The Ford Mustang Mach-E is a five-door SUV that is the company’s first ever purpose-built electric vehicle. With dynamic styling and excellent driving dynamics, the car is packed with technology and available in Standard or Extended range with rear or all-wheel drive.
The goodStyling, handling, running costs and great range
The badDoesn't look like a Mustang as we have come to know them
Ford Mustang Mach-E – First Drive (2021)
Mention the Mustang name to anyone and it immediately conjures up images of loud, V8 muscle cars powering their way down a US highway, but now the all-new Mustang Mach-E is a real game-changer for the brand.
Firstly, instead of the sporty, low-slung, streamlining of the regular Mustang, the Mach-E is an SUV and secondly, it’s the first production Ford developed from the ground-up to deliver pure-electric, zero emissions driving.
Costing from £41,330, the five-door, five-seater is on sale with either a 68kWh battery for standard range of up to 273 miles between charges or an 88kWh battery for an extended range of 335 miles.
Customers can choose between models with a single motor for rear wheel drive or twin motors on all-wheel drive versions. Initially, a First Edition model was available but that has now sold out.
First impressions are vitally important and although the Mach-E may not look like a traditional muscle car, it still boasts lots of Mustang hallmarks with its long bonnet, signature lighting and iconic Pony badging. Open the front doors (via a neat push button rather than a handle) and the word ‘MUSTANG’ sits proudly on the sills.
Moving inside, the interior is a classy affair with the main focal point being a Tesla-esque 15.5-inch portrait touchscreen with pinch, zoom and rotate functions. But, unlike the Tesla and to Ford’s credit, the Mach-E has the very basic driving information such as speed and range on a neat 10.2-inch screen behind the wheel so you need not take your eyes from the road.
The upright touchscreen is certainly the main nerve centre of the car and features Ford’s latest SYNC technology that enables more than 80 vehicle settings to be customised from seat position and cabin temperature to ambient lighting. The clever technology learns from your day-to-day driving habits and regular navigation routes. And it will get better with time as the system automatically receives regular over-the-air updates with the latest software improvements.
We tested the high-end Mach-E Extended Range model with all-wheel drive priced at £57,030. This car could complete the 0-62mph sprint in just 5.8 seconds and maxed out at 111mph. With its larger battery pack, the driving range between charges is 335 miles under WLTP testing.
This is the daddy of the Mach-E line-up and has styling to match with a black front grille, black bumpers, privacy glass, 19-inch black alloy wheels with red brake callipers. It also features powered mirrors with a puddle light Mustang logo.
The interior is clutter-free and upmarket with the likes of heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, sporty black seats with red stitching and a chunky gear selector.
When it comes to performance, the acceleration from a standing start is instant with impressive levels of torque and the Mach-E easily copes with delivering short bursts of firepower to overtake slower moving vehicles.
On the twisting country lanes, the road holding is confident and assured with minimal body sway into tighter bends. The steering feels perfectly weighted and the cabin is nicely refined as there is clearly no engine noise.
You can choose from three drive modes called Whisper, Active and Untamed (which is certainly more imaginative than Eco, Normal and Sport) and these alter the characteristics of the car and how it behaves.
For example, the Untamed setting is for more adventurous driving with enhanced throttle response, sharper steering and sporty orange lighting to add to the excitement. Whisper is for calmer motoring and city centres and, finally, Active is ideal for day-to-day use.
If the silent running seems a little strange, you can control the sound within the car to match the performance via a Propulsion Sound feature that is activated via the touchscreen.
In addition, a one-pedal feature can be introduced and that increases the regenerative braking as you lift your foot off the accelerator. This is great for busy town centres with lots of stop start driving.
The Extended Range models also feature a Technology Pack as standard that introduces a 10-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system with dashboard sound bar, a full panoramic roof, advanced active park assist and a number of extra safety features.
We also took the Mach-E Standard Range with rear-wheel drive model for a test run. This car was priced at £41,330 – increased to £42,480 due to the exclusive Star White paintwork. It could reach 62mph from a standstill in 6.9 seconds and also topped out at 111mph. The driving range on this car is 273 miles between charges.
Once again, this Mustang Mach-E was a pure delight to drive. The comfort levels are excellent with ample room in the back for three passengers and the driver visibility also impresses. Ford expects this model will be the best-seller here in the UK.
Storage options on the Mach-E are good with a boot that can swallow 519 litres of kit, increased to 1,420 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. There is also room for a further 81 litres of goodies beneath the bonnet, and throughout the cabin are practical door bins, a glovebox, seatback pockets, front and rear cupholders, a central cubby box and a drop-down sunglasses compartment.
The Mach-E has not yet been tested for a Euro NCAP safety rating, but it is packed with safety systems, including pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop and go and lane centring, lane keeping assist with blind spot assist, distance alert, evasive steer assist and plenty more besides.
Charging times will very much depend on the power source, but on a fast charger it takes 45 minutes to get from 10 to 80 per cent.
All in all, the Mach-E may not be a Mustang of old, but is a hint of what’s to come with a view to a much cleaner future. And if this is a true example, then the future looks pretty good indeed.
However, in the meantime, for the real thrill-seekers out there, a range-topping Mach-E GT model with a 0-62mph sprint time of just 3.7 seconds, will be on sale either at the end of this year or early 2022.
For more information, visit Ford here.
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