Ali's Adventures

July 16, 2013

My week in a C-Max

Filed under: Adventure,Kids — by Alison @ 6:00 pm
Our car for a week, courtesy of Ford Ottawa.

Our car for a week, courtesy of Ford Ottawa.

In June I had the opportunity to drive a Ford C-Max for an entire week, thanks to Ford Ottawa. It was my first time driving a hybrid vehicle and I picked a great week to do it. In the 7 days, I drove at least 4 times across the entire city. And in the end, we only need to refill 1/2 the tank for a whopping $30. In the next 7 days, in our regular car (Mazda5) it cost nearly twice that for half the distance. We also had a lot of visitors in town for my brother’s wedding, and the C-Max got a lot of attention both in the driveway and when I was chaffeuring people around. Ours was a nice shiny red too!

The C-Max was fully loaded. Not only was it a hybrid, but it was also electric. My first 7 km ran solely on battery charge, which was pretty cool. I didn’t charge the battery, so that was it for the week. There was push button start, automatic trunk opening and closing, a navigation system, satellite radio, rear-view camera, parking assist (I was too nervous to try), heated seats and leather interior.

One of the things I had to get used to was the intelligent dashboard. There was a lot of information presented on the dash, and I was worried it would get distracting, but it was very easy to become comfortable with it. I really liked the information about braking. Every time you brake the car measures your energy return and shows your percent efficiency. At the end of your trip, the car provides the overall braking efficiency. My goal was to get over 95% on each trip, and even the kids got into it. E would ask at every stop “What did you get?” and then congratulate or commiserate with me. Although, we were joking around it did help to have smoother stops.

Not too bad!

Not too bad!

The push button start was also new to me. The C-Max was ridiculously quiet, so quiet that I sometimes wasn’t sure if it was on. Adding a push button start to that caused me to roll down the driveway on my second day thinking the engine had started when it hadn’t. Realizing that there was a symbol on the dash that indicated when the car was on eliminated that issue. It’s good to remember that you still need the actual key fob in the car if the car is running, I tried to walk away with it once and the C-Max honked at me to get back.

The interior of the car was very roomy, we comfortable sat in the front with both car seats in the back. My son liked that he was able to reach the window controls. There was definitely enough space for 3 adults to sit together. The cargo space in the trunk wasn’t overwhelming. It would be fine for everyday use (grocery shopping, hockey practice) but it would probably require significant packing skills for a longer trip.

My favourite feature was the automatic trunk opening and closing. It was so handy when loading the car with groceries and then unloading. I will always try to bring in all the groceries in one trip and not having to juggle everything while trying to close the trunk was very helpful. I showed this feature to anyone who expressed any interest in the car.

I'm not even close to it and it's closing for me.

I’m not even close to it and it’s closing for me.

Other features that were a big hit with us were the built-in reversing camera and SiriusXM Radio. The reversing camera was very clear, and provided guidelines to help identify when you were in danger of hitting something or someone. It also made it easier to reverse into parking spots. The satellite radio was a real thrill for the kids, especially when we found Radio Disney. This would be a huge bonus on long car trips.

The C-Max was great for our family for a week. I probably didn’t take advantage of all the added features, which means we probably wouldn’t buy a top of the line version, but I will look at the Ford line-up when we’re in the market for a new vehicle.

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Disclosure: I was loaned the C-Max free of charge for the week by Ford Ottawa, all thoughts and opinions about the car are my own.

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