A family trip with the Ford C-MAX

I’m just back from a wonderful week away with my kids (unfortunately hubby had to stay behind to work) and from a wonderful week driving a new Ford C-MAX.

2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

Ford C-MAX Hybrid

My daughter hadn’t started camp yet, so I took a few days off to take her and her brother to the cottage for some R&R. (Anyone who vacations with kids will tell you that there is nothing resting or relaxing when you’ve got kids around, so there was no real R&R for me. It was go-go-go from sun up until sun down; and then sometimes after sun down. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying.)

And we got to do all that going in a Ford C-MAX Hybrid. A sweet little ride with a ton of mommy-must-have features.

Size and Comfort

The C-MAX is about the same size as my Toyota Matrix. It’s a hatchback like the Matrix and it seats five people comfortably. But the C-MAX has more leg room in the front and back seats. Even though I was only toting tots around and leg room wasn’t really valued by my second row passengers, I appreciated the space because it provided me with extra room to stash our bags for our cottage trip. Not that we really needed the space since the trunk was very roomy.

Packed trunk of a Ford C-Max

Packed and ready for the cottage. Lots of space here!

The cockpit of the C-MAX lends itself nicely to a mommy driver (although my husband loved it, too, so it’s probably better described as lending itself nicely to parent drivers).

Fantastic Features

All the functionality for remaining safely in control of the vehicle and its features while driving were within easy arms reach. And because this isn’t a big family car, the kids were within arms reach right behind me. Plus there was the voice command operation of just about everything you could need during your drive. Very handy. And very intuitive. This was the first time I had driven a car with voice activated features, and I found it to be easy to use, straightforward and very helpful while driving. And the Bluetooth was phenomenal. I have Bluetooth in one of my other cars, but it’s choppy at best when I’m trying to have a conversation with someone. I can hear them well, but they can’t hear me. Not so with Ford’s Bluetooth. It was clear on both ends. And so easy to sync my phone to.

The Auto Climate Control was another feature I especially loved. In my own car, I’m forever turning the AC on because it’s hot, then turning the AC off five minutes later because it has gotten too cold. Then turning it back on again in short order when things heat up. With the Auto Climate Control, I set the temperature I want for the driver’s side and the passenger’s side and then, based on my settings, the fan and the cooling system cut in to keep the temperature in the car regulated. This meant that I could stop fussing with the dials and buttons and enjoy my drive at a comfortable temperature. And the kids didn’t complain either because no one in the car got too hot or too cold.

Another feature I really liked was the hands-free liftgate (a must for packing the car with no help from the hubby and two kids running around). This feature alone is enough to make me want to buy this car. I consider it the ultimate mommy feature. Grocery shopping, cottaging, baby on one hip, diaper bag in one hand, sippy cup, toys, etc. in the other. There is no better way to open a tailgate and dump your stuff (not the baby, though) than the hands-free liftgate. Just kick your foot under the back bumper and let the system do the rest. Up comes the tailgate and in goes your stuff. (The remote-entry key must be on you near the back end of the car for this to work.)

Hands-free liftgate

This was me every time I went anywhere with the kids at the cottage; loaded down but still able to open the liftgate…HANDS-FREE!

Performance and Fuel Efficiency

The C-MAX is a nice sized car; not too big, not too small. It’s very roomy with ample compartments to tuck stuff into for long trips. For its size, I was impressed with its handling on the highway. A long drive up Highway 400 in rush-hour traffic meant contending with a lot of transport trucks and tons of anxious commuters trying to get home at the end of the day. The C-MAX had the kick and power to easily overtake other cars and trucks and get me and my kids out of the city and into the peaceful countryside. It was a smooth ride, too; very quiet and comfortable.

And fuel efficient. I drove 200 Kms up north, spent my days driving in and out of the town near our cottage and day tripping to various activities and tourist destinations with the kids, and then 200 Kms back at the end of the week and I barely used half a tank of gas. In my own car, all that driving would’ve been a tank of gas and then some.

Around the city, the Ford C-MAX was even better (as it’s meant to be). I drove my daughter to camp and then I drove to work and back the last couple of days that I had the car and the gas gauge didn’t move at all. Again, in either of my cars that amount of driving would have cost me a quarter tank of gas. And with today’s gas prices, I’d rather be driving a Ford C-MAX!

Kids beside a Ford C-MAX

All ready for camp and another ride in the Ford C-MAX

I can honestly say that, when it comes time to buy a new car, my family will be considering the Ford C-MAX Hybrid.

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The Ford C-MAX was provided on review. The opinions stated above are my own. No compensation was received for this article.

4 thoughts on “A family trip with the Ford C-MAX

  1. AlwaysARedhead

    Having the hatch open by itself would be a definite bonus. I have a 2005 Toyota Sienna, which I love except for the hatch, it weighs a ton, and some days I just can’t do it.

    1. Nancy Post author

      The liftgate on the C-MAX was amazing. And you can set it to open only to a certain height (I didn’t play around with that feature; just read about it in the owner’s manual). So if you’re short or can’t reach high over your head (some days my back prevents me from doing that), you can have the lift only go so far up. They have really thought of everything with this car.


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