Ford Mustang Mach-E electric review
Ford's first attempt at a dedicated electric car is a success; the Mustang Mach-E is a practical, fast and technologically advanced SUV
- Decent range
- Great refinement
- Impressive infotainment
- Steering needs work
- Ride feels firm on UK roads
- Can't match Tesla performance – yet
|Model||Range||Wallbox charge time||Rapid charge time|
|Standard Range||249-273 miles||11hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)||38mins (10-80%, 115kW)|
|Extended Range||336-379 miles||14hrs (0-100%, 7.4kW)||43mins (10-80%, 150kW)|
Named after Ford's famous sports car that's been with us since the early 1960s, the Mustang Mach-E is a major departure from that long line of low-slung coupes and convertibles. In fact, it's about as far from those cars as you can imagine – a mid-sized electric SUV that's intended as family transport rather than a luxury sports car. It's an important car for Ford, so it's good news that the Mach-E makes a strong first impression and ticks just about every box for would-be buyers.
The car is available in two main guises: Standard Range and Extended Range. Standard Range cars boast a claimed 273 miles of range, while Extended Range models increase that to an impressive 379 miles thanks to a larger battery. Each can be had with a choice of rear or four-wheel drive; pick the latter and you'll get a slightly reduced 249 or 336 miles of range. DC fast charging is supported at speeds of up to 115kW as standard, or up to 150kW on the larger-battery cars, so the Mach-E is pretty futureproof in this respect.
Performance is strong regardless of which battery or drive options you go for. Standard Range cars have 266bhp, with the four-wheel-drive version lending more torque for swifter acceleration. Rear-drive Extended Range cars up this to 290bhp, while top-of-the-range four-wheel-drive Extended Range Mach-Es get a strong 346bhp.
Our test car was this most powerful version and performance is good: 0-62mph is sorted in 5.1 seconds and there's power easily accessible whenever and wherever you need it. Those who want to go even faster will have to wait for the forthcoming Mustang Mach-E GT, which promises 480bhp and a massive 860Nm of torque in a bid to take on Tesla and its famously accelerative line-up.
Prices start at around £40,000; for that you get a generous level of standard equipment: adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone air conditioning, active parking assistance and heated front seats, along with the rather impressive combination of a 10.2-inch drivers display and a colossal 15.5-inch central infotainment screen. This takes a bit of getting used to in practice, mainly due to its considerable size, but those who've used Ford's SYNC3 system will recognise certain elements. Overall, it works well and is easy to use.
That screen dominates the car's well thought-out interior, which itself is filled with clever storage spaces (particularly in the centre console) and, in our top-spec test example, a great combination of leather upholstery, quality trim elements and an overall feel of exclusivity that's lacking from lesser Ford models.
That higher-end interior is matched by an exterior which, to the untrained eye, could belong to any number of luxury-car brands. Enthusiasts will spot the Mustang styling cues in the lights, grille outline and horse badges, but generally this car shares more with the current crop of rakish electric SUVs than any Ford Mustang from the past.
It certainly doesn't drive like any other Mustang, either. Get underway at low speed and there's very little noise from the electric motors. The throttle has immediate response and it's easy to tap into the power available – the most powerful, four-wheel-drive Mach-E currently available has sufficient performance to trouble some much sportier machinery. There are three driving modes, called Whisper, Active and performance-orientated Untamed; the first of these is the most pleasant in our view, making the car smoother to drive and cutting off the slightly silly sound synthesiser that aims to reproduce the noise of a petrol V8 engine.
There's also a single-pedal driving setting that allows for very relaxing town driving: simply lift off the accelerator to slow down and come to a stop. At higher speeds on the motorway, you can enjoy the Mach-E's great refinement, with only a bit of front-end wind noise really worth mentioning.
The Mach-E's silent yet punchy performance is matched by a chassis that has more of a focus on eliminating body roll than many SUVs of this size. The trade-off, however, is suspension that feels a little too firm for UK roads, never really settling down on rougher surfaces. And while Ford has a strong recent record for creating cars with very nice steering brimming with feedback, the Mach-E's system doesn't quite continue the trend, feeling vague around the straight-ahead and being a bit too keen to respond to inputs beyond that. It's particularly odd in Untamed mode.
Practicality hasn't been forgotten about, and in many places there are clever touches that may help you pick the Ford over a more conventional rival. There's space for five adults thanks to the car's flat floor, while the 519-litre boot is supplemented nicely by an 81-litre, dividable 'frunk' located where the petrol or diesel engine would need to be in a conventional SUV. However, the sloping rear window will make transporting squarer items a bit more difficult – not an issue the forthcoming Volkswagen ID.4 has.
Overall, the Ford Mach-E is another strong contender in an area of the electric-car market that's growing rapidly. It seems to offer everything buyers want, with strong headline range figures, show-stopping technology and a bold look to help it stand out on the road. We look forward to putting it head-to-head with its rivals from Tesla, Skoda, Volkswagen – and even Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes – in the near future.