Using both the Mustang and Mach names to launch their all new high performance all-electric SUV, Ford certainly stirred up controversy. What’s never been in debate, however, is how awesome this EV utility turned out; easily walking away with our MotorWeek Drivers’ Choice Best of the Year award. So we thought we’d spend a little more time exploring what makes the Ford Mustang Mach-E such a winner!
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is not Ford’s first EV, but it is their first real effort to take the technology mainstream. While also bringing all-wheel-drive and an SUV body-shape into the Mustang family.
In addition to rear or all-wheel-drive choices, battery options include the standard 66-kWh battery with a 230-mile range, 211 with all-wheel drive, and the extended range 88-kWh battery for 300-miles on a full charge; 270 with AWD. Batteries are liquid-cooled and placed beneath the floor between front and rear axles.
Current outputs vary from the standard battery’s 266-horsepower, to the all-wheel-drive extended range 346. When the GT arrives this summer, it will boost that a bunch to 480-horsepower.
Our Premium-trimmed tester featured the extended range battery and all-wheel-drive, with 428 lb-ft. of torque to go along with its 346-horsepower.
No gas engine up front means space for other things, with a substantial divider to keep them in place. The area is also water-resistant, with a drain at the bottom, for easy clean-up.
Traditional aft storage can be accessed with just a wiggle of the foot; revealing a good 29.7 cubic-ft. of space; expanding to 59.7 with rear seatbacks folded. Like many cars these days, no spare tire, just an inflator kit.
Getting into the 5-passenger interior requires just a push of a button; where you’ll find a modern and airy cabin. The entire roof is mostly a glass panel, and while we love the open sky feel, there’s no shade for when you don’t.
The center console’s rotary gear shift dial puts things in motion, and lends a familiar Ford feel to the process.
As with most cars these days, particularly EVs, virtually everything revolves around a huge central tablet-style touch panel that is highly configurable. Though this one has a few tricks up its sleeve; our favorite of which is a big volume knob for the radio. Likewise, climate controls take up permanent residence at the bottom of the screen; no need to go searching for them when you need ‘em.
That screen is also where you’ll find Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled drive modes; as well as easy to use navigation, though the white on black mapping may take some getting used to.
One other hint of familiarity we appreciate, is Ford’s “combination lock” access on the door pillar.
EV powertrains and proportions allow for maximization of interior space; and Ford takes full advantage of it with adult-size room in the rear seat and then some.
Gimmicky or not, those drive modes play a big part in determining your Mach-E experience. Engage is the “normal” setting if you will, with soft blue ambient lighting, mild powertrain noises, and good balance of performance. Whisper turns off the simulated sounds, and softens overall car response.
Unbridled is of course your “sport” mode, with throttle response, steering feel, and sounds all dialed up to the max; with corresponding orange lighting and digital gauge display.
Unleashing it at the track didn’t really leave us with that raucous V8 Mustang feel that we may have craved, feeling more like a V6 or the Mustang’ Ecoboost I4; which entirely makes sense, as this is not the GT. Still, we hit 60 in 5.3-seconds, despite very cold winter temperatures; and on to a ¼-mile time of 14.3-seconds at 99 miles-per-hour.
Instantaneous response, and “glued to the road” grip; gives the Mach-E similar competency to just about any 6-figure sports car you can think of.
Surprisingly, the Mustang’s trademark design cues translate quite well to the SUV form. Long hood, exaggerated rear haunches, and of course tri-bar tail lamps.
If there’s any controversy, it revolves around the front end. There is an outline of the Mustang grille shape, and headlights are similar; but the smooth face won’t work for everyone.
Government Fuel Economy MPGe Ratings for the all-wheel-drive extended range battery are 96-City, 84-Highway, and 90-Combined. Test loops proved the EPA sanctioned 270-mile range totally realistic.
Making for a near perfect Energy Impact Score, with use of just 0.2-barrels of petroleum annually, and zero CO2 emissions.
Pricing starts at $43,995 and ranges to $61,600; and that’s before any available tax credits of course.
When the original Ford Mustang arrived some 55-years ago, it was a winner and exactly what America needed. That clearly looks to also be the case with the very impressive 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.
Standard Battery (66-kWh):
Range: 230 miles | 211 miles (AWD)
Torque: 317 lb-ft | 428 lb-ft (AWD)
Extended Battery (88-kWh):
Range: 300 miles | 270 miles (AWD)
Horsepower: 290 | 346 (AWD)
Torque: 317 lb-ft | 428 lb-ft (AWD)
0-60 mph: 5.3 seconds
1/4 Mile: 14.3s @ 99mph
EPA (MPGe): 96 City / 84 Highway / 90 Combined