What do you do if you're an American car company and you've got a compact people mover sitting in your European lineup that is just begging for a U.S. introduction? If you're Ford, you take advantage of the latest surge of interest in high efficiency automobiles by stuffing a hybrid drivetrain inside of it and bringing it across the Atlantic to compete head-to-head with the Toyota Prius.
The 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid is somewhat of a tweener, a small hatchback that fits in somewhere between the entry-level Prius hatch and the larger Prius V from a practicality standpoint. More importantly, the vehicle represents Ford's very first foray into the dedicated hybrid segment, as it's not possible to purchase a gas-only versions of the C-Max. It also illustrates the fact that it's possible to design a practical and affordable hybrid car that isn't completely devoid of personality.
The C-Max Hybrid is up against extremely stiff - and we mean that in terms of both competence and fun factor (specifically, lack thereof) - competition in the form of the Prius and Prius V. Does the small Ford have what it takes to wring the starch-collared neck of the market's most popular family of hybrid cars? Even more important: will eco-conscious drivers give it the chance it deserves to prove itself against Toyota's hybrid hegemony?