Used Ford Mustang Mach-E long-term test: report 7

The Mustang Mach-E is an electric family SUV with a high-tech interior, but what's it like to live with and is it a good car? We're finding out...

Ford Mustang Mach-E at Gridserve charging station

The car Ford Mustang Mach-E Standard Range RWD Run by Jim Holder, editorial director

Why it's here Ford’s first mainstream electric car needs to prove it can compete with the very best electric SUVs

Needs to Offer something more than its rivals – Ford is late to the electric party, so it's overdue a landmark EV

Miles covered 14,956 Price when new £42,530 Price when new with all options £42,530 Value on arrival £33,537 Value now £33,537 Official range 273 miles Test range 224 miles

7 September 2022 – We're all going on a summer holiday

Who said the electric car charging network isn’t progressing? Whoever it was clearly hasn’t been to Norfolk lately.

Last month my family and I drove 981 miles to and around the county on our summer holidays, and returned from some happy travels with little to say about charging the Ford Mustang Mach-E (which is exactly as you’d hope). A year ago I’d likely have returned cursing electro-mobility and looking for the best divorce lawyer I could afford.

The transformation has come courtesy of a couple of high-speed charging hubs that have made driving an electric car around what remains one of the more remote corners of the UK a non-event. One is run by Gridserve, the other by MFG (Motor Fuel Group), and both feature banks of rapid chargers that were available and easy to use and could pump 100 miles or so of range into the Mach-E in the time it took to have a toilet stop, even if we never quite saw the Mach-E draw at its full 115kW potential.

Ford Mustang Mach-E boot space

They were also perfectly placed to ensure they could be reached from our south-west London home without any anxiety; a topped-up Mach-E has around 200 miles of real-world range, and they were about 120-130 miles from us, so at no point were there any awkward conversations about turning the air-con off or having to drive at 55mph to conserve energy.

In that context, this Mach-E’s battery looked plenty big enough, although I'm always conscious that there is an Extended Range Mach-E available, officially with 379 miles of range, compared with my car’s 273 (probably more like 330 versus 200 in reality). This was the sort of once-a-year long-distance trip that could have caused me to rue my decision to save money on the price of the car and go for the smaller battery. Maybe a bit more range would have made life a fraction easier, but thanks to being able to find a few lower-speed chargers around our destination, we were always able to stay charged.

Ford Mustang Mach-E front luggage space under the bonnet

Otherwise, over what was a lot of miles, the Mach-E performed admirably. On smoother motorways and decent A-roads, its suspension imperfections are far less noticeable, ensuring the majority of the journey was comfortable. Spirits were also buoyed by a boot and front bonnet cavity that were (just) big enough to swallow the majority of our luggage, meaning we were all pretty comfortable (and that’s with two children in the back who are pushing 170cm plus). The standout was the quietness of our progress; our outward trip was taken on a busy Friday afternoon, meaning a four-hour slog to our charging destination, but we still arrived feeling reasonably relaxed.

Sure, the stark truth remains that there are far better electric SUVs for the same or less money than the Mach-E, led by the Kia EV6. In that respect, the evolution of electric cars is a fast-moving world and the Mach-E has been somewhat left behind. But on this toughest of tests, it still proved that, while it lacks many of the qualities of rivals, it has just about enough in its armoury to be a credible (if not really recommendable) car.

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