Plug-in hybrids – a relatively new “breed” in the automobile industry – are the golden pony for the drivers whose top priorities are fuel-efficiency, handling and comfort. If you’re used to traveling “on a short leash”, like to the mall/school and back, then a car like this might just be the perfect pick for you. The market of plug-in hybrids is small, but it’s growing really fast, and one of the finest members of this young group is the Ford C-MAX Energi 2016. It’s a pretty nice looking hatchback (cute, I’d say) that’s got a large battery pack mated to the powertrain that can travel on electricity-only for up to 19 miles straight; after that, the car automatically returns to the traditional gas-electric operating mode – standard for all hybrids. The great thing is, the battery actually recharges itself from excess engine power/braking energy while you’re in the standard mode. Now, ain’t that something?!
The Best Experience Behind The Wheel
This “I recharge as I go” system allows the latest C-MAX Energi to constantly switch back to electric-only driving, which, as a result, can provide an overall fuel-economy to about 90MPGe. When the vehicle is running in the standard gas/electric mode (meaning no extra burst of electric-only travels), it returns up to 38 miles per gallon in combined highway/city driving, which is pretty good for a small-size plug-in hybrid. In addition to the peculiar plug-in tech, the Ford C-MAX Energi 2016 stands out for a superb driving experience. Pretty much like the traditional C-MAX Hybrid, it offers a solid, refined ride, super-responsive steering and decent acceleration. It feels great to be behind the wheel – you feel like you’re in control, and it’s really enjoyable to ride in this tiny wonder of a car. I can even go ahead and say that no other vehicle in the segment is as fun to drive as the C-MAX Energi.
Competition Check – Who’s The Rival?
I know I said the market of plug-in hybrids is only a small part of the industry, but even now we’ve got several brands that can compete with the Energi. First of all, check out the latest Chevrolet Volt: it has been significantly improved this year, and easily tops the C-MAX Energi’s range of all-electric travels, but, it’s sedan-like body can’t provide the same level of versatility and flexibility. The Toyota Prius Plug-In is always a great pick, even though it’s not as fun behind the wheel; if you’re after something more traditional in terms of body styles, I’d recommend taking a look at Ford’s own Fusion Energi and Honda’s Accord Plug-In Hybrid that boasts higher cargo capacity, more spacious interiors and more tech-savvy (for a higher price, of course). With all those rivals standing their ground, the Ford C-MAX Energi 2016 is still a pretty great choice for those who appreciate flexibility, comfort, great handling and low prices.
Ford C-MAX Energi 2016 – Powertrain Specs
The latest C-MAX Energi is powered by a 2.0-lit 4-cyl gas engine mated to an electric motor that’s operating on a 7.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Together these two units put out 188HP; the transmission is a CVT (continuously variable transmission). The battery pack in significantly bigger than the one in the Hybrid edition, and that’s why the Energi model can go up to 19 miles on electricity. It takes about two and a half hours to fully recharge the battery – that’s with a 240-volt charger; with a 120-volt station, you’re gonna have to wait for at least 5 hours. As for acceleration, the Ford C-MAX Energi 2016 goes from 0 to 60mph in 7.8 seconds, which is a better than average result.
Interior Comfort And Cargo Capacity
On the inside, the C-MAX Energi is pretty sleek: if you’ve ever driven a Ford Escape/Focus, you’ll instantly feel the resemblance. And that’s a great thing because these models are known for an exquisite taste and top-quality materials. The high-mounted driver seat gives you an excellent sight of what’s ahead – better than in most small hatchbacks/wagons. The passenger seats are very comfortable and, despite the fact that this is a tiny car, you’ve got enough head- and leg-room to not feel cramped.
On the technological front, we’ve got great news: Ford has finally let go of the finicky MyFord Touch infotainment system and now we can all enjoy the cutting-edge Sync 3 interface which is a super-cool system with a user-friendly interface, quick response and smartphone-like features and enhanced voice control. The biggest problem with the Ford C-MAX Energi 2016 is still the less-than-average cargo room. The large battery pack takes up a lot of space beneath the cargo area, and thus significantly reduces the capacity. So, you’ve got 19.2 cubic feet at your disposal. That’s still more than what the Chevy Volt offers, but less than what the Prius Plug-in provides. If you go ahead and lower the back seats you’ll get a total of 42.8 cubic feet, so, not that bad after all.
Ok, that’s the latest C-MAX Energi for y’all. Check back with me to catch all the latest reviews and don’t forget to start a discussion in the comments!
Watch the video—->2016 Ford C-Max Energi – Flat Rock MI: