Kemna Automotive Group Compares 2017 Chevrolet Volt VS 2017 Ford C-MAX In IA

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2017 Chevrolet Volt

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2017 Chevrolet Volt

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2017 Ford C-MAX

Safety Comparison

The Volt Premier offers optional Front Automatic Braking, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The C-MAX Hybrid offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature which would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Volt Premier’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Volt and the C-MAX Hybrid have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Chevrolet Volt is safer than the C-MAX Hybrid:



C-MAX Hybrid

Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

1 cm

7 cm

Chest Evaluation



Max Chest Compression

19 cm

25 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

.1/.6 kN

3.4/1.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia forces R/L

1.2/2 kN

1.5/2.7 kN

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” to “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Volt its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2017, a rating granted to only 44 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The C-MAX Hybrid was not even a “Top Pick” for 2017.

Warranty Comparison

The Volt’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the C-MAX Hybrid’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Chevrolet pays for scheduled maintenance on the Volt for 2 years and 24,000 miles. Chevrolet will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance (up to 2 oil changes). Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the C-MAX Hybrid.

Reliability Comparison

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 79 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Volt is faster than the Ford C-MAX Hybrid:




Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

8.8 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

13.7 sec

14.5 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

23.4 sec

23.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.9 sec

8.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

4.2 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.7 sec

5.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

16.7 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Volt on its electric motor alone gets better fuel mileage than the C-MAX Hybrid (113 city/99 hwy vs. MPGe 42 city/38 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Volt gets better fuel mileage running its gasoline engine than the C-MAX Hybrid (43 city/42 hwy vs. 42 city/38 hwy).

The Volt can drive on battery power alone for up to 53 miles. The C-MAX Hybrid must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Volt stops much shorter than the C-MAX Hybrid:





70 to 0 MPH

181 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

114 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Volt’s wheelbase is 1.8 inches longer than on the C-MAX Hybrid (106.1 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Volt is .1 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than on the C-MAX Hybrid.

The Volt Premier handles at .86 G’s, while the C-MAX Hybrid Titanium pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Volt’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the C-MAX Hybrid’s (36.4 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Volt is 7.5 inches shorter in height than the C-MAX Hybrid, making the Volt much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

The front grille of the Volt uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Volt has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Volt Premier detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Volt has standard extendable sun visors. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Both the Volt and the C-MAX Hybrid offer optional heated front seats. The Volt Premier also has standard heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the C-MAX Hybrid.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Volt’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Volt Premier offers an optional Adaptive Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Volt is less expensive to operate than the C-MAX Hybrid because typical repairs cost less on the Volt than the C-MAX Hybrid, including $7 less for front brake pads, $17 less for fuel injection and $110 less for front struts.

Recommendations Comparison

The Chevrolet Volt outsold the Ford C-MAX by 14% during the 2016 model year.

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