Tall order: Ford’s C-Max Hybrid
So, do you have plans to go to a Harry Potter fancy dress party any time soon? Maybe dressed as a wizard complete with pointy hat? Or perhaps the attire for the evening is more presidential and you fancy the idea of turning-up as Abe Lincoln wearing a lofty top hat. If the answer to both is a “yes,” boy, do we have a car for you. It’s the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid and, in addition to offering an EPA combined 47 to the gallon, it boasts more interior headroom than Tropicana Field.Floor to ceiling, there’s almost 5 feet of space. Danny DeVito wouldn’t have to sit; he could just ride standing-up. C-Max is Ford’s answer to the mighty Toyota Prius, especially the longer Prius V. It’s based on Ford’s hugely successful Focus, which means that it’s a blast to drive and zippier than a spooked squirrel. And while it’s around 8 inches shorter than the Prius V, there’s still stretch-out room for five adults and space for a mountain of luggage. Power comes from a 141-horse four-cylinder gas motor that’s assisted by a 47-hp electric motor. Add ’em together and you get a healthy 188 ponies. You’ve probably heard all the brouhaha over all the reports that the C-Max Hybrid is averaging nowhere near that claimed 47 mpg. EPA fuel economy figures when it comes to hybrids are notoriously way off from what most owners will achieve in real-world daily driving. But in my brief drive, I was getting high-30s around town and mid-40s on the freeway, with an average for the day of 42.5 mpg. Still pretty impressive. And because Ford really wants to take a chunk of the hybrid market away from Toyota, it has priced the C-Max Hybrid very competitively. The base SE stickers for just $25,200, with the leather-lined SEL starting at $28,365. That’s worth tipping your (tall) hat to.