Saturday, 1 December 2012

Ford C Max SEL Hybrid review - terrific vehicle!

Ok, I've been swept off my feet. This is part of the future of cars. It's not available yet in Canada (correction, there is now one at the nearest Ford dealer to me in Calgary!), but when I saw one available at the Phoenix airport, I asked for it right away.

It's a spacious tall hatchback. Bigger than a Matrix, bigger than a Prius, but smaller than a Prius V. But it drives more "euro" than a Prius. It's not mushy. It doesn't drive "hybrid" - it just drives well. It's basically an invisible technology application - just works, and you only see it through a few visual cues, and only feel it by paying attention. Driving down all the tight mountain turns on Mt. Lemmon it carves surprisingly well with no real body roll. It has less hybrid gimmicky buttons, more just feedback displays. I was getting 40mpg on the highway booting along at 125km/h.

Plus, it fits two bikes in the back with easily folding rear seats! (Lying on their sides). Big back cargo area.

Drives nice - good handling - not M Coupe like, but good, responsive, tight enough handling. Doesn't float. Effortless at highway speed, more acceleration than you'd think, quiet, smooth. Like, honestly I'm not even feeling short changed on highway cruising vs. a big Benz. Hybrid in this form enhances performance as much as it saves fuel. Silent torque and power added instantaneously irrespective of engine RPM adds luxury and performance beyond what one would think by stats. There's no "step on it and wait for transmission to shift down to start accelerating" - it just starts accelerating. It's deceptively quick because it doesn't really signal acceleration via noise. No engine buzz at all on highway; little bit of sound when you put pedal to the floor so the engine RPM's max out, but still no buzz feel.

Mt. Lemmon 30 miles uphill? Easy. Doesn't feel like it's working. Pass a 70's era VW microbus? Surges uphill without much effort. Faster than I thought.

$30k in the US for the leather edition with other fancy stuff. Heated seats. Touchscreen interface. Push button on steering wheel for voice control. Awesome windshield wipers. Nice fit and finish. Nice dash layout and colors. Can turn on and off a bunch of the hybrid display stuff. Keyless entry - with the added bonus that when you get in, the car knows, and already has air conditioning or heated seats and stuff on. Good stereo with smart technological presets that are so simple but good (ie. Single passenger, dual, or back seats too). Dual zone climate control too, with maintenance at preset levels. Just have to push a button on the wheel to "ok" that the car can move and go from there since there isn't sound to let you know its on. Button on side of shifter for holding speed downhill is simple and works well.

This car is completely awesome. Good for Ford - I'm super impressed. Good for the future of motoring. So much utility, without any detriment, and in fact just great drivability - it's just win-win. When they come to Canada, do yourself a favour and try one. Never thought I'd say this, but I really, really like it. If they can age gracefully, this is a slam dunk. It's "as new" performance is a magnificent package.

1 comment:

  1. I bought some Ford shares thinking they are better than the other big threes. I am still in the red. Hopefully it will come around soon!