Ford is Counting on Small Looming Big

Ford C-Max

New York Times - January 25, 2013

Ford has taken its cue from Europe, where small cars, like small apart­ments are accepted real­i­ties of life, and bring­ing the C-Max 5-seat peo­ple mover to the U.S. market.

Find out what advan­tages this unique com­pact can have.

Though it shares its basic dimen­sions with a Ford sib­ling, the Focus, the C-Max is more spa­cious and com­fort­able; tall pas­sen­gers gape in amaze­ment at its gen­er­ous headroom.

That was the expe­ri­ence of Jim Hough, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound Navy vet­eran who leased a C-Max Hybrid in Octo­ber.

Says Hough: The C-Max’s road man­ners bear lit­tle resem­blance to the way typ­i­cal gas-electric mod­els respond. The Hybrid’s 188 total horse­power (the com­bined out­put of the 2-liter 4-cylinder gas engine and a 118-horsepower elec­tric motor) reveals itself in a gut­tural roar dur­ing high­way pass­ing, the only time I could detect the pres­ence of a com­bus­tion engine. Ford engi­neers have per­fected the art of hybrid smoothness.

Regard­less of whether the fuel econ­omy is sim­ply good or truly out­stand­ing, car buy­ers will be hard pressed to find as much effi­ciency, util­ity and inno­v­a­tive tech­nol­ogy in a pack­age as small and afford­able as the C-Max models.