Toyota Prius v vs. Ford C-Max Hybrid vs. Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Toyota Prius v vs. Ford C-Max Hybrid vs. Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid

Suggestion No. 2 – 2014 Ford C-Cmax Hybrid SE

Ford’s answer to the Prius v is its Euro-flavored C-Max Hybrid. This compact MPV provides a healthy dose of versatility and style without sacrificing fuel economy.

Where the v is a lot like a station wagon the C-Max is more akin to a compact crossover; it seems to sit a little bit higher above the ground than its Japanese counterpart and it’s a bit taller overall — by nearly two inches.

When it comes to storage space this hybrid offers a maximum of 52.6 cubic feet of storage space behind the first-row seats; aft of the back bench it offers 24.5 cubes, which of course means it’s slightly less useful than the voluminous Prius. This is probably due to the vehicle’s elevated cargo floor courtesy of the all-important battery.

Ford C-Max Hybrid Interior

Powering the Ford C-Max is a 2.0-liter gasoline four-cylinder engine. Running on the efficiency-boosting Atkinson cycle (like the Toyota) it puts out a claimed 141 hp. Increasing the vehicle’s performance is a 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor. All told the system is capable of delivering a sustained 188 ponies, a good bit more than the Prius can muster.

SEE ALSO: Ford C-Max Hybrid vs. Toyota Prius v

Despite its greater displacement and additional output the C-Max is supposedly slightly more efficient than the Prius v. The EPA rates it at 45 mpg city and 40 on the interstate, figures that result in a combined score of 43 miles per gallon, one better than its rival’s average. But wait, there’s one giant asterisk worth mentioning. If you look back to last summer, the company claimed it delivered 47 mpg across the board, something they were forced to change following customer complaints; we take even the revised figures with a shaker’s worth salt. You’ve been warned. Still, this car’s economy performance is even more impressive when you factor in curb weight; the C-Max hybrid is 366 pounds heavier than the Prius v.

So, this electrified Ford is more powerful and a whisker more fuel efficient than its Toyota competitor, but how does it compare when it comes to pricing? Optioned according to Kelli’s requirements the C-Max Hybrid stickers for an even $29,600, though its base price is just about 26 grand.

All variants of this vehicle come with power windows and door locks, dual-zone automatic climate control, Ford’s Easy Fuel capless fuel filler and electrically adjustable side-view mirrors. Equipment Group 203A pads the bottom line by $1,995 and includes a navigation system, foot-activated power liftgate, reverse sensing system and ambient lighting. A panoramic fixed-glass roof is an additional $1,315 and the available Winter Package adds heated seats, among other things, for a paltry 295 bucks.

Summarizing the Ford C-Max hybrid, it may not be as spacious or reliable as Toyota’s Prius v, but it’s significantly less expensive and a lot more fun to drive. It’s an appealing vehicle in its own right.

  • MistyGreen

    Sounds to me like she’d rather go for a regular Prius or even prius c, not the v. I’d recommend the Jetta Hybrid before the prius v. I know the Civic Hybrid doesn’t really make a good business case for itself, but it’s a lot cheaper than these and may be all the car she needs.

  • Just wondering

    I have a 2013 C-Max and love it. I continue to be amazed that Ford rarely ever mentions the C-Max in any kind of advertising. Why is Ford not putting the C-Max in front of the public to better sell the car?

  • Shiratori1

    The c-max is a scam. It doesn’t get anywhere near the mpg that is advertised in the real world (which has been proven by multiple magazines on multiple occasions).

  • I went through a similar decision process earlier this year and decided on the Subaru. The seating position is a little higher, without handling like a truck, and the AWD is great to have in the snow. I see the hybrid motor as a bonus bit of power, because with gas at two bucks a gallon, it’s not going to it for itself. The car is nice and torquey on hills and the brakes are the best of any car I’ve ever driven. Highway and city range have been about equal for me, but the stop-start engine saves a bit of fuel and emissions. Despite not being a particularly fuel efficient car, it’s way better in that respect than the 2005 Accord it replaced. Don’t let the numbers alone decide this for you, try the cars yourself.