Although plagued by negative reviews and a false mileage scandal, the Ford C-Max is a decent hybrid vehicle. It offers good gas mileage and plenty of interior room and storage capacity.
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But is it durable? Let’s find out.
How long do Ford C-Max models last?
With proper maintenance, your Ford C-Max should last between 150,000 miles to 200,000 miles. If you ride an average of 15,000 miles per year, your Ford C-Max should have a lifespan of 10-13 years.
How Many Miles Can You Expect from A Ford C Max?
As mentioned before, you can get up to 200,000 miles from your Ford C-Max before it reaches the end of its service life. Since the C-Max is a hybrid, going 200k miles means loads of money saved on buying gasoline.
That said, your riding habits would influence the longevity of your Ford C-Max, as any technician will tell you.
Lack of proper driving techniques often equals shorter vehicle life in most cases.
In addition, maintenance is important if you want to get the maximum number of miles from your Ford C-Max. Such maintenance activities include changing filters, transmission fluid, and engine oil.
Check also our list of the best and worst Ford C-Max years.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust On a Ford C Max?
Based on our evaluation of customer complaints, we found that the Ford C-Max models rust within the first six years. When the rust actually appears varies across different owners.
Some reported seeing rust on their cars starting from the sixth year, while some reported seeing rust as early as the second year.
One common rust-prone area on Ford C-Max models is the rear wheel arch. According to consumers, the arch sticks out and is susceptible to stone chips which, if left, will start to rust.
Usually, you may discover that the rust is spreading across a larger area. It will continue to spread in this manner if you don’t fix it.
Other areas prone to rust on the Ford C-Max include:
- Door bottom
- Front wings
- Bonnet area
According to customers, parking your Ford C-Max model indoors helps to protect the vehicle against rust. In addition, you can use a wire brush and spray gun to wash the wheel arches to remove the rust-causing stone chips.
How Long Do Ford C Max’s Last Compared to Similar Car Models?
In this section, we compare the longevity of the Ford C Max with its contemporaries:
Ford C-Max vs. Toyota Prius
The Ford C-Max has a shorter lifespan compared to the Toyota Prius. Perhaps, this isn’t surprising, given the Prius’ reputation for reliability. While the Ford C-Max will give you 200,000 miles of problem-free service life, the Toyota Prius can last up to 250,000 miles without major issues.
Moreover, the Toyota Prius’ annual servicing cost is lesser than the Ford C-Max. You will spend $557 per year on maintenance for a Ford C-Max and $408 per year on a Toyota Prius.
This is important because to keep a vehicle running, you need to repair it.
Higher repair costs may force you to abandon the car.
Ford C-Max vs. Nissan Leaf
While the Nissan Leaf isn’t a hybrid (it’s all-electric), it is often compared to the C-Max, so we decided to include it. Based on our research, the Ford C-Max will outlast the average Nissan Leaf model.
The latter mostly gives a maximum of 150,000 miles, whilst the former can go up to 200,000 miles.
More importantly, the Nissan Leaf has higher ownership costs than the Ford C-Max. Its $748 yearly maintenance bill is almost $200 higher than its rival’s maintenance bill.
Ford C-Max vs. Chevrolet Volt
The Ford C-Max and Chevrolet Volt will give you the same number in service life, i.e., 200,000 miles. However, the Chevrolet Volt will use less fuel along the way, and can go up to 43 miles on a gallon of gas.
The Ford C-Max is less efficient and can go only 40 miles on a gallon of gas.
The Chevrolet Volt also has lower ownership costs compared to the Ford C-Max, although the difference is almost negligible. It will cost you $551 annually to service a Volt, while maintenance costs for a C-Max will set you back $557.
How Reliable Is a Ford C Max?
Even during its production run, reliability was never quite a strong suit of the Ford C-Max. Many problems dogged the model, ranging from improper seat welds to faulty alternators to batteries going dead when parked.
Add that to the less-than-spectacular gas mileage of the model, and it is easy to see why the model got so much criticism.
J.D Power gave the 2018 model a 3/5 Predicted Reliability Rating, which is just slightly above average.
Similarly, RepairPal placed it 10th out of 26 other midsize cars in its reliability ratings.
However, it is important to note that the rate of severe problems on the Ford C-Max is actually lower than the segment average.
Around 10% of repairs on the Ford C-Max are severe compared to 11% for compact cars.
The Best and Worst Years For Ford C Max
According to CarComplaints, the best year for the Ford C-Max was the 2018 model with zero problems reported. In comparison, the site recorded over 311 reported problems for the Ford C-Max in 2013, which is the model’s worst year.
Many of the problems in the 2013 model year include:
- Electrical problems:
Around 75 owners complained of electrical faults in the Ford C-Max. Many of these complaints contained reports of radio, indicator lights, GPS, Ford Sync, and audio systems malfunctioning.
- Engine problems:
CarComplaints received 11 complaints relating to engine issues on the Ford C-Max. Notably, the engine often seized and stalled mid-transit.
- Faulty steering:
The NHTSA received 15 reports of the power steering failure on the Ford C-Max.
What About Recalls for These Models?
During its production run in the United States, the Ford C-Max was involved in 12 recall actions. Some of these recalls occurred years after the model went out of production.
For example, a recall was issued recently for Ford C-Max models released between 2013 and 2015.
Reports show that a design defect could cause the doors to open while the car was in motion.
Other recalls happened while the model was still in production. A good example is the 2014 recall that affected both 2013 and 2014 models.
Ford recalled the models because of a programming error that could delay the deployment of the side-curtain airbag in a crash.
Below is a list showing recall numbers for the various model years:
|Model Year||Number of Recalls|
Ford C Max Model Year List
Below is a list of all Ford C-Max model years:
- 2013 Ford C-Max
- 2014 Ford C-Max
- 2015 Ford C-Max
- 2015 Ford C-Max
- 2016 Ford C-Max
- 2017 Ford C-Max
- 2018 Ford C-Max
Are Ford C Max’s Expensive to Maintain?
If you compare Ford C-Max to similar models, you realize that the model is in fact more maintenance intensive. Annual maintenance costs on the Ford C-Max are around $557, which is above the average for compact cars. Rivals such as the Chevrolet Volt ($550) and Toyota Prius ($408) all cost less to maintain yearly.
Also read our article about How Long Do Ford Cargo Vans Last?
Here are some common repairs on the Ford C-Max and their respective costs:
- Coolant reservoir replacement
- Cost: $194 – $287
- Oxygen Sensor Replacement
- Cost: $222 – $271
- Brake booster replacement
- Cost: $714 – $848
- Fuel level sending unit replacement
- Cost: $811 – $874
How Long Does the Brakes Last?
The brakes on the Ford C-Max can last a very long time without replacement. It is the brake pads and brake rotors that you will need to change more often.
Brake pads have an average lifespan of 30,000 to 70,000 miles. The actual number of miles you will get depends mostly on driving style and driving conditions.
Brake rotors can last roughly 70,000 miles but will require periodic inspection for uneven wear. It is also advisable to service your brakes at every 15,000-mile interval.
This includes, but is not limited to, checking for wear on rotors and pads, as well as replacing brake fluid.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Most car manufacturers, including Ford, advise owners to change the stock tires after six years of use.
However, tires are now more durable than ever and can last up to 10 years easily.
We recommend checking the rate of wear on your tires at periodic intervals and replace them once they wear out.
How Long Do the Transmissions Last?
Subject to maintenance, the transmission on your Ford C-Max should give you between 150,000 to 200,000 miles. Routine maintenance for the transmission includes:
- Periodic checks of transmission fluid level
- Flushing transmission fluid and filling up with new fluid
How Long Do the Spark Plugs Last?
The spark plugs on your Ford C-Max can last up to 100,000 miles, but may wear out earlier than that, especially if you frequently drive aggressively or in stop-and-go traffic.
What About Insurance Cost?
The average monthly cost of insuring a Ford CMAX is $135, which adds up to $1620 per year. This number may vary according to region and insurer rates.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Ford C Max
Here are tips to extend the longevity of your Ford C Max:
- Cultivate proper driving habits
- Service the vehicle regularly
- Avoid any modifications or enhancements