No Mustang enthusiast would have imagined a four-door wagon donning the iconic racing pony logo. But Ford did just that with the Mach-E, the first fully-electric Ford car in the SUV segment. It’s gone ahead to rival the segment’s leader, the Tesla Model S.
Ford had guts designing the Mustang Mach-E. Despite the hype and the twists, does this all-electric Ford SUV deliver value on its premium price tag? Here is a detailed review of what the EV SUV offers.
But first, let’s understand the basics.
Is it a Mustang?
Ford’s Mach-E borrows the Mustang-style taillights, headlights, and, of course, the moniker. It also has Mustang’s swooping curved body and beefy haunches over the rear wheels. Besides these outside resemblances, there is very little Mustang about this car. At the core, it is an SUV crossover with an electric powertrain.
In addition to the misleading badge, Ford chose not to put the blue oval badge anywhere in the Mach-E. However, Mustang lovers are still divided on whether to accept Mach-E as a bona fide member of the family.
Despite that, it is the only EV giving the Tesla Model Y a run for its money. The Mach-E price ranges between $43,895k and $67.995k for the top trims, while the Tesla’s model ranges from $65,990 and 66,990k.
What does the Ford Mustang Mach-E Offer?
Trims, Features, and Technologies
The Ford Mustang Mach-E comes with several features to justify its price tag. First, as a conventional model, it comes in four mass-produced trims; Select, California Route 1, Premium, and GT. There is also the limited GT Performance Edition. All four trims come with a rear-electric drive motor, and rear-wheel drive(RWD), as a standard. A dual motor set-up with an all-wheel drive powertrain is optional on the other trims but standard on the flagship GT model.
The other standard technologies across the trims are a digital instrument panel and satnav. Others are smartphone access and monitoring, a wireless smartphone charging pad, and a 15.5-inch touchscreen display. The infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, which allows smartphone mirroring.
What to Know
For safety, every Ford Mustang Mach-E has the Ford Co-Pilot360 advanced driver assistance system package. One of the things you get here is a 360-degree camera, which is lacking in the premium-priced Tesla Model Y.
In addition, the base Select trim comes with 18-inch wheels, keyless entry, and dual-zone climate control. The California Route 1 replaces these with 18-inch black wheels, black rims, power-heated and power-folding mirrors, and heated front seats and steering wheel. It also gets a fixed-glass panoramic roof and, for additional safety, has an automated parking system and Ford’s BlueCruise system for aided hands-free driving.
The Premium trim gets luxurious with 19-inch wheels, a hands-free power liftgate, and power-adjustable and power-heated front passenger seats. The front windows are insulated against road noise, while the internal entertainment gets a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen system. For a more luxurious interior, it comes with multi-color ambient lighting.
On top of the echelon sits the Mach-E GT with 20-inch wide-tires, red brake calipers, sports suspension, and sports seats. On the outside, it dons an imposing black grille, a black-painted roof, and body-colored fender arches. However, it does not get the BlueCruise system or a sunroof.
If you desire to explore the limits of the Mach-E, then there is the GT Performance edition. It has all the features and technologies of the GT but enhances them with unique wheels and seat upholstery. Because of the bumpiness that comes with having large wheels, the GT Performance Edition gets adaptive dampers for better ride comfort and handling.
Performance and Range
The performance and range of the Mustang Mach-E depend on the battery and the drivetrain. It is available in two battery options, the standard range and the extended range, which pack 71kWh and 90kWh, respectively, and you can get either RWD or AWD options on all trims besides Select.
EPA energy consumption and range rating for the standard-range battery with RWD is 32.6kWh/100 miles and 247 miles. When using AWD, the range drops to 224 miles energy use increases to 36.3kWh/100 miles. Going for the extended-range battery increases the range to 303 miles for RWD and 277 miles when using AWD. However, the planned 2023 Mach-E models will have higher ranges of up to 314 miles thanks to software upgrades.
Regarding sprint performance, the Mustang Mach-E takes 5.2 seconds to complete the 0-60mph dash when on AWD. The powerful Mach-E GT is faster, taking 3.8 seconds. It is an impressive acceleration for a wagon-like SUV that weighs 4,838 pounds.
Driving and Handling
When you hit the road, you begin to appreciate the Mustang badge on the Mach-E. Only Tesla Model Y comes to mind as a quicker rival EV. It is buttery smooth with excellent handling dynamics, making it feel like a sports sedan. Though the body roll is detectable, the Mach-E is stable and composed even at high speeds. Nonetheless, its handling still falls short of a true Mustang.
It is also a very playful ride with three driving modes, Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled. You certainly would love the Whisper mode because it muffs engine noise delivering a quieter experience to the point of a whisper.
Move to the other modes, the throttle becomes highly responsive, and the accelerator pedal gets super sensitive. When on Unbridled, for example, the throttle response beats what you get in most race cars.
Another feature that makes this EV SUV worth its salt is the one-pedal driving. With it, you do not use the brake pedal to slow down or even stop the car. Lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal is enough to activate the regenerative braking system, slowing the car even to a standstill.
Therefore, you rarely have to use the brake pedal when driving the Mach-E except during an emergency. Thankfully, this feature is optional; you can turn it on whenever you want.
Mach-E’s interior puts it in a league of its own amongst Ford models. The most striking feature is the 15.5-inch touchscreen and the decluttered dashboard, as most features are accessible via the portrait display. Its main rival, the Model Y, has no instrument screen; hence the driver must turn to the center display.
On upholstery, the seats are of ActiveX, a synthetic leather, which meets Ford’s claim that the car is entirely vegan. Go for higher trims, and the ambient lighting package adds to the luxurious feel of Mach-E’s interior.
Comfort and Storage
The driving position is good, and even the base trim has height adjustment, even though it does not come with variable lumbar support. Choose the AWD models; you will get the lumbar support and 8-way electrically adjustable front seat. While the driver’s seat is also comfortable for long rides, the lack of side support becomes an issue when taking sharp corners.
The other seats are comfortable and cozy, much more than the Model Y. However, they do not have many adjustment options and lateral support. The leg and front room are sufficient at the front, but the same cannot be said of rear seats, especially for six feet and taller passengers.
On storage and cargo space, you get a floating lift-up center console with a wireless charging pad, cupholders, and a few more spaces. The door storage spaces are too narrow to be useful, especially if you try to retrieve items from them.
The boot comes with a 29 cubic foot cargo space that can carry up to seven medium-sized suitcases. Though acceptable, it is dismal when compared to alternatives such as Volkswagen’s ID.4 and even Tesla’s Model Y. It also has a frunk with a drain hole that can serve as an ice-filled cooler for drinks and refreshments.
The Mustang Mach-E can support up to 150kW charging speed. However, using the 50kW charging, it takes 45 to 60 minutes to charge the EV to 80%. Unlike Tesla, Ford does not have a network of EV charging points. Instead, it offers the BlueOval smartphone app to show its EV owners the routes with charging stations. You can use the app to change charging settings and track the charging progress of the Mach-E.
A charge estimator shows the number of miles remaining on your battery. You can then use the PlugShare feature on the touchscreen to find the nearest charging station.
The Ford’s Co-Pilot 360 ADAS package that comes as a standard in all Mach-E models has several safety features, including adaptive cruise control for maintaining distance between the Mach-E and the car in front. Other aids include front collision warning, blind spot monitor, lane centering, and rear parking sensors.
NHTSA has not crash-tested the Mach-E, but the IIHS gave it a Top Safety Pick rating, the second-highest safety rating on its list.
What Are the Alternatives to Mach-E?
The only true rival to the Mach-E is Tesla Model Y. It has the same features, over 330 miles range, and a more powerful powertrain. However, it has a minimalistic design that can be a put-off for those who prefer conventional car designs. Its price ranges from $65.9k to $69.9K.
The second closest EV alternative is the Volvo C40 Rechargeable electric. It is the first fully-electric Volvo model. It comes with a 78kWh battery powered by two electric motors delivering an AWD at 400hp, which is more potent than the Mach-E. However, its 220 miles range is shorter than the 227 miles on Mach-E’s entry model. It is also more expensive, ranging between $55.3k and $60.1k.
For a cheaper option, the VW ID.4 is worth considering. With a starting price of $38.7k, it is more affordable than Mach-E but less powerful and probably the least stylish in the category. However, there are several trims and two drivetrain options to choose from.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E might not be a true Mustang, but it delivers as an EV SUV. Even though several EVs have better performance and longer ranges than the Mach-E, none provides a better balance of the two than the Mach-E. It is also safe, delivering comfortable driving and a stylish look. It offers the same quality as the segment leader, Tesla Model Y but at a lower price tag.
Even more, all Mach-E models qualify for the $7,500 federal tax relief, but Model Y no longer does, which drops the cost of Mach-E even further. It is worth buying.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Floopin Photography/Shutterstock.com.