6 Best & Worst Ford C-Max Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Ford C-Max is a versatile compact car that enjoyed a short production stint between 2013 and 2018 in the United States.

It’s known for its comfortable interior, fun-to-drive manners, and its spacious cargo hold.

To learn more about the best and worst years of the Cm-Max, keep reading…

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Ford C-Max Are:

The best Ford C-Max model years are 2018, 2017, 2016, and 2015. The worst model years of the C-Max are 2014 and 2013. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Ford C-Max?

Although the C-Max was only around for six years, some years were notably better than others.

2018 Ford C-Max

The 2018 Ford C-Max is our joint top pick with the 2017 model, they are the most refined iterations of the car and feature the most up-to-date tech.

Like its predecessors the 2018 model year delivers a fuel-efficient, roomy, fun-to-drive package.

The plug-in Energi version was discontinued at the end of the 2017 model year, leaving the C-Max Hybrid to continue on alone for 2018.

The 2017 and 2018 C-Max models are otherwise identical.

  • Edmunds: 4.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2018 Ford C-Max, Edmunds review:

“This is a Prius killer. I had a 2013 and recently traded it in for a 2018 when I found it was being discontinued. 50 more HP than a Prius. Quick, very quiet and smooth. Handles like a sports car. Great steering and road feel. No transition noticed from electric to gas or back again. 2018 has a much better navigation system than my 2013.”

2017 Ford C-Max

The 2017 C-Max is another top choice boasting impressive fuel economy numbers and a stylish interior finished with high-quality materials.

It’s offered as either a hybrid or plug-in hybrid and this was the final year the plug-in Energi version was produced.

This model year’s upgrades included a redesigned grill, upgraded headlights, and remodeled tail lights.

The SEL trim was removed and replaced with a top-level Titanium trim, similar to what was done to other vehicles in Ford’s line-up.

  • Edmunds: 4.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 75 / 100

2017 Ford C-Max, Edmunds review:

“I was pleasantly surprised after driving this car how it impressed me. I read the so-called critics’ reviews on how the Prius was the most popular hybrid, but I decided to review this C Max myself. I am slightly over 6 Ft and immediately noticed the huge headroom of the C max that dwarfs the other hybrids. The C max is quiet, smooth ride, comfortable, very roomy and incredible view…”

2016 Ford C-Max

The 2016 C-Max has been praised for its elevated driving position offering good visibility out the front, responsive handling and snappy acceleration.

The major improvement that came along with the 2016 Ford C-Max was the all-new Sync 3 tech interface, which facilitates better voice recognition and is paired up with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with fingertip swiping and pinch-to-touch features, similar to popular smartphones. 

  • Edmunds: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2016 Ford C-Max, Edmunds review:

“Good handling car with considerable head and leg room front and back, acceleration is great for a hybrid but OK overall. The fuel economy does vary depending on your driving habits (acceleration/braking habits) and use of heater/air ranging from upper 30s to 50 mpg. I averaged just over 43 mpg…”

2015 Ford C-Max

Although the consumer’s scores aren’t as high on the 2015 C-Max it’s still a safe bet offering an abundant features list as well as impressive gas mileage.

The 2015 Ford C-Max received no significant upgrades however it was much more reliable than its predecessors.

It was essentially a carry-over from the previous model year which had received minor tweaks to the transmission and body aerodynamics to improve fuel efficiency.

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.5 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2015 Ford C-Max, Edmunds review:

“Owned car for 3.5 years. no issues. Mileage same. This is not a car for getting hybrid mileage on the highway if you travel at speeds of 70 mph and above. At 70 mph and over it doesn’t go into electric mode much and operates mostly as a normal i.c.e. car. Average is 34 mpg at 70 mph and over. No complaint from me, i think 34 mpg isn’t bad if it’s not running in hybrid mode…”

Consumer Scores For Best Ford C-Max Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Ford C-Max model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds Consumer RatingKelley Blue BookConsumer RatingJD PowerConsumer Rating
2017 Ford C-Max4.9 / 5.04.5 / 5.075 / 100
2016 Ford C-Max4.5 / 5.04.5 / 5.078 / 100
2015 Ford C-Max4.4 / 5.04.5 / 5.079 / 100

Related: 17 Best & Worst Toyota Prius Years (With Facts & Stats)

What Are The Worst Years For The Ford C-Max?

The Ford C-Max has also been on the receiving end of some criticism although this was aimed mostly at the two earliest iterations.

Be cautious of the model years listed below.

2014 Ford C-Max

The 2014 Ford C-Max had several electrical issues, for both the Hybrid and Energi models.

On the Hybrid models, lots of owners experienced a dead battery (on multiple occasions) with no prior warning, meaning they were unable to start the car.

For the Energi model, most of the complaints came from owners who were unable to charge their vehicles as well as dead battery issues.

For both models there were reports of warning lights coming on at random, loss of acceleration, power window concerns, and back door latch issues, among other problems. 

The 2014 C-Max had a total of 31 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 97 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems C-Max Hybrid:

  • Battery completely drained
  • Will not turn over, will not start
  • Compass is inaccurate

Common problems C-Max Energi:

  • Fault in charging message
  • Transmission slips out of gear
  • Noise from under the vehicle

2013 Ford C-Max

The 2013 C-Max is the most problematic model year by a wide margin, which isn’t surprising as it was the first model to be released and it is one you should certainly steer clear of.

Much like the 2014 model year, the 2013 C-Max had various problems related to the electrical system.

One owner stated that his liftgate opens randomly even when the vehicle is not powered.

Another owner stated that his vehicle suddenly displayed a red hazard warning light and lost all power, rendering the vehicle unable to move and stranded on the road. 

For most owners though repeated dead battery issues were the biggest, and most common problem.

The 2013 C-Max had a total of 203 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 280 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems C-Max Energi:

  • Transmission failure
  • Loud vibration during cold weather
  • Dead battery

Common problems C-Max Hybrid:

  • Power steering failure
  • Engine stalls, engine shuts down
  • Battery died

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

There are several Ford C-Max model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. 

Take a look at the complaints and problems for each model year of the C-Max below

Model YearComplaints (CarComplaints.com)Problems (CarProblemZoo.com)
2018 Ford C-Max08
2017 Ford C-Max614
2016 Ford C-Max1341
2015 Ford C-Max1451
2014 Ford C-Max3197
2013 Ford C-Max203280

What Problems Do Ford C-Maxs Have?

  • Power steering failure
  • Battery completely drained
  • Car would not start
  • Engine stalls, shuts down
  • Transmission failure
  • Power windows going up and down unintentionally

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Ford C-Max?

The Ford C-Max Hybrid secured the 15th spot whilst the C-Max Energi secured the 18th spot with scores of 7.7 out of 10 and 7.1 out of 10 respectively. 

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Toyota Camry Hybrid8.9$21,872 – $23,888City: 40 – 42 /Highway: 37 – 38
Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid8.6$20,532City: 49 /Highway: 43
Toyota Avalon Hybrid8.6$26,281 – $29,232City: 40 /Highway: 39
Chevrolet Bolt8.5$26,464 – $27,311City: 128 /Highway: 110
Hyundai Ioniq8.5$18,492 – $21,527City: 55 – 57 /Highway: 54 – 59
Toyota Prius8.5$23,433 – $26,234City: 54 – 58 /Highway: 50 – 53
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid8.3$18,696 – $28,155City: 38 – 39 /Highway: 43 – 45
Kia Optima Hybrid8.3$18,688 – $23,673City: 39 /Highway: 46
Toyota Prius Prime8.3$26,441 – $30,047City: NA /Highway: NA
Chevrolet Volt8.0$23,180 – $24,242City: NA /Highway: NA
Ford Fusion Hybrid8.0$17,234 – $22,502City: 43 /Highway: 41
Toyota Prius V8.0$25,176 – $26,759City: 43 /Highway: 41
Honda Accord Hybrid7.9$22,253 – $24,650City: 49 /Highway: 47
Nissan Leaf7.8$15,840 – $17,236City: 124 / Highway: 101
Ford C-Max Hybrid7.7$18,554 – $20,339City: 42 /Highway: 38
Toyota Prius C7.5$20,542 – $22,654City: 48 /Highway: 43
Ford Fusion Energi7.4$19,689 – $23,825City: NA /Highway: NA
Ford C-Max Energi7.1$18,612 – $20,404City: NA /Highway: NA

Source: cars.usnews.com










  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...