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 4 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 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.
Emissions
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
NA

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.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
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
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

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 electric (188 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 hybrid (188 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2015 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

CD player

"CD player ate a CD causing battery failure as well as causing electrical Failure of computer system"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Would not eject CD. Entire radio/CD player was replaced."

Craig J., CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Display screen goes blank

"A Microsoft window flashes on screen briefly. Backup camera, navigation, entertainment and other systems were not available. The dealership troubleshooting insulated the problem to the CPU module. Our CMAX three year warrantee had run out just one month before this failure. The dealership agreed that I should contact Ford Corporation about this failure and potential refund. The replacement CPU module cost $800 plus installation. There was a $1100 core charge if wanted to keep the module. I doubt that Ford can fix the bad module they just don't want people examining the module."

David S., CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"The whole Ford Sync system stopped working. This means no radio, no CD, no navigation, no hands-free phone, back up camera, etc. Everything is down. Vehicle is still operational but without all of these capabilities. Most are inconvenient however the lack of rear view camera and a hands-free system were a serious problem. The camera is obvious. The hands-free is, too, but it's also law here in the state of California."

Aaron H., CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"All of the electronic problems were caused by the same computer failure. Even though I Googled the error message and told the dealer exactly what part needed to be replaced, they ignored me and I had to take it in three times and wait five hours each time before they fixed it. My diagnosis was right all along. My electronic systems were down for a total of 5 weeks before they finally ordered and replaced the right part."

Anonymous, AZ (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
External music device interface (e.g., smart phone, MP3 player)

"Clunky phone pairing with multiple drivers"

Anonymous, NC (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"SD card failed. Replaced it and lost all traffic functions. In the shop for another two weeks. Eventually got that fixed and another problem popped up with the Sync system. This was the general trend for the 3 year lease. At this point, I decided not to bother getting it fixed and to terminate the lease as scheduled."

Anonymous, TX (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"ENTIRE SYNC 3 SYSTEM FAILED. HAD TO BE REPLACED."

Anonymous, TX (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

"Screen kept going blank or would not turn on. Upon inspection by dealer, turned out to be the PPS software. Once it was rebooted/re-installed, we've had no problems."

Anonymous, LA (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Seems I had paired with another device which suddenly did not allow pairing with C-Max. Finally went to phone provider who said to delete other paired device which solved problem."

J Y., NY (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"System sometimes does not sync with my phone. I know how to reboot the system, though, and that usually takes care of it."

Anonymous, NY (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Radio

"Radio reception is poor with constant static regardless of weather and/or other factors"

Anonymous, ME (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid )
Routine software updates

"Ford MyTouch is a Windows computer, and often needs to reboot. A message will come on the screen that Routine Maintenance is being performed (to paraphrase). Phone, Navigation, Audio, and backup camera will be unavailable, but car is operable. At other times, the bluetooth will not pair with my phone. I have read how to reboot the system, but sometimes it takes two or three reboots to get it to pair. It is quite frustrating."

Charles G., NY (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Voice control commands

"Voice controls are non-intuituve and finicky. You have to say just the right words in the right sequence and hope the circuit hears you above the background noise"

Anonymous, MN (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl 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

12V power plug

"The cmax has a 12v to 110vac built in adpater. A big benefit but it stopped working about 12 months in. The dealer hasn't been interested in fixing it."

James V., CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"As usual the manufacturer said the battery was covered under warranty. It is expected that the battery will not hold the 22 mile charge after several years of use. But, after only 2 to 3 years it will only charge to 12 miles per charge. The dealership is unwilling to honor the warranty."

Robin K., CO (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Cruise control

"Since reaching 18000 miles, cruise control has become unreliable. Decreases speed going downhill but does not resume either uphill or on flat. Need to reset frequently to maintain constant speed"

Anonymous, ME (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid )
Tire pressure monitor

"For the past 10 months, I will get a Tire Pressure monitoring system failure warning notification but then it will go off. When I took it to the dealer to check it, they did all the other service but forgot to check it so I don't know what is wrong with it. It must be a faulty sensor."

Anonymous, PA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"The light comes on that one of the tires pressure is off. But, after checking it, all the tires are at the same pressure and within limits. The light will come on and go off periodically."

Robin K., CO (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in 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

Driveshaft or axle

"A front axle bearing had to be replaced."

Dirk D., KS (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Electrical failure

"Car battery doesn't charge."

Anonymous, NE (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"The battery only range has decreased from 20+ miles in year 1 now down to 12 miles."

Anonymous, NC (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"See previous"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl 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

Sunroof

"Electric moon roof cover has ceased retracting"

Paul H., CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Sunroof electric roller shade is inoperable"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Electric shade that covers glass roof jammed in track. Still arguing with Ford about warranty coverage before getting fixed. They want to replace $1,400 part and somehow that is not part of coverage."

John H., MA (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"liftgate latch had to be replaced"

Anonymous, KS (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

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.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"same issue already described"

Dirk D., KS (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Shocks or struts

"Aluminum rear strut mount broke. Car was drivable but strut was loose and banging against wheel well."

Anonymous, NY (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Tire wear is uneven

"tires wore unevenly and became unbalanced a rear axle camber kit eventually seems to have greatly reduced the problem but one set of tires was only useable for about 1/2 the expected life"

Dirk D., KS (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

Engine Minor

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

What Owners Say

Engine computer

"car used to shut down at traffic lights, It may not be necessarily computer problem"

Rajesh C., MD (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Oil leaks

"oil pan and crankshaft leaks"

Anonymous, WI (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl 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

Battery cables

"Cables chaffed resulting in total car/engine shut down while driving 65 mph on a major highway"

Anonymous, MA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid )
Hybrid/electric system and battery (excluding replacement)

"Electric only range reduced."

Robert S., WI (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in 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.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"an emissions sensor had to be replaced"

Dirk D., KS (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)
Fuel cap

"Sometimes would not release fuel filler."

John H., AZ (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Paint/Trim

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

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Air diverting plastic between engine bonnet and base of windshield, came loose and is missing."

Anonymous, MI (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl plug-in hybrid)

"Similar to Prius, plastic motor undercover came loose over time and started scraping loudly. I had to stop and temporarily push it back up into place. When I got home, I wired it up into place and have since purchased the replacement cover, but still have to install. The reason they come loose is when you hear a scrape sound as you come over a high curb or come out of-into a driveway"

Anonymous, CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Climate System

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

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"On long trips in hot weather the AC cuts out"

Schlotz J., CA (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)
Automatic climate control

"System has a glitch, AC will stop blowing (almost nothing comes out even on high), yet you can hear the fan working at full tilt. Of course when you take it to the dealer everything works fine and their unable to identify any problems"

Patrick J., VA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Engine Cooling

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

What Owners Say

Radiator

"Coolant leak in a valve at the bottom of the radiator. Used to be a replaceable part but now they are welded on so you have to replace the whole radiator."

Anonymous, (2015 Ford C-MAX Hybrid SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Body Integrity

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

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"A piece of trim inside the door came loose, very annoying to listen too - took the dealer some time to locate and fix the problem"

Patrick J., VA (2015 Ford C-MAX Energi SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl hybrid)

Transmission Minor

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

Engine Major

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

Brakes

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

Exhaust

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

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