Ford Mustang Mach-E driving

expert review

Ford Mustang Mach-E review

An iconic name goes electric as the Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Good Points

  • Driving performance
  • Fast charging
  • Big battery sizes

Bad Points 

  • Some interior materials
  • Boot volume
  • Annoying doors

Ford Mustang Mach-E Introduction

Think Mustang and you think muscle cars and movie stars, but Ford is now adopting that name for its first dedicated electric vehicle. The Mustang Mach-E is a five-seat SUV with some eye-catching design, big batteries and a chassis that doesn’t disappoint. 

Design and Specs

If there’s one unusual feature on the Mustang Mach-E is that there are no Ford badges on its exterior, only that galloping horse. There’s also no front grille other than the outline of one, while the sculpted bonnet and sleek headlights give it a focussed appearance. The standard rear-wheel-drive cars come with 18-inch wheels, with the all-wheel-drive models gaining 19-inch rims. 

The flanks appear cleaner due to Ford ditching traditional door handles in favour of an ‘E-latch’ system. Pressing a touch-sensitive button on the doot electronically pops them ajar. Small tabs on the front doors allow users to pull open once unlocked; however, the rear doors don’t get these which is annoying. Owners can also unlock the car by inputting a pin code via a touch-sensitive keypad on the driver’s door if you’re going swimming or running and don’t want to carry your car key.

Using a contrasting black on the centra section of the roof gives the illusion of the Mustang Mach’E’s profile being more sloped than it is, which is to the benefit of rear passenger headroom. Like the front, the rear is equally distinctive and features a similar triple car tail light design as its muscle car namesake.

The base rear-wheel-drive Mustang Mach-E has plenty for performance, thanks to a 269hp (198kW) electric motor. Its peak torque output of 430Nm gives it plenty of shove, accelerating from 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds. With the Extended Range battery, the power output increases to 294hp (216kW) to help compensate for the extra battery weight.

Power output in the Standard Range all-wheel-drive remains at 269hp, but torque increases to 580Nm with the addition of the second motor. That figure rises to 351hp in the Extended Range. That additional motor improves acceleration with 100km/h arriving in 5.6 and 5.1 seconds for the Standard and Extended Range, respectively.

Battery and Range

There are two types of battery available in the Mustang Mach-E and the option of rear- or all-wheel drive. The Standard Range has a 75.7kWh (68kWh usable) battery. The driving range is 440 kilometres for the rear-wheel-drive model, with this figure dropping to 400 kilometres for the all-wheel-drive Mach-E.

Ford installs a larger 98.7kWh (88kWh usable) battery in the Extended Range. In rear-wheel-drive form this battery increases range to an impressive 610 kilometres, giving it the longest potential range in the Mustang Mach-E lineup. Adding the second motor of the all-wheel-drive setup brings that figure back to 540 kilometres.

There is also a difference between the two batteries when to comes to rapid charging. The maximum DC charging rate is 115kW with the Standard Range, while the Extended Range can draw down a peak DC charge of 150kW. Either way, it is still quick to charge and going from 10-80 percent takes between 38 and 45 minutes. With a 7.4kW AC wallbox, a full charge from empty can take between 11 and 14 hours.

Interior Space

The exterior design’s simplicity is echoed on the interior with a clutter-free dashboard reminiscent of Tesla’s offerings. Most eye-catching is the 15.5-inch portrait touchscreen that runs Ford’s SYNC 4 infotainment system. This operating system is very different from older Ford cars, featuring sharp graphics and instant response to inputs. Drivers can control almost everything in the vehicle via the display, including temperature and heated seat controls, audio and phone connectivity. All that lets it down is the volume dial set into the screen, which looks like knurled metal but feels cheap and plasticky.

Ahead of the driver is a 10.2-inch digital instrument display that shows you everything you need to know at a glance without being a distraction. In keeping with Mustang tradition, it displays ‘Ground Speed’ under the speedometer. Your battery state of charge and estimated range remaining is also always visible.

Within the centre console are a pair of cupholders, both types of USB charge ports, a wireless phone charging pad and the rotary controller for selecting drive. Additional storage underneath is handy for smaller items, as are the adequate front door bins.

The rear passenger space is reasonable, with a fair level of legroom for the two outer seats. Only the middle seat loses out due to a shorter squab and a reduction in legroom due to the centre console that contains the rear air vents. Ford has been clever about the roof design, which salvages a crucial few inches despite its sloping profile. With 402 litres of boot space in the rear, the Ford lags behind much of the competition. Both the Tesla Model Y and BMW iX3 offer more space, but the Ford also has one of the largest front storage compartments at 81 litres. It also has a clever drain system if you need to wash it out or fill it with ice as a cooler for drinks at a barbecue.

Drive

With a name like Mustang, you’d expect the Mach-E to drive pretty well, and it does. From the get-go, you get a sense that Ford has done a top-notch job setting up the chassis. It drives nicely with supple suspension that soaks up surface imperfections without feeling overly firm or stiff. With very little noise bleeding into the cabin, the Ford feels every bit as good as cars that would be perceived to be more premium, such as an Audi e-tron.

Driving even the base 269hp rear-wheel-drive Mustang Mach-E provides an entertaining driving experience. It feels plenty fast and delivers that power smoothly and in a controlled manner. The added torque of the dual-motor setup brings a slight performance advantage, but either model can only tow up to 750kg.

That suspension setup also contributes to superb handling. Body roll is kept well in check considering the car’s weight and height — having that large battery in the floor also helps. As is so often the case with Ford cars, the steering is nothing short of excellent, providing balanced weight and plenty of feedback to the driver. Ford’s one-pedal braking setup offers some of the strongest levels of energy recovery we’ve experienced, but drivers can deactivate it. Doing so results in a driving experience that is better balanced.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Summary

It’s easy to view Ford’s use of the name with some cynicism, but the Mustang Mach-E is one of the finest cars the company has created in many years. A choice of battery sizes and motor options gives buyers more scope to find the one that suits their needs best.

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