Cruising Down the California Coast in a Ford C-Max Hybrid #cmaxdrive

7:56 PM

ford c-max hybrid

When I received the email inviting me to attend a brand event in California in which I would drive a Ford C-Max Hybrid from San Francisco to Pebble Beach in a fun-filled two day event, I was pretty stoked for a couple different reasons. For one, as a mom with four homeschooled boys, I could use a weekend of grown-up time. Secondly, I have never driven a hybrid and was really looking forward to seeing what all the hype was about, and finally, I have never been to San Francisco or Pebble Beach and wanted to see the beautiful Pacific Ocean! So, needless to say, I headed out to California last weekend with the brightest of expectations.

After a little snafu that turned a 7 hour trip to California into a 14 hour one due to yet another flight delay, I arrived an excited and jittery, yet tired mess at around 11pm. California time. Thanks to the wonderful three hour time difference though, I was up and ready to start my official day in San Francisco bright and early. A beautiful view of The Bay greeted me from my top floor window at the Westin.

It wasn't until after breakfast with the fun Ford reps and 15 other fabulous bloggers on this trip that I was able to really take it all in. For right there in the parking lot was a line of beautiful brand new Ford C-Max Hybrid cars just waiting for us to start off on an adventure in them.

We were given a short tutorial on the many different features available in the C-Max Hybrid, and for a moment I was pretty overwhelmed. We drive good old 'Bob the Van', and he has no fancy do dads, but I sure was excited to get the chance to try them out.

The first thing that really caught my eye about this nifty little car is the amount of trunk space it has. That is one thing our van definitely lacks, so when Connie from (my car-mate for the drive down to Pebble Beach) and I put our luggage in the trunk and there was still plenty of room to spare, I was impressed. Also impressive was the ability of the trunk to open automatically when you kicked your leg under the back bumper and had the key fob in your hand. Perfect for busy moms with arms full of groceries! Although, creature of habit that I am, I still automatically went to open and close it manually throughout the weekend.

After familiarizing ourselves a bit with the car, because both Connie and I realized we were too busy taking pictures and not listening when the tutorial was going on, we were off on our adventure! The navigation on the Ford C-Max Hybrid was extremely thorough if nothing else. I did have to spend quite a while searching through various screens to find out how to turn the sound up on the navigation when Connie and I missed a turn early on in the drive because we clearly were having too much fun.

The Ford C-Max Hybrid is the first hybrid-only line in North America from Ford, and its fun European inspired design ensure that there is lots of room for those of us who are not exactly living on the dainty side of life. For my 5'9" big girl frame, there was plenty of leg room and I never felt cramped. The backseat looked pretty roomy, and I could see several of my boys being comfy during an extended trip back there.

What really wowed me though, was the incredible amount of feature that Ford has packed into this mighty machine to make it so eco-friendly. Don't worry, this isn't a granny car though, no sir, you can go up to 85 mph with the electric motor and it works seamlessly with the gas engine to provide you with the maximum horsepower. The C-Max Hybrid gets an average of 45mpg city and 40mpg highway. Ours was only slightly lower than that shortly after we began our drive.

Our ride down the coast (or in our case on the highway) was not only full of gorgeous sites, but it was incredibly comfortable and oh so quiet. The car rides and drives like a dream, in fact, unless the vehicle had had the "ready to drive" message on the dashboard, I never would have known it was on. Speaking of the dashboard display. There are several different menu options that you can choose to display, including an Efficiency and Brake Coach that can help you drive more economically. The different displays are easily accessible and controlled by the buttons on either side of the steering wheel.

At one point in the drive, we did make a pit stop and had an issue where the navigation screen had to be reset, but other than that, our drive down the coast could not have been smoother or more comfortable. Speaking of the coast, check out a few photos I snapped along 17-mile drive, including one of the ghost tree, which Connie begrudgingly agreed to take me to. :)

Did I mention the gorgeous Casa Palmero? Yeah, we stayed at this exclusive Pebble Beach resort overnight, and goodness was it swanky. I won't share too much about that in this post though, since I will be doing a full review of it in a later post. It is too special not to share!

{My Favorite C-Max Hybrid Features}

There were a lot of things I liked about the Ford C-Max Hybrid, but here are some of my favorites at a glance.
  • Efficiency Coach can help you see where your driving can improve to drive more economically.
  • Regenerative breaking capabilities, mean that breaking is actually good in the C-Max hybrid. Each time you break efficiently with the help of the Break Coach, the kinetic energy is converted and used to recharge the electric motor in the car.
  • Automatic trunk opening and door unlocking when holding the key fob.
  • Ability to charge the electric motor in under 3 hours from a 240v charging station.
  • Can go over 522 miles on one tank of gas!
{Second Thoughts}

Although I loved almost everything about the Ford C-Max Hybrid, but as with anything, there were things that I didn't love entirely.
  • I am a pretty nervous driver, so having all the screens, controls and seeing efficiency leaves floating away when I was going the speed limit and driving safely was kind of distracting and a bit too much at times. Luckily, the C-Max Hybrid does give the driver the ability to just drive "normally" too if they wish, so this wasn't too much of an issue.
  • The cup holders in the front could have used a tad more space in between. Connie and I both had large cups and they did not fit in comfortably without pushing against each other.
Overall, my experience with the C-Max Hybrid made me completely rethink my position on hybrids. In general, I used to think of them as very tiny vehicles with golf-cart like designs that had no umph or style whatsoever. I am happy to report that where this car is concerned, I could not have been more wrong. Unfortunately, as much as I love this vehicle, it is just not a practical choice for our family of 6. When the kids are grown and gone though, all bets are off! To find out more about the Ford C-Max Hybrid, you can visit the Ford site

Have you ever driven a hybrid? Do you own one? I would love to hear your opinion of them in the comments below!

I was selected for this opportunity by Clever Girls Collective, however all content and opinions expressed here are my own.

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  1. I am so jealous that you and Connie got to be car mates. It must have been a really fun drive. I would love to own a hybrid vehicle eventually. This sounds like a great option.

  2. We drove a hybrid (Mitsubishi) for around two weeks, it was awesome! I am so glad you enjoyed this one!

  3. I always wanted to try a hybrid car…this one looks amazing!

  4. I love your scenic photos. I am a 100% loyal Ford fan I've owned a Festiva, Escort, Probe, Escape, and now a Fusion. I would love to own a hybrid one day.

  5. Ooooo -- that brake/kinetic energy feature is COOL! I love that they've figured out how to do that.

  6. I love hybrids! I think everyone should drive one. Unfortunately, when we had to invest in a bigger car to accommodate 3 car seats, we couldn't afford a hybrid. I really miss driving my Prius!

  7. This car looks surprisingly roomy. I don't think I'll be getting away from an SUV any time soon though.

  8. We're considering buying this car next year. I think my husband's ready to take the plunge and get a hybrid. This does look like an amazing vehicle and I just love the central coast.

  9. It was really cool to hear about Rachel. In fact, with the Brake Coach, you can see how efficiently you are breaking and how much energy is being returned to the motor.

  10. I would love to drive down the California coast!

  11. What a snazzy little ride! I am loving those photos of the scenery - especially that driftwood! I can't believe how much space you have in that trunk!!

  12. I actually love all the screens and lights. SO PRETTY!!! I went from a Civic to an Altima. I miss all the lights and electrics. We're actually contemplating getting the Ford Escape next time we lease :)

  13. This looks like an amazing car. I love driving down the California coast. It's such a beautiful drive.

  14. I love the colors the car comes in so many options for comfortable driving

  15. What a nice ride! They look so comfortable.

  16. I've driven a hybrid and I really like them. I just haven't found one big enough for my big family.



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