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Considering a C-Max


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30 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   DanM

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 06:29 PM

My wife's Dodge Dart was totaled a week ago. We are considering the C-Max as an option given the current incentives, rebates, etc that are available for this car. A small utilitarian vehicle is one consideration.  We are not married to owning a hybrid, but are willing to consider it. The Chrysler 200 and Ford Fusion are also options we are considering.

 

A few questions for those who have lived with the vehicle for a few years.

 

1. Any regrets out there?

2. What is the real world electric range you are getting in normal driving? 

3. Do you feel that it is financially viable with low gas prices?

4. Any known issues with the car that we should know about?

5. My wife is concerned about the cargo space. How compromised is it given the large battery in the back?

 

Thanks!

 

Dan









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#2 OFFLINE   fotomoto

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Posted 17 July 2016 - 06:49 PM

Hey Dan, welcome to the site. :welcome:  Good questions except for #3.  IOW, what was the price of gas that made the dart a viable purchase?   What is price of gas that makes the cost of foot operated liftgate, pano roof, or rain sensing wipers viable?    :smile2:    I buy gas 2-3 times a year.   :happy feet:

 

I'll also answer #5 with some pics.

 

20141206_114302_zpsua4mbist.jpg

 

20140907_090917_zpseorqalk7.jpg

 

20140511_093755_zpsr1aihrh5.jpg

 

20140511_094322_zps3z1ku1mn.jpg


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#3 OFFLINE   bschwerdt

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 04:07 AM

I will add to the welcome, and throw in my own two cents.

 

1. We have zero regrets.  My wife absolutely loves this car.  To her, the fact that it's a plug-in hybrid is just a bonus.  It drives well, fits the family comfortably, and has some really nice features.

2. We are getting roughly 15 miles in winter and 25 in summer.  Upstate NY winters tend to be colder than in CT, so I suspect you'll get the same or better if you drove the car the same as we do.

3. Charging at home is like paying roughly $1.50/gallon for gas.  But we also have the convenience of home fueling - never had that with a gas car.  And we have the joy of electric driving, with the knowledge that we aren't pumping out toxic exhaust fumes in our own neighborhood.

4. A few issues have come up here and there but to my knowledge, they have all been resolved.  We had the charging module fail, but Ford replaced it under warranty.  The dealer was a hassle, they knew very little about the car.  But Ford service stepped in and got the problem resolved.

5. Compared to a Dart, I suspect you will find the CMax Energi has more room.  It looks bad at first, but I keep discovering new places to stash stuff.  If it is just you and your wife (i.e. you don't need the back seat), you can fold the back seats down and you have tons of room.  I have two kids, so I can't do that.  But I still find room for our stuff.  When we first test drove the car, we had concerns too.  So I packed our previous car to the gills with suitcases, a cooler, anything I could find.  At the dealership, I unpacked my car and put all the stuff in the CMax.  I convinced myself that it has enough space for me.  The dealer thought I was a little crazy, and maybe about to steal the car... :stop:


Edited by bschwerdt, 18 July 2016 - 04:10 AM.

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#4 OFFLINE   ShoulderThingThatGoesUP

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 06:40 AM

It's worth looking at used ones too as most seem to have held their battery capacity very well. I'm coming to it from a Honda Fit and the cargo space hasn't annoyed me so far. Hundreds of dollars worth of groceries, taking yard waste to the borough compost site, etc. - not a problem. Personally I strongly prefer hatchbacks so this was really the only PHEV available to me. We do mostly short trips so we end up using very little gas.

 

The Chrysler 200 I would avoid - it's very inefficient, it has the worst interface I have ever experienced on a car (this dial changes gears, this one changes the volume...don't pick the wrong dial when doing a K-turn), and the rental I had while my Fit was in airbag purgatory broke down with 8400 miles on the odometer.

 

Edited to add: as a second car I would strongly consider the Focus Electric. They're very nice on the interior and the used prices for them are astonishing. Since this is our only car we needed a gas tank given the current state of technology, but my wife and I both really liked the Focus Electrics.


Edited by ShoulderThingThatGoesUP, 18 July 2016 - 07:43 AM.

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#5 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 08:49 AM

My wife's Dodge Dart was totaled a week ago. We are considering the C-Max as an option given the current incentives, rebates, etc that are available for this car. A small utilitarian vehicle is one consideration.  We are not married to owning a hybrid, but are willing to consider it. The Chrysler 200 and Ford Fusion are also options we are considering.

 

A few questions for those who have lived with the vehicle for a few years.

 

1. Any regrets out there?

2. What is the real world electric range you are getting in normal driving? 

3. Do you feel that it is financially viable with low gas prices?

4. Any known issues with the car that we should know about?

5. My wife is concerned about the cargo space. How compromised is it given the large battery in the back?

 

Thanks!

 

Dan

Hmm...

1. I don't necessarily regret it, but I'm wishy washy feeling. It has more gadgets than my Toyota, but it's not as reliable. It has EV range that my Prius didn't, but it doesn't have the range to get me to work and back like a Volt would...  It's a trade-off.

 

2. Be aware when you go in and you'll be fine. I think the advertised range is like 20 miles.  Depending on conditions, you can very easily cut that range in half or double it every day.  If you'll be driving in 30mph zones at about 60F with no climate control on and not dealing with hills you'll do great.  Turn on the heater? Cut your range in half.  Head up hills and/or try to do EV on the highway?  Can be just as bad.

 

3. I don't buy any new cars, so I've no idea what you're paying or what other new vehicles you would consider would cost or what MPG they would get.  If you're going to be driving much at all beyond the EV range and engaging the gas engine, the MPG is not great. Again, depends on conditions, but on mine has been known to get as low as 27mpg on the highway in the winter.  So there are other cars out there that will get better mileage depending on your use.  If you get one of those and it costs less then it would be more cost effective.  Now, if you're equal on all other counts then unless gas for some reason stays forever cheap and you happen to live in a place with very expensive electricity then I would think the Energi is probably going to be more cost effective.

 

4. I've not really heard of many issues on the new cars other than seemingly random build issues...  Like my 2013 apparently never had the switch assembly with the button for the sunshade installed...  I've heard others with leaks that required major interior pieces removed and re-welded, etc...  But these seem to be fairly rare I think.

 

5. Depends on what you're comparing it to.  It's a good amount of space(I have no trouble filling a large grocery cart and putting everything on the main shelf in the cargo area).  Putting a Weber Grill in there was possible but about an inch short of recommended. 

 

 

So, overall my thought would be that if you're used to American company vehicles and you aren't planning on getting 20 miles of EV range while having the heat on at 60mph, then you'll probably be happy.


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#6 OFFLINE   DanM

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Posted 18 July 2016 - 07:05 PM

Thanks for the feedback. We have two kids, so the storage area behind the rear seats is important. It is hilly around here  and we do get a decent amount of snow. As long as I can get 15ish miles per charge, I should be fine. That allow me to take my kids to school and do the majority of my grocery shopping. There is a charger outside of Trader Joes.  I would have to see how that works. 

 

The Chrysler 200 may not be the most efficient, but it is a blast to drive with the V6 and AWD. You have false concerns about the rotary shifter. You cannot shift with your foot off the brake or when the car is in motion. Secondly, the volume controls are behind the wheel on the right side...



#7 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 04:53 AM

Thanks for the feedback. We have two kids, so the storage area behind the rear seats is important. It is hilly around here  and we do get a decent amount of snow. As long as I can get 15ish miles per charge, I should be fine. That allow me to take my kids to school and do the majority of my grocery shopping. There is a charger outside of Trader Joes.  I would have to see how that works. 

 

The Chrysler 200 may not be the most efficient, but it is a blast to drive with the V6 and AWD. You have false concerns about the rotary shifter. You cannot shift with your foot off the brake or when the car is in motion. Secondly, the volume controls are behind the wheel on the right side...

As long as you're familiar with FWD in snow(I require snow tires here in upstate NY to make it up the hill to my house on the snow covered days).

And

You're not planning on getting 15 miles with the heater on in the winter then you should be good.

 

Hopefully you can look at one and think about what items you need to carry to confirm that you're not going to have space issues in the back.  It's bigger than it looks, but it could still be small depending on what you carry.


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#8 OFFLINE   Jonathan Ezor

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 08:14 AM

As long as you're familiar with FWD in snow(I require snow tires here in upstate NY to make it up the hill to my house on the snow covered days).

And

You're not planning on getting 15 miles with the heater on in the winter then you should be good.

 

Hopefully you can look at one and think about what items you need to carry to confirm that you're not going to have space issues in the back.  It's bigger than it looks, but it could still be small depending on what you carry.

Allow me to mirror this. I drive a C-MAX Energi and a 2011 Ford Taurus SEL. Yes, the 6-cylinder engine and big trunk of the Taurus are draws for long cruises, but maxing out at 21-22 MPG even on highways (and getting more like 16 locally) means I take the C-MAX whenever I can, even for long drives. This past weekend, we put two large suitcases and a bunch of other stuff in the back of the C-MAX, two adult-sized kids in the back seat, my wife and me in the front seats, and drove a few hundred miles into (and then back out of) the mountains. Other than having my rear view blocked (anyone know of a hack that would let me leave the rear-facing camera on all the time as a substitute rearview mirror?), the C-MAX was a great vehicle for the trip, and even though it was fully loaded and the high-capacity battery was depleted *and* much of my trip was uphill, I still managed 43-ish MPG on the way there, and significantly better coming home because of the downhill segments and EV in the frequent traffic. Everyone had headroom, everyone had legroom, the stuff fit, the A/C worked great, I didn't need to stop for gas even without a charge, and I wasn't stiff or sore when I emerged from the drive either way.


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#9 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 08:19 AM

Other than having my rear view blocked (anyone know of a hack that would let me leave the rear-facing camera on all the time as a substitute rearview mirror?)

Without modification I think the best you can do is to put the shifter in R.  Better yet if you have the camera delay on.  But of course you won't have forward power during that time so you'll have to just use it momentarily...


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#10 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 08:59 AM

Do not discount this car at all, there are some nay sayers but you really can't beat this ride.  I just came back from Montreal, went there a week ago, back late last night.  I drove there and back on less than 1 full tank of gas, net almost 70mpg and did about 90% of my driving in Canada on EV once I arrived to Montreal.  All electric I got on the trip was free, from the State house public 240v charger in Montpelier VT, to the residence I was staying at using my 120v charger, to the event I was going to 28 miles away daily using my 120v charger, and back to my friend's house last night using my 120v charger and a hotel almost 30 miles from home on 240v to do all my laptop email/forum stuff while getting 1 more charge to get home 100% EV. 

 

I'm posting pictures below as pictures are worth a 1000 words.  My entire trip meter, the trip from the hotel home last night where you can see almost 30 miles on 1 charge, and a couple of MFM trips showing EV driving in Canada.  I kept the speed to 48mph tops on highway 15 in Canada so I could make that 28-30 miles 100% EV, I was pretty much getting there as the car was switching into the hybrid battery or a little more into the hybrid depending on the conditions.  One day it was raining and I was short 1 mile due to extra drag from the rain and power for the wipers.

 

My buddy drove his Ford lightening F150 truck and followed me from my house to Canada.  We filled his truck before we left here, $57 in my town, $23 in NH, $30 in Swanton, VT before the Canada border, $10 in Canada, and then he went home just got over the border on fumes.  That's $120 in fuel and he still needed another full tank plus $20 more to get home he told me back to PA going down 87 (I went home on 89 through VT).  $200 in gas for the F150, less than $30 in gas for the Cmax.

 

Ford Cmax, NO CONTEST!  See for yourself below  :hi5:


Edited by rbort, 19 July 2016 - 09:05 AM.


#11 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 09:05 AM

My buddy drove his Ford lightening F150 truck and followed me from my house to Canada.  We filled his truck before we left here, $57 in my town, $23 in NH, $30 in Swanton before the Canada border, $10 in Canada, and then he went home just got over the border on fumes.  That's $120 in fuel and he still needed another tank plus $20 more to get home he told me back to PA going down 87 (I went home on 89 through VT).

 

Ford Cmax, NO CONTEST!  See for yourself below  :hi5:

 

Haha, I'm glad to see your car could do better than the 13-16mpg that a Lightning gets!



#12 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 09:33 AM

 

 

Haha, I'm glad to see your car could do better than the 13-16mpg that a Lightning gets!

 

He actually got 19mpg from MA through VT as we kept the speed to 66mph.  In Canada I kept the speed to 48mph tops after arriving to Montreal so he was able to almost survive from Wednesday until Monday on the gas he got in VT, probably did a little better than 19mpg though there was a bunch of stop and go during the city travels as they closed route 15 for the weekend going south and I had to cut through Montreal (shortest way) to go home instead of taking the highway.  The only saving grace is that it was after 10pm every night so traffic was lighter.

 

My Cmax tells me I've saved over 2000 gallons of fuel during the past 3 years by driving my Cmax instead of my Ford Ranger which averages 18mpg (its 4x4).

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 19 July 2016 - 09:50 AM.


#13 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 09:46 AM

 Other than having my rear view blocked (anyone know of a hack that would let me leave the rear-facing camera on all the time as a substitute rearview mirror?),

 

This will do the trick, as well as add the ability to use Navigation while in motion, among other things.

 

https://www.coastale...com/mytouch.htm



#14 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 09:52 AM

This will do the trick, as well as add the ability to use Navigation while in motion, among other things.

 

https://www.coastale...com/mytouch.htm

You sure it will do it without adding another camera with AV inputs?

 

I see mention of the nav and adding additional cameras that will come on with parking, and being able to use the AV input while moving, but no mention of turning on the built in backup camera while driving...

 

As I see it, it's just unlocking things that are locked out.  The trouble with the backup camera is that the only activation to turn it on is to put it in Reverse.(Unless there's some other button somewhere I'm unaware of).  And that functionality isn't locked out anyway.  You can put your car in Reverse at speed and the camera will come on without a problem.



#15 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 10:03 AM

Levi:

 

 

 

You can put your car in Reverse at speed and the camera will come on without a problem.

 

Did you try this and at what speed?  What happens then, does the car still regen with your foot off the gas and if you step on the gas does it act like a brake?

 

I can't imagine it would be very good for the electric motor to try to stop the car with the gas pedal?

 

There may be a mechanical switch on the shifter under the panel that turns on the backup camera.  If so it might be not too difficult to add a 2nd switch to close the contacts with the car any other shift position than R and install that switch somewhere on the dash.  This way you don't have to shift to R you can just turn on the camera any time you want while driving.

 

-=>Raja.


Edited by rbort, 19 July 2016 - 10:06 AM.


#16 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 10:13 AM

Levi:

 

 

Did you try this and at what speed?  What happens then, does the car still regen with your foot off the gas and if you step on the gas does it act like a brake?

 

I can't imagine it would be very good for the electric motor to try to stop the gas with the gas pedal?

 

-=>Raja.

 

It was a while I ago, I think I did it on accident at first(though I tried it all with my Prius previously on purpose).

 

IIRC, I believe at slower speeds the motors will try to reverse nice, smooth and easily against forward speed.  (can't see why Ford would let you do it if it was bad for the car. Seems like it's just electromotive force as it would be to accelerate the car...)

 

At higher speeds(I'm guessing above somewhere maybe around 10mph) I believe you're just effectively in neutral but with the backup camera on.(that's what the Prius did)  Max definitely didn't try to slow me down.  I was going maybe 30mph.  

 

Can't remember on Max if Park locks you out or not.  I think so...  If not, I'd be pretty sure it won't let you actually put the transmission in park at speed either.

 

 

 

Problem is realizing that not everything acts this way...  Our 2011 Toyota Sienna is smart enough that if I put it in manual mode and ask for a gear that would over-rev the engine I just get a beep.  However, not long ago I tried shoving it into Reverse while still travelling forwards at maybe 5 or so mph.  That gave a bit more lurch than I would have liked.  Thankfully I didn't kill Reverse like I did on my old TR7 4 speed a couple decades ago. (:



#17 OFFLINE   rbort

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 10:56 AM

Sounds like I don't want to try it...!

 

-=>Raja.



#18 OFFLINE   stolenmoment

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 11:14 AM

But, planetary-gear transmissions are vastly different from a TR7 gearbox, and much more mysterious...



#19 OFFLINE   Levi Smith

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 11:56 AM

Nah, planetary is way simpler. There's no changing gears at all, just 3 separate input/outputs that all mesh to each other all the time.

#20 OFFLINE   RubyMax

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Posted 19 July 2016 - 12:07 PM

You sure it will do it without adding another camera with AV inputs?

 

I see mention of the nav and adding additional cameras that will come on with parking, and being able to use the AV input while moving, but no mention of turning on the built in backup camera while driving...

 

As I see it, it's just unlocking things that are locked out.  The trouble with the backup camera is that the only activation to turn it on is to put it in Reverse.(Unless there's some other button somewhere I'm unaware of).  And that functionality isn't locked out anyway.  You can put your car in Reverse at speed and the camera will come on without a problem.

Yes, it says any camera at any speed/gear.

 

http://www.coastalet...maxlockpick.htm










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