Join Date: Apr 2011
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Which Hybrid Wagon is the Best?
by Mike Schlee
Hybrids are no longer the niche vehicles they once were. Like punk rock and organic foods, these battery laden automobiles have entered the mainstream and are fully engrained in the consciousness of the general public. As their popularity has grown, hybrids now come in all shapes and sizes. That brings us to the two vehicles being compared here; wagons, big hatchbacks, five-seat minivans, or whatever you wish to call them. What we have here are two-of-a-kind hybrid family haulers.
Our first competitor has a well-known name, but a relatively new shape. Last year Toyota began an expansion on the Prius line-up that included three new models; the Prius c, Prius Plug-in and this vehicle, the Prius v. The ‘v’ is the largest of the Prius family and is roughly the same size as a Mazda5. In fact, in other markets it can actually be had as a seven-seat vehicle, but more on that later.
NEW COMER vs. VETERAN
Taking on the Prius v is an all-new-to-North-America entry from Ford, the C-Max. Now in its second generation globally, the 2103 C-Max is based on the same platform as the current Ford Focus. Like the Prius v, the C-Max is available as a three-row model overseas, but not here. Unlike the Prius v, the C-Max is also available with conventional engines in Europe. Once again, those will not make it states-side.