2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Review

Many cars today are just giant, expensive, hyped-up gadgets. That’s why it makes perfect sense to test some of the latest and most advanced vehicles and report back on the latest automotive technology. Our first topic is the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and boy is there a lot to talk about here.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is a fully electric vehicle that offers a wide range of range. It can travel between 211 to 305 miles or 340 to 490 kilometers on a single charge. It can comfortably seat four people. It feels like a mashup of a sedan, hatchback and crossover. Maybe, the four-door liftback describes it quite well. In terms of size and price, you can call the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4 and maybe even the Polestar 2 a rival to this Ford.

Back in 2019, when Ford revealed that its new, practical, electric vehicle would be called the Mustang, there were many people using the name online. Two years later as the Mach-E hits more and more dealers, the murmur has become a bit more muted, as the Mach-E proved to be quite loud and enjoyable, not to mention relatively attainable.

Is this a real Mustang? does it matter? People are asking “What’s in a name?” Since the 1600s, so this is unlikely to change anytime soon. Whether or not communities like the name, it has a starting price of $42,895 in the US and less than $70,000 fully loaded. For comparison, the similar Tesla Model Y starts at around $46,990 in the US, while the VW ID.4 starts at $41,190.

Specs and Models: What Should I Know?

There is a wide range of pricing due to all the different configurations of the Mustang Mach-E. Buyers can choose from two battery sizes: a standard 66 kWh and an extended range model with 88 kWh.

Shoppers also have the option of powered wheels and power generation. The rear-wheel-drive model with the standard battery makes 266 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, while the RWD model with the extended battery makes 290 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque.

Want more grip or confidence in bad weather? Then you can get an all-wheel-drive model. These units with the standard battery put out 266 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque, while the AWD models with the extended battery pack produced 346 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque.

Think those figures are a little scary? Then check out the higher-performance GT model, which includes an extended range battery and all-wheel-drive, but delivers more power and torque to the tune of 480 horsepower and 600 lb-ft of torque, while the Performance Edition gets an additional 34 Get. lb-ft of torque.

The model we had sat right in the middle of all those configurations: It has all-wheel-drive and an extended range battery. This setup is rated by the EPA for a range of 270 miles or about 435 kilometers on a single charge. However, outside EPA laboratories, the range can fluctuate significantly.

Things like outside temperature, cabin climate, speed and even the accessories used in the vehicle can affect range. There were moments when the estimated range of a full battery was ten percent more or less than the EPA figures.

How’s it like to drive?

Putting in the throttle doesn’t help keep the battery full for long, but it’s incredibly satisfying.

While the 346 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque output in this mid-range model seems pedestrian these days, the vehicle accelerates quickly without lag or hesitation. The sprint from 0-60 MPH takes just 4.8 seconds, almost the same as the V8-equipped Mustang GT.

The silent sprint is a hoot and will draw laughs and smiles from you and your passengers.

The silent sprint is a hoot and will draw laughs and smiles from you and your passengers. Ford may want to add more padding to the headrest if they plan on improving this kind of acceleration.

With its big battery, it should come as no surprise that the Mach-E is heavy. Depending on the configuration, it could weigh between 4,394 pounds and 4,890 pounds. That much weight can affect agility and handling.

For the average traveler, this will probably be fine and cause no trouble. However, enthusiasts who take the vehicle down their favorite backroad will see how the Mach-E-like SUV feels while braking. It also has a pedal driving mode, which takes some time to get used to.

The battery pack is located within the floor between the front and rear axles, providing a low center of gravity and limiting the impact of the extra weight. Stickier tires will help too, but will affect range as well. Enthusiasts will notice the lack of feedback and engagement from the steering. Different drive modes can add more steering effort, making handling feel a bit more involved.

When driving the Mustang Mach-E in traffic, the car moves smoothly, can quickly fill gaps, and passes without hesitation. Unlike early EVs, it never felt like it was lagging or catching up to other cars.

What about recharging?

Eventually, the vehicle will need to be recharged. This can be done very slowly with a 120-volt household outlet, which compensates for about 3 mph. It will take about 90 hours to fully recharge this task. Do not do this unless it is an emergency and there is no other option.

Most EV buyers will find a level 2 charger at home or look for one on the go. Using one of these will speed things up a lot. Expect this method to fully recharge the battery in 14 hours, though Ford also sells a 48-amp connected charge station that will reduce that further down to about 10 hours. This rate is about a 30 mph limit.

Impatient people who want to recharge very fast also have an option.

Mach-E supports DC fast charging, accepting charge rates up to 150 kW. Depending on the conditions, you can expect the car to charge from 10 per cent to 80 per cent in 45 minutes.

This is what I saw using the 150 kW Electrify Canada station, and during my time with the Mach-E I also used 50 kW FLO chargers, which were a bit slow.

Those accustomed to the realities of EV charging know that fast charging an EV isn’t cheap. The FLO charger near me costs about $20 an hour, and I used it for 37 minutes, recharging more than 30 percent of the car’s range for $12.55. Electrify Canada stations are slightly faster and more expensive. It costs $0.57 per minute on a 150 kW plug, which would cost me $22 for a 54 percent battery, which took about 30 minutes.

Additionally, EV newbies should know that fast-charging changes the charging experience dramatically once the battery hits 80 percent. Likely to last the life of the battery, the charge rate dips after the 80 percent mark. The Mach-E began charging at 12 kW instead of the 150 and 50 kW rates during the same season. For planning purposes, if you’re going to be taking a long road trip in an EV, consider keeping the vehicle’s range at the 80 percent mark (that’s about 220 miles in Mach-E).

How high-tech is it inside and out?

Ford follows trends from other automakers, throwing a huge big screen in the middle of the dashboard. While it presents a minimal dash with few physical controls, operating this screen while on the go is a frustrating affair.

Tapping on the screen to change items like climate settings requires taking your eyes off the road, and animations and adjustments take a little longer to feel safe. Like smartphones, touchscreen interfaces have notification shades and drop-down menus, which can also feel distracting to navigate while driving. Perhaps the Android Automotive OS system of the future will be better, but it may alienate those who want less Google in their lives.

For a little familiarity, the vehicle supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both of which can be started wirelessly, though there were times when the system didn’t automatically start those companion apps. The car also offers a wireless phone charger and a few USB ports (both USB-C and USB-A) for connectivity and charging.

While the cabin has a mix of materials, only one area seems to fare low: the gauge cluster. It’s another screen glued to the dash. It’s relatively small, not customizable, and just gets the job done, which isn’t what you’d expect when viewing a screen in that space. Usually, they’re fun and whimsical, customizable, and pack a lot of useful information in one place. I have seen better displays in Volkswagen Golf and Hyundai Elantra.

The vehicle can also be equipped with a slew of safety technology and driver assistance. There’s a useful 360-degree camera, (there’s also a camera washer that scrapes dirt off the lens) and Active Park Assist, which will help park the car for you. Press a button and get to where you want to park, and it’ll take you from there.

There is a lot of branding for these safety features, so Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 means the vehicle has automatic emergency braking for front and rear, rear parking sensors, post-collision braking, blind-spot monitoring, lane-keeping assist , and automatic high beam headlights.

There’s also Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0, which includes adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, meaning it reacts to traffic and can stop the car and continue when the car is moving, lane centering, intersection assistance (in case a car is approaching you can’t see), speed sign recognition (always handy when you can break the speed limit with the flex of your toe), and voice -Activated navigation, already available via Android Auto and CarPlay.

Eventually, all of these features will come together in what Ford calls BlueCruise, a hands-free driving mode that uses highly detailed maps in addition to all of the onboard sensors to make motoring as smooth as possible. That feature will be added over the air and will cost $600.

Adaptive cruise control worried me a bit in dense traffic. Braking always felt a bit late and made me uncomfortable, and there was a moment when it looked like the Mustang couldn’t locate the tailgate-mounted bike rack on the vehicle in front.

And yes, you read that right – over-the-air updates will keep coming to this car. Currently, the update is vaguely described as a bug-fix, but there have been small changes to the infotainment interface, such as improvements to the on-screen buttons for trunk and frank access. The vehicle also received Amazon Alexa support via an OTA update.

Is it practical?

Since electric vehicles do not have large combustion engines under the hood and lack a driveline, they can provide more space for passengers and cargo. Pop the trunk and you’re greeted with 29.7 cubic feet, or 840 liters of storage. Fold the rear seats up, and it expands to 59.7 cubic feet/1,690 liters.

There’s also a modest front trunk (frunk) with 4.7 cubic feet of storage. Overall, it has a lot more space than a typical family sedan, but less than most crossovers like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.

last word

There’s a lot to like about Ford’s big-battery four-door. It has ample usable range, is spacious and fast. Charging times are great, though lagged behind some German EVs that can charge at 350 kW instead of the Mustang’s peak of 150 kW. While in-cabin technology is appealing, it isn’t as useful as it could be. And I sometimes had to nudge adaptive cruise control, which made the commute less stressful.

Overall it’s pretty good and enjoyable, but there’s still room for improvement, which is expected from 2022 to 2024, as engineers have already discussed how to increase the vehicle’s range and performance – possibly by reducing weight and by improving efficiency.

Fortunately for Ford, the Mach-E’s rivals are similarly imperfect: the Tesla Model Y has a starting price of $46,990 and more range, though there are quality concerns with it, while the VW ID.4 has a starting price of $41,190, But with less configuration. More competition is also being created, as the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and Kia EV6 are sure to make a splash when they finally arrive. For now though, the Mustang Mach-E looks like it belongs to him.

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