Before we start, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is not a Mustang. It is an all-electric crossover SUV that is supposed to usher in an electric future for Ford. At the moment, its only real competitors are the Tesla Model Y and Jaguar I-Pace.
Motor – The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is available with one or two electric motors for a RWD or eAWD configuration. The motors range in power from 266 hp / 317 lb-ft of torque to 480 hp / 634 lb-ft of torque (198 kW / 430 Nm to 358 kW / 860 Nm). This California Route 1 trim level has one electric motor that puts out 290 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque (216 kW / 430 Nm). The 0-100 km/h times range from as slow as 6.2 seconds to as quick as 3.7 seconds. This particular trim is the slowest at 6.2 seconds.
However, it feels pretty brisk from behind the steering wheel. The response from the electric motor is immediate as there is no transmission to downshift or turbocharger to spool up. It’s instant acceleration from a stop or when overtaking another vehicle on a highway. Of course like many other electric vehicles, the rate of acceleration significantly decreases the faster the car goes. The top speed is around 210 km/h (130 mph) which is quite a bit slower than an equivalent gasoline powered car but still enough to get you into trouble with the 5-0.
As for how much energy the Ford Mach-E uses, it is rated for 2.3 Le/100km (101 MPGe) combined or 20.7 kWh/100km. During my time with the electric crossover, I averaged 21 kWh/100km.
Battery & Charging – The 2021 Ford Mach-E is available with two batteries. The standard range battery has 70 kWh of capacity and can provide up to 370 km (230 miles) of range. The larger battery has a capacity of 91 kWh and can provide up to 491 km (305 miles) of range. This California Route 1 trim has the latter and is actually the longest range Mach-E that you can get. That driving range though will depend on a lot of factors such as ambient temperature, terrain, climate use, your driving style, etc. During my time with the Mach-E, the “guess-o-meter” suggested that it only had a range of approximately 450 km (279 miles) on a full charge. More than enough to be honest for daily commutes and errands.
The Mach-E is equipped with a charging cable that can recharge the car from either a regular wall outlet or a 240-volt power outlet. Of course it can also be charged from a level 2 or level 3 charger. From a wall outlet, it’ll take a couple of days to fully recharge the Mach-E so it’s not very practical. From a level 2 charger, it can provide up to 45 km of range per hour of charging. So you’re looking at an average of around 11.5 hours to fully recharge. From a DC fast charger, Ford estimates that the Mach-E can recharge from 10% to 80% in just 45 minutes.
Braking – The battery can be – slightly – recharged by the act of braking. Like many other electric vehicles, the Mach-E has two braking modes; normal and one-pedal driving. Normal is just like driving a gasoline powered car. One-pedal mode enables a strong regen braking mode along with the physical brakes when arriving at a stop. It allows you to just modulate the accelerator pedal for both accelerating and slowing down. For more braking force, of course you can use the normal brake pedal in which case the 2021 Mach-E stops with ferocity. However the brakes are a bit too sensitive, even for my liking, which makes smooth stops very difficult. I prefer to use the one-pedal mode.
Handling – For a crossover electric SUV, the 2021 Ford Mach-E drives pretty well. The floor mounted batteries provide a low center of gravity which make the Mach-E feel planted not only on highways but also on winding roads. Of course it’s not going to corner like a sports car because the all-season tires only have a 225 section width and relatively thick side walls that allow for a bit more flex. But when you exit out of a corner at full power, the back end will step out of line a bit before the traction control system steps in and cuts the power.
Ride Comfort – The ride of the Mach-E is pretty good over most road surfaces. The suspension and heft from the batteries keep the Ford planted when driving over a big bump without feeling overly bouncy. Smaller & sharper bumps can be felt a bit more though through the steering wheel but overall it is a comfortable daily cruiser.
Interior Space – The front seats provide an ample amount of comfort for your bum and back. They have enough padding for longer journeys so that you don’t have to stop every hour to stretch. The front occupants also have a lot of space. At 6’4”, I have no issues with legroom or headroom. The rear seats actually have more legroom than both the Tesla Model Y and the Jaguar I-Pace. Sitting behind my driving position, my knees are pinned against the back of the front seat but they don’t feel squished. More averaged sized adults will have plenty of space in the back.
As for the trunk, it can accommodate 840 L (29.7 cu-ft) of space with the rear seats up. Fold them down and that number increases to 1,690 L (59.7 cu-ft). However, this being an electric vehicle, it comes with a frunk (front trunk). It is small but at least it’s something. It has a divider that can be removed (not easily however) and it is waterproof. The frunk has a capacity of 133 L (4.7 cu-ft). Interestingly, this frunk has 3 more Liters of space than the Mazda MX-5’s trunk.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Being an electric car, the Mach-E is quieter than a comparable gasoline powered vehicle. But Ford’s engineers have tried to induce a bit of excitement to an otherwise dull sounding faint whine of an electric motor. In the “Unbridled” drive mode, a sound of a gasoline engine is pumped through the stereo system. I think it’s supposed to sound like a V8 but it ends up sounding more like a V4 engine. Other than that, there is some road noise, as to be expected, at highway speeds from the tires but wind noise is well subdued.
Odds and Ends
Pricing – The 2021 Ford Mach-E starts at $50,495 CAD ($42,895 USD) with this California Route 1 trim costing $64,495 CAD ($50,775 USD). A fully loaded GT Performance Edition will cost $88,235 CAD ($69,190 USD). To offset the cost, the Mach-E is eligible for government rebates and tax credits. Check your local dealer for details.
Gadgets – This California Route 1 trim is supposed to be a mid-level trim however it doesn’t come equipped like one. Essentially you’re paying almost $65,000 CAD for the 500 km range instead of interior features. For example, it is not available with heated seats or a heated steering wheel, it’s not available with a power liftgate, nor memory driver’s seat. These options are standard on the less expensive Premium trim and optional on the base Select trim but not available at all on this California Route 1 trim.
However, the Mach-E still has some key features that most customers want. Wireless phone charging, wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, surround view cameras, adaptive cruise control, lane centering, BlueCruise semi-autonomous hands-free driving prep (subscription required), automatic emergency braking, blind spot sensors, satellite navigation, and LED headlights are some of the standard features.
As for the infotainment system, it is Sync4 which is the latest infotainment from Ford and features over-the-air updates. So there’s no need for you to go to a dealership for updates. The infotainment is displayed on a large 15.5-inch portrait oriented touchscreen. The system looks similar to the one that is found in the new F-150 but because of the orientation of the screen, the controls and menu items are positioned differently. It takes a while to learn where all the controls are but you’ll get used to it.
Interior Design – The trend with modern electric cars is to do away with physical buttons and rely heavily on a touchscreen. Thank you Tesla… sorry, sarcasm. I really hate having to dig through a touchscreen in order to change the temperature or change the radio station. Ford did include a physical knob for the volume control but if only they had turned the button portion of the screen to physical buttons for the climate and some quick access media controls, it would have made the whole interior more user friendly.
That being said, there are some more traditional buttons on the steering wheel and there’s a driver display in front of the driver, unlike in a Tesla Model Y. Unfortunately it is not customizable. The information that it displays is all the information that you’re going to get.
The rest of the interior is pretty straightforward with lots of storage areas for small or larger items. As well, thanks to the moonroof, the cabin feels spacious. However, the moonroof does not open and it does not have a shade cover.
Exterior Design – From the outside, the Mach-E looks nothing like a Mustang. It may have the Mustang badges but they’re not fooling anyone. It’s a sleek looking electric crossover. But not a Mustang. In a sea of Tesla Model 3’s and Model Y’s, the Mach-E stands out among other EVs.
Warranty – The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is covered by a 3 year / 60,000 km new vehicle basic warranty and an 8 year / 160,000 km battery and electric component warranty. There is a caveat for that one though because it’s only covered if the battery retains a minimum of 70% of its original capacity over that period. For more information on Canadian warranty, click here. For USA warranty information, click here.
Overall, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is a good first attempt from Ford at an all-electric, mass production vehicle. It’s not perfect but it is a good first step towards a fully electric lineup.
Thank you to Ford Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Ford.ca