2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

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2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Test Drive Review: A New Kind Of Icon

When Ford decided to slap the Mustang name on an electric crossover, it ruffled more than a few feathers; comment sections erupted with "how dare they call it a Mustang," and general outrage, but for better or worse, the naming decision got people talking about the Mustang Mach-E. We haven't reviewed an SUV that garnered this much attention in one week, with everyone asking us what we thought of it. Though it bears the Mustang name, the Mach-E shares little in common with its two-door pony car sibling. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as the Mach-E arrives with a very different purpose in mind; make the electric car cool.

Just as the original Mustang offered a sports car experience at an affordable price, the Ford Mach-E hopes to attract more buyers into the EV lifestyle by showing them that an electric drivetrain can be fun. The Mach-E roughly competes with other EV crossovers like the Tesla Model Y and Volkswagen ID.4, though it's far cheaper than the former and a bit pricier than the latter. Remember, just because a vehicle is electric, that doesn't instantly make it a Tesla rival.

The Mach-E launches with two battery sizes, single-motor rear-wheel-drive or dual-motor all-wheel-drive drivetrains, and four trim levels. Each one gets varying horsepower and driving range outputs, spanning from 266 to 480 horsepower in the GT, and up to 305 miles of range. It may not feel like a classic Mustang, but after testing a Premium Extended Range Battery model with AWD, the Mach-E is now our favorite affordable EV on the market.

Read in this review:

9.1
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2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Changes: 🚙What’s the difference vs 2020 Ford Mustang Mach-E?

The Mach-E is an entirely new product, using one of the most famous model names in the history of the automobile industry. So why use the Mustang name? Ford wanted the Mach-E to be cool, and what's cooler than a Mustang SUV? According to the latest 2021 figures, Tesla is currently the sixth most valuable car brand in the US. Ford is in eighth place. If you want to take on a brand that sits just below Porsche, you need a strong name. And that's why Ford uses the strongest, most valuable word in its arsenal.

Apart from the apparent design cues, Ford's Mach-E may not have much in common with the Mustang, but it is an impressive electric car. There are four models, with outputs ranging from 266 horsepower to 480 hp. The entry-spec model costs $42,895, while at the top-end of the range, you'll need to lay out over $65k for a GT Performance Edition model. A limited Mustang Mach-E First Edition was also sold but this model quickly sold out.

Pros and Cons

  • Handsome design
  • Upmarket interior
  • Quiet cabin
  • Rapid acceleration
  • Relatively affordable
  • Mustang purists are upset
  • The range isn't class-leading
  • Not as fun as a regular Mustang
  • Lacking a few premium features
  • Technology has a few hiccups

Best Deals on 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
Select
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$42,895
Premium
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$47,600
California Route 1
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$50,400
GT
Electric
Single Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
$59,900
See All 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Trims and Specs

2021 Mustang Mach-E Exterior

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Front View CarBuzz
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rear View CarBuzz
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Front Angle View CarBuzz
See All 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Exterior Photos

Dimensions

  • Length 186.0 in
  • Wheelbase 117.0 in
  • Height 63.0 in
  • Front Width 64.0 in
  • Rear Width 64.0 in
  • Curb Weight 4,394.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Infinite Blue Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Build Out: 04/26/21 +$400
  • Rapid Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat +$400
  • Star White Metallic Tri-Coat +$600
  • Cyber Orange Metallic Tricoat +$600
  • Carbonized Gray Metallic, Build Out: 04/26/21
  • Dark Matter Gray Matallic
  • Space White Metallic
  • Grabber Blue Metallic
  • Iconic Silver Metallic
  • Shadow Black

2021 Mustang Mach-E Performance

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Forward Vision CarBuzz
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Rearward Vision CarBuzz
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Wheel CarBuzz

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    Electric, Primary Electric Motor (Rear) (997), Rr Primary & Fr Secondary Electric Motor (99U)
  • Transmission
    Single Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

For our test, Ford handed us the keys to a Mach-E Premium eAWD with the Extended Range Battery. This is the quickest non-GT Mach-E with 346 hp, 428 lb-ft, and a 4.8-second 0-60 mph time. There is a quicker GT model coming, but we thought this Mach-E felt fast enough. Instead of Eco, Normal, and Sport modes, Ford calls the Mach-E's drive settings Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled. Whisper feels pretty tame, but Engage enables instant throttle response with only slight pokes at the throttle. While the Mach-E is pretty quick from 0 to 60 mph, we were more impressed with the 30 to 60 mph time. This car can jump out into practically any gap in traffic more easily than a much more powerful gas-powered vehicle.

With no engine under the hood, the Mach-E cruises silently with only a low whine from the electric motors. Ford includes an optional humming sound from the speakers, which can be toggled on or off depending on your preference. We found the sound to be quite soothing, making the Mach-E feel more like a gas-powered vehicle. While a bit on the busy side, the suspension feels compliant enough for a daily driver, and softer than a comparable Tesla vehicle. We look forward to trying the Mach-E GT, which will get Ford's impressive magnetic dampers.

Speaking of the suspension, we need to address the elephant in the room; the Mach-E doesn't really drive like a Mustang. It's an electric crossover that shares nothing in common with the Mustang, so this shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The handling is more impressive than most mainstream crossovers, thanks to the low center of gravity, but the skinny tires and average suspension does not inspire much driving pleasure when pushed hard through a bend. The steering doesn't offer much feedback, but feels more connected than a Tesla Model Y. It's a commendable driving experience, but far from a thrill ride. The Mach-E GT should improve on this formula with magnetic ride and wider tires with more grip. In its standard form, the Mach-E should leave most drivers pleased, but current Mustang owners may be disappointed.

2021 Mustang Mach-E Interior

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Steering Wheel CarBuzz
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Infotainment System CarBuzz
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Gearbox Controls CarBuzz
See All 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater
  • Front Leg Room 41.6 in
  • Front Head Room 38.8 in
  • Rear Leg Room 38.1 in
  • Rear Head Room 38.2 in

2021 Mustang Mach-E Trunk and Cargo Space

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Front Chairs CarBuzz
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Back Seats CarBuzz
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Trunk Space CarBuzz

2021 Mustang Mach-E Safety and Reliability

Warranty

  • Basic:
    3 Years \ 36,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    5 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Hybrid/Electric Components:
    2 Years \ 24,000 Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    5 Years \ 60,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: 🏁Is the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E a good SUV?

After driving the 2021 Mustang Mach-E for a week, we came away with some clear conclusions. First, this vehicle does not feel like a traditional Mustang, but it doesn't matter. Calling it a Mustang got consumers talking about the Mach-E, so this move was a brilliant success. Second, though it's electric, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is not a direct rival for the Tesla Model Y. The least expensive Model Y now starts at $53,990 but the cheapest Mach-E is only $42,895. Added to that, the Ford still qualifies for a $7,500 federal tax credit, while Tesla does not. Even taking price out of the equation, the Mach-E feels like a more premium product with a better driving experience.

If we were in the market for an affordable EV, the electric Ford SUV would be at the top of our list. It's more expensive than the Volkswagen ID.4, but the Mach-E's larger size, higher performance, and sportier styling make it worth the price tag. Tesla still has Ford pegged with range and charging network, but since most charging is done at home, we think the Mach-E is suitable for most drivers. The Ford Mustang Mach-E achieves its intended mission; it gets buyers excited about choosing an EV.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Comparisons

Tesla Model Y Tesla
Tesla Model 3 Tesla
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Ford Mustang Mach-E266 hp105/93 mpg$43,895
Tesla Model Y 127/117 mpg$65,990
Tesla Model 3 138/126 mpg$46,990

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E vs Tesla Model Y

The Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV competes closely with the Model Y, although the Ford starts at over $10,000 less and that's before you consider the tax credit for which Tesla models no longer qualify. But Tesla is way ahead in two critical departments. First, Tesla's battery packs are more advanced, offering more range and that's without mentioning the added benefit of the massive Supercharger network. It also has a larger trunk and it's available in seven-seater guise, even if those third-row seats are pitifully small.

The Ford is better at being a comfortable car, however. It's leagues ahead when it comes to interior quality. Build quality is better, and that's the Mach-E's most significant advantage. It looks and feels like it was built by a manufacturer that knows what it's doing. Tesla's quality control problems are well-known at this point. As we write this, a Tesla owner's video has gone viral on TikTok: He picked up his brand-new Model S, only to have the airbag come loose from the new yoke steering wheel. Tesla still has some teething problems ahead, in our opinion, for problems Ford found solutions to decades ago. So for that reason, we'd have the Ford. That, and the fact that it looks sublime.

See Tesla Model Y Review

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E vs Tesla Model 3

The Model 3 is the most successful EV in the USA. It's no secret that Ford wants a slice of that action. Like the Model Y, Tesla is ahead in one crucial department: range. But that's the only advantage it has. The Ford is bigger and it has that stylish, highly desirable SUV exterior. Unlike the Model Y, Tesla offers a cheaper Model 3 alternative in the shape of the Standard Range Plus. It starts at under $40,000, has a 263-mile range, and gets to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, making it quicker than the base Mach-E. For less than the Mach-E GT, the Model S Performance is both quicker and can go further on a full charge. The Model 3 has a comfortable and spacious interior but the Tesla's crossover body gives it a lot more cargo space. These are two excellent EVs but we'll give the edge to the Ford for its more diverse range, its stylish exterior, and its build quality.

See Tesla Model 3 Review

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Popular Comparisons

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