Ford’s new compact hybrid takes off
Last year, sales of electric vehicles and hybrids zoomed up 73 percent, with lots of new models coming to market. Still, when you think about eco-conscious driving, chances are you think of the Prius, which has sold more than a million cars domestically and wins critical accolades.
When we took a recent test drive, we were impressed by the C-Max’s roominess: It’s based on a boxy European car body with lots of headroom. Large electronic panels on the dash allow navigation, voice-activated phone calls and instant feedback on how efficiently you’re driving. Luxe touches include a panoramic windshield and über-comfy seats padded with recycled blue jeans.
While the comparable Prius claims to have an additional 10 cubic feet of cargo space, we found that the C-Max’s fold-down rear seats provide plenty of room for hauling estate-sale treasures or the contents of a dorm room (this is a great student vehicle). Though this is no sports car, the 188-horsepower engine zipped us through traffic--and at 47 miles per gallon, we couldn’t be happier to ease up on the gas.