C-ya C-Max

It’s hard to believe it’s been 2 months since we said see ya to our Ford C-Max Energi, and hello to our Toyota Prius. The more we drove the Ford, the less we liked it. We bought it brand new at the end of 2013, and had problems almost from the start. It broke down an average of once ever 1500 miles or so. It was in the shop several times for recalls on top of that. Everything from the brakes, to the heater, to the transmission have been repaired. Thankfully, we bought the best warranty we could get.

The Ford was poorly designed and cheaply put together. Soon after we bought it, the window washer fluid kept running empty. I asked the dealer to take a look at it. They told me it was my fault because a rock had broke it. How a rock can get up there to do that kind of damage I don’t know. The next clerk I told tried to say it broke because it had the wrong kind of fluid in it so it cracked during the cold winter. That sounded just as preposterous. Thankfully, a tech heard me, and he checked it for free. It turned out the hose connecting the bottle to the pump wasn’t properly connected. He connected it, and it worked fine after that. No rock, no crack.

One problem that never was properly repaired with the C-Max was the rear passenger door panel broke. We took it in at least 3 times for the same problem. It kept breaking. When that happens, the door can not be opened, because the panel slides down and jams in the door frame. We told the dealer this was a safety concern, but they didn’t seem to care.

In March, we were getting very near to the warranty expiring. We started discussing our options, and looking into possibly replacing it with something more reliable. Then one day, the check engine light came on and it started running very rough.  Plus, the door had broke yet again. I brought it to the dealership. They had it for 3 weeks. I called to ask how it was doing, and was told it was okay to pick up. I didn’t have time until the next afternoon. When I called to make sure it was ready, they told me they had found still more problems with it! Ugh. Time to put a lot more effort into finding something more reliable.

We looked at a few different used cars online, and decided we wanted a Prius V (the station wagon version of Prius). We were even willing to fly to another state to get one if we found one we really liked. About that time, one came available about 350 miles away. We decided to drive down to check it out. We cleaned out the C-Max, not knowing if we would trade it in or pass on this Prius.

We got to the dealer, and asked about 3 different cars, including the Prius. While we thought we most likely wanted the Prius, we were willing to be open to other options. That wasn’t meant to be, because both the other cars were suddenly unavailable when our salesman went to get the keys. The only car of the three they had available that we were interested in was the Prius. We went out to look at it. It wasn’t what was mentioned in the online description. There are a few different option packages for Prius V. This was advertised as being the best. Instead, it was the second basic version. We said we’d be back the next day because we wanted to talk it over.

In the morning, we talked to the sales clerk again. The other 2 cars are still unavailable. We discussed the difference in model with the dealership. They weren’t very impressed. We went for a test drive. My husband had already driven one before, so I drove it. I liked it. It has good visibility for me and few blinds spots. Being short, I’m often bothered by blind spots others aren’t. Anyway, we went back to the dealership and filled out paperwork. The clerk excused himself, saying he’d be back in a few minutes with a quote. 45 minutes later, he’s still gone! It turns out he had gone for a test drive with another customer, and asked a different sales clerk to tell us, who never did. He finally gets back. We agree on a price. Then, it’s off to finance. My husband is still not totally convinced we can afford it, since it’s somewhat overpriced. They haggle some on the price and terms. Finally, the finance clerk asks what it will take to get us to buy the car. My husband names what I feel was too low of a monthly payment. I want the car winterized, too. A few minutes later, the clerk comes back: YES! Even he was surprised a bank was willing to go for it. I guess we were meant to buy this car. 7 hours after we arrived at the dealer that morning, we drove away in our new car.

Today is the 2 month anniversary of owning the Prius. We still love it. It’s a larger car, but handles so much better than the smaller C-Max. It has a lot more cargo space. The C-Max had batteries in the area where the trunk is normally. It’s almost like they were an afterthought when designing it. We can fit our lawn mower in the trunk of the Prius if we fold down the handle! The skis easily fit along with both kids. No more squishing everyone in for ski practice.

The Prius has a spare tire. That’s another thing that really bothered me about the C-Max. It had no spare tire. There was no place for it. If you get a flat, you have to get towed. That happened twice. Luckily, towing was included with the warranty. However, they only tow up to 100 miles from the closest dealership, so we never went on any road trips with the car. We were too afraid of getting a flat in the middle of nowhere. With the Prius, we’ve already gone on a camping trip to Canada. That was great! Plenty of room, and no worries about spare tires or breaking down. This Prius V is the perfect car for us.