If you’re not a fan yet or you’ve no interest in electric or hybrid vehicles, it’s time to get with the program. Whether its high-performance or fuel-efficiency that rings your bell, this is the way the future’s shaping up. While some manufacturers are falling firmly on the hybrid or the all-electric side of the fence, Hyundai and Ford are keeping their options open by offering both with their 2017 Hyundai Ioniq and Ford C-Max models. So, let’s take a closer look to see which is best.
2017 Hyundai Ioniq vs Ford C-Max
Hyundai has done something really neat here by offering the Ioniq as hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and all-electric formats. The hybrid will be the biggest-seller which is why it’s been launched first with the other two following later, and the EV’s availability is being limited mostly to California at first. These are not performance models by any means, but they are livelier than the heavier Kia Niro hybrid.
There’s no all-electric version of the C-Max right now, so choice is limited to a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the way either performs, but these are hybrids that have been around a while and it’s a technology that’s rapidly changing and improving. The more contemporary systems in the Hyundai Ioniq have the edge here then.
It must have been tempting for Hyundai to come up with a design for the Ioniq that screams “look at me, I’m different.” Thankfully, the Korean automaker resisted that temptation and the Ioniq is ultimately conventional. It certainly doesn’t shout about being a hybrid or an EV, so it will definitely appeal to a wider audience than a couple of well-known rivals.
The Ford C-Max was originally designed as an upright MPV for the European market, and although it’s no sports car it’s a lot more likeable than some of its less conventional rivals. It’s part-hatchback, part-tall wagon and even part-small minivan–it doesn’t seem to know what it wants to be. The Hyundai takes the honors here again for being more definitive and decisive.
If fuel economy is your thing, the Ioniq comes in three flavors of green, greener, and greenest. The base Ioniq Blue model is expected to deliver EPA ratings of 57 mpg in the city, 59 mpg on the highway and 58 mpg combined, while the rest of the range comes in at 55 mpg combined. The plug-in ratings have yet to be released, while the Ioniq Electric is rated by the EPA as having a range of 124 miles on a single charge.
Despite being downgraded twice during its five-year lifespan, the C-Max is still the Blue Oval’s most efficient model. The conventional C-Max Hybrid is rated by the EPA at 42 mpg in the city, 37 mpg on the highway and 40 mpg combined, while the plug-in has an all-electric range of 20 miles and a mile per gallon equivalent (MPGe) of 88. This is another easy victory for the Hyundai then.
The styling of the Ioniq’s interior is fairly straightforward with plenty of places to put things, but the rear seats can be a little cramped for two taller passengers on a long journey. Some of the materials may look and feel a little odd, but that’s not through corner-cutting as they’re intentionally recycled or sustainable materials to fit with the car’s image and profile.
Thanks to its origins as a European MPV, the C-Max is very spacious and practical for such a compact car. If you want plenty of room but you don’t need a third-row seat, the C-Max is a good choice. The Ford just misses out on the 100 cu.-ft. of interior volume at 99.7 cu.-ft., which just keeps it in the compact segment instead of being classified as a midsize. This has to be a win for the Ford C-Max then.
Learn More about the Hyundai Ioniq
The Ford C-Max is a decent enough family car for those wanting lots of space and decent fuel economy without a third-row seat. However, the Ford is now starting to show its age and the 2017 Hyundai Ioniq is all-new and offered in more formats,giving buyers additional options. The Ioniq is clearly the better option.