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Ford Mustang Mach-E: There’s a new pony in the stable

Mustang Mach-EFordPhoto: James Lipman Photo courtesy Ford Motor Company

Make no mistake: The new Ford Mustang Mach-E is a big deal, so both of our reviewers wanted to weigh in on it. More than just a car, the Mach-E is a phenomenon because it represents a commitment by a major car company to a different kind of future. But it’s also a risk to slap the badge of the original pony car, with a half-century legacy, on an electric crossover. We’ll lay odds, though, that Ford will sell as many of them as it can crank out.

A technology geek’s dream, the Mustang Mach-E is packed with nearly every sort of high-tech automotive gizmo. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, over-the-air software updates, wireless phone charging? You bet. A full suite of the latest safety features? Natch. Your  smartphone can replace the key fob. And every Mach-E can be prepped for eventual semi-autonomous driving.

A choice of three driving modes alters throttle and steering response. Even in the most relaxed setting, the base model Mach-E leaps from 0 to 60 mph in about six seconds. And with batteries and electric drivetrain residing beneath the floor, a low center of gravity means it rounds curves with minimal body roll. The ride is firm, however, and road noise makes the cabin less than whisper quiet.

Still, the cabin is pleasant, with roomy seating front and rear. There’s ample cargo space in back plus a “frunk”—a cargo compartment under the hood where most SUVs have an engine. Trimmed in high-quality materials, the dash is clean and modern. The giant center-mounted infotainment screen is intuitive to use.

What about EVs’ Achilles’ heel, range and charge time? Ford offers standard (211 miles) and long-range (305 miles) battery packs. But range depends on numerous factors, from outside temperature to speed. The best I saw on my standard-range, AWD test vehicle was 170 miles on a 100 percent charge. Charge time varies, too, from 3 miles of range per hour on 120-volt home current to 30 miles per hour on Ford’s 240-volt Connected Charge Station home unit ($799, plus installation).

Despite its name, the Mach-E is no pony car. But it’s a technological tour de force and a most worthy competitor to Audi’s e-tron, Jaguar’s I-Pace, and Tesla’s Model Y.Peter Bohr

When you spend your days nitpicking new-car models like I do, you get pretty good at noticing shortcomings, which is what makes the new Ford Mustang Mach-E so remarkable.

While I concede that perfection is unattainable, this all-electric crossover comes darn close. For starters, it feels vaguely familiar, with muscular good looks, abundant acceleration, and crisp handling that’s reminiscent of the iconic coupe that shares its moniker.

Besides impressive performance, the Premium trim level Mach-E that I spent time in offered several driving-style settings. A “one-pedal” mode lets you control the Mach-E’s speed with just the accelerator pedal; lift your foot and the car slows down. It’s a neat feature, though it took me a while to get used to it.

The Mach E’s low center of gravity and nicely tuned suspension made it feel way more fun on a curvy road than you’d expect from a “green” car. Ride quality is also good, especially considering the Mach-E’s sporty demeanor.

The cabin felt comfortable and spacious by compact-crossover standards. The humongous vertical touch screen that’s both beautiful and easy to use is particularly impressive.

Add it all up and you’ve got a Mustang that’s so hard to fault, I wouldn’t mind corralling one in my garage long-term.Alan Rider

Model year: 2021
Vehicle layout: One or two electric motors (266 or 346 hp), 68 or 88 kWh battery, single-speed transmission, RWD/AWD
Base MSRP: $42,895–$60,500 (not including federal and state incentives)
MPGe: 90–101, depending on powertrain
Range: 211–305 miles, depending on battery
Safety ratings: NHTSA, IIHS: Not yet rated
Basic warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles
Spare tire: Tire-inflator kit
Final assembly: Cuautitlán Izcalli, Mexico

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