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Ford C Max hybrid worth a try for the environmentally conscious

Ford has a new car on its hands that does not quite fit any mold.

The C MAX is innovative — some would say top of its line — but I found myself wondering just what line it would be.

In some corners, it would be a mini-SUV for its higher perch, and in others a fuel-miserly hybrid that could nearly take on the mighty Prius.

What is obvious is its C MAX Energi status, a gas-electric hybrid with electric plug-in capability to further its power-only reach. This is where things get interesting, or super-sized, in the form of a lithium battery that hogs much of the rear cargo space.

For all of its heft, the 7.6 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery does move the Focus-based C-MAX along, in pure electric power, for about 21 miles says Ford. Maximum speed with electric only is 85 miles per hour.

After the power is drained, which has reportedly been in the 9-14 mile range in actual practice, the C MAX reverts to its 2.0-liter, four cylinder gasoline engine and battery-powered electric motor that combine for 188 horsepower.
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