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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
The 47-mpg rating and sticker price advantage of the C-Max Hybrid make the argument stronger for the Ford than for the Toyota Prius V.
The SE's interior is upholstered in a scratchy synthetic fabric that might be easy to clean but is no match for the SEL's wonderful standard leather.
The C-Max’s base pricing is aggressive; the SE starts at $25,995. The trimmed-up SEL with leather, keyless start, and the MyFord Touch system leaves the blocks at $28,995. Go heavy on the C-Max order sheet, and you can get the price up past $33,000.
Car and Driver
A simple wave of your foot below the rear bumper [of the C-Max SEL] opens the hatch for easy loading when your hands are full.
Ford C-Max models continue to be offered in two different trim levels. Between SE and SEL models, you can get the C-Max Hybrid or C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid with a level of equipment that's either well-equipped, or more like that of a premium-brand model.
All C-Max Hybrid versions come with standard 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, a six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with USB and auxiliary input jacks, an illuminated glove box, keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear-seat heater vents, the Sync voice-controls system, and the SmartGauge digital display system with InfoGuide screens that let the driver configure information on the car's operation and energy consumption.
Step up to the SEL, and you get Sync with MyFord Touch, a push-button start with proximity sensing, rain-sensing wipers, a reversing proximity warning system, heated and leather-trimmed front seats, and ambient LED interior lighting.
To the C-Max SE, you can add the Winter package (heated power mirrors with side indicators, and puddle lamps), or you could go with the Power Liftgate and Rear Park Assist package, or a package that bundles Sync Services, the MyFord Touch voice-control system, and Sirius XM satellite radio. And other possibilities include a Hands-Free Technology package that offers hands-free liftgate operation triggered by a kicking motion below the bumper, and a Parking Technology package that lets the driver direct the C-Max to steer itself into a parallel parking space.
A la carte options include items such as heated side mirrors, a power liftgate, and MyFord Touch.
Even at the base level, the 2015 Ford C-Max feel far less spartan than the Prius; and there's plenty of room for options.