What Car? says...
What did you think when you first heard of a new car called the Ford Mustang Mach-E? ‘Muscle car’ may have sprung to mind, but unless the ‘E’ was a giveaway, ‘electric car’ probably didn't.
Why would it? For more than half a century, the Ford Mustang formula has remained virtually unchanged: muscular styling, a big lumbering V8 engine and a simple rear-wheel-drive layout. The Mustang Mach-E you see here is a very different pony though. It represents the first real foray by Ford into the electric vehicle market and comes in the very on-trend shape of a large SUV.
If you decide you want one, you can choose from two battery capacities (badged as Standard Range and Extended Range). As you'd expect, the amount of power depends on which version you go for, and the Extended Range has the option of rear-wheel drive (RWD versions) or all-wheel drive (AWD).
At the top of the range, there's the performance-focused Mach-E GT. It gets the larger of the two batteries, four-wheel drive and a big increase in pace. That makes it a rival to faster non-electric SUVs, as well as quick electric SUVs including the Tesla Model Y Performance.
As well as the Model Y, the nearest price rivals include the Kia EV6 plus plenty of electric cars wearing premium badges, including the Audi Q4 e-tron, the BMW iX3, the Genesis GV60 and the Jaguar I-Pace. For less money, you could get a Kia Niro EV, a Toyota bZ4X or a VW ID 4.
In this review, we'll tell you everything you need to know about the Ford Mustang Mach-E, including how we rate its performance, interior quality, practicality and running costs compared with rival electric cars. We’ll also tell you which version we recommend.
Performance & drive
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Our favourite version of the Ford Mustang Mach-E is the entry-level Standard Range RWD (rear-wheel drive). Its 265bhp motor delivers a 0-62mph time of 6.9 seconds, which is plenty of power for most situations and almost two seconds faster than the VW ID 4 Pro Performance. The official range is 273 miles, but in our real-world range test it managed 211. The ID 4 managed 231 in the same test.
The Extended Range RWD model has 290bhp, but with a bigger battery to haul around, it is fractionally (0.1sec) slower than Standard Range models. Its official range is a stonking 372 miles, and in our range tests, it covered 302 miles in summer weather, and 247 in winter.
The four-wheel-drive version, the Extended Range AWD, packs 346bhp from its dual electric motors, so acceleration is super brisk (0-62mph in 5.8sec).
If performance is your main concern, the Mach-E GT is the one to go for. Ford has fitted the GT with more powerful electric motors for a combined 480bhp and a 0-62mph time of 4.4sec – impressive, if not quite as quick as the Tesla Model Y Performance or Kia EV6 GT. It has an official range of 310 miles, against 319 for the Model Y Performance.
The Mach-E is no lightweight, hitting the scales at more than two tonnes. You really feel its mass shifting on to the outside wheels when you turn in to a corner with any zeal, but it’s still easy to manage. While the Audi Q4 e-tron and ID 4 are set up to feel grippy and ‘safe’ when pushing on, the Mach-E feels more playful in bends.
A deliberately heavy right foot can have rear-wheel-drive models exiting bends with a little sideways slip if you turn off the traction control. Even the four-wheel-drive versions direct plenty of power rearwards to help prevent the nose from running wide.
That’s all well and good, but the ride and handling balance are only average for the electric SUV class. You can find yourself struggling to connect with the quick but inconsistently weighted steering, plus, there’s not a great sense of grip from the front tyres.
Current models come with a revised suspension setup that improves ride comfort. Instead of bucking along bumpy roads or undulating motorways, it's now much more settled and controlled. However, it’s still far from perfect. At low speeds, the suspension absorbs the initial hits of potholes and ridges pretty well, but there’s a firmness to the impacts that makes driving on broken roads a bit of a chore.
Occupants still get thrown vertically in their seat when dealing with larger bumps. The Kia EV6 is much more agile if that’s what you’re looking for, and while the Q4 e-tron, the bZ4X and the GV60 are certainly no more fun, they are calmer and more relaxing to drive quickly.
The exception is the Mach-E GT model, which gets adaptive suspension and a lower ride height than other versions, and is all the better for it. It feels far more tied down and settled, giving you confidence to push on. It doesn’t offer the accuracy in its handling that you get from the slower but more confidence-inspiring BMW iX3 and Jaguar I-Pace though.
Refinement is generally good. You don’t hear any electric motor whine while wind noise around the door mirrors and road noise is well subdued at motorway speeds. However, there's an awful lot of thudding from the tyres and suspension over broken surfaces.
The calibration of the accelerator and brakes could do with a bit of work too. In anything other than Whisper mode (the lowest of three settings), the Mach-E lunges off the line unless you’re careful with the pedal. The inconsistent brake pedal response makes it hard to stop smoothly, too.
The one-pedal driving mode does what it says on the tin, and will slow the car to a stop in most situations when you lift off the accelerator. Ford also offers the subscription-based Bluecruise driver assistance system, which allows you to use the adaptive cruise control on some motorways without the need to keep your hands on the steering wheel. Its inputs are smooth and it maintains the car’s positioning well.
Strengths Punchy performance; low levels of road and wind noise
Weaknesses Noisy suspension; busy low speed ride; grabby brakes
The interior layout, fit and finish
When you slide behind the wheel of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, you’re met with an interior that doesn’t resemble any other Ford to date. The driving position is pretty good, even if the manually adjustable seat that comes with the entry-level trim has a fiddly lever to adjust the backrest angle and no variable lumbar support. It does have height adjustment, though.
The Mach-E driver's seat is comfortable on a long trip but lacks side support through corners (the driving seat of the VW ID 4 is much better). An eight-way electrically adjustable front seat is standard on all AWD models, and that includes plenty of lumbar adjustment. The range-topping Mach-E GT models get comfy sports seats as standard.
You don’t sit quite as high up as you do in the BMW iX3 so it has a less obvious SUV feel than that car. Visibility forwards is helped by a low dashboard but can be quite restricted by the fat front pillars, as it is in the Tesla Model Y.
Rear visibility isn't great, either, so for a clearer view out in all directions, try the iX3 or the cheaper Kia Niro EV instead. Every Mach-E gets front and rear parking sensors, plus a 360-degree camera, though. LED headlights are standard too, and are upgraded to adaptive LED headlights if you go for any version other than the entry-level Select trim.
A number of buttons and switches have been lifted straight from ‘regular’ Fords, but at least they’re easy to understand. The Mach-E's controls are easier to use than the ID 4's mass of touch-sensitive buttons. You get physical steering-wheel buttons that are simple to find by feel, and permanently displayed temperature controls that span the bottom of the touchscreen and are big and easy to see. Alternatively, you can use a large dial to control everything, from temperature and fan speed to heated seat settings and sound system volume control.
That dial sits towards the bottom of the big 15.5in portrait-orientated infotainment screen. As with the Model Y, it’s in the middle of the dashboard and controls most of the car’s functions.
Key driving information – such as the speed, battery percentage and the remaining range – is shown on a separate 10.2in digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. That makes it much easier to see than the driving data in the Model Y, which is on the main central screen.
The infotainment software is responsive, with clear graphics and a relatively logical layout. It's not far off the effectiveness of the Model Y's and much better than in the ID 4. The screen also features multiple sections called cards, each displaying a different application, such as the media player or the sat-nav, at the same time.
The standard stereo is fine, if a little light on bass, but AWD cars and models equipped with the Tech Pack get a Bang & Olufsen stereo. That provides a richer, more engrossing sound and comes with a full-width speaker bar that's neatly integrated into the dashboard.
Some of the plastics and faux-leather trim is a bit too shiny and cheap-looking. To the Mach-E’s credit, its interior features fewer hard plastics than the ID 4 and it’s no worse for fit and finish than the Model Y. That said, it doesn't feel as solid or plush as the EV6, the GV60 or the bZ4X, and lacks the panache of the Audi Q8 e-tron and the iX3.
Strengths Good driving position; relatively user-friendly interior
Weaknesses Not as plush as similarly priced premium rivals
Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
You’re unlikely to be short of head or leg room in the front of the Ford Mustang Mach-E, even if you’re over six feet tall. For even more head room, try the VW ID 4.
The Mach-E's front seats are mounted a good distance apart to accommodate a wide centre console (with cupholders, the wireless charging pad and some useful cubbies), so you won’t be rubbing shoulders or banging elbows with the person next to you.
Anyone with large hands will curse the front door bins that disappear into a cavity in the door. They’re pretty narrow, making it hard to retrieve smaller items that have rolled to the back.
While there’s plenty of head room in the front, the Mach-E is styled like a coupé and that eats into the height in the rear. The Tesla Model Y and the ID 4 both have more rear head room. However, the Mach-E shades both for knee room in the back.
There's plenty of space for feet under the front seats and a flat floor, which is ideal if you're the middle passenger. That said, if you require even more leg room, you can't beat the space offered by the Kia EV6 and Toyota bZ4X.
In terms of practicality, the main boot has a useful height-adjustable floor that removes the annoying load lip many rivals have. It has 402 litres of volume, which is big enough to fit seven carry-on cases under the tonneau cover, plus a front boot with another 100 litres of space. It's designed to be hosed out and features a drain plug so it's a good place to store muddy boots.
Rival electric SUVs can manage more luggage, with the bZ4X taking eight carry-on cases, the ID.4 nine and the Model Y an impressive 10.
The Mach-E's rear seatbacks split and fold down in a basic 60/40 configuration. There’s no ski hatch like you get in the EV6 and ID.4, though. The Model Y has a 40/20/40 split rear bench.
Strengths Plenty of space up front; generous rear leg room
Weaknesses Rivals have an even bigger boot and more versatile rear seats; slightly less rear head room than rivals
Buying & owning
Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is
When the Ford Mustang Mach-E was first released, the entry-level Standard Range RWD version (our pick of the range) was one of the cheaper electric SUVs on the market.
It didn't take long for some highly capable competitors – the Kia EV6 and Toyota bZ4X for example – to come along and undercut it. Those rivals are predicted to hold on to their value far better, which makes their PCP finance rates even more competitive.
All Mach-Es come well equipped, with entry-level Select fitted with heated front seats, a heated windscreen, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry, 18in alloy wheels, privacy glass and two-zone climate control.
The Extended Range versions get a bigger battery pack and faster charging, 19in wheels, red brake calipers, ambient lighting, adaptive LED headlights, electric front seat adjustment, and piano-black exterior highlights. The AWD models add a Tech Pack that includes a panoramic sunroof and a hands-free powered tailgate. The performance-focused GT gets a sportier look, 20in wheels and sports seats up front, as well as performance upgrades.
If you go for an Extended Range model with the 91kWh (usable) battery, the Mach-E will match the 150kW maximum charging rate of the BMW iX3 and the bZ4X. That means a 10-80% charge is possible in around 45 minutes. The Standard Range model is capable of 115kW, but as the battery is smaller, you can get a 10-80% charge in as little as 38 minutes. At a typical 50kW motorway service station charger, you can expect a 10-80% charge in around 75 minutes.
The Kia EV6 can charge at speeds of up to 239kW, getting from 10-80% in just 18 mins. For long journeys, the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y are an even better bet because they give you access to the Supercharger network.
The Mach-E scored the full five stars when it was tested for safety by Euro NCAP and it did a very good job of protecting adults in a frontal collision. It has plenty of driver aids, including automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane-keeping assistance and blind-spot monitoring.
It’s too early to know how reliable the Mach-E will be, but Ford as a brand, finished a disappointing 27th (out of 32 manufacturers) in the 2022 What Car? Reliability Survey. This is way below rivals Toyota (second), Kia (seventh) and Tesla (19th).
Ford’s three-year/60,000-mile warranty will give you some peace of mind, but it’s fairly par for the course. Kia offers a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty and Toyota gives you up to 10 years/100,000 miles.
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Strengths Well-equipped; plenty of choice
Weaknesses High list price; plenty of faster-charging rivals
It depends which version you drive. The slowest version, the Extended Range RWD (rear-wheel drive), has an official 0-62mph time of 7.0 seconds. The quickest, the 480bhp Mach-E GT, cuts the acceleration time to 4.4 seconds.
We’d go for the entry-level Standard Range RWD in entry-level Select trim on the basis of cost. It’s quick enough for most situations, comes with plenty of standard equipment and offers a real-world range of about 210 miles (the official range is 273 miles).
|RRP price range||£50,830 - £74,540|
|Number of trims (see all)||3|
|Number of engines (see all)||4|
|Available fuel types (which is best for you?)||electric|
|Available doors options||5|
|Warranty||3 years / 60000 miles|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£102 / £149|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£203 / £298|