Hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly popular not only to the eco conscience consumer, but also the average car buyer looking for the most cost effective way to travel. In the past if you wanted an eco-friendly car, you were limited to a couple of models by a couple of manufacturers. People were often polarized by the styling, and the creature comforts were a bit lacking. Ford’s brand new C-Max line, however, sets a new standard on how far these vehicles have come in such a short time.
The road-tested C-Max Hybrid has its batteries charged by gas and regenerative breaking, while the C-Max Energi has the added option of plugging it into a charging station to keep the batteries topped up. The C-Max Hybrid offers exciting styling, great headroom inside, along with a full range of bells and whistles within arm’s reach. The steering wheel controls are conveniently situated to allow driver input for everything from changing music to placing a call using Ford’s SYNC system all while keeping hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. This is paired with an impressive 8 inch touch screen in the centre dashboard that allows the driver to display entertainment, navigation, phone, and climate controls.
Driving the C-Max Hybrid isn’t unlike driving a conventional car, though its gas and brake pedals are perhaps more responsive than you may first expect. The steering is pleasantly tight, giving a touch of sportiness to the vehicle that pairs well with its surprising pickup, which remains intact even with the A/C blasting.
As a nice added bonus, C-Max vehicles can be driven up to 100 km/hr using just the electric engine. Push it beyond that and the gas power kicks in for added zip, but that electric motor top speed limit is a big step up from those of its competitors. Using more electric power more often in a hybrid means that gas is being used less, resulting in even fewer trips to the gas station. Completely topped up, the C-Max Energi could make it from Bolton to Daytona Beach, Florida on two tanks of gas – they boast just less than 1000 km per tank – and look good doing it.
Fines Ford Lincoln in Bolton is one of the first dealerships to offer the C-Max line, having invested the time and money to upgrade its facility and train its staff. I sat down with Sales & Leasing Consultant Aaron Cisco, the resident electric and hybrid expert at Fines, to get the scoop on these new vehicles.
“There are two sides to getting a car like this,” Aaron explained, “the environmental impact and the cost benefit. For a long time, hybrids have been preferred by environmentally conscious people, but we are now seeing more customers who are looking for a more cost effective way to travel. The C-Max is priced competitively with many other non hybrid vehicles in its class and with the outstanding fuel economy more people are now considering hybrids.” The C-Max Hybrid is well under $30,000 to start, while the Energi – which is expected in January – is around the $36,000 range, though it’s a candidate for the $5808 rebate from the government. One enticing option Aaron pointed out was that if you lease the Energi instead of financing it, you’ll still get the full rebate (broken up over three years), which makes for really low monthly payments.
Daytona Beach, here we come.
Fines Ford Lincoln Sales is on Highway 50 South, Bolton. Call today for your C-Max test drive : 1-800-781-3463.
Written by Reay Jespersen