Ford’s entry into the all-electric market is its first venture into providing consumers with a line of EV models. The Mach-E is solid, good-looking (by EV standards) and provides more than enough performance. Tested here is the First Edition model, loaded up with all the options including the larger battery pack.
This EV has been controversial for its name. Ford chose the Mustang name to harness the popularity of its pony car, in fact the only car in its line-up.
Purists and aficionados of the Mustang name are having a hard time wrapping their head around an electric four-door sedan with badges of the wild horse glued onto this car. This is a gamble for Ford which it hopes will pay off in the upcoming world of electric vehicles. The Mach-E is available in two or AWD in three versions with either a base 68 kWh or 88 kWh battery pack and all models are loaded with the latest in technology and connectivity.
When fully charged, the Mach-E provides about 380 kms of range. Ford provides a basic 120-volt charger with the Mach-E.
The model tested here provides brisk uninterrupted acceleration, and overall handling is excellent giving the driver the sense of Ford’s pony car but without the long hood and the V8 rumble. But with 346 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque, the Mach E will take you from zero to 100-kph in about five seconds. For a four-door sedan (officially Ford calls the Mach-E an SUV), it is well-proportioned with some normal Mustang styling cues such as the taillights, provides adequate interior room, especially in the front, and provides a modicum of performance that other EVs in its segment (except Tesla) lack.
The dashboard of the Mach-E is the purest on the market. The 10.2-inch rectangular cluster in front of the driver is well suited to the overall layout, clean and devoid of clutter. The steering wheel has some functions, but it is also presented in a clean, uncluttered manner. Sight lines for the driver are good with the Mach-E, and along with the performance, this SUV has sufficient cargo space both under the front hood and the rear hatch.
Okay, the elephant in the room for me is the 15.5-inch touchscreen on the dash, part of the upgrade in this model. It’s just too large. And it should be presented in a horizontal format, not vertical. Another issue is that heating, entertainment, and other functions work through this screen. A few years ago, all such functions worked through a screen, but automakers have reverted to traditional knobs and buttons in many cases, which may not please millennial drivers, but I feel is certainly safer in keeping my eyes on the road to concentrate on driving, not adjusting the heat or radio station by pushing the right icon on the screen.
Once you get over Mustang name, the Mach-E is a positive entry into the EV market which may help set the bar for affordable motor-driven cars. It is certainly more of an enthusiast’s car compared to the current crop of small, quirky-looking sedans and is more for the masses than the Tesla Model S or Jaguar I-Pace.
I’m not going to get into any discussions regarding charging aspects and costs here, as Mach-E users will suffer the same predicaments as other EV owners with lengthy charging unless more money is spent for phase two and three chargers. Once the infrastructure to charge EVs quickly and at a reasonable cost is in place, the Mach-E will take its place in the land of electric motoring.
Just don’t expect any V8 growl from twin exhaust pipes.
Ford Mustang Mach-E First Edition AWD, four-door SUV
Price as tested: $74,145 (Includes Equipment Group 301A of $9,000)
Electric Motor: Permanent magnet AC motors
Power/Torque: 346 hp/428 lb-ft (combined)
Fuel Mileage: Battery range when fully charged about 380 kms.
Drivetrain: AWD drive system (2WD available)
Wheelbase: 2984 mm, 117.5 inches
Weight: 2202 kg, 4856 pounds
Fuel tank capacity: NA
Passenger volume: 2944 liters, 104 cubic feet
Cargo volume: behind second row seats, 991 liters (35 cubic feet)
Trailer towing: Not recommended