Reader test team: Ford Mustang Mach-E
Electric SUV version of Ford’s most iconic model has space for all the family and a range of up to 370 miles. What Car? readers give their verdict...
It takes its name from the classic 1970s Mustang Mach 1 muscle car, and features styling cues from the current Mustang that went on sale in 2015, including its badging, exterior lights and body lines. But that’s where the similarities end.
The Mach-E is the same sort of size as upmarket electric SUVs such as the Audi E-tron, Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes EQC, yet with prices starting at £40,270 it is significantly cheaper than these models.
At launch, there’s a choice of battery capacities – 76kWh or a longer-range 99kWh option – and rear or four-wheel drive. All versions are capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in less than eight seconds, while the official driving range of between 260 and 370 miles (depending on which version you choose) compares well with the competition.
So, does the Mustang Mach-E have what it takes to stand out from the plethora of other electric SUVs going on sale soon? We gave some What Car? readers and early look at the car and asked them to give us their verdict.
Age 51 Job Head of finance Drives Ford S-Max Vignale
“As a long-term Ford owner, I’m impressed with the brand; I like the fact that its cars are enjoyable to drive while being affordable to buy and own. In fact, I think it’s a bit of a shame that this car is branded as Mustang instead of as a Ford.
“My children are grown up and have their own cars, but my wife and I have two large dogs, so we need a car with a roomy interior and a decent-sized boot. The Mach-E’s fairly low, sloping roofline is pretty deceptive, making you think it’s smaller than it is. So I was pleasantly surprised at how much space there is inside.
“The boot is roomy, not too high and doesn’t have a big lip for our dogs to climb over, so they would be comfortable using it. The panoramic sunroof really helps to brighten up the interior, too. I want to replace my S-Max soon and I’m ready to go electric, but I think many of the other models out there, including the Audi E-tron, Hyundai Kona Electric and Kia e-Niro, look far too bland.
“I am tempted by the Mach-E. I love its combination of striking looks and practicality.”
Age 33 Job Accountant Drives Volvo XC40
“The fact that the Mach-E model line-up is small makes it easy to decide on a spec. It’s just a case of choosing whether to go for rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive and deciding between the two battery capacities. It’s great, too, that there aren’t many optional extras. In fact, pretty much all the equipment I’d want comes as standard.
“I’m really interested in technology and I appreciate systems like the 360deg camera view for easier parking and adaptive cruise control for less stressful motorway driving. These are features I use on my Volvo, and I’d want them on my next car.
“The touchscreen is pretty big and might take some getting used to, but the simple, uncluttered dashboard should be easy to use while driving.
“I like the Mach-E’s exterior styling. The darker paintwork on the roof helps to make the car look sleeker, and the panoramic sunroof will help the interior look bright. Overall, the Mach-E feels like a premium product, yet it isn’t as pricey as rivals, such as the Audi E-tron and Jaguar I-Pace, and that adds to its appeal.
“I’m likely to buy a pure electric car when I replace my XC40, so it’s great to get an early close-up look at the Mach-E.”
Age 60 Job IT Project manager Drives Hyundai Kona Electric
“The Mach-E has a very sleek profile for an SUV, and I think that helps to disguise the fact that it’s a large car.
“The design cues from the Mustang that are dotted around the exterior and interior, such as the chunky rear lights, galloping horse badges and bulging wheel arches, all make the car appealing.
“In spite of its coupé-like looks, it has enough room inside to seat five adults. There’s enough rear head room, which is important to me because I’m finding my Kona’s rear seats a bit cramped for three adults. Having the small additional boot at the front, as well as a good sized one at the back, adds to the practicality.
“I’ve had my Kona for 18 months and have found switching to a pure electric car surprisingly easy because my commute is short and I can charge the car up at work. I don’t have a home charger, so I use the public network every couple of weeks when I do longer journeys.
I’d like my next car to have a longer range than the Kona, however, and more space inside. The Mach-E ticks both of those boxes, and it’s now on my shortlist as a replacement.”
Age 37 Job Sales Manager Drives Tesla Model 3
“The Mach-E is a good-looking car, distinctive but not too outrageous on the outside. Modern details such as the door opening buttons on the pillars and the ability to use your phone to unlock it make it feel different and a bit special.
“I’m impressed that the car’s electronic systems can be updated remotely; that’s a feature I have on my Tesla and I think it’s great that updates can be done wirelessly and for free.
“It’s a forward-thinking move on Ford’s part to include a CCS rapid charging socket, because this is the type you need for the fastest chargers and it’s the most widely used type around Europe. It’s good that it has a Type 2 point, too. And the official range of 280 miles for even the lower-powered 76kWh model is fairly high.
“Although some people find large touchscreens distracting, I like the one in my Model 3 and I’m glad to see the Mach-E has a similarly large screen. The interior doesn’t feel as premium as those of rival electric models, though, and the tray in the centre console looks a bit like an afterthought. However, there’s plenty of room in the back seats for my children.”
The Mach-E has divided opinion on the What Car? Twitter feed. Here’s what people have been saying about it:
“Nice and creative concept.”
“At first sight it seems hideous, but somehow it grows on you. I think it's the incomplete-looking front grille that takes time to get used to. The rear is nice, though, especially the tail lights.”
“I went to see this car in person at a preview event. It looked a lot wider in real life and was very nice. As far as current big, electric cars go, this is one of the better looking ones”.
“I think it will grow on you and look better in the metal. Not sure about the use of the Mustang name, though.”
“OMG I need this car.”
“Such a nice looking car, nice that is Ford innovating and keeping with the times.”
“Ugh. Please stop it now Ford. Looks ok unless you want to sit in the rear. Don’t reuse the [Mustang] name though. Doesn’t work for the Puma either, although that name has less heritage associated with it.”
“That centre infotainment screen is absolutely ridiculous and furthers the point that Ford has lost any degree of interior design, a field it used to pioneer among ordinary brands.”
“Love this car. Had the privilege of sitting in a left-hand-drive version recently. Such a nice feel to it, looks great inside and out.”
“£40k for this electric tank is good pricing.”
“Looks mint. I went to see a preview of it in Leeds, lovely car even better in person.”
“I like that its name has a link to Ford’s past heritage and that it has styling clues to suit. I think the Mustang Mach-E will seriously challenge Tesla."