When Ford decided to bring the C-Max to the U.S., The New York Times hailed the European gas- and diesel-powered family runabout as "proof that American car companies can build handsome, economical and functional family vehicles." The alternatively-powered C-Max Hybrid we got kept the handsome and functional bits but didn't prove as economical as promised. The shortcoming triggered a public beating during the C-Max's first year on sale, the row focused on the hatchback's EPA combined fuel economy rating of 47 miles per gallon. One month after hitting dealer lots, an Automotive News reporter who bought a C-Max Hybrid wrote a piece called, "So where's the 47 mph on my C-Max?" When owners began filling forums with the same question, and contacting attorneys for help getting answers and remuneration, Ford made some complicated explanations and revised the numbers. The automaker lowered the EPA rating for the C-Max Hybrid twice, and the C-Max Energi once.
The post-recession return to SUVs and crossovers, combined with Americans' traditional aversion to hatchbacks, likely contributed to the C-Max's decline. The Ford Fusion Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid Energi, which use the same powertrains as the C-Maxes, have outsold the trunkless models this year 57,790 to 15,512. The Blue Oval has a new electrified compact offering that will encompass an entire vehicle lineup, perhaps called Model E and arriving in 2019 or 2020.