Made a trek from south eastern Virginia up to DC on the 30th. My mine main motivation was to see, and sit in the CMAX Energi.
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Seating up front is comfortable, but for that matter most of the electrified choices have ample seating up front. You sit up a little bit higher in the CMAX which helps with visibility to be sure. The trade off, as with the Prius and the Leaf, is that roof line of the car has to be higher and this gives the car a dome like top that to my aged eye is not as stylish as the lower slung stance of say the Volt or the Focus EV.
Seating in the back was comfortable. I would say comparable with the Leaf, and definitely an improvement over the Volt's back seat, and again comparable to the Focus EV, but with a little more ease of access because of the height.
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Now that the novelty of the Volt has waned, my 10 and 12 year old kids have become less and less enamored with the back seat of the Volt. There is actually plenty of room for kids back there, but my kids are coming from the mini van world and so they are spoiled with having acres of automotive real estate with which to play.
The Volt sits lower and thus the back seat sits lower, and while completely serviceable it is not as comfortable, nor does it offer the visiblity afforded by the Leaf, Prius and Focus EV or CMAX. If you seldom have people back there, you may be willing to make the trade off to have the Volt's more appealing low slung look. But if frequently hauling kids back there, you will have to decide if the looks are worth all the carping from the back seat.
The CMAX on display did not allow you to open the hatch to view it. However, I snapped this photo of the "cargo" area from the rear seat. The back seats when lowered are even with the height of the cargo area and thus form a sizeable area for your cargo carrying needs.
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However, do note that the because the battery sits over the rear axle the height of the cargo is compromised
. The compromise is fairly significant. You will definitely want to factor this into your cargo carrying needs. It is difficult to see, but in this picture the driver's side rear seat is folded down, and is even with the height of the cargo floor, on the left you can see the passenger rear seat and you will note that the floor level of the cargo area is about half way up the back of that seat.
The bar going across the top lifts out if it needs to be removed.
The Ford Product Specialist on hand explained that the rear quarter of the cargo area on the production model will lift up and offer a storage tray. Probably something akin to what is to be offered on the Focus EV.
Here is a link
to a picture on the Ford site that will show a little bit of the cargo area on the CMAX, but even in this picture is difficult to asses the height of the floor of the cargo.
I think Ford realizes this will be an issue for some people, which is why there are not too many pics of the cargo area offered on their site or elsewhere.
Having seen the CMAX Energi and the Ford Focus EV in person now, I conclude that the CMAX Energi compared to the Focus EV offers a little more head room, slightly better visibility, a little more ease of access because it seems to sit a little higher, but not much more leg room.
The trade off is the cars sits up higher and it shows in the appearance. The Focus definitely looks more sporty. We do have a need to make long trips from time to time, if this was my only car I would be leaning towards the CMAX because of course you have an engine that will kick in when the battery is burned. Since we have other ICE vehicles the Focus EV is appealing.
Ford has not released anything definite on the range, but the Product Specialist on hand was suggesting a range of 21 miles on battery. This suggests a battery in the 6 kwh range.
Theses issues are minor and perhaps the biggest factor for people trying to decide between the CMAX and the Focus EV, will be whether or not a BEV with 70 miles of range will cover their daily driving needs. Electric driving is significantly less expansive than driving on gas, even if the car gets 40-50 mpg there are still savings to be had. For those who never or rarely drive further than 70 miles or have access to other vehicles, the Focus EV may be a viable choice.