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Tough Shopping in NC


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26 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   ScottChi

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Posted 25 March 2016 - 05:59 PM

Hi Folks,

 

I talked to a salesperson at a local Ford dealer this week and came away empty handed.

 

 According to her, Ford decided that our entire state is a "no electric cars" zone.  They consider the C-Max Energi to be one, and there's not enough demand to make it worthwhile.  The trucks fly out of the showroom, and I must have been the "lonely voice in the wilderness" that stopped in to ask about the Energi.  The closest one they can find that meets my criteria is over 200 miles away, out of their network, and therefore something of a hassle for them to obtain.  So attempting to negotiate anywhere significantly below MSRP was a non starter. 

 

I have a classic Prius now (14 years strong) and am completely sold on the hybrid concept.  I work mostly from home so I don't run up a lot of miles, but I travel out of the state several times a year.  I started out looking at the C-Max, but I switched to the Energi version when it occurred to me that I would probably be able to go completely without burning gas except on interstate trips.  Since energy efficiency is one of my pursuits, I really like that idea!

 

Unfortunately, the fact that there doesn't seem to be any significant demand for this car in my state has me wondering whether I'll be able to find competent service for it.  Would they bother to certify their mechanics for technology that isn't sold here?  I have to wonder.

 

According to the ford build & price website, there are several of the 2016 C-Max Energi in the northern Virginia area.  I drive up there every month or two, so I can shop for one the next time I'm up there.  I'll have to do the licensing myself, but it would at least provide the option to look the car over and buy without a middleman dealer arrangement.

 

Does this seem like a good idea?  Would you buy a model that apparently, is being kept out of your state?

 

    Scott C.









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#2 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 04:21 AM

Crossroads Ford in Cary in Cary and Capital Ford in Raleigh are both certified. I have my Energy serviced at Crossroads Ford and have no complaints with them. It is too bad if they don't want to sell them here. If I had to go out of state to get another one I would likely do so. 

 

Tom



#3 OFFLINE   timwil56

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 07:59 AM

Considering what just happened in the NC legislature, it doesn't seem like NC is a very progressive thinking state anymore. Accepting alternative forms of energy is a progressive and forward thinking idea, but apparently not for enough people in NC.



#4 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 10:05 AM

Go to eBay Motors and look for new CMAX Energy's, just saw some on there.  Could also look at low mileage one's too. :smile2:

 

Paul



#5 OFFLINE   ScottChi

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Posted 26 March 2016 - 05:54 PM

Hello Tom,  thanks for the good advice, that's encouraging.  It was Crossroads that provided the information above.  They've started calling me again about coming back there to deal, but they left me with the impression that I could waste precious hours in their showroom and still not get a fair price.

 

[Remarks removed for being off-topic and political - SC]

 

   Scott C.


Edited by ScottChi, 27 March 2016 - 02:44 PM.


#6 OFFLINE   Tom_NC_1

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Posted 27 March 2016 - 05:24 AM

That is too bad that Crossroads seems to have changed their toon on the CMax. Guess we don't visit their service department often enough for them to make money on maintenance. 

 

The NC legislature has done its fair share of stupid things but redistricting was not one of them. It was the Democrats who created that ridiculous gerrymandered 12th district to guarantee that a black representative be elected. The republicans made changes that were upheld in courts for 5 years until the democrats finally found a way to get the court to invalidate their map. The new map completely eliminated any racial element and the democrats are even more upset. 

 

It is disappointing that NC is no longer encouraging renewable energy. Of course it seems that nobody wants to be near any of the proposed windmills near the coast. God forbid a windmill be sited in the mountains where it might spoil the view. There are quite a few solar farms in the state but it seems many people object to those to for some reason. I think it is these objections that are the driving force the legislature to eliminate the tax incentives for the renewable energy.

 

NC never offered any incentive for purchasing a PHEV. I was never a big environmentalist but I do love efficiency and as an engineer am fascinated with the engineering and tech in these cars. If I had to buy a car today I would use the CMax as the standard that any other choice would have to exceed. It would be hard to go back to an ICE.

 

I hope to keep my CMax for quite awhile.

 

Tom


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#7 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 04:57 AM

Hi Folks,

 

I talked to a salesperson at a local Ford dealer this week and came away empty handed.

 

 According to her, Ford decided that our entire state is a "no electric cars" zone.  They consider the C-Max Energi to be one, and there's not enough demand to make it worthwhile.  The trucks fly out of the showroom, and I must have been the "lonely voice in the wilderness" that stopped in to ask about the Energi.  The closest one they can find that meets my criteria is over 200 miles away, out of their network, and therefore something of a hassle for them to obtain.  So attempting to negotiate anywhere significantly below MSRP was a non starter. 

 

I have a classic Prius now (14 years strong) and am completely sold on the hybrid concept.  I work mostly from home so I don't run up a lot of miles, but I travel out of the state several times a year.  I started out looking at the C-Max, but I switched to the Energi version when it occurred to me that I would probably be able to go completely without burning gas except on interstate trips.  Since energy efficiency is one of my pursuits, I really like that idea!

 

Unfortunately, the fact that there doesn't seem to be any significant demand for this car in my state has me wondering whether I'll be able to find competent service for it.  Would they bother to certify their mechanics for technology that isn't sold here?  I have to wonder.

 

According to the ford build & price website, there are several of the 2016 C-Max Energi in the northern Virginia area.  I drive up there every month or two, so I can shop for one the next time I'm up there.  I'll have to do the licensing myself, but it would at least provide the option to look the car over and buy without a middleman dealer arrangement.

 

Does this seem like a good idea?  Would you buy a model that apparently, is being kept out of your state?

 

    Scott C.

Hmm...  If you're happy with your Prius and looking at new vehicles, I think if I were you, I'd wait a few months and get a Prius Prime instead.  It doesn't sound like you've got any problems with your Toyota setup and personally I'd think you less likely to need any service if you stick with Toyota.  And it will get better mileage/efficiency than the C-Max.  A lot better for anything over 20 miles when you're burning gas.

 

If you prefer the C-Max and want to go that route, I think you'll want to go to the Ford site, search for dealers(tick the box for the EV certified requirement) and see if you can check into any of those as possible options.



#8 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 05:38 AM

Haven driven the CMAX for 3 1/2 yrs and then driving the New Prius and New RAV4 they just don't compare well to the performance of the CMAX.  They are gutless in EV Mode and raw power/acceleration. I'm not a fan of that little shifter in the Prius and I still like the Smart Gauge better than Prius's instruments and the RAV4 is useless. IMO :smile2: 

 

Paul 



#9 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 05:50 AM

Haven driven the CMAX for 3 1/2 yrs and then driving the New Prius and New RAV4 they just don't compare well to the performance of the CMAX.  They are gutless in EV Mode and raw power/acceleration. I'm not a fan of that little shifter in the Prius and I still like the Smart Gauge better than Prius's instruments and the RAV4 is useless. IMO :smile2:

 

Paul 

I've only got first hand comparison to my 2004 Prius.  I would agree on both counts you mention, though I've no trouble with the acceleration of the Prius.  It's never been a problem.  The C-Max has a lot more power/acceleration which is nice for something to play with, but in general it's not something I ever need and only takes away from the mpg efficiency.

I agree, I prefer almost everything instrumentation wise on the C-Max.  Off the top of my head the only things I prefer on the Prius are the digital speedo and instantaneous mpg.

As for the shifter...  Not really sure I have a preference...  I guess either one works fine, but it does seem like having that big shifter in the C-Max is a pretty big waste of space...

 

 

NOW, that said...  You missed the key piece of my response.  I said the Prius *PRIME*...  go check that one out:

http://www.caranddri...s-and-info-news

 

That's a whole new car that you haven't driven or looked at yet.  EV mode has been upgraded power wise and to over 20 miles.  And it's got an option of a new huge tablet for instrumentation.



#10 OFFLINE   ptjones

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 10:40 AM

I've only got first hand comparison to my 2004 Prius.  I would agree on both counts you mention, though I've no trouble with the acceleration of the Prius.  It's never been a problem.  The C-Max has a lot more power/acceleration which is nice for something to play with, but in general it's not something I ever need and only takes away from the mpg efficiency.

I agree, I prefer almost everything instrumentation wise on the C-Max.  Off the top of my head the only things I prefer on the Prius are the digital speedo and instantaneous mpg.

As for the shifter...  Not really sure I have a preference...  I guess either one works fine, but it does seem like having that big shifter in the C-Max is a pretty big waste of space...

 

 

NOW, that said...  You missed the key piece of my response.  I said the Prius *PRIME*...  go check that one out:

http://www.caranddri...s-and-info-news

 

That's a whole new car that you haven't driven or looked at yet.  EV mode has been upgraded power wise and to over 20 miles.  And it's got an option of a new huge tablet for instrumentation.

Prius acceleration is a problem for me as well as otherson this forum, it is OK off the line, but runs out of ICE quickly. When you need to get on the FWY sometimes you need all the power you can get.  CMAX has it, the Prius doesn't from my experience. IMO

 

Looks like they're trying to compete with CMAX NRG(22 mi. EV range/84mph). Wonder if reverts back to a regular Prius and the ICE runs all the time when PHVB is depleted? All of my FORD's have the same shifter so transitioning from one to another is easy.  Also it makes it easy to shift in to neutral if you are up for that. I don't see it being practical to do it in the  Prius.  My number one complain would be the Prius is too small to carry anything big, and it's not roomy like the CMAX. :smile2: 

 

 Paul



#11 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 28 March 2016 - 10:58 AM

Prius acceleration is a problem for me as well as otherson this forum, it is OK off the line, but runs out of ICE quickly. When you need to get on the FWY sometimes you need all the power you can get.  CMAX has it, the Prius doesn't from my experience. IMO

 

Looks like they're trying to compete with CMAX NRG(22 mi. EV range/84mph). Wonder if reverts back to a regular Prius and the ICE runs all the time when PHVB is depleted? All of my FORD's have the same shifter so transitioning from one to another is easy.  Also it makes it easy to shift in to neutral if you are up for that. I don't see it being practical to do it in the  Prius.  My number one complain would be the Prius is too small to carry anything big, and it's not roomy like the CMAX. :smile2:

 

 Paul

Don't get me wrong, I hold the pedal to the floor in the Prius, but I've never found a time when I wasn't going about 70MPH once I entered the highway from an entrance ramp(and it keeps accelerating from there up to around 85 or 90mph before it really starts running out of steam).  You want slow, try my old 83' Mercedes 300D Diesel(I ran on waste veggie oil).  Now, THAT required some planning.  (:

 

Not sure if they're aiming for the Energi directly, but I'm sure it's on their list.  It seems 20ish miles is right around where the majority of the plug-ins are aiming for.  And I'm sure just about every prospective PIP buyer and/or owner has been asking for double the mileage since the PIP came out.

 

Yes, it should drive just like the regular 2016 Prius once out of plug-in power.  It's aiming to be rated for the same gas mileage.

 

See, I come from the other side and Have a Toyota Sienna as our other vehicle.  So getting into the C-Max is what throws me off.  Though the shifter is fine either way.  It's generally the backwards items like the wipers and cruise/Sync positioning that are located or move in opposite ways.  I'd agree, it's a couple seconds quicker into Neutral with the Ford, but that's not something I do enough to care.

 

I'd disagree with you on the carrying capacity. Though part of that is going to depend on what exactly you're comparing...  My 2004 Prius could definitely carry more than my 2013 C-Max Energi.  There might be a touch more passenger room in the Max, but it's close enough I'm not sure and I think I'd give the nod to the Prius for cupholders and random storage.  But with the Energi's tall battery back there, there's definitely more cargo space in the Prius.  And with the Prius' more or less flat load floor through the entire cabin it's a lot easier to carry a dozen 8' 2x4's.  Now, if you're comparing the C-Max Hybrid to the Prius, then I'd agree the C-Max has a bit more room.  Though in that scenario you should be comparing it to a Prius V and then I think we're back to about equal.



#12 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 07:11 AM

Hmm, after trying to get a grill in Max yesterday and messing around more, I'm not entirely sure on the space comparison between the C-Max Energi and a 2G Prius.

 

I think they are somewhat close, but it depends on how/where you're looking...  

 

-There is definitely a good bit more "trunk" space in the Prius.

 

-I think there's a bit more back seat space in the C-Max.

 

-With the seats down...  I think it would kinda depend on just what you're trying to put in there.  The height isn't as bad as I was thinking so maybe 2x4's would load ok...  Though I haven't tried getting the front seat down to see how that end of things would work.

 

For the record, I did manage to get a Weber grill in it's box in my Energi, but can't say I'd exactly recommend it.  I was out there messing with the tape measure for quite some time and it seems the back seat would have the room, but the door is in the way to get it there...

 

The trunk *almost* had enough room...  And that's kinda where I ended up.  Hoped I could just squeeze a half inch or so out of the headliner and/or box.  And it worked(kinda lined up with the black marks my headliner already had from presumably something similar the past owner did.  But Yowza that was a tight fit and took a lot of effort.

 

IMG_20160329_183034757.jpg



#13 OFFLINE   ScottChi

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 12:41 PM

Hmm...  If you're happy with your Prius and looking at new vehicles, I think if I were you, I'd wait a few months and get a Prius Prime instead.  It doesn't sound like you've got any problems with your Toyota setup and personally I'd think you less likely to need any service if you stick with Toyota.  And it will get better mileage/efficiency than the C-Max.  A lot better for anything over 20 miles when you're burning gas.

 

If you prefer the C-Max and want to go that route, I think you'll want to go to the Ford site, search for dealers(tick the box for the EV certified requirement) and see if you can check into any of those as possible options.

Hello Levi,

 

Thanks for the helpful suggestion.  I read the intro article about the Prius Prime and it's very interesting.  It's not a slam dunk decision for a few reasons.  After 14 good, reliable years in my classic prius I find the C-Max attractive for its tall stance, it's larger cargo space, and am somewhat attracted to having a little more response to the accelerator.  Maintenance is a major point though.  I have had only one "get this thing off the highway now" failure in the prius in all the years I've had it, and that was last year when the inverter coolant pump died.  

 

It sounds like the C-Max may require more trips to the shop.  Is there really that much of a difference?  

 

Much appreciated,

 

Scott C.



#14 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 12:59 PM

Hello Levi,

 

Thanks for the helpful suggestion.  I read the intro article about the Prius Prime and it's very interesting.  It's not a slam dunk decision for a few reasons.  After 14 good, reliable years in my classic prius I find the C-Max attractive for its tall stance, it's larger cargo space, and am somewhat attracted to having a little more response to the accelerator.  Maintenance is a major point though.  I have had only one "get this thing off the highway now" failure in the prius in all the years I've had it, and that was last year when the inverter coolant pump died.  

 

It sounds like the C-Max may require more trips to the shop.  Is there really that much of a difference?  

 

Much appreciated,

 

Scott C.

Strictly my opinions:

 

-The C-Max does sit a bit taller.  However, I can only compare it to my old 2003 or 2004 Prius'.  This Prius Prime is a couple generations newer, so you'd have to try one out to confirm how different it is.

 

-Cargo space: I'm not so sure you're going to have much(maybe not any) more in a C-Max Energi compared to any Prius...  Have you seen inside the trunk?  There is definitely less space than there is in my old 2004 Prius, not even counting the under floor storage.  That said, I think there is a bit more room in the back seat of the C-Max.  Seats folded down...  I'm not sure which way it goes.  From looking at the Prime, they've kept the battery at a pretty low point.  I'd guess cargo room is going to be very close in either model.

 

-Accelerator response.  Again, you'll have to try the Prime as it has new, upgraded power.  For that matter any 2G Prius will have more acceleration than your 1.5G Prius, and to my knowledge it increased again in the 3 and 4G Prius'.

Now, that said, in a direct comparison of the C-Max to my old 2004 Prius, if you're in EV mode, there's not a ton of difference.  Put it in hybrid mode and there's definitely a LOT more power in the C-Max.

 

-Repairs...  That's a wild guess by anyone's measure.  My feelings are as such: The C-Max's seem to be holding together well for the most part.  I've heard of a few transmission failures, but I'd say that your original generation Prius had a similar reputation for tranny failures.  There have been some 12V failures, but again, that's pretty common in Prius land as well.  

The Prime is a new model, so there's always the potential for new, unknown issues to pop up.

So really, I don't think there's any serious evidence of problems one way or the other.

 

That said, my gut feeling is that Toyota's are generally built better and have less issues than Fords.  From personal experience, generally everything just worked in my Prius.  Other than a couple wheel bearings, I don't know that it needed much of anything until about 13 years and 180K miles into it's life.  And then it was just a set of springs and a couple other little rust area things.

 

My C-max has stupid little things....  Like it would appear the factory put in the wrong switch assembly and it never came with the switch for the roof shade.  And the GPS drifts sometimes...  And it has a Vehicle Health Report that refuses to run.  (and a trip to the dealer for the last items basically came back with a reply of "There's nothing wrong with the gps.  You need a new $188 map card because yours are 2 years old and good luck with the health report we can't make it work either."

 

So really, no biggies.  I would agree, there's definitely not a slam dunk either direction in my mind.  I'm just saying I'd take a good look and try both out.



#15 OFFLINE   bro1999

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Posted 30 March 2016 - 02:09 PM

Prius Prime will only have 4 seats, which will be a deal killer for quite a few people.
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#16 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 04:22 AM

Prius Prime will only have 4 seats, which will be a deal killer for quite a few people.

Ohh, I hadn't seen that part.  Ouch, yeah that's one of the things that bugged me about the Volt.  Not sure I've ever actually needed it in my Prius, but I'd really like to keep it an option...  Hmm...



#17 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 31 March 2016 - 10:11 AM

Hello Levi,

 

Thanks for the helpful suggestion.  I read the intro article about the Prius Prime and it's very interesting.  It's not a slam dunk decision for a few reasons.  After 14 good, reliable years in my classic prius I find the C-Max attractive for its tall stance, it's larger cargo space, and am somewhat attracted to having a little more response to the accelerator.  Maintenance is a major point though.  I have had only one "get this thing off the highway now" failure in the prius in all the years I've had it, and that was last year when the inverter coolant pump died.  

 

It sounds like the C-Max may require more trips to the shop.  Is there really that much of a difference?  

 

Much appreciated,

 

Scott C.

The C-Max is going to be much easier to enter and exit than the PP.

 

If you are worried about the car, get the 150K, 8 year warranty. Zero deductible is 3K, including first day rental.

 

But there is a world of difference between Toyota and Ford. Toyota engineers for a soft ride. Ford engineers for driving characteristics. Big difference in how they drive and handle.


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#18 OFFLINE   ScottChi

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 06:11 AM

The C-Max is going to be much easier to enter and exit than the PP.

 

If you are worried about the car, get the 150K, 8 year warranty. Zero deductible is 3K, including first day rental.

 

But there is a world of difference between Toyota and Ford. Toyota engineers for a soft ride. Ford engineers for driving characteristics. Big difference in how they drive and handle.

 

Hello Stevedebi,

 

Thanks for the info.  The Classic Prius I drive now also has a tall stance, and taller windows than the subsequent versions.  That's one reason I like the crossover vibe of the C-Max.  On those occasions when I-95 comes to a stop, having a little more height is a great help for attempting to figure out where the blockage is, and seeing exit signs.  Particularly when the majority of other vehicles are SUVs, trucks, and minivans.

 

I have some experience with Ford, the car I had before the Prius for ten years was a 5 speed Probe.  I found it to be enjoyable, but towards the end of the time I owned it (and kept it maintained), the need for repairs went up rather quickly.

 

One aspect of my '02 Prius that makes long drives on the highway more challenging is the steering ratio, which is pretty close to 2.0.  A little twitch of your arms moves the car a lot more than most.  While it makes maneuvering easy, it requires more concentration to keep it on track.  Especially in high winds or during our famous summer thunderstorms.  I know a lot of people like having tight steering, but I'm looking forward to toning that down.  It's just not as much fun at the end of a long drive.

 

Well I think I've talked myself back into the C-Max Energi.  I appreciate all of the help.

 

   Scott C.


Edited by ScottChi, 01 April 2016 - 06:20 AM.


#19 OFFLINE   stevedebi

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 09:09 AM

Hello Stevedebi,

 

Thanks for the info.  The Classic Prius I drive now also has a tall stance, and taller windows than the subsequent versions.  That's one reason I like the crossover vibe of the C-Max.  On those occasions when I-95 comes to a stop, having a little more height is a great help for attempting to figure out where the blockage is, and seeing exit signs.  Particularly when the majority of other vehicles are SUVs, trucks, and minivans.

 

I have some experience with Ford, the car I had before the Prius for ten years was a 5 speed Probe.  I found it to be enjoyable, but towards the end of the time I owned it (and kept it maintained), the need for repairs went up rather quickly.

 

One aspect of my '02 Prius that makes long drives on the highway more challenging is the steering ratio, which is pretty close to 2.0.  A little twitch of your arms moves the car a lot more than most.  While it makes maneuvering easy, it requires more concentration to keep it on track.  Especially in high winds or during our famous summer thunderstorms.  I know a lot of people like having tight steering, but I'm looking forward to toning that down.  It's just not as much fun at the end of a long drive.

 

Well I think I've talked myself back into the C-Max Energi.  I appreciate all of the help.

 

   Scott C.

Scott,

I had not heard that about the steering. Inexcusable in a car with electric steering - it should be speed sensitive, so that when it goes faster it takes more turns. I'm surprised that Toyota didn't do that.



#20 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 01 April 2016 - 09:22 AM

Hello Stevedebi,

 

Thanks for the info.  The Classic Prius I drive now also has a tall stance, and taller windows than the subsequent versions.  That's one reason I like the crossover vibe of the C-Max.  On those occasions when I-95 comes to a stop, having a little more height is a great help for attempting to figure out where the blockage is, and seeing exit signs.  Particularly when the majority of other vehicles are SUVs, trucks, and minivans.

 

I have some experience with Ford, the car I had before the Prius for ten years was a 5 speed Probe.  I found it to be enjoyable, but towards the end of the time I owned it (and kept it maintained), the need for repairs went up rather quickly.

 

One aspect of my '02 Prius that makes long drives on the highway more challenging is the steering ratio, which is pretty close to 2.0.  A little twitch of your arms moves the car a lot more than most.  While it makes maneuvering easy, it requires more concentration to keep it on track.  Especially in high winds or during our famous summer thunderstorms.  I know a lot of people like having tight steering, but I'm looking forward to toning that down.  It's just not as much fun at the end of a long drive.

 

Well I think I've talked myself back into the C-Max Energi.  I appreciate all of the help.

 

   Scott C.

Ahh, so your prior Ford experience was actually a Mazda.  (:

 

 

Interesting.  I had a 2002 Prius, the same generation as your 2002.  I LOVED that car's tight turning radius.  It could just about do a U-turn in a single lane.

I never had any complaints about that car's handling.

I found my 2004(the next gen) to be similarly fine.  Though in high winds on the highway there were times when it felt a bit darty.  It had a smaller turning radius though.

 

The C-Max has a smaller turning radius yet and while I don't have any problems with the handling, I do recall it taking some getting used to and I think it still feels like the most "darty" yet.  I know it's supposed to have sportier handling than the Prius, and I'm no stranger to performance suspension on some of my earlier cars, but I just doesn't instill confidence in me.  But like I said, overall I've no problems with it.

 

I had forgotten, but there were some bad steering racks on those 1.5G Prius'.  I wonder if there was something making yours a bit twitchy?  Or for that matter, have you ever replaced the struts and springs?










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