We had a free day in California when visiting my son in Martinez. I got out the Edmunds iPhone App and searched for inventory. A dealership in Fairfield had more than a dozen C-Max vehicles – I found C-Max heaven. This was far more than in the entire state of Utah. We left in the afternoon for a visit to Fairfield Ford.
At the dealership, we introduced ourselves to Michael McBroom in sales. We went outside to check out the C-Max parked in front of the dealership. As Michael was telling us about the C-Max, another customer arrived at the dealership. They wanted to see the new C-Max too (we later talked to the wife who said her husband liked it). By this time, we had seen a C-Max in Walnut Creek but it didn’t have a panoramic sunroof. According to the Edmunds App, Fairfield Ford had an SEL with the panoramic roof. We asked Michael to see it. He knew he had seen it recently but couldn’t find it. It wasn’t there. It had been sold the previous day. It was still being prepared for delivery off site and we were told we could go see it. We didn’t need to go. As we spoke, a truck delivered more C-Max cars. There was one with a sunroof. This definitely was C-Max heaven.
The sunroof on the C-Max is fixed – it doesn’t open. We already knew this from reading the Ford website. We had seen pictures of the sunroof but it wasn’t clear how large the opening was. We went out to check it out. Protective plastic covered the vehicle. We were not allowed to drive it, but could examine the sunroof. It was a disappointment. The opening was quite small. It was set back so far that the front of the opening was above the back of my wife’s head when she sat in the driver’s seat.
Update: On January 10th, 2013, we were able to take photos of a Ford C-Max Energi with a panoramic sunroof. My wife enjoyed how much lighter the sunroof made the cabin of the C-Max Energi. The two pictures below give a better idea of the position of the driver’s head when the seat is moved backward and forward as far as it will move.
While we checked out the sunroof, Michael got a key to test drive another C-Max. I took a few more pictures.
We both drove the C-Max this time. It has plenty of power on the on-ramp to get up to interstate speeds quickly. It seemed louder than the C-Max we drove in Walnut Creek. It made me wonder whether the noise-canceling technology that Ford used in the Lincoln luxury brand and is now bringing to the C-Max and Focus sedan is an extra option or just on the SEL. I’m going to have to check into this later. It also became clear that we will need to learn how to drive the C-Max to optimize MPG. The Ford has displays to assist this learning process, but I found it difficult to glance at them while driving.
There was a Honda and Acura dealer nearby. We visited with the salesman, Jose Ochoa at Steve Hopkins Honda. The C-Max is a couple inches lower. My wife likes that SUV clearance on the road. She also likes her head above drivers in adjacent cars. I discovered that the head clearance was better for me in the C-Max. More importantly, my eye level is near the top of the windshield in the Honda CR-V. In the C-Max, my eye level is placed much closer to the middle of the windshield. My wife loves the center console in the CR-V because it has a large storage compartment for her purse. For me, the C-Max has the better fit. For my wife, the CR-V.
This blog was first published October 1st, 2012. It was updated with additional photos of the panoramic sunroof on January 19th, 2013.