Shortly after sitting down in a 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi for the first time, my son proclaimed, “Ford really outdid itself with this car.” After returning from our Yellowstone vacation last month, I took the C-Max Energi on a multi-day test drive and my son, who has been involved in each of my local vehicle test drives, was instantly impressed with the plug-in hybrid.

I have to admit, I was too. The vehicle is small, smaller than the Ford Fusion Energi that I tested out in early June, but the kids still had ample room in the back seat. When we went on our family grocery shopping trip, I was able to fit all of our groceries into the vehicle without piling bags of food on the kids’ laps. 

The car is small compared to the full-sized sedan that I drive, but it actually met the grocery shopping challenge. I don’t know that it would hold a load of Costco goodies with the kids in tow, but if the C-MAX Energi were my primary vehicle I could always just leave the kids at home to make room for the oversized Costco items. Mom problem solved!

It wasn’t just the car’s ability to hold a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four that impressed me, though, the air conditioning also earned high marks. Now this may sound random but I live in Arizona and I had the vehicle the weekend the temperature hit 119 in Phoenix. No, that isn’t a typo, it was 119 degrees on Saturday, June 29, 2013.

I’ve owned a hybrid before and the air conditioning situation on hot summer days was less than ideal. Sure, it would blow out at full power but it was never icy cold. I was pleasantly surprised when I pushed the C-MAX Energi’s air conditioning to full power and it pumped out cold air while still maintaining superb fuel efficiency; a win-win for a hybrid driver in Arizona.

The 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi comes equipped with Ford MySync technology and an amazing navigation system. I’m a stickler for the bells and whistles and Ford’s navigation system is my favorite – easy-to-use with easy-to-follow directions and as an added bonus the speed limit is posted right there on the navigation screen. There’s no need to scan the side of the road for a speed limit sign because Ford’s already done it for you.

When I was driving the C-MAX, I didn’t feel like I was driving a small box on wheels. It was roomy, it was quiet and it was even a bit luxurious, from a technology perspective at least. While I’ve had the opportunity to drive several cars, never before has a car caused me to seriously consider selling my beloved luxury sedan. The C-MAX Energi did, though.