice if you don’t get it in a couple of times.  Come to find out, if I had paid attention to the directions that I had to say state, city, street and fill in the blanks. Gee, it works correctly when you use it as directed.

More on that and what I’m using the car for later.

Hope you take the time to follow Big Blue around America and see how ‘he’ handles the trip.

© Ed Zirkle 2013

© Ed Zirkle 2013

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