Driving Notes: Ford C-MAX

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Jack Archer
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Ford C-MAX Energi 2014

The nice people at Ford were kind enough to let me take one of their C-MAX's out for a weekend. It's a casual, comfortable ride with a surprising amount of zip for a hybrid car. There's something really enjoyable about getting from point A to point B in it---the quiet hum and intuitive interface combine for a relaxing and zen-like experience while driving.

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Technology wise, it has all the bells and whistles you'd expect from a car in 2013. The GPS is solid, syncing your phone for hands-free calling is a breeze, and the two small screens on either side of the instrument cluster are convenient for seeing key features without having to take your eyes off of the road. The C-MAX can even look up things like sports scores and stock quotes on the fly.

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One of the more interesting features is the vine/leaf visualization that indicates how efficient you're driving. It may seem like it's grasping for the "eco" vibe a little too hard here---but it was actually one of my favorite aspects to the car. It took driving efficiency and made it into a game. The better I drove, the better I scored.

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The interior is especially comfortable, with plenty of cabin space for even the tallest of men. I'm 6'3 and had significant headspace, which was surprising considering how the C-MAX as a whole is on the smaller side. You also have tons of visibility in this car due to the way the windshield is shaped, giving you a wide open view of the road. This all makes for a driving experience that feels both safe and tranquil.

Ford C-MAX Energi 2014

Overall, this is a great little car that's some serious competition for similarly priced hybrid vehicles. My biggest complaint is that it made my gas guzzling SUV feel ancient after I had to hand the keys back.