2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid vs. 2018 Ford C-MAX Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Ioniq Hybrid SEL/Limited offers optional Automatic Emergency 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 that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Ioniq Hybrid SEL/Limited’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Ioniq Hybrid SEL/Limited’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Ioniq Hybrid 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, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights, 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 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is safer than the C-MAX Hybrid:




Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

7 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

.4/.3 kN

3.4/1.9 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



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 available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Ioniq Hybrid the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 86 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The C-MAX Hybrid was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.


The Ioniq Hybrid comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The C-MAX Hybrid’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Ioniq Hybrid 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Ford covers the C-MAX Hybrid. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the C-MAX Hybrid ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Ioniq Hybrid’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the C-MAX Hybrid’s (7 vs. 5 years).


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked fifth.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 6th in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 5 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Ioniq Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the C-MAX Hybrid (57 city/59 hwy vs. 42 city/38 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

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





70 to 0 MPH

177 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

124 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The Ioniq Hybrid Limited’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the C-MAX Hybrid’s 50 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Ioniq Hybrid’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the C-MAX Hybrid (106.3 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Ioniq Hybrid is .8 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the C-MAX Hybrid.

The Ioniq Hybrid BLUE handles at .87 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 Ioniq Hybrid’s turning circle is 4.2 feet tighter than the C-MAX Hybrid’s (34.78 feet vs. 39 feet).


The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 650 pounds less than the Ford C-MAX Hybrid.

The Ioniq Hybrid is 7 inches shorter in height than the C-MAX Hybrid, making the Ioniq Hybrid much easier to wash and garage and drive (lower center of gravity).

Passenger Space

The Ioniq Hybrid has .2 inches more front shoulder room and 1 inch more rear hip room than the C-MAX Hybrid.

Cargo Capacity

The Ioniq Hybrid has a much larger trunk than the C-MAX Hybrid with its rear seat up (26.5 vs. 24.5 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Ioniq Hybrid to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Ford doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the C-MAX Hybrid.


When different drivers share the Ioniq Hybrid Limited, the optional memory seats make it convenient. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer memory seats.

The Ioniq Hybrid 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.

Consumer Reports rated the Ioniq Hybrid’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the C-MAX Hybrid’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Ioniq Hybrid Limited offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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

Both the Ioniq Hybrid and the C-MAX Hybrid offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Ioniq Hybrid Limited offers optional rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The C-MAX Hybrid doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Ioniq Hybrid SEL/Limited offers an optional Smart 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.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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