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2013 Ford C-Max: hybrid, plug-in hybrid offer vast mpg, car-like rides

The 2013 Ford C-Max is a five-door hatchback available as a hybrid and just released plug-in hybrid Energi the manufacturer hopes will infiltrate the dominance of the Toyota Prius in the green car market.

Ford touts the C-Max as the most “car-like” of three top green car offerings the carmaker compared during a recent media briefing and brief drive in San Francisco.

2013 Ford C-Max. Images © Bruce Aldrich/James Raia-2012

John Davis, a Ford spokesman, said during the debut presentation: “We want to people to feel like they are driving a normal car.”

Davis compared the C-Max to the Toyota Prius and Chevrolet Volt with specifics —  the vehicles’ cost prior to and after government rebates. (In California, the C-Max is also eligible for an additional rebate.)The respective bases prices of the three cars prior to and after national rebates: Ford C-Max, $33,745/29,995; Toyota Prius, $32,760-30,260; Chevrolet Volt, $39,995-$32,495.

The C-Max features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a combined 188 horsepower and a touted 620-mile range. It also offers 52 cubic feet of load space with the 60/40 split rear seats folded down. With the rear seat up, cargo volume is 25 cubic feet. True to Ford’s marketing, the C-Max is car-like, and largely unrelated to its competitors in design. The C-Max looks smallish from its exterior but is refreshingly spacious with true seating for four and a wealth of storage areas, including hidden rear footwells, as well as a storage net and utility hooks.

The C-Max was only available for a short drive in the financial district of San Francisco. Via brief start-stop city driving at low speeds, the C-Max was impressive. A longer drive would have allowed for a more thorough review.Rebate information, recharging options, EPA mileage statistics and other C-Max details are available via the website: Ford/C-Max

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