On paper, the Ford Mustang Mach-E isn't a clear winner. With slower 0-60 times than a Model Y and lower range figures, the Tesla should be the obvious choice. However, after spending a week with the Mach-E, it's clear that its greatest strengths aren't stats to brag about. Instead, this electric Ford nails the details owners will care about daily by providing a driving experience that is equal parts comfortable and refined, leaving no obvious signs that this is the American carmaker's first attempt at an electric crossover.
The exact Mach-E I've been driving is a dual-motor Premium trim fitted with the 98.8-kilowatt-hour battery delivering an estimated range of 270 miles. All in, this electric crossover comes with an as-tested price of just over $50,000.
Retro Cues For The Future
Despite being an electric crossover, the Ford Mustang Mach-E's visual connection to its muscle car sibling is instantly recognizable. With widened rear arches, sharp creases on its hood, and taillights that come straight from a 60s Mustang, there is enough retro styling here for the Mach-E to establish itself as a performance-oriented crossover.
While it may want to look as aggressive as possible, aerodynamic efficiency is the name of the game, especially if it wants to deliver the best range and performance figures possible. While its overall shape looks quite close to its competitors, Ford's design team employs clever visual tricks to keep the Mach-E looking as sharp as possible. A close look at the Mach-E's sloping roofline reveals one such trick.
Thanks to a gloss black roof paired with a contrasting body color, the very top of the Mach-E visually vanishes, giving the impression of a more aggressively sloped roof. While this makes the Mach-E look sleeker, it delivers an aesthetic benefit without losing efficiency or interior space.
Like the muscle car upon which it takes inspiration, you won't find a single Ford badge on the outside of the Mach-E, only the classic Mustang logo. This is a plus as this electric crossover does away with unnecessary badges, only playing to its sleek overall design.
Compared to a Tesla Model Y or Volkswagen ID.4, I'd take the Mach-E every time. By blending in retro styling cues with forward-thinking design, this electrified Mustang delivers an aesthetic that is both efficient and genuinely nice to look at.
More Than Just Its Stats
Powering my Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium tester is the model's extended range 98.8-kilowatt-hour battery, delivering an estimated range of around 270 miles. In practice, this estimate was incredibly accurate, sometimes delivering even greater range figures than advertised. This electric powertrain produces 332 hp and 417 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels thanks to a dual-motor configuration.
Despite not being the top GT trim, this AWD Mach-E delivers all the real-world performance anyone will ever need. Flat out, the AWD Mach-E will reach 60 mph in around 5.5 seconds, about 0.7 seconds slower than an equivalent Model Y and around on par with an equivalent ID.4. In the real world, these differences are meaningless. The Mach-E feels just as fast as its closest competitors from a red light with a strong initial shove that dies down considerably once at speed.
While they may be similar in performance, the electrified Ford stands out with its handling dynamics, well above both the Tesla and the Volkswagen. Around town, the Mach-E is incredibly comfortable, quickly soaking up even significant imperfections on the road. However, on the move, even without adaptive dampers, the Mustang remains stable and planted, with its most important limiting factor being its low rolling resistance tires. In contrast, its competitors are equally comfortable on the road but suffer when they pick up speed.
Get on the highway, and the Mach-E's benefits continue to shine with a quiet and refined cabin that lets in minor road or wind noise. Coupled with the supple suspension, the Mustang pulls ahead by supplementing its comfort with refinement.
Segment-Leading Build Quality
The idea of refinement continues in the interior, where the Ford Mustang Mach-E shines with its build quality. During my time with my tester, nothing was out of alignment or making unusual noises. Despite using extensive plastics for the interior, Ford disguised them cleverly by employing different textures and soft-touch materials throughout. Even at its $50,000-plus as-tested price, this Mach-E feels like a vehicle in its price category should.
Comfort-wise, the Mach-E's seats offer ample adjustability and are road-trip ready, proving quite comfortable even on longer drives. There's even ample space throughout the cabin for tall adults in both the front and rear rows, thanks in large part to the roof's visual trickery.
In terms of tech, the main centerpiece of the interior is the vertically oriented 15.5-inch infotainment screen. To me, this is the only main drawback of the Mach-E as its interior is less sleek than its exterior, with a massive screen slapped in the middle. While it does offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, Ford's native infotainment system is pleasant to use and easy to navigate. In front of the driver, you'll find a comparatively tiny, 10.2-inch display that gives you essential info such as available range and speed.
Is The Mach-E The One To Buy?
As mentioned in the intro, the Ford Mustang Mach-E doesn't immediately shine on paper. If the fastest 0-60 time and longest range are of utmost concern, then the Tesla Model Y is your best bet. However, the Mach-E nails the aspects buyers will appreciate the most daily, such as comfort and refinement while delivering strong performance. We also can't forget that an even faster GT trim is available with added benefits such as larger wheels and tires, adaptive suspension, and stronger brakes, albeit at a higher price point.
If it were my $50,000 to spend with the current crop of electric crossovers available, the Mach-E would be the winner. However, as this segment heats up with tons of new competitors on the horizon, this electrified Mustang will have stiff competition in the years to come.