The folks at Ford Canada invited Yours Truly and Tamara McPherson, creator of WonderMoms.ca, to take their C-MAX series of hybrid cars out for a spin on a little excursion they called the C-MAX Holiday Challenge. We’d first take the cars out for a little city and highway driving and try to get the best energy efficiency our of them.
Energy efficiency achieved!
The C-MAXes have a feature on their dashboards that make it easy to tell how energy-efficiently you’re driving: the Efficiency Leaves. It’s an animated display located just to the right of the speedometer that gives you at-a-glance feedback. The more energy-efficient your driving is, the more leaves appear on the vine. Smooth starts and smooth braking is the key to making the display lush and green, and it also means you’re making the best use of the car’s energy and saving money to boot.
My “10 and 2″ safe hand position on the wheel is unstoppable!
I’ll admit that I’ve become a bit of a skeptic about North American cars, having rented more than my fair share in business travel and being less than impressed by their fit and finish as well as they way they handle. They’ve improved recently, and the C-MAX is indicative of that trend: it handles very nicely. I’d have sworn it was a Japanese car and not the Ford that I’d come to know. The folks at AutoGuide.com seem to agree.
Me behind the wheel of the Ford C-MAX Energia.
Along for the ride to help us out were Rannie Turingan and Sara Mercier, both wearing elf costumes and playing the parts of “Jingle” and “Belle” respectively, the helper elves. They were charming company, and I was glad to have them along for the ride.
Here’s Tamara behind the wheel of her Ford C-MAX.
Tamara drove the C-MAX while I drove the C-MAX Energi, which was the plug-in version of the C-MAX, which can be filled at the gas station or charged up at an electric station for about 35km (21 miles) of pure-electric driving. The engine was zippy and responsive, whether in electric or gas mode, and on a flat run on the Don Valley Parkway, I got the car up to 90 km/h (just over 55 mph) before it had to switch from electric to gas. The car certainly didn’t feel like a golf cart!
After taking the C-MAXes out for a spin, we drove them to The Danforth to go to Treasure Island Toys (a great little indie toy store; you really should check it out) to go on a shopping spree for charity. Tamara and I were each given a $1000 gift card and a 15% discount with which to buy toys for children who otherwise wouldn’t get any for Christmas. If you’d like to help add to the toys we bought, there are 22 Toronto-Area Ford Dealerships that are accepting donations.