Product Reviews

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The C-Max is an appealing all-around package, combining the fuel efficiency of its standard hybrid powertrain with the practicality of a five-door hatchback design. Based on the Ford Focus, the C-Max packs an impressive amount of room and utility into a small footprint. Its tall stance and low entry height make for easy access. The cabin is airy and spacious.
Alerts
There are 6 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph (sec.) 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
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Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Front side and head protection air bags standard.
Road Test

The C-Max is an appealing all-around package, combining the fuel efficiency of its standard hybrid powertrain with the practicality of a five-door hatchback design. Based on the Ford Focus, the C-Max packs an impressive amount of room and utility into a small footprint. Its tall stance and low entry height make for easy access. The cabin is airy and spacious.

The C-Max Hybrid returned 37 mpg overall and it's fun to drive, with precise steering, responsive handling, and a luxurious ride.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
wagon
Transmissions Available
  • CVT
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 hybrid (188 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 electric (188 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2014 Ford C-MAX owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

In-dash navigation system (GPS)

“System doesn't accurately depict route of travel. It positions car on screen off the actual road of travel”

S C., GA (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Inaccurate and at times cannot tell what street i am driving on”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)

“Voice commands for route guidance are not reliable - actually < 50% of the time. It's extremely aggravating! The voice command hierarchy is maddening plus the non-recognition of responses makes me want to smash it. Siri in iPhone s/b the model”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)

“When the main battery is exhausted and the car is restarted the GPS system will not work until the reserve battery is fully recharged”

Anonymous, DE (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SE Plug-in Hybrid)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

“See other comment”

B D., CO (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid )

“Bluetooth pairing is not reliable”

Anonymous, NC (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)
Voice control commands

“After 60000 miles the voice command would misunderstand phone names which it heretofore had done flawlessly. Unit would not accept call to my Bluetooth phone (had to answer it manually after which voice came over speakers)”

Charles W., TN (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“It is nearly impossible to use the voice command feature...seems at times that I'd be safer to text while driving than to change a radio channel using voice commands”

Timothy W., FL (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

“bluetooth was dropping phone intermittently. Would not happen for days then happen every few minutes for days”

Richard A., CT (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)

“On a recent trip, a friend's Apple phone seemed to hijack the music and phone functions over the two previously paired Windows phones in the car. Very irritating”

Anonymous, CO (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)

“Periodically, radio stops working. Only way to getting working is to pull over turn off the car and restart”

Anonymous, NC (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Other/unsure

“The voice commands don't always work. The other day the radio turned itself off. Hard to navigate. GPS sometimes very hard to set destination. Can't remember how to get into the cloud component to get reports”

Anonymous, CO (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)

“system failed and was replaced entirely by dealer under warranty without charge”

Anonymous, TX (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)

“Would not accept upgrade/update. Car compass is backwards...east on the left, west on the right. They told me it was because the car revolves around the compass. They are incorrect, but have not solved the issue”

Charles S., FL (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE Hybrid)

“Continuous problems too numerous to mention”

Dennis S., MI (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)

“Environmental system computer control got out of synch...turning car off with air conditioning set ON, when I restarted car, AC would be OFF. Opposite would happen with AC OFF at shutdown”

Timothy W., FL (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)

“Voice Recognition Menu structure is poorly designed and takes longer to use than to just use your hands to do what needs to be done. My touch needs frequent updating and many updates could only be done by dealer. Car still can't hold the time of da”

Ross P., IL (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)

“just didn't work. Clock kept bad time, back up camera stayed on, wouldn't change function, navigation didn't know where we were”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SE Plug-in Hybrid)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Headlights

“Headlight lenses were not properly sealed and allowed moisture and condensation inside. Visible water spotting occurred. Dealership had to submit pictures twice and speak with a Ford engineer to get approval to replace the headlight assemblies before my warranty expires. It took 1 week of back and forth between Ford and my service advisor. Replacements have been updated with "vented covers" to allow for moisture evaporation”

Anonymous, FL (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
12V power plug

“12 volt battery failed suddenly - required jump start. Then able to drive to Ford dealer (200 miles) for no charge replacement”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE Hybrid)
Clock

“How can a clock not work properly in 2015?”

Ross P., IL (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)
Exterior lights (other than headlights)

“turn signal front bulb burned out. Dealership had to remove entire headlamp assy to get to”

Anonymous, MI (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)
Wiper motor or washer

“Windshield washer did not work upon delivery. Took three days to receive new part”

Steven S., FL (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)

“Wiper motor had to be replaced on 2 separate occasions”

Dennis S., MI (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

“Electronic Control Module (ECM) that controls the drive and battery system communications failed. Car was DEAD in the garage. Could not use onboard diagnostics because the car would not start. Car towed to Ford dealership and part replaced under warranty”

Anonymous, FL (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“Car would become 'dead' due to electrical drain. Fixed following recall”

Anonymous, IN (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE Hybrid)

“It's a design flaw recognized by Ford that discharges the starter battery. This has not happened since the latest repair and software update by Ford. We have also had a periodic problem with a warning display that the car should be stopped as soon”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE Hybrid)

“The C-Max energy had problems with the charging system. Four trips for warranty work and we are now hoping that it will charge reliably”

Edward C., NC (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)

“Battery failed, died suddenly”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE Hybrid)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

“Clunk in front suspension after car wash”

Thomas A., AZ (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)

“There is a persistent rattle somewhere in the left rear door at highway speeds, presumably caused by wind”

Eric W., CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)
Wind noise

“There has been a loud noise from the rear passenger door at freeway speeds since day 1. There is now a recall for latch issues with the car - maybe that will take care of this issue?!?!?!”

John R., MN (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid )

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Doors or sliding doors

“recall on doors”

Anonymous, GA (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid )
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

“would not close all the way it took ford 4 tries to fix it”

Kenneth G., FL (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

“As purchased, the rear hatch had to be manually pushed shut to close and latch properly. Eventually it failed stuck shut. Fixed under warranty”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL Plug-in Hybrid)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Blower (fan) motor

“Didn't seem to blow as strongly as when first purchased. Service dept. has looked at the issue, and will repair at next service appointment”

Anonymous, CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Evaporator

“Air Conditioning was below normal in cold air coming from vents Car was under warante so dealer reparied at no cost”

J O., FL (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Automatic climate control

“Froze up on humid day”

Anonymous, AZ (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Hybrid/electric battery replacement

“Car had dramatic drop in max charge. Replaced battery”

Karen T., CA (2014 Ford C-MAX Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid )
Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

“Total draining of all batteries overnight two weeks after purchase. Car had to be towed and all computer systems re-programed to avoid a repeat of the problem”

Anonymous, MD (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE Hybrid)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine computer

“On 3 occasions, I found car completely dead. Weather not the reason: 10 degrees , summer, rain. Short jump start and everything came on. Dealer said Ford had no idea for repair. VERY UNSETTLING. Lost confidence in car.>”

Anonymous, PA (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL Hybrid)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

“Left rear door had loose window moulding. Fixed completely”

Charles S., FL (2014 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE Hybrid)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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