kostby's Ford C-Max thread

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kostby
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kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Sat Mar 29, 2014 1:30 pm

Platinum White 2013 C-MAX Hybrid SE with package 201a and fixed-glass panoramic roof. Two-tone dark/medium gray cloth interior trim.
Photos were originally posted by the dealership on their website.

Final assembly on 4-10-2013 in Wayne, Michigan.

Purchased new from Bill Estes Ford, Brownsburg, Indiana on March 26, 2014.

Online User Community: http://fordcmaxhybridforum.com/
(I'm kostby over there too.)

First impressions:

C-MAX Hybrid is bit taller than the Vibe, and 25% heavier. Driving it, it feels like a larger car than the physical dimensions, closer to the 1996 Taurus, because it weighs almost the same.
Interior dimensions are a bit larger than the Vibe, with plenty of legroom for 6-footers front and rear, and an abundance of headroom.

The panoramic glass roof has an electrically-operated translucent sunshade, so the 'cabin' feels very light and airy in the daytime. It is a huge piece of tinted glass.

It rides very low to the ground, 4-wheel disc brakes, independent front and rear suspension, alloy wheels with Michelin Energy tires, so there's very little unsprung weight.
Electric steering.

Doors open and close like a vault. Noticeably heavier than the Vibe doors. Of course, it's brand new, so there is zero wind noise from door or window seals.
New-2013-Ford-C-MAXHybrid-SE_ID56779137_o.jpg
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Rear 'trunk' space is shallower compared to the 2003 Vibe with rear seats up. There is a 3 inch 'sill' as you open the lift gate.
New-2013-Ford-C-MAXHybrid-SE_ID56779148_o.jpg
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That's where much of the lithium ion battery resides. the front half lifts to reveal a fairly deep storage compartment on the right side, but not as much total space as there is around the spare tire in the back of the Vibe. There is no spare tire, but they do include a 12v compressor and a can of 'flat fix-it' that attaches directly to the compressor.

Window-shade type rear cargo cover is standard, and easily removable for tall cargo.
New-2013-Ford-C-MAXHybrid-SE_ID56779147_o.jpg
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The rear seats still do fold completely flat, AND there ARE a few rings to attach bungee cords to secure cargo. Not as versatile as the 03-08 Vibe cargo tie-downs, but still better than the 09-10 Vibe rubber strips.

Dual-zone climate control is standard, so driver and front-seat passenger no longer need to agree on the temp setting!

Ford Sync is standard, so there are voice-activated commands available for radio, compatible phones linked with bluetooth, and other stuff I haven't discovered yet, even on this base model. This isn't the high-end MyFordTouch touchscreen model that has drawn so many complaints. (SYNC was jointly developed with Microsoft... Still waiting for the Blue Screen of Death to appear!)

The driver information 'dashboard' display has 3 screens and includes several 'coach' modes to teach you how to drive it more efficiently.
The right side of the display has a plant with green leaves. The more efficiently you drive, the more leaves appear!
When you turn off the car, it displays 'Thank you for driving a hybrid!'

If you want a good driving impression without going to the dealer, a guy in New Jersey posts comprehensive new-car driving reviews as MPGomatic.com and the videos are on YouTube.
This review of a 2013 C-MAX was posted in December 2012. The video is about 25 minutes long, but it shows him driving the car in real-world traffic and around the grounds of a former state hospital. He shows the many display modes of the dash. He also achieves over 40mpg (and he reset it to 0 at the start of the trip).
http://www.mpgomatic.com/2012/12/27/201 ... id-review/

Can't upload any more images directly into this thread, so I'll leave it at that for now!
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby tpollauf » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:14 pm

Nice choice for your Vibe's companion 8-) I was checking out your posts in the C-Max forum and also the warranty periods. Only 5yr/60000 mile power-train, BUT I do like the 8 year/100k miles on the batteries (longer in California @ 10 yr/150k miles). Depending on your final selling price, you should come out way ahead in the long run by getting that excellent mileage. Enjoy the ride 8-)
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:15 pm

Got a chance to drive my wife's new C-MAX yesterday afternoon for a 50 mile round trip.

It was perfect 'hybrid' weather: 55 degrees, so AC wasn't needed, sunny, so heater wasn't really needed, 55 mph posted speed limit, flat or gently rolling terrain, little traffic, and a smooth 2-lane rural state road.

Electric steering doesn't feel 'electric'. Only thing noticeable is that there isn't any pump/belt noise or pulsing when you get to full lock for parking.

There are a number of coaching functions available in the left display panel with several kinds of display including just an instant MPG number.
New-2013-Ford-C-MAXHybrid-SE_ID56779151_o.jpg
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The neatest display is the 'Empower' mode, where it illustrates via a moving graph exactly how much acceleration you can use and remain in EV mode to maximize MPG's.
It overlays the electric motor output in blue on top of the gas motor output in white (both measured in KW these days) with a 'ghost outline' of the total electric power available at any given moment.
The right side of the left-side display shows a battery akin to an AA size, showing how much is stored, with a small arrow at either top or bottom, to show if the battery is gaining or using energy.

There is no 'tach' display, and a redline would be useless since the electronic CVT never really 'shifts' in noticeable steps.
I realize these descriptions are pretty meaningless without photos. That's kinda dangerous while driving.
The guy in the MPGomatic C-MAX video review I mentioned elsewhere spends a lot of time showing these modes, if your interested: http://www.mpgomatic.com/2012/12/27/201 ... id-review/

The two trip odometers also include elapsed time.


The right-hand driver display can show a green plant. If you drive efficiently, leaves appear and begin to grow. As you drive less efficiently, leaves begin to fall off!

The regenerative braking system 'grades' each stop.
Slowing gently braking as you come to a complete stop earns 100 %.
Stop quickly, and you get a lower score.
(I suppose the lower score would also apply if someone rear-ends you while you're busy staring at the display and don't notice the light turning green!) :D

The car learns it's way home. Seriously!
And this is one without the user-operated NAV system option.
The car switches to EV+ mode, and turns off the gas engine as you get within a mile or so of home to maximize mpgs.
Owners manual indicates that it may take a month or more to do this.
Ours did it yesterday, after only 3 trips and 5 days of ownership.

End result: 46.7 mpg for the 50-mile round trip, with just 200 miles on the car.

Conclusion: the original EPA 'laboratory' mpg rating for this vehicle of 47/47/47 mpg wasn't some far-out impossible number in real-world, despite what CR claimed.
The adjusted EPA number is shown as 45 city, 40 highway, 43 combined now.

I once got 41 mpg on my 2003 Vibe by drafting a higher-profile Ford Econoline passenger van on a 300 mile mission trip.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby Kincaid » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:07 pm

Congrats on the ride - I've been thinking about the same for me as my commute would be perfect for a hybrid and the Vibe is averaging 24-25 mph right now. But, we are paying on a VW Beetle for another four years so can't afford anything now.
1997 Civic EX sedan w/auto trans2001 Accord EX sedan w/5-spd manual2009 Vibe 2.4L w/5-spd manual, sunroof, monsoon, GT spoiler, Magnaflow muffler and rolled SS tip, lowered on H-Tech springs, window tint, debadged (save the red arrow!).

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Thu Apr 10, 2014 11:22 pm

Thanks, Kincaid!
---
I had a long post all written here, just getting ready to hit 'Submit' when the power blinked off. Gone in an instant!
---
I noticed the tires looked 'a little low' the other day, but it is our first car with 17's. I checked with my digital gauge:
Fronts 32.5 psi
Rears 33 psi
The driver's door sticker suggests '38'.
Tire sidewall says '51 Maximum' and some people are actually using 49 psi.
I'll bet the service department wanted to give us 'old folks' a nice comfortable ride!
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby Kincaid » Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:32 pm

haha could be! BTW I know a guy that is fanatic about hypermiling, and he has owned two Honda Civic Hybrids and now an Insight. He has always achieved much better mileage than the EPA said, even back before they readjusted things. I think he was regularly getting 60+ mpg in a Honda rated for 40 mpg. He entered a hypermiling contest and came in 2nd, achieving 66.5 mpg in his car. He also beat all of the Toyota Prii that were rated at 50 mpg.
1997 Civic EX sedan w/auto trans2001 Accord EX sedan w/5-spd manual2009 Vibe 2.4L w/5-spd manual, sunroof, monsoon, GT spoiler, Magnaflow muffler and rolled SS tip, lowered on H-Tech springs, window tint, debadged (save the red arrow!).

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby joatmon » Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:20 pm

I've thought the CMAX looked viable, sounds pretty cool.

How's the acceleration compared to a Vibe? I'm willing to trade off power for economy, but only so much ;)

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:40 pm

The C-MAX can be about 1.5 seconds faster to 60mph than my '03 Base automatic, 8.1 seconds versus about 9.5 seconds, according to road tests.
But quick acceleration and hard braking comes at the expense of MPG. As it does in any car, really.

So the power and torque are absolutely there WHEN you need it - interstate on-ramp, or undulating 2-lane road overtaking a slower vehicle in a short passing zone without putting your life in danger - AND the economy is also there, when you drive it smoothly. And there are built-in coaching functions in the displays to help you achieve maximum MPG.
I treat it like a video game now, to see if I can better my highest mpg, 50.5 so far for an 18 mile trip.

Best advice is to take an extended test drive in one, if you're seriously interested.
Reset the MPG counter to 0.0, then drive the way you usually drive, on the roads you usually use, and see what you think.

I call it the "Prius test":
If you absolutely hate the way a car drives, accelerates, and handles, then buying it JUST to get 45mpg is ridiculous.

OTOH If you love the way the car drives, accelerates, and handles AND you can get 45 mpg TOO, then why not?

Lots of performance specs are reported for an early 2013 model here (EPA rating of 47/47/47 was changed to 45/43/40 in mid-August 2013)
http://www.edmunds.com/ford/c-max-hybri ... pecs1.html

I think you'll ALSO be pleasantly surprised at how quiet it is. They use active noise cancellation to counter low-frequency drivetrain noise. (And it can play havoc with add-on subwoofers, from what I've read.)

Get lots more real-world experiences (good and bad) here: http://fordcmaxhybridforum.com
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby joatmon » Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:15 pm

I'll buy a new car someday, but I rack up a ton of miles commuting, and I don't want to buy a new car and run the warranty out of it as fast as I went though my first Vibe's warranty. Might be able to shorten/eliminate the commute in a year or two, so I'll see what's available then. But the C Max is one I'm keeping an eye on.

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:05 pm

Here's a quick comparison of '03 Vibe Base,'03 GT, '09 Vibe 1.8 '09 2.4 VibeGT, Toyota Prius v, Ford C-MAX, and Subaru XV from Edmunds.com stats

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 12.18.25 AM.png
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby ColonelPanic » Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:49 pm

Pretty quick little sucker. 8-)

And looking at the dimensions, it's very much a great Vibe replacement.

Looking forward to seeing what you can do with it in terms of mileage, I remember you were able to pull in some good numbers with your Vibe.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Mon Apr 21, 2014 9:12 pm

A weekly update...

Vehicle historical MPG (since manufacture) is up over 30 now. (It was at 19.6 when we bought the car with 133 miles on it.) We've had a number of local short trips (5 miles or less) in the 45-50 mpg range. We're at a bit over 300 miles on the odometer now, still on our first tank of gas (courtesy of the dealership) with estimated range to empty still showing about 400 REMAINING miles! And 'break-in' period for these cars is somewhere between 1000 and 6000 miles because the ICE (internal combustion engine in hybrid-speak) doesn't run constantly, so mpgs should still increase some after that. 600 miles on a full tank is reported quite often on Fuelly.com I haven't filed any reports for the C-MAX there yet because I haven't filled it up yet (27th day of ownership).

We took a 60-mile round trip this weekend to visit with relatives on the north-east side of Indianapolis. We took state roads over to Noblesville on the way there, and averaged about 47 mpg. A steady 70 mph on Eco-cruise on the interstate drops the instantaneous gas mileage significantly unless you draft a high-profile vehicle. I read somewhere that the electric traction motor is only active as primary propulsion to a maximum of about 62mph without gas engine assist. You can literally watch the instant mpg bar graph increase as you approach a semi and pull alongside in the 'vacuum', and then the mpg creeps down again as you pass it and catch the full airflow on the car. Still, the 30 mile all-interstate trip home at about 65mph averaged about 45 mpg.

Here's a snapshot of the various controllers and links used to make the hybrid power train work:
Image

You'll need to click several times to enlarge it. It's hosted at Photobucket because this thread is apparently at the maximum number of images.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby jake75 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:06 pm

In regard to the Ford C-Max, anyone know the details of the Ford friends and family discount? I recently learned that if you have owed Ford stock for at least a year you are eligible. I have had 1,500 shares of Ford stock since 1991. Saw it go from the low 20's to about $2.50 in recent years. Its' now about $16. My cost basis is only about $6.50 so especially considering all the dividends it has paid in the past 23 years I am satisfied.
2009 Vibe 1.8L Carbon Gray AT Power Pkg 1/12/092003 Vibe 1.8L Neptune AT Mono Power Pkg 1/27/03 [sold 2/2/09]2007 T&C SWB 7/31/07 "Broke people stay broke by living like they're rich. Rich people stay rich by living like they're broke."

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby jake75 » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:10 pm

My take is that the "noise" level is largely due to tires/road and wind. Does the noise canceling address those at all?
2009 Vibe 1.8L Carbon Gray AT Power Pkg 1/12/092003 Vibe 1.8L Neptune AT Mono Power Pkg 1/27/03 [sold 2/2/09]2007 T&C SWB 7/31/07 "Broke people stay broke by living like they're rich. Rich people stay rich by living like they're broke."

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:16 pm

It's also known as the Ford X-Plan discount.

Here's a direct link to just about everything you need to know:
https://www.fordpartner.com/partnerweb/ ... _rules.htm
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Fri Apr 25, 2014 8:51 pm

jake75 wrote:My take is that the "noise" level is largely due to tires/road and wind. Does the noise canceling address those at all?


I'm not sure how much is active noise cancellation, how much is sound deadening, and how much is tires (Michelin Energy Low Rolling Resistance) but the car is VERY quiet.
I actually notice the absence of noise. (Remember the Ford LTD commercials of the 1970's? Like that! And those were body-on-frame, much easier to isolate noise from the passenger compartment than unibodies.)

If you're interested, go for a test drive.

Sales of the C-MAX Hybrid have fallen about 50% from year ago levels, so they are dealing, especially on remaining 2013's.
I got a better-than-X-plan deal, and I'm not a shareholder.
Ford offers up to $3250 in incentives on 2013's, and $1000 and cut-rate financing on 2014's when you use Ford Credit financing.
http://www.ford.com/cars/cmax/incentives/

A family-friendly C-MAX forum (much like GenVibe) is here: http://fordcmaxhybridforum.com
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby jake75 » Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:20 am

kostby wrote:It's also known as the Ford X-Plan discount.

Here's a direct link to just about everything you need to know:
https://www.fordpartner.com/partnerweb/ ... _rules.htm


A friend of mine has a relative that is retired fro,m Ford - they bought on the Z plan (A plan is for active employees, Z is retired employees - same deal).
The A/Z plans are less than invoice. The X plan (some suppliers, stockholdrs) on Ford appears to be invoice - 0.4% + $275 administration fee. As vehicles are often advertised at invoice or under invoice I am not sure this X plan is always a good deal. (On Lincoln is is invoice + 0.6% plus $275).
2009 Vibe 1.8L Carbon Gray AT Power Pkg 1/12/092003 Vibe 1.8L Neptune AT Mono Power Pkg 1/27/03 [sold 2/2/09]2007 T&C SWB 7/31/07 "Broke people stay broke by living like they're rich. Rich people stay rich by living like they're broke."

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Fri May 02, 2014 8:45 pm

One month update:

Noticed the neat homage to the Ford Thunderbird logo in the layout of the radio/entertainment buttons:
Image

Most C-MAX buyers will never see this. It is the standard radio in the SE model, without Sony sound upgrade or MyFordTouch or Navigation.

We don't have (and didn't want) the uh, "Features" of My Ford Touch. Even the base model has SYNC by Microsoft, so we can (argue with the Microsoft Samatha voice while attempting to) use voice commands to change radio stations, play CD or USB stick, connect to a Bluetooth phone, make calls by name from the phone uploaded directory, receive calls, and read texts aloud. No Blue Screen of Death yet...

For $60 a year, we can upgrade SYNC to operator-assist and turn-by-turn voice direction with destinations entered on computer at home and then uploaded from Mapquest. (Who even knew they were still around???)

We're driven just over 370 miles now (total miles on the car is just over 500) in four and a half weeks using just over half of the original tank of gas provided by the dealer!

Doing some quick estimating, our overall average MPG right now is about 46 mpg. I've actually achieved trip mileage into the low 70's for short trips of 2 or 3 miles near home while running mostly on battery. Estimated break-in is 1000-5000 miles, because the internal combustion engine runs far less than in a conventional car.

Tonight we took our first real nighttime excursion and I got to play with the "Ambient lighting". Light blue, Dark blue, Purple, Red, Orange, Yellow, and Green are available from LED's hidden in the upholders, the door handle recesses, the door pockets, under the dash illuminating the front footwells, and the back of the center console illuminating the rear footwells. It is bundled with the power lift gate and rear-parking assist beeper package.

A number of 2013 C-MAX owners have reported dead 12-volt batteries. Including us. Once.
It usually happens when the vehicle hasn't been run for a few days, and then is DOA the next morning.
Ford offers free roadside assistance for 5 years from date of purchase.

It's quite a complex system of high voltage and low voltage controlled by computers and a network of smart and dumb devices and Ford finally (with a November 2013 software update) seems to have a good handle on the causes and the fixes. The high-voltage lithium-ion battery is used to start the car and it powers accessories like electric power steering and the A/C.

The 12v battery ONLY powers the on-board computers and electronics, but does not start the engine.
If the 12v goes dead, you have to unlock the car with the key, raise the hood, and jump-start it, because NOTHING works when the 12v is dead.

Since ours sat on the lot for nearly a year, a dead battery wasn't totally unexpected, and we had one after a week of little use, and then 3 short trips in town in the space of a few hours while it was cold. The next morning, the car was DOA in our garage. So i put the car on a trickle charger for 24 hours, and we've had no issues since.

Late in 2013, Ford changed the 12v battery-charging algorithm (among other things) to more aggressively charge the 12v battery. If ours goes dead repeatedly, we'll likely receive a new 12v with slightly more CCA 390 vs 300 for the original.

I also purchased a small 12v 300 amp jump starter battery pack. I know. I know. I shouldn't HAVE to do that with a new car, but I've been wanting one of those ever last winter when since my Vibe battery died during a very cold very snowy morning and I had to call a local station and wait two hours, then pay $35 for a jump start, because my BP motor club 'couldn't guarantee service within 24 hours because of inclement weather'. BP claimed they would reimburse me, but I haven't received a check yet, and it's been 4 months…
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby jake75 » Sat May 03, 2014 2:02 pm

We sometime go for a couple-three days without driving anywhere, and then maybe only a relatively short trip. I suspect we'd have a lot of dead battery issues with the C-Max.
2009 Vibe 1.8L Carbon Gray AT Power Pkg 1/12/092003 Vibe 1.8L Neptune AT Mono Power Pkg 1/27/03 [sold 2/2/09]2007 T&C SWB 7/31/07 "Broke people stay broke by living like they're rich. Rich people stay rich by living like they're broke."

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby ColonelPanic » Sat May 03, 2014 5:18 pm

kostby wrote:One month update:

Noticed the neat homage to the Ford Thunderbird logo in the layout of the radio/entertainment buttons:
Image

Most C-MAX buyers will never see this. It is the standard radio in the SE model, without Sony sound upgrade or MyFordTouch or Navigation.


Hey, I do see the Thunderchicken in there - neat. 8-)

For $60 a year, we can upgrade SYNC to operator-assist and turn-by-turn voice direction with destinations entered on computer at home and then uploaded from Mapquest. (Who even knew they were still around???)


OnStar also knows they're still around apparently. :shock: They use Mapquest in similar fashion, or you can use the smartphone app which uses... Bing! :? I haven't tried it on the computer, usually use the app or destinations already stored in the car. $60 a year sounds like a bargain compared to our $30 a month for OnStar with turn by turn, but it lets me sit there and refresh stats daily on the iPhone app or perform remote functions so it's cool. :lol:

Anyway... I demand pics of ambient lighting. ;)

Not like I'm in a position to buy right now but there are a few good deals on these out there... Spotted one up the road from me for a shade under $23k, even has the touchscreen radio thingy. But the majority of them seem to be closer to $30k locally.

Nice car you have there, I really like it.
03 Vibe base. Born 10/14/2002 06:07 AM
Neptune. Auto, Moon & Tunes, power package. 129k mi.

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Mon May 12, 2014 11:39 pm

First fill-up: 56 days and 501.8 miles after purchase, 11.788 gallons for 42.56mpg, for 50% city and 50% highway. Our average was up to about 46mpg a couple of weeks ago, but since then we've taken several trips on I-65 at ~75mph and with the AC on, for a trip mpg of around 37.8 each time. So going faster uses more fuel, as is true of any car, hybrid or not. Yes, Toyota Prii DO get substantially better mileage under those conditions, in part because it's a smaller car that weighs substantially less and has a slightly smaller engine. And I wouldn't trade our C-MAX for a Prius.

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Colonel Panic - one of these nights I'll get some ambient lighting pics. I can't do it in the garage, because the headlights need to be on, and they shine on the garage walls and ceiling, overpowering the effect. April 2014 sales were down slightly from March, so Ford continues incentives and dealers continue to discount to Invoice and below, especially for 2013's. The Energi plug-in-hybrid models qualify for a $4007 Federal tax credit too. If you live within 15-20 miles of work AND your employer offers free 220v charging at work (so your trip home is always free), you might save enough on fuel costs to justify a purchase.

Jake75 - Only certain 2013 C-MAX models have had a battery discharge issue: 2013 C-MAX SE with Equipment Group 200A or 201A, and then only some of them. Once I gave the 12v battery a full 24-hour charge, we haven't had any more problems, even when the car has been sitting for 4 or 5 days. The (more expensive) SEL models and the Energi (plug-in + hybrid) models don't seem to have the issue at all.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Sat May 17, 2014 4:15 pm

As promised for Colonel Panic, some ambient lighting pics...

Ambient lighting is one of those 'you have to be there' experiences.

Seeing the door pocket recesses, footwells, cupholders, and door handle recesses in the same color at once is geek-chic, but...

Ambient lighting is standard on all SEL models, but an option on the SE model as part of Equipment Groups 201A or 203A. The 201A package is $925 and includes reverse sensing system (beeps when there is an object immediately behind the car, but no in-dash video), and the pushbutton remote-operated power rear lift-gate (not the kick-to-open version as seen on TV). I would not have paid extra just for a few LED's. The C-MAX ambient lighting kit can be purchased from Ford Parts for a list price of about $249.00 and self-installed: Part Number: CL8Z-13E700-AA. No clue why anyone would spend THAT much to ADD a few color LED's if your C-MAX didn't come with it!

My son was shooting these while the car was moving on the interstate last night, so they're not all crisp.
You get to choose one color for all the ambient LEDs at a time, so these are three different settings.
Here are the cupholder recesses in red.
C-MAX_Ambient-4.jpg
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Purple color under the dash, shining on my son's white shoes.
C-MAX_Ambient-1.jpg
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Next is the door handle recess in green. The dash lighting is very blue. The door buttons are to the left and the dash lighting is reflected on the silver door handle , creating the blue blob under the green handle recess.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby ColonelPanic » Sat May 17, 2014 5:03 pm

Thanks for posting! That's pretty darn sharp. :)

Adds a nice touch.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Sun Jun 08, 2014 6:40 pm

Early June 2014 update:

We've driven about 1155 miles since we purchased the car on March 26th with 133 miles on the odometer.

Lifetime vehicle average MPG is up to 38.4 with about 39% of miles completed in Electric Vehicle mode, including the 133 miles before we owned it when the average mpg showed as 19.6.
No further run-down battery experiences or any other problems.

City driving and keeping speed below 65 (and 55 is even better) gives outstanding numbers.

I've deliberately made two trips totaling about 120 miles on 2-lane roads at an average speed of about 60mph, with AC on for about 40 of the 120 miles, and the average MPG is 51.8

This is a snapshot of the trip odometer for our current partial tank, just under 3 gallons used for 150 miles, with almost 50% in EV mode:
Screen Shot 2014-06-08 at 10.08.26 PM.jpg
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby PlatinumVibe08 » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:05 pm

Isn't it nice to get better fuel economy than the EPA numbers?

Hybrids are extremely sensitive to many variables. I know Ford has a history of stacking the deck for some very optimistic EPA numbers. Sure they are attainable, but only with very close monitoring of many of the previously mentioned variables. Toyota/Lexus, on the other hand, lists EPA numbers that are pretty much spot on for the average driver who pays no particular attention to these variables. For example, my Lexus CT200h is rated at 43/40 city/hwy and that's what I got back in the winter with normal air pressure in the tires. The worst average mileage from a tank of gas was 39 mpg when I took a banzai road trip where I burned down the interstate for hours on end at 75-80 mph.

Back to the original question. Yes, it's awesome to get better mileage than the window sticker indicates. Case in point, I've averaged over 50 mpg with my last three tanks of petrol. Of course, the weather is warmer, the tires aired up a bit over normal and I take pride in my driving ability to maximize fuel economy. Photo snapped today before filling up with 9.5 gallons.

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby Chiadog » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:29 pm

my Lexus CT200h is rated at 43/40 city/hwy and that's what I got back in the winter with normal air pressure in the tires. The worst average mileage from a tank of gas was 39 mpg when I took a banzai road trip where I burned down the interstate for hours on end at 75-80 mph.


Very impressive fuel mileage! What is your location, how wintery is your Winter?

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby PlatinumVibe08 » Wed Jun 11, 2014 7:56 pm

Chiadog wrote:
my Lexus CT200h is rated at 43/40 city/hwy and that's what I got back in the winter with normal air pressure in the tires. The worst average mileage from a tank of gas was 39 mpg when I took a banzai road trip where I burned down the interstate for hours on end at 75-80 mph.


Very impressive fuel mileage! What is your location, how wintery is your Winter?


I'm in Carbondale which is in far Southern Illinois. Our winters aren't too bad and certainly a bunch milder than Northern Illinois. Even St. Louis, MO has a bit harsher winters than we do. I can certainly imagine fuel economy would be much worse if I lived 6 hours north in Chicago.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby bobho » Sun Jun 15, 2014 5:19 pm

Another Vibe owner who bought a C-Max. My wife gets the C-max after driving two different vibes since 04. She wanted a seating position at about the same height as the vibe. We wanted a hatchback. We also looked at the Mazda5 and the Prius V. Its been two months now and the wife is pleased. And nothing on the Ford has broke Yet. Our Vibe's have been trouble free . I doubt if the C-Max can be as reliable

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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:36 pm

Pretty much every non-hybrid car mpgs ALSO drop with shorter trips, colder weather, and heavy A/C use. The mpg differences seem greater with hybrids, primarily because most non-hybrids do not have an instant or average MPG number displayed on the dash while you drive the car unless you're using a Scangauge!

Fuelly.com is a one place to see some real-world results for just about any make and model. If you register, you can 'drill down' to see individual owner stats, and look for trends by season for individual owners.
https://www.fuelly.com/car/lexus/ct200h
https://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/c-max/2013
If you look at all C-MAX years, there are European non-hybrid pre-2013 C-MAX numbers as well as C-MAX Energi (plug-in hybrid) numbers mixed in.

Unfortunately, not everyone is diligent about getting the EXACT model and engine designation, and not everyone is great about accurately entering refueling data. For example, there's a 2003 Vibe that allegedly averaged 116mpg because the owner only entered one fill-up in 3 months, yet used the total miles traveled during that time, not the most recent trip mileage to figure the mpgs.

And every Hybrid car is pretty (some would say wildly) optimistic about the dash-displayed mpg calculations, versus the gallons it takes to actually takes to fill the tank: PlatinumVibe08's 490.8 miles divided by the 9.5 gallons reported used is of course not the 53.5mpg displayed, but 51.66 mpg. I'm certain that my displayed 51.8 actually works out closer to about 50, had I done an actual fill-up.

In other news, Ford just announced another "good will" payment to current C-MAX owners, because Ford uncovered further discrepancies in the procedures used to generate EPA numbers. https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedi ... icles.html
Our check will be $475, enough for all the fuel we're likely to purchase this year. Early C-MAX adopters received $550 after the change in August 2013 from 47/47/47 to 45/40/43, and will also get this second check. A total of 6 models were affected, including some non-hybrid Fiestas, and hybrid and Energi C-MAX, and hybrid and Energi Fusions.

The re-revised numbers are 42 city/37 highway/40 overall. Fortunately, our C-MAX cannot read, so we're currently at 42 mpg calculating actual fuel-dispensed for just over 1000 odometer miles traveled as posted on Fuelly.
Image Our numbers are not included in the C-MAX totals yet, because you need to have 3 fill-ups before results are included. At our current rate of fuel consumption, that might be in July.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby tpollauf » Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:39 am

kostby wrote: Ford just announced another "good will" payment to current C-MAX owners, because Ford uncovered further discrepancies in the procedures used to generate EPA numbers.


Thanks for the update on your C-Max. I can't say enough about the responsibility of how Ford treats their customers. Giving back money to customers because of a minor adjustment to some EPA mpg numbers is simply unheard of. I can see a serious recall, price gouging, or other direct related issues with the car where the customer would have to pay more to operate it ..... but a wrong EPA number? That blows my mind. I guess if it went the other way, like with MY 2009 Vibe GT, then would it be appropriate for us customers to pay back the car company? H E L L no :lol:
My Vibe GT EPA numbers are 21 city & 28 hwy. I'm easily getting 25 city and 33 highway, Hmmmmmm ... better not let GM know of this or they WILL want us to pay them. Great news anyways on your new C-max :D
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:53 am

Mid-July 2014 update:
We achieved our first 600+ mile tank for mixed local and highway driving yesterday, our 3rd fill since purchase and just over 1700 miles.
First 600 mile tank - IMG_5273med.jpg
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The in-car display cheerfully reports 48.1 mpg based upon 12.74 gallons, although using the actual gallons pumped 13.412 and 614.3 miles indicated on the odometer results in 45.8 mpg.

We've had one more dead battery episode, for a total of two in the first 100 days. That's disappointing, but not a deal-breaker. Because the cars have been in production in Michigan for nearly two years, Ford now has some well-documented culprits, and the resolution to these problems are well-documented too. One trip to the dealership should cure the problem for us.

In our case, I suspected the AM/FM/CD radio. It is still possible that my tendency to listen to the radio after the car is turned off (sports-talk radio!) is a contributing factor, but in light of recent analysis of the daily log I've been keeping since purchase, it seems that the my radio use is only one symptom of dropping 12-volt battery voltage, and not the primary cause.

'Water intrusion' into one or more electrical connectors under the hood is likely responsible for our 12-volt battery drain. It happens when the car is driven in the rain or through a car wash.
Water gets into these connectors, several of them around the electric coolant pump, completes a circuit, and drains the 12-volt battery overnight or within a day or two if the car is not driven again. Replacing the defective or damaged connectors and/or the coolant pump has solved the problem in virtually all the affected cars reported in the C-MAX forum, http://fordcmaxhybridforum.com.

I'm getting ready to take our car in for a recent recall to reprogram the computer module controlling side-curtain airbag deployment in the event of a rollover.
I'll wash the car right before I take it in, and have them check the suspected connectors and accessories.

We're getting ready to take a couple of summer "one-tank trips" over the next month or so. That used to mean planning for a day trip of no more than 300 or 350 miles. Now, with a realistic range of 550-600 miles, we've got far more destinations to choose from, and we'll probably need to include overnight lodging! So what we save in fuel purchases, we'll likely spend on food and lodging. ;)
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:53 pm

Mid August update:

Our average MPG calculated by the car is now up to 43.1, already about 3 mpg above what the re-revised EPA AVERAGE ratings indicate, but mpgs are still climbing, so we could achieve the original EPA estimate of 47mpg overall eventually for warm-weather driving. Winter will likely see the average mpg decline into the mid-30 range, from what others have observed.

In comparison, our 2003 Vibe has a lifetime average of 27.1 mpg over almost 100,000 miles of ownership, about 50% city/50% highway. Worst winter months see 18-19mpg. Summer interstate driving is about 32 mpg. Best-ever was 41.3 mpg over 300 miles of interstate driving while drafting a high profile vehicle.

Many little factors add up to a fairly large impact on miles per gallon. Having data displays literally at your fingertips, it's pretty easy to get really good fuel mileage in a hybrid.

Air temperature, engine temperature, traffic type and density, elevation, and use of heat, fan, AC, and accessories can all make a difference.

Example:
We took two identical 62 mile trips yesterday. I left my phone and jacket at the destination, so a quick return trip was necessary to retrieve them. 3 miles of local roads, and 28 miles of Interstate highway. 10 miles of interstate are posted at 70 mph (though with heavy truck traffic on the way, I averaged about 65mph) and 18 miles of interstate posted at 55 mph (though traffic averages 62-65mph) each way. It was cloudy and a bit misty, with an air temp of about 65 degrees for all trips.

First trip to destination was in fairly dense semi-truck traffic during the late morning:
49.0 mpg displayed. And yes the number and density of the 'Efficiency Leaves' on the right side of the speedometer are still increasing:
IMG_5366lg.jpg
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Trip home about 4 hours later after a meal and some shopping:
44.9 mpg. Reasons, lots of cars, but little truck traffic, home is 125 feet 'uphill' from the destination, slightly higher average speed.

Trip back to original destination less than 30 minutes later, so engine was still near operating temp:
55.2 mpg - reasons for the increase: about 5 miles of stop-and-go traffic on the interstate
IMG_5378lg.jpg
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Trip back 'uphill' to home, about 10 minutes later, so engine was still at operating temp:
46.9 mpg


The seamless integration and transfer of power through the CVT between gas and electric motors is still amazing to me.
Last edited by kostby on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:53 pm

Late September (6 months of ownership) update:

The car continues to be trouble-free, and we're getting great gas mileage. Overall, C-MAX remains a great match for our needs with all the local short-distance driving we do. I've managed to go up to 2.4 miles in town in EV mode with a full charge in the High Voltage Battery, so of course that registers 999.9 mpg. I've driven the C-MAX enough miles that now I do miss the EV features when I drive the Vibe, and realize that a combination of 1.8 liter VVT+Hybrid Vibe would have been even more awesome than the one I own.

Our 4-fill-up C-MAX average is a calculated 44.691 mpg for just under 3000 miles of driving. We took a 300 mile overnight trip to Vincennes and Bloomington and averaged about 47mpg overall, 50mpg on a flatter, straighter route going, and 45mpg on a twisty up-and-down "fun" route to come home. Did I mention that it's fun to drive a C-MAX on the twisty bits?

No battery issues to report, even after a car wash (now that I know that the extreme passenger-side front corner where the electric coolant pump is located is vulnerable, I avoid the high-pressure spray there) and a drive in the rain recently. There is a recent Technical Service Bulletin to fully test the 12-volt battery, replace it if necessary, and check some other causes of battery drain, including wiring harnesses in early production doors and rear hatch that could chafe, so Ford continues to work on early-production issues and improve reliability that last 0.1 percent.

I still haven't taken it back to the dealership since delivery, so there are now 3 recall notices and a couple of TSB's that apply to our C-MAX.
I'm sure the whole GM ignition-switch debacle has force every manufacturer to err on the side of caution.

I was hoping to take it in at about 5,000 miles for the initial "free" oil change (and pay the difference to switch to full synthetic before winter) after 6 months, but we just don't do that much distance driving.

The oldest recall (May 2014) and the newest one (Sept 2014) are both for the Restraints Control Module, so I'll wait a while longer until parts are available in a few weeks. Initially (May) it was to reprogram the Restraint Control Module, but the September recall that made headlines yesterday "850,000 Fords recalled" will replace the RCM. The other recall is to reprogram the Power Control Module for emissions purposes.

IMG_5478med.jpg
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I recently installed an OEM Ford clear rear bumper protector. Not nearly as robust as the dealer-installed black plastic one on the Vibe, but so far, I'm not hauling lawn mowers and furniture in the "new" car either, and since all C-MAX models are monotone, I like the finished appearance better. People with silver cars aren't getting their money's worth, though. The logo doesn't show up.

Ford has begun mentioning and displaying the C-MAX images in local, regional, and national TV advertising again, and the 2015 models just began production last week in Wayne, Michigan. I interpret that as one sign of increased corporate confidence that they feel they've solved early production issues they're confident that most people can achieve or exceed the current EPA fuel mileage numbers of 42 city/40 overall/37 highway.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby ColonelPanic » Tue Sep 30, 2014 3:55 pm

I saw the C-Max prominently displayed in a commercial the other day, it's good they are finally advertising it. 8-)

Glad to see things are going well for you, I enjoy reading the updates.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:43 pm

Early November update after 7 months and 3800 miles of ownership

We've started driving the car in the rain, and taking it to the car wash more often. We've had one more dead battery experience, for a total of three, two of them absolutely moisture-related, and the last one potentially because of a bad ground or chafed wiring. The recent TSB I also mentioned in the September update will likely locate and cure all battery problems except owner forgetfulness for most owners. SEL models and 2014 and 2015 models seem to be free of the gremlins in 2013 SE models. As Colonel Panic noted, Ford has begun advertising the C-MAX in the 'desert' ad that doesn't speak to gas mileage specifically. Regional Ford advertising also mentions C-MAX quite often. I see both those things a measures of Ford's growing confidence in the product again, rather than desperate attempts to clear inventory, because cash-back and finance incentives have actually decreased. New York City now has some Ford C-MAX Hybrid taxi's.
Ford C-MAX Taxicab in NYC sighted 10-19-2014 post-383-0-47712700-1413771127.jpg
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Of those 3800 miles, I've probably driven 3500 now, even though this is supposed to be my wife's car. ;)
Initially having read horror stories of first-year owners leaving cars at the dealer for weeks because of parts shortages, and to diagnose some dead-battery issues, we kept her 1996 Taurus, so since the Taurus is usually the car parked outside, she still uses it for many in-town errands, instead of taking the C-MAX. Now with the Vibe anti-personnel-mine/airbag-inflator issue, we'll keep it a while longer until that is fixed. One of these days, we'll donate the Taurus to charity, and be a 2 car family again.

We're at about 44.2 lifetime mpg on Fuelly calculated by odometer mileage and gallons registered at the pump http://www.fuelly.com/driver/kostby/cmax

Our cheerfully optimistic dashboard display indicates fuel mileage peaked at 44.9 mpg about two weeks ago, and now has begun falling slightly as cooler temperatures mean the internal combustion engine runs longer on start-up to warm the engine, and also it runs longer if the interior temperature is set several degrees above indicated the outdoor temperature. (We don't have the SEL with leather heated seats. Heated cloth seats are available in the SE with the Winter Package equipment group.)

So now the indicated average mpg has fallen slightly to 44.5 mpg over the last hundred miles of short trips primarily in town. Longer trips at moderate speeds (70 and under) consistently deliver 45-50 miles per gallon.
IMG_6082med.jpg
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The shorter the trip, the worse the mileage, just as with about any gasoline-powered car. Saturday morning, it was 27 degrees, and starting the car from cold, I traveled about 1 mile to my destination with the engine running virtually the whole trip, resulting in an indicated 9.9 mpg's for the trip. Later in the week, with temperatures in the low 40's, I traveled about 5 miles in town, and got over 50 mpgs indicated for the trip. So, as with any car, in colder weather especially, combining several short trips into a slightly longer one pays great gas-mileage dividends. It's easier to remember when the dash shows both your instantaneous and average miles per gallon constantly. For perspective, our Vibe last tank was 25.9, and the Taurus is likely around 14, because we virtually never take the Taurus out-of-town now. I've gotten as low as 19 mpg for fill-up in the Vibe in the dead of winter when it's cold and we make these same short trips.

I purchased and installed a Wolverine Model 9 125-watt plug-in preheater and attached it to the oil pan of the C-MAX. While not as efficient as the factory (winter package) block heater, this one is large enough to boost wintertime mileage by 2-5 mpg's, according to others in the C-MAX forum. It's not an issue of adding heat so the car will start, but diminishing the amount of time the engine needs to run from a cold start, as an attempt to improve winter gas mileage. It IS a challenge to find a place to attach the 3" diameter heating pad on the cast-aluminum C-MAX oil pan. As it turns out, there is just ONE spot large enough and flat enough on the bottom of the pan. (Yes, adding one of these to the Vibe would likely help that too, but the Vibe spends most of the winter outside on the driveway, making plugging it in more of a challenge.)
IMG_6172.jpg
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Through no fault of the dealership, I've tried twice unsuccessfully to schedule appointments to take it in for 2 recalls, a couple of TSB's, and one software update.
I think the car doesn't want to go!
The first time, the dealership called me to see how things were going. I asked to be transferred to the Service department to set an appointment, but ended up in voicemail hell. I left a message, but never got any options when the recording ended, so apparently the message was never sent. No problem. We were very busy for several weeks, and it wasn't a crisis.
Then a few nights ago, I attempted to set an appointment online with the Ford website. I patiently selected a day and time, entered my name, address, VIN, checked off the routine items (oil change, even though it's way early, because the first one is complimentary) and got to a free-form field where I typed in my list of 3 minor issues and some related TSB numberss. Then I hit 'next'... And the browser returned me to the 'Select a day and time for your appointment', back to the beginning. Apparently I got too involved in my descriptions, and it timed out. So I'll try again some day soon.

With gas prices falling into the mid 2.80's, recently, you might wonder if we regret purchasing a hybrid. Saving on the cost of fuel was never really a primary consideration, because we just don't drive that many miles. The C-MAX is a great, quiet, spacious car on the inside, while still quite compact on the outside, and it is fun to drive.
I have come to realize that if the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid had the same amount of trunk space as the C-MAX Hybrid (instead of about 30% less), a plug-in Hybrid would fit our mostly-local driving habits even better. With a 20-mile all-electric range, we could drive most weeks in-town on a single charge, and seldom, if ever, use the gas engine except to travel out-of-town.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby ColonelPanic » Thu Nov 06, 2014 7:08 pm

That's a way cooler taxi than a Prius!

Are these selling well or is the Focus taking up 99% of the Michigan plant's output? ;) I was checking the local inventory out of curiosity and don't see many available - 21 or so in a 75 mile radius. There are about 60 if I expand the search out to 100 miles and some are priced too good to be true (like a shade below $20k for a 2014 SE in a few cases.) That would be a steal but with the majority of similarly equipped models in the mid $20's, hmm...
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Fri Nov 07, 2014 1:24 am

Ford Incentives have actually decreased on 2015's: $500 cash-back, or 0% for 36 months, to me an indication that they're selling at about the expected rate now.
On 2014's Ford offers 0% for 72 month -OR- up to $2500 cash-back with Ford Credit financing, -OR- a combination of 0% for shorter terms and $1000 cash-back.
Some dealers know the product and sell lots of them. Dealers who don't sell all that many may have been scared off by early 2013 model year issues.

Here is the most recent (October 2014) monthly sales update that I post over at the C-MAX forum:
http://fordcmaxhybridforum.com/topic/37 ... t/?p=51512

About 72,000 total sales of C-MAX Hybrid SE, C-MAX Hybrid SEL, and C-MAX Energi SEL (a plug-in hybrid with ~20 mile all-electric range and 500+ mile gas/hybrid range) in 26 months since introduction, so that's less than 3000 sales per month average. During 2014, combined sales have been closer to 2,000 month.

There are southern California dealers like Galpin Ford (largest volume Ford dealer in the world) with scores in stock: http://losangelesford.com/Los-Angeles/F ... geSize=100.
And dealers who sell 0 per month, like the one in my town, (I didn't buy mine there either) who has had the same one in inventory since April: http://www.genelewisford.com/new-invent ... &view=list

Of course the best selling vehicle in America is the Ford F-150, selling over 60,000 per month since 'forever', so the C-MAX is definitely a niche vehicle in the Ford lineup.
The Fusion has been selling in excess of 20,000 per month recently, though only a small portion of them hybrid or plug-in hybrids. The non-hybrid Ford Escape is also built on the Focus global platform, so it is of similar size, and it sells in excess of 20,000 every month, but offers conventional and Eco-boost turbo power as well as AWD options. Ford recently introduced an updated 2015 European gas and diesel C-MAXes. They originated in Europe about 10 years ago, so this is at least the 3rd generation over there. Those (primarily) styling updates will likely get to North America for the 2016 model. year. I think Ford COULD bring one or more conventional gas or diesel power trains here to boost sales, but I'm not holding my breath. IIRC, those engines don't meet US emissions standards.
Here's the full Ford-Lincoln October US sales release: https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedi ... sales.html

With gas prices dropping below $3.00 again it's unlikely that there will be any huge increase in sales, unless Ford offer larger incentives, or cuts the base price of the vehicles. They recently cut the Focus Electric MSRP by $6,000, so anything is possible.

Early 2013 sales were huge (likely many going to rental fleets), but fell drastically after CR claimed 37mpg was the best THEY could do, and then listed the first-year models (with some justification based on their annual survey results) as unreliable. There have been a number of recalls and TSB's, typical of any new vehicle with this much technology inside. The most troublesome reliability issue has been dead 12-volt batteries, but that affects primarily early 2013 SE's with 200A or 201A Equipment groups. Very few owners of an SEL or an Energi have had ANY dead batteries, and virtually all 2014 and 2015 models seem to be problem-free.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:03 am

Just realized I totally missed a mid-December 2014 update, so here's a mid-January 2015 update:

We've got about 4100 miles on the car now, and it is still performing well and still exceeding our expectations.
Still have not visited the dealership to deal with several pending recalls and one occasional issue with the rear pushbutton hatch activation.

Thankfully, Ford did not use Takata airbags in the C-MAX. One recall involves replacing a circuit board that is not available yet, and two others are software updates. We've had no more dead 12-v battery incidents. We're not driving the car a great deal, having driven only 300 miles in about 45 days. Since this is now the 'good' car, we've been keeping it garaged in snowy and rainy weather and using the '03 Vibe or our '96 Taurus for most of the local driving, driving the C-MAX when we travel out of town to Indianapolis or Lafayette.

One of the lesser known facts about hybrids is that hybrid mileage drops with the temperatures.
Folks in the south and the west tend to get better mileage all year round, but we in the north see the numbers dip significantly.
Still, we're achieving gas mileage that exceeds a conventional drivetrain under the same conditions.

Our lifetime average miles per gallon has dropped from a high of 45.9 down to 42.5.
Our per-tank average was 46-49mpg in mid-summer when temperatures were about 80-degrees
The last fill-up was 32.8 mpg with temps in the 20's and 30's now, primarily because the internal combustion engine needs to run far longer to generate cabin heat now.
The upside is that the internal combustion engine does charge the high-voltage battery in the process, so once the engine IS warm, we're using EV mode much of the time. I've still seen short trips of 4 or 5 miles averaging 45 mpg once the engine is warm, but from a cold start, the first leg of a short trip often registers in the 30mpg range or less.

In comparison, our Vibe is getting less than 20mpg in this weather, so even 32.8 mpg is still at least 12 mpg higher than the Vibe which achieved 19.7 on the last fill-up of all city driving with no trips out of town.

http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/c-max/2013/kostby/280857
http://www.fuelly.com/car/pontiac/vibe/ ... tby/280860

When I plug in the oil-pan preheater I installed in October, I reduce the engine running time some, especially when temps are 30 or below, and that benefits gas mileage by 2 to 5 miles per gallon. It uses about 10 cents of electricity to preheat the engine oil pan for 8 hours (125 rated watts at about 12 cents per kilowatt hour), so it's slightly cost-effective when gas is at $3.00 a gallon. With gas at $2.00 per gallon, it's pretty much a wash, about 6 cents per mile fuel cost, or add about 2mpg for an electricity cost of 10 cents. I've put the preheater on a timer with a remote. Sometimes the inconvenience of having to plug and unplug the preheater isn't worth saving 2 cents. Some C-MAX owners have also fashioned and installed clear front-grllle covers, and that helps keep heat in the engine, especially when driving on the highway.

Year-end figures show that Ford C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid sales have been steady over the last 4 months, but I doubt anyone at Ford would term them "stellar". Ford is making a determined effort to move away from rental fleet sales, so overall Ford vehicle sales for 2014 were about flat with 2013. A hybrid is still a niche vehicle, and for now, Ford seems content to sell about 1300 C-MAX hybrids and about 600 C-MAX Energi plug-in per month, while depending on the sales of F-150's, Escapes, and Fusions to keep the company in business.

It will be interesting to see how successful the 200-mile-range $30,000 2017 Chevy Bolt (announced today at NAIAS) will be, and if it affects Ford's future Hybrid and plug-in designs.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Mon Mar 30, 2015 10:07 pm

Our C-MAX One Year Ownership Update March 30, 2015

1) Yesterday, I finally took the C-MAX in to the dealer for the first return trip.
It was for the first oil change (at just under 5,000 miles) from the factory-supplied 5W20 synthetic blend to 0W20 Mobil1 full synthetic that I supplied, and to apply 4 software updates from recalls, and address a couple of TSB's.
The car was ready in about 90 minutes. One of the advantages of waiting a while for non-lethal recalls (a/k/a Vibe Takata Airbag inflators) is that a volume dealer service department has 'practiced/learned' on many other cars before they get to work on mine!
This most recent round of updates might have cured our rare dead 12-volt battery issue, encountered 4 times in the first 8 months of ownership, but none in the last 4 months. In any case, the purchase of a $50 12-volt booster battery last spring provides great peace of mind, plus a portable USB plug in power source to recharge phones, cameras, and the like.

2) Today's updates as yet unproven on our car, I'd assess our 2013 C-MAX SE as 98% reliable for the occasional 12-volt battery drain that affects primarily 2013 C-MAX SE's with option group 200A or 201A (the base radio package that's in the model we have). Is 100% reliability too much to ask for a $25,000 car? Not if you're Honda or Toyota. (If you're buying a used 2013 C-MAX, look for an 2013 SEL. or any model of 2014 or newer. Those models are 'Toyota' reliable, as far as the 12-volt battery goes. I'd estimate that a similarly-equipped Toyota Prius V would be about 99.9% reliable. Is the 1% difference in reliability worth paying a Toyota hybrid premium? That's a judgment call you'll have to make.)

3) Here are the one year ownership miles and fuel stats:
The C-MAX traveled 4927.1 miles as of March 30, 2015.
Purchased on 03/26/2014 with 133 miles recorded on the title. We've driven ~4800 of that because it had 126 miles on it when we first test drove it about 7 miles the day we purchased it. Fuel cost is about 7 cents-per-mile.

C-MAX 1-year fuel use and miles IMG_8012.jpg
C-MAX 1-year fuel use and miles IMG_8012.jpg (70.78 KiB) Viewed 3295 times

(Taken a few hours later after another short trip)

1952.7 miles or about 40% of the total miles was in EV (full electric) mode, and 216.1 Regen miles (4%) from energy stored by regenerative braking with fuel use hand calculated by the car to be 41.8 MPG, using 115.23 gallons of unleaded regular 87 octane per the car display. My gallons-pumped calculation as shown on Fuelly is 41.4 average mpg at last fill-up, and it does not include the initial fill-up by the dealership that lasted us until May 11th, 2014. Fuelly profile here: http://www.fuelly.com/car/ford/c-max/2013/kostby/280857.

4) Cold weather temperatures in the 30's and lower, dozens of short trips without preheating the engine (using the oil pan preheater I installed), and fast interstate driving (70mph and higher) in winter combine to SEVERELY CUT the outstanding warm-temperature fuel mileage significantly. From a summer high of 49.0 mpg for a single tank, to 32.8mpg and 33.3mpg for two consecutive fill-ups during the winter, the Fuelly graph illustrates it. By comparison, the Vibe gets 18-19mpg under similar winter local short trip driving.

5) The last-revised (August 2014) EPA numbers for the C-MAX are 42 city/37 highway, 40 average. Are these numbers realistic as year-round averages? YES!
Can some people do significantly better? Yes. People who live in warm climates like Florida and Southern California year-round and who do primarily suburban driving can easily achieve the original 47/47/47 numbers.

6) The bottom line question,would we buy the same car equipped the same way again, despite gas prices that are about 40% lower (2.159 versus 3.499 per gallon)? [b]ABSOLUTELY YES.

7) WHY or WHY NOT?
The C-MAX has most of the same qualities that made the 2003 Vibe such an attractive purchase for us:
It is a great flexible family car of modest size (a bit bigger than the Vibe), with good space utilization, good acceleration (actually GREAT), good handling, and good braking. The extreme quiet, the outstanding fuel mileage, and more modern technology options are just bonuses.

To put this into perspective, if there was still a source of new or nearly-new Pontiac Vibes equipped like our 2003 Base (1.8, Auto, Moon & Tunes), I would also purchase one of those again too. EDIT: Just saw the 2016 (Toyota Auris) Scion iM photos, and that looks like a distinct possibility! But again, not until we have an actual need.

Going forward, owning a very fuel-efficient hybrid where every drop of gas is meticulously accounted for and instantaneous fuel mileage is constantly displayed right in front of me has made me aware of how many short local trips we drive every year that could easily be full electric, if this car had just a bit more range. As it is, under ideal conditions (which has only happened maybe a dozen times in a year) we can travel just about 2 miles in all-electric mode before the gas engine starts, provided that the outside temp is at least 50, and the High Voltage Battery has a full charge. When the outside temp is below 50, the engine runs to warm up and to generate heat for the cabin heater. (The Energi plug-in hybrid has an electric heater available when plugged in for charging, so users can preheat the interior at home via an app in the winter.)

A C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid was not a good choice for us last year, because of the diminished 'trunk' capacity that makes it unsuitable for our primary 'family' car.
BUT… AS A SECOND CAR... a C-MAX Energi, or a used full-electric, such as a Ford Focus Electric or a Nissan Leaf with at least 75+ mile range at a great price in the next few years would make a lot of sense for us.

So, I'm spending a little time online looking at (but with no ACTUAL need, not seriously shopping for) either a full-electric or plug-in hybrid as our next vehicle purchase. Right now there are scores of 2- to 3-year-old low-mileage (15,000 or less) well equipped off-lease full-electric Nissan Leafs for sale in the midwest, and selling for about half of the original sticker price, ~$12 to 15,000 vs ~$25 to 30,000+ when new after Federal Tax Credit of $7500.

And from a look at a few free CarFax reports, at least some Nissan dealers in my area are apparently buying back 'orphaned' Nissan Leafs from non-Nissan dealerships who took them in trade but aren't having any luck reselling them without any support.

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Historical sales chart:
Ford now seems to be comfortable manufacturing and selling C-MAX and C-MAX Energi at a total of about 1000 or so per month
Last edited by kostby on Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby ColonelPanic » Sat Apr 04, 2015 8:45 am

Thanks for the update! I enjoy reading them. Glad to see things are still going well, this seems to be an impressive vehicle.

I was hoping to convince Mrs. Panic that she needs a C-Max but she prefers the Escape. Same thing, just different packaging with the added "benefit" of 50%+ lesser fuel economy, right? :lol: So we may be fellow Ford owners sometime soon. The Vibe stays though.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Sat Apr 04, 2015 11:54 am

The Ford Escape absolutely offers a lot for the money.

The base model S cost is about the same as a base C-MAX SE, in the low 20's, before incentives.
A loaded 'Platinum' Escape 2.0 Ecoboost 4WD can easily top $35,000 sticker price and is rated at 25mpg combined, but the base S model with FWD and a normally aspirated 2.5l 4 starts at about $23,000 and is STILL rated at 25mpg combined!

Ford is averaging sales of more than 25,000 Escapes every month, versus far less than 2,500 C-MAX and C-MAX Energi models per month. Because they sell so well, there are likely dozens of Escapes available at larger dealers, versus a C-MAX or two at most dealerships.

EPA cost estimates are still using $3.50-per-gallon gas, so the fuel cost or savings estimates on the Monroney stickers are worthless.

I just saw pics of the 'new' (Toyota Auris) Scion iM hatchwagon from the New York auto show so it looks like the 'Vibe/Matrix' concept will live on a while longer! And this time they didn't stuff the loaded models with an inefficient 2.4l and a 4-speed automatic, like the Generation 2 Vibe and Matrix. Next question is, 'But how much longer will the Scion brand be around?'
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Tue Dec 22, 2015 12:41 am

Last updated in April? I've been busy with theatre...

I had a really long post prepared here, but apparently my login timed out. Here's the TL;DR Executive Summary:

21 month, 8740 mile SUMMARY as of December 2015:

8740 cumulative miles traveled
5032 Internal Combustion Engine powered miles
3533 EV (battery electric) powered miles
0175 brake regen powered miles

Approx 60% Highway/40% City driving

Current EPA ratings 42 city/37 highway/40 combined
Our average: 41.7mpg calculated average per Fuelly.

Our C-MAX Hybrid SE continues to be a pleasure to own and drive through 21 months and 8700 miles of ownership. The 'videogame' displays are still entertaining, but once I achieved 600 miles and a true 49.0 mpg on one tankful after about 2000 miles, I started simply driving it and enjoying it, and not worrying much about the mileage.

We've had ZERO 12-volt battery issues since recalls and updates were performed in late March 2015. There are a couple of outstanding customer satisfaction actions and one recall yet to be performed.

Ford C-MAX sales continue to decline. Not surprising, 1) because Ford is spending $0 to advertise the cars, 2) Ford is apparently building just enough to supply current demand, because there are no large rebates or incentives being offered to move existing inventory, and 3) because the price of oil, and thus gasoline, has declined rapidly. When gas prices increase, so do the sales of the C-MAX

CMAX Sales overlaid on avg US Gas Prices.png
CMAX Sales overlaid on avg US Gas Prices.png (127.01 KiB) Viewed 2896 times


Questions? Post here, and I'll reply.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:18 pm

Time for an update as it's been over a year. We still own the Vibe, and it's going strong at 125,000 miles.

Our C-MAX has been 100% reliable since software and corrective/preventive service advisory updates performed in 2015 to address 12-volt battery discharge issues that occurred in a few of the early 2013 SE models, including ours.

We're still completely satisfied 2013 C-MAX Hybrid SE owners as we near 3 years of ownership (and the end of the 36-month/36000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty) at the end of March. Hybrid-specific powertrain components are warranted to 80,000 miles/10 years.

The car calculates our lifetime fuel consumption for 18,000 miles at 42.2mpg, a bit optimistic.
Fuelly.com calculates our average mpg at 40.8, which compares well with the 40mpg EPA average, since we've driven 67% highway/33% city
Of 18,000 miles travelled, over 1/3 (6700 miles) has been on hybrid battery power, and nearly 600 miles powered by brake regeneration.

In winter in the midwest, the average goes down, (as it does with any gas internal-combustion-engine car) though this winter has been unusually warm and snow free in central Indiana, so our average mpg has only dipped a little, from a displayed high of 43.5 to 43.3. During the prior two winters we were losing almost 1 mpg in the average.

Quite a while ago, Ford announced plans to begin building an unnamed replacement for the C-MAX hybrid in Mexico, (instead of the Ford Michigan Assembly Plant where the C-MAX is still being produced today) to make room for the new Ranger and Bronco production.

At the 2017 International Auto Show in Detroit, Ford announced plans for a hybrid Mustang, and a hybrid F150. These plans COULD change if the current administration pauses or simply ends the 54.5 EPA mpg targets for the 2025 passenger car fleet.

Last July we took a 3300 mile vacation from central Indiana west across Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas to Colorado Springs, CO then 'up' to Mount Rushmore SD, 'across' SD and Minnesota to Wisconsin, and finally back 'down' to Indiana. The C-MAX performed flawlessly, and our trip MPG was about 38mpg, also right at the EPA highway rating, even with elevation changes and speed limits of 75 and 80 in several states.

In short, the C-MAX is definitely NOT a Pontiac Vibe, but it was and it remains a logical vehicle for us.
There are now many newer and updated hybrid and plug-in hybrid choices available, including Hyundai and Kia.
If you're in the market for a Hybrid, definitely give a C-MAX a test drive. Ford continues to make incremental improvements, but no major changes, no change in EPA ratings, and virtually NO advertising. For 2017, the C-MAX Energi plug-in Hybrid is now available in a lower-cost 'SE' trim with a cloth interior. They upgraded the highest-level to 'Platinum' designation, replacing the SEL trim of prior years..

Putting C-MAX Hybrid sales in perspective, Ford sells as many F-150 pickups in two MONTHS as the entire production of the C-MAX in FOUR YEARS!


In other news, my 26-year-old son recently purchased a 2013 Honda Fit Sport as his first car. I'll create another thread with more about that vehicle.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby ColonelPanic » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:23 pm

Glad to see you're still enjoying the C-Max! And I'm still envious. ;)

Are they even building the C-Max anymore or did they just really scale back on production? They never were in abundance, but it's even less so now. There are only 28 within 100 miles of my zip. Kinda kicking myself for never stopping in to look at the used 2016 with 7k on it that was at the local dealer that i stared at every time I drove by. It's long gone now.

The way Ford seems to have ignored the C-Max in terms of marketing/etc from the beginning sure seems very familiar. Perhaps they are an ideal Vibe replacement in that regard!
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:51 am

Ford IS still building new 2017 C-MAX at the Michigan Assembly Plant, so there are new 2017's around, and some 2016's.

Yes, very Vibe-like of Ford to spend $0 on C-MAX TV advertising!

Surprising, but C-MAX actually DID get some updates for 2017:
SYNC 3 is no longer Microsoft-branded and CarPlay is standard. (Might have been a 2016 addition, though)

Ford added a new 2017 C-MAX Energi (plug-in hybrid) in SE trim (cloth seating, no touch-screen audio system, fewer gadgets), and a Platinum trim level (leather, and doodads like HomeLink, rain-sensing wipers, extra "chrome" on the grille, distinctive alloy wheels) for both C-MAX Hybrid and Energi Hybrid models replacing the SEL trim. Previously, the Energi plug-in hybrid was only available in SEL trim with pretty much the same features as Platinum now, except the wheels & grille.

The recent regime change in Washington has encouraged Ford to retain more US manufacturing jobs, and maybe even create new ones, but the C-MAX production is still scheduled to end in Michigan, though I'm not sure if it will end in 2017, or continue through 2018 model year.

Ford announced 2 years ago that whatever vehicle replaces it (Mex-MAX?, i-MAX?, Apple-MAX? :D) will be built in Mexico. It does make a lot of sense. C-MAX and Fusion have always shared the hybrid and plug-in-hybrid Atkinson engine/CVT/hybrid motor/generator packages. Ford Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Energi Hybrids have always been built in Mexico.

In early 2017, Ford announced that the new Ford Ranger and Ford Bronco will be assembled at Michigan Assembly Plant. At the same news conference Ford announced F-150 and Mustang hybrids are under development. So Ford IS committed to building hybrids and plug-in hybrids for the near future. If the ridiculously strict 2025 EPA mpg standards are relaxed or postponed, then consumers won't have to pay to develop 54mpg pickup trucks (titanium bodies and motorcycle-engines maybe? :lol:)

So, C-MAX hasn't been the big selling 'Prius-killer' that Ford apparently hoped for when they introduced C-MAX to the US in late 2012.dfff
Consumer's Union had a lot to do killing early enthusiasm by questioning EPA ratings and airing reliability (dead 12-volt battery) concerns. Ford gave two rebates to early adopters and downrated EPA to 40mpg overall. Reliability concerns were solved by the 2014 model year. After some software updates and a couple of customer assurance action plans, we've had zero battery issues with our mid-2013 model.

I'll post a recap of our 3-years of ownership and some thoughts about Hybrids and Hybrid-electrics next.
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Re: kostby's Ford C-Max thread

Postby kostby » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:46 pm

3 years of ownership update:

TL;DR: Yes, we still love it.
Yes, we would(probably will) buy another Ford hybrid, but at this point, probably a used CPO '17 C-MAX Energi SE as a second car, in a year or two.

So get a cup of coffee first. This will take a while...

Today I took our 2013 C-MAX Hybrid in for the 3rd annual oil change
1 year or 10,000 odometer miles, but the car also has an oil-life monitor via a Vehicle Health Report request to the 'SYNC lady'.
Was at 10% last time I checked a couple of weeks ago.) We drove 8500 miles in the last 12 months, including 3300 miles on a vacation from Indiana to Colorado, SD, MN, WI, & IL last summer.

Had the original dealer (Bill Estes Ford, Brownsburg IN) perform some 3 years-of-ownership/4 years since built, so it's due, regardless of miles, maintenance: coolant change (first ever), cabin air filter change (first ever), engine air filter change (first ever), rotate & re-balance tires. Tires rotated, no rebalancing needed.

We purchased it 11 months after it was built (built April 2013, we purchased March 2014), with 133 demo miles on it.
We're at just beyond 18,000 miles now.

So how are the MPGS?
Lifetime Stats MPG on the car displays is 42.4 hybrid mpg
That's 5% optimistic, based on odometer miles driven and gallons pumped, Fuelly says we're at 40.5 mpg.
Fuelly says our last 6 years of Vibe mpg for our same driving patterns is 26.4, so the C-MAX hybrid IS about 35% more fuel efficient.
For a heavier vehicle with more passenger comfort. (Ford hybrids built 2014 and newer no longer have a Lifetime Statistics display.) You can use one of the two trip counters, but they automatically roll over and reset at 10,000 miles. Ask me how I know...

We had several reasons for purchasing THIS particular C-MAX Hybrid 3 years ago this week in 2014.

Primary reason was that our newest car was our 2003 Vibe, then 12 years old, over 100,000 miles, (built May 2002, purchased Feb 2004), we had some cash, and our older car was a 1996 Taurus. Still running, but at 18 years old then (now 21), It was time for something new and reliable.

So I started looking for Vibe-like seating/cargo flexibility, Vibe-like (Toyota) reliability, size between Vibe and Taurus, and a great price. Better gas mileage wasn't a huge priority, but Turns out most new SUV's

I looked online and found Toyota Prius V, Lexus CT200h, Subaru CrossTrek hybrid, and Ford C-MAX Hybrid. Prius V was more expensive, offered power comparable to the Vibe, and more interior space. If I hadn't driven a C-MAX first, I'd probably own one now. Lexus CT200h was more expensive, and used the same powertrain as the Prius. Subaru CrossTrek Hybrid was hard to find, and hybrid fuel economy seemed substantially lower than the others. C-MAX at the time advertised 42mpg average.

Why choose C-MAX when there are so many Prii?
I looked online at test drives. A guy named Daniel Gray is on Twitter https://twitter.com/MPGomatic and has a YouTube channel of car test drives called MPGomatic. It was his test drive of a 2013 C-MAX Hybrid that convinced me we should look at one. He achieved 40mpg easily, and looked like he was having fun driving it. We looked. We drove. We bought.

It was a DEAL!
We got an amazing deal (they came back with an even lower price than my low-ball offer) on a 2013 SE model with Equipment Group 201A. Ambient lighting (8 colors of LED's in footwells & behind the door handles), panoramic moonroof (retracting sunshade, but glass does not open), and White Platinum tricolor paint. Out the door for under $24,000 after rebates, before sales tax. $4500 off the original sticker price of $28,500. (16% off) Ford reduced base price by $1000 on 2014's, but we still saved over $3500 over buying a 2014 configured with the same options. Still 13% off.

But DOA 4 times in the first year of ownership?
Turns out 201A (and base 200A) are the 2 most likely option groups to suffer a dead 12-volt battery issue. We had the issue too within a few weeks of purchase, and 4 times total, in the first 9 months and 4000 miles. Ford offers free roadside assistance, but this always occurred at home after being parked overnight or longer, so a fast jump-start and we were on our way. The 12-volt battery only powers the displays and computers. The Hybrid battery actually starts the engine. But the displays and computers are needed to connect the hybrid battery to the starter circuit. So I bought a $50 booster battery and have kept one in the car ever since. Ford solved our problem with multiple software updates and Customer Satisfaction programs, and the last two years have been entirely trouble-free.

Would we buy another Ford hybrid based on our own experience?
Absolutely. But realize there are WAAAAAY more hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and pure-electric options than in 2014, so we'd ALSO look at hybrids, and maybe even pure-electrics from other manufacturers, including Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Chevy, and maybe Toyota (RAV-4).

How good is a C-MAX Hybrid a doing what the Vibe does?
Fuel economy - 40.5 C-MAX versus 26.4 Vibe mpg over our 3 years and 18,000 miles of ownership.
About 50% in town, 50% interstate highway.
And that's 30-34 mpg in cold months, 45-50 mpg in warm weather.

Noise/ride - vast improvements over the 1st Gen Vibe. But it's a larger more expensive car with more insulation and a sound system that listens for low-frequency engine noise and produces counter-pulses to minimize it.

Seating comfort. Similar, better, higher seating position, a bit more cabin room for people.
With pano moonroof it feels 'airy'
I find cloth seats more comfortable leather. These cloth seats are more comfortable than the Vibe cloth, but by a small margin. I never found the Vibe seats uncomfortable, except for very long highway trips. Never tried either Vibe or C-MAX with leather. YMMV.

Cargo capacity. Good, different, but not better.
Similar cargo space to the 1st Gen Vibe with seats folded down. A bit higher hatch lift-over height than the Vibe. Flat cargo floor, but about 1" higher than the rear hatch lip. Vehicle sits higher than Vibe, and seating position is several inches higher than Vibe. The front passenger seat does not fold forward, so there's no chance to carry an 8-foot long ladder inside the car.

Toyota-like reliability. Eventually.
First year, 4 occurrences of dead 12-volt battery. Call it the 'early adopter' first model year syndrome. But Ford fixed it. Ford had several employees active monitoring the online C-MAX communities, getting involved and following-up on consumer issues. That was impressive. And the problems got solved. Years 2-3 have been entirely trouble-free. Our only actual 'repair' in 3 years was to re-glue a couple of carpet strips to the rear of the rear setbacks because the factory adhesive apparently dried out. And that was free under the bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Knowing what we know now, would a C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid be a BETTER choice for us?

TL;DR: No. See reason #1 below.

1. If the hatch/cargo space was the same. But it's not.
The C-MAX Energi has a much larger battery, and so it has a 'hump' behind the rear seat for the larger battery (20 miles vs 2 miles for the Hybrid) and that occupies a substantial amount of the 'hatch' space. Main reason we didn't buy one in 2014. Plenty of space for local travel & a couple of suitcases for overnight, but we like to take extended driving family vacations too. Energi wouldn't have enough space.

2. IF the selling price was the same.
It takes a LOT of driving at 39mpg Energi plug-in (vs 40mpg Hybrid) to save a $3000 vehicle price difference in fuel cost savings.
Sometimes with Ford rebates and low interest rates, and dealer incentives and tax credits it IS the same. Wasn't in 2014.
The Federal Government (still) offers a $4007 Federal Tax Credit on the purchase of a plug-in hybrid C-MAX, $0 tax credit on Hybrid-only model. Itemizing our deductions and with significant deductible medical insurance costs and donations, we didn't OWE $4007 in Federal taxes in 2014, so we couldn't have taken the full advantage of the credit.

3. IF Gasoline had stayed at $3 per gallon or gone even higher and stayed there. But it didn't.
The 20-mile pure-electric range would cover about 80% of our driving. We'd fill up a couple times per year, except vacations.
Unlike a pure electric, there is no range anxiety, because you have the gas engine and 500-mile range between fill-ups.

4. IF buying some electricity was cheaper than buying gas. It was. It still is. It might or might not stay that way.
But realize that there IS a cost to recharging a hybrid electric.
Electricity was and still is under $.12 per kilowatt hour in our area. Unless your employer lets you park near an outlet at work AND doesn't charge you for the electricity, it won't be free.

5. IF we drove it to work & back home every day, with a round trip of under 20 miles, so most of the miles could be all-electric.
Added benefit of a plug-in: The plug-in hybrid models let you use the plugged-in electric power to 'schedule' cabin warm-up in winter and cabin-cool-down in summer with an app.
But we don't, we're both retired. Most of our driving is short trips in our community, 3 or 4 miles or less to the destination.
No gas-engine car warms up and operates at peak efficiency with such short trips, especially in colder weather. The same is true of the hybrid. The difference is MORE noticeable because the Hybrid reminds you constantly with 'instantaneous' mpg indicators, as well as Trip stats. You feel disappointed when your 3 mile trip in 10-degree wintry weather only nets you 18mpg. In your Vibe, you only notice that the gas gauge moves a bit faster, and you need to fill up more often.

6. IF an electric outlet (preferably 220v) is conveniently located where the car spends most of it's time.
Preferably in an enclosed garage, or at least a covered area. Ours is.
Being retired, the car sits in our garage much of the time. Plugging it in to 110v for a slow 12-hour recharge or a faster 5 hours on 220V would not be a problem.
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SalsaWagon was built in May 2012. I acquired it in Feb 2004/Traded it in Feb 2018
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