On October 27th I had the chance to drive Ford’s new C-Max to Oakland Florida’s annual farmer’s market which features a hybrid car show. Ford’s hybrid C-Max was parked beside Chevy’s plug-in hybrid Volt, Nissan’s all-electric Leaf and Honda’s Civic Hybrid.
Approximate Prices for C-Max, Volt, Leaf and Civic Hybrid.
- C-Max price $31,000
- Volt price $39,000
- Leaf price $35,000
- Civic Hybrid price $26,000
(Prices are approximations).
Compare the C-Max, Volt, Leaf and and Civic hybrids
Ford is putting out three new vehicles in the coming months designed to limit global warming while giving great gas mileage. The C-Max just arrived in October. It’s a true hybrid like the Honda Civic. It has a four cylinder 2.0 L Atkinson motor that charges a lithium-ion battery. This battery drives the vehicle’s electric motor. The electric motor and the gas motor can both provide torque to the engine, either independently or together. This lets the C-Max achieve 188 horsepower. It can go up to 62 miles per hour on electric before it engages the combustion engine.
As the C-Max drives you’ll here it alternate between the silence of its electric motor and the rumble of its four cylinder about every 10 minutes. The C-Max gets 47 MPG in both the city and the highway on this system.
You never have to worry about running out of your battery charge on the C-Max like you do with the all-electric Leaf, but you do have to use gas. The Chevy Volt falls somewhere between the Leaf and the C-Max. It’s battery has a long range and the car relies mostly on this charge to drive. If the charge runs out you don’t have range anxiety with the Volt because it still has a three gallon gasoline tank and motor to get you to your next charging station.
The vehicles of the future
Secretly car salesman scoff at hybrid and electric vehicles. Their extra cost is recuperated in about three years by their gas savings, but most people only keep their cars that long. Customers may be interested in vehicles with better gas mileage but they don’t want to pay extra for the benefit. Luckily battery technology is advancing every year. As more and more hybrid vehicles come to car lots this new segment will become a common sight on the road.