Gallery: TEST DRIVE: 2013 Ford C-MAX Hybrid is the Perfect Green Family...

 
Hybrid cars have been around for over a decade now, but the vehicles are still largely regarded as boring and non-stylish. The latest generation of hybrid and electric cars are set to change all that - and Ford's new 2013 C-MAX hybrid is a worthy contender that will make you think twice about labeling it as another boring hybrid. Ford is set to challenge Toyota's lead in the market with a vehicle that is more fuel-efficient and stylish than its closest competitor, the Toyota Prius v.

From the start Ford has aimed for the 2013 Ford C-MAX to appeal to the Toyota Prius v market, but even though Ford feels that it has the perfect competitor for the Prius, hybrid buyers could say otherwise. But the news is—so far—great for Ford, since the C-MAX outsold the Toyota Prius v in its first full month of sales, 3,182 units to 2,769.

So how great is Ford’s newest hybrid? Ford gave us the keys to a bright blue 2013 C-MAX to find out. For starters the C-MAX is offered in two versions, the C-MAX hybrid and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. It features an Ikea friendly hatchback and a overall driving feel that feels closer to a small minivan than the Focus Electric. Don’t let the “minivan” comparison throw you, since its high seating position is a good thing. Compared to the Toyota Prius v, the C-MAX is eight inches shorter, but almost two inches taller.

Under the hood, the C-MAX is powered by a 188-hp hybrid powertrain, that mates a 2.0L four-cylinder engine to an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. It’s EPA rated at 47 mpg in the city and 47 mpg on the highway, while the Prius v is rated at 44 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. One cool feature is that it can reach speeds up to 62 mph in full electric mode.

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