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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
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Four stars overall; four stars frontal, five stars side impact
Althought the MyFordTouch infotainment system has improved with each generation, there's still a steep learning curve new owners will have to climb.
The extra-large windows add to the interior's open feel and allow for superb all-around visibility.
The C-Max still hasn't been rated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), but the federal government has given it the C-Max Energi model a four-star overall rating (with four stars for frontal and five for side impact).
The C-Max hybrid models include front and side airbags for both front-seat occupants, side air-curtain bags for the first and second rows, and a driver's knee airbag.
As befits a family vehicle, front shoulder belts have adjustable anchors to ensure they fit the widest range of occupants, from growing teens to full-sized parents. It has the usual array of electronic safety systems as well—including stability control, traction control, and anti-lock brakes with emergency brake assist.
A good roster of safety systems and some respectable crash-test ratings make the C-Max at least a mid-pack protector.