Ford begins taking Orders for C-MAX Hybrid. Toyota Watch out image

Ford Motor Co. announced that dealers are now taking orders for C-MAX Hybrid. The new hybrid minivan will have a base price of $25,995 when it goes on sale this fall. That’s $500 less than Toyota’s Prius V wagon.

Like the Prius, the new compact vehicle will also offer a plug-in hybrid variant, called the Ford C-Max Energi. It will be Ford’s first plug-in hybrid, though likely not the sole such vehicle within its global lineup.

Like most engines in full hybrids, it has been adapted to run on the Atkinson Cycle–meaning it burns gasoline very efficiently but has little low-end torque, which is provided instead by the hybrid system’s electric motor-generators.

Ford says the C-Max hybrid will have better fuel-economy ratings than those cars’ 41-mpg city number. The C-Max will also be able to reach higher speeds in EV mode than the Fusion and MKZ’s 47 mph.

Following in the lines of the Fusion, the C-Max will use SmartGauges whose digital display provides what some may see as excess information. On the right side of the cluster, green leaves reveal overall driving efficiency. The left side shows how well you’re doing on capturing energy during deceleration and braking. Ford claims the system can recover 95 percent of such available energy.

Options include active park assist, push-button start, high-end Sony audio system and voice-activated navigation.

  • Gues

    Toyota and Ford both made mistakes by not putting sliding doors on these minivans. How are these any different from a large car or SUV? They aren't, in my opinion, unless they have convenient sliding doors!