Ford have pulled out all the stops with their all new EV, the Mustang Mach-E. With new piston car sales being knocked on the head in 2030, it’s go big or go home, and with the Mach-E the signs are very promising.
On test is what’s called the First Edition Mach-E, which in carbonised grey (below) with gloss black detailing on the wheel arch and lower sill trims looks both muscular yet understated. Not a Ford badge in sight, with the pony emblazoned front and rear, along with the logo projected as part of the puddle lights. Ford are sending us a clear message here that Mustang means premium, not just muscle car.
The Mach-E would need to be premium: prices start from £41k for the standard range rear drive only version; our test car is dual motor, all wheel drive developing 346bhp with a 98kWh battery on board (88kWh usable) and a WLTP range of 335 miles. It comes in at £58k, so a shade over a Tesla Model Y.
The First Edition is available in other great colours, including my personal favourite a la Mustang coupé, Grabber Blue, along with Rapid Red. It can come with colour coded wheel arches and sills, but I actually prefer the black-on-grey of the test car, the gloss black a nice contrast to break up the body and give it some detail. In fact that particular design approach is something I believe Tesla should take note.
The rear door window slopes down towards the bootlid to give a coupé like appearance, although the actual roof is fairly flat in an attempt to look good and yet keep a decent amount of rear headroom. With the panoramic roof, there’s loads of vertical space in the rear even for someone north of six feet like myself.
The clean body lines are helped by the lack of door handles, as the doors are operated by illuminated buttons in the black pillars. Front doors have a winglet to grab onto however interestingly for the rear passengers you need to put your hand into the door jamb, which is fine for an adult but in the part of the vehicle more than likely used by kids, parental guidance may be well advised.
There is a sense of muscle car design in the rear haunches too, wheel arches squarely extruded which ties in with the rest of the exterior aesthetic. And those numbers, well if you forget your keys in true US rental car style (or mid 90s Peugeot) you can enter a code to get you going.
Onto the rear of the car, and there’s a steep rake on the window which doesn’t run visibility or load space as much as you would expect, and of course the rear tail lights are more than a homage to the coupé it so badly wants to evoke in the mind of potential owners. The rear of the car is probably the least resolved of the entire design but it’s not unpleasant.
There’s a useful 400L of boot space in the rear, with split folding rear seats expanding that to over 1000L, and as this is a ground-up EV, Ford have added a front boot which has a handy 80L for storage.
Inside and there’s lashings of Ford’s Sensico artificial leather (don’t worry, most manufacturers don’t use real leather, for green credentials among other reasons), and it both looks and feels of decent quality. They have to justify the Mustang badge after all, so it’s everywhere from the steering wheel to the arm-rest. There’s still some scratchy plastics on the rear of the dash and on the lower parts of the door bins, but its about as far as the competitors go in this price bracket so you wouldn’t feel hard done by.
The front seats, despite being comfortable on long runs don’t have much bolster although that being said I didn’t at any stage feel like I was going to make way into the passenger seat whilst driving. Position is good, with plenty of forward visibility and AWD cars upwards have 8 way powered control up front. A heated steering wheel is standard on all the cars, and greatly appreciated on a cold, dull stretch of winter along with the heated front seats (again standard). Control of these is via the 15.5″ touch screen, mounted portrait in the centre of the dash.
Most things are controlled here including the climiate control and entertainment. Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto are supported as standard along with an excellent navigation system and a seemingly endless amount of configurability in the systems of the car, all clearly laid out in a responsive system. Sounds are courtesy of a 10 speaker B&O system including dash mounted sound bar, which comes as standard in the long range AWD and First Edition cars, as is the panoramic roof and electric tailgate.
Thankfully there is a small tablet screen in front of the driver with the basics like speed, range and adaptive cruise control information all in your field of vision straight ahead. No heads-up display though. The steering wheel does have a useful amount of buttons so you aren’t diving into the main screen too often when on the move.
One thing you notice is when you step into the car, or press the start button (hidden to right in photo above), the Mach-E plays quirky 80s synth sounding alerts, pandering no doubt to the demographic it’s squarely aimed at.
Below the screen is useful cubbys, cup holders and wireless charging pads and a drive control knob which was always easily found and simple to operate beside the electric handbrake. There’s also a USB-A and USB-C port. As you can see it’s bright in here too, the panoramic roof making finding things a doddle.
In the rear, its a case of two adults in the rear for a long journey, or three for a short. The flat floor and pano roof mean there is plenty of vertical space although my own thighs sat just off the edge of the seat in this position which might get tiresome on a long journey. A shorter driver would soon sort that out! The electric vehicle skateboard platform is in good use here with the flat floor.
There’s a foldable arm-rest with integrated cup holders and an quick grab handle, rear vents and another pairing of USB-A and USB-C ports here too, along with rear seat pockets and sizable door bins.
On The Road
Orientation in the Mustang Mach-E is a breeze. Get in and things fall to hand, with no steep learning curve or googling required to start moving. And so it should, Ford knows it needs to get Kuga or Puma owners to part with serious wedge to move up into a Mustang, which also might be their first EV so the transition needs to be as smooth as possible.
Within a few miles I notice that it feels lighter on its toes, possesses a nimbleness and belies its 2,100kg weight where the equally heavy Hyundai Ioniq 5 felt every gram. Body control especially on B-roads was good, hiding the mass well. There seems to be a dynamic ability built into the chassis that is at odds with the point-and-shoot dynamic of a typical EV. Not that the First Edition can’t manage that party trick either, sprinting to 62 in 5.1 seconds (rolling start!) Plenty of pace for exploding past the piston based traffic!
Top end is limited to 111mph, which perhaps sounds anaemic compared to a 2.0 diesel Kuga that will do nearly 130, but all the performance is packed into what was once called ‘in gear’, those 30-70mph style situations where little will sit with an EV. Power delivery is of course digitally instant, and I drove in one pedal mode for most of my testing, ensuring maximum regenerative braking. Again it was a seamless and intuitive pedal and would easily stop the car in traffic without ankle strain.
The Mustang Mach-E is fitted with Ford’s intelligent cruise control. Take adaptive cruise, where the car keeps a set distance from the vehicle in front, add in the now mandatory car reading of speed limits, turn on the ICC and the car will take note of and adjust the cruise speed to whatever speed limit you may be in. In the main, this worked very well, and unlike in my GR Yaris I didn’t get any mis-read limits and so this made journeys even more relaxing.
That being said, it was slow to react on reduction of speeds, and could have you rolling into a 40mph zone well over the limit until it slowed down. Hopefully Ford can tweak that in a software update, as knowing our eagle eyed Road Safety Partnership here, you would get scooped speeding 3 inches over the line.
What’s In A Name?
Pony Elephant in the room. Is the Mustang a victim of the marketing department naming conventions?
Is the car built in Flat Rock, Detroit along with the rest of the muscle? No. 5.0 Coyote V8? No.
Ford are actually making a statement to buyers. Mustang means premium. Yes they tried it with Vignale, with what success I’m not sure. Using Mustang, for the right reasons or otherwise does set this car apart. Its a world away from the other cars in the range, is extremely well packaged and design has been thought out to a fault.
And what’s in a name anyway. Porsche named the fastest EV Taycan the Turbo S, yet not having a wind compressor in sight. So lets get over it, because in both cases the Taycan and the Mustang Mach-E do have something else in common. They’ve done enough to in varying degrees tick onto the desirability scale, something you can’t just as easily say for say the recent crop of VAG EVs.
Incidentally, Ford have an entirely new EV plant in Mexico building the Mach-E, and it feels tight, quiet and well built. This is no doubt a great, desirable family SUV with all the benefits of an EV in equal measure.
Mustang Mach-E Range
Not everyone will be able to grab the First Edition as tested, either due to availability or sheer price. The range starts with the 68kWh Standard Range, single motor, rear wheel drive version. It comes with 269ps, 273 miles of WLTP range, 115kW Charging and is yours for £41k.
The option list that comes with the base car is anything but poverty spec, and its that extensive I can’t help but list it below:
- 18″ 5-Spoke Silver Alloy Wheel
- LED Reflector Headlamps
- LED Mustang Signature Taillights
- Body Colour Bumpers
- Body Colour Headed Mirrors with Puddle Light Mustang Logo Projection
- Side Cladding and Wheel Arches in Black
- Brace Front Grille Design
- Privacy Glass
- Black Onyx Full Sensico Trim with Grey Stiching
- Heated Driver and Passenger Seats
- Heated Steering Wheel
- 6-Way Manual Driver and Passenger Seats – Fore/Aft/Up/Down/Recline
- 10.2″ Full Digital Cluster & 15.5″ Central Touch Screen
- Next Generation SYNC with Connected Navigation and Natural Voice Search
- FordPass Connect (Embedded Modem)
- Wireless Device Charging Pad
- E-Latch Keyless Entry System (Inc. B-Pillar Keypad Access)
- Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Centering
- Front and Rear Parking Sensors
- BLIS with Cross Traffic Alert
- Rear View Camera
- Front Trunk
- Selectable Drive Modes (Active, Whisper and Untamed)
- One Pedal Drive
- Dual-zone Electronic Air Temperature Control (DEATC)
Pre-Collision Assist; Includes Collision Mitigation, FCW (Forward Collision Warning), DBS (Dynamic Brake Support), AEB (Automated Emergency Braking), DA/DI (Distance Alert/Distance Indication), ESA (Evasive Steer Assist)
- Lane Keeping Aid + Lane Departure Warning
- Thatcham Category 1 Alarm
- Applink Remote Control System
- Quickclear Heated Windscreen
- Home charging cable
- High Power Charging Cable
- Single Motor Rear Wheel Drive
- 115kw High Powered Charging
Even more impressive is that for £50k you can get yourself the extended range RWD version, which has a class leading 379 mile WLTP range. The AWD standard range starts at a shade under £47k with the extended range dual motor coming in at £57k, and these cars benefit from faster 150kW charging. You can have a tow bar for around £500 as well although towing capacity isn’t great at 750kg.
Coming later in 2022 is the GT, set out to compete against the likes of the Tesla Model 3. It will run on 20″ wheels, Brembo brakes, magnaride suspension and 487ps, and a 3.5s sprint to 62 coming in at £67k.
With competitive pricing, great on road behaviour and even the most basic cars being so well optioned, if you are in the market for a family EV, the Mustang Mach-E is well worth short-listing.
Car as Tested
Ford Mustang Mach-E Final Edition
Dual Motor, All Wheel Drive
Based on car as tested:
£722.92/month @ 2.9% APR
Optional Final Payment: £24,255
Based on 9,000 Miles / Year
All pricing correct at time of publishing.
Thanks to Trust Ford Mallusk and Ford UK for providing the car for road test.