The all-new, all-electric Mustang Mach-E is a big deal for Ford.
The Blue Oval may be late to the EV party, but this SUV is worth the wait with its combination of style, performance, driver engagement and practicality.
Starting at £41,330 and rising to £67,225, the Mach-E is available with rear or all-wheel drive, and with two different battery sizes delivering a range of up to 379 miles.
And while its “pony” badging and sculpted design are a nod to Ford’s iconic Mustang car, the similarity ends there because this EV muscle car is smooth, silent and emits zero emissions.
Your choice of Mach-E will depend on your priorities. The Extended Range with rear-wheel drive has the longest range (379 miles), while the quickest is the GT version (0-62mph in 3.7 seconds).
I tested the Mach-E AWD Extended Range (arguably the best all-rounder in the line-up), which competes with everything from the Volkswagen ID.4 and Skoda Enyaq to the Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron.
Powered by a large 88kWh battery pack and a pair of electric motors (one on each axle), it delivers 346bhp and 580Nm, allowing an impressive 0-62mph time of 5.1 seconds.
Range on this model is officially up to 355 miles, but in everyday driving, 300 is achievable, while a typical charge of 10-80% can be reached in as little as 45 minutes via a rapid 150kW DC charger.
To look at it another way, it’s possible to add 73 miles in 10 minutes, though many owners will simply plug in from home and charge overnight.
I found the mileage covered matched the indicated range well in everyday motoring, though clearly the miles remaining will take a hit during winter and if you take full advantage of the performance available.
Naturally, the Mach-E’s acceleration is instant and rapid, and not quite as unnecessarily gut-wrenching as some electric rivals.
You can choose from three drive modes: Active, Whisper, and Untamed. Active is your default setting, Whisper is “the most relaxing way to enjoy Mustang Mach-E” and Untamed unleashes the car, sharpening the steering, enhancing the throttle response and boosting the fake interior engine noise.
Despite its two-tonne weight, the Mach-E feels surprisingly agile on more challenging roads, delivering a degree of driver engagement often missing in the EV sector.
Body control is impressive, thanks to the relatively firm suspension set-up, meaning it will stay flat in faster corners. Traction is superb, as is the grip, while the steering is swift, just as you’d expect from any Fast Ford.
Meanwhile, the brakes are strong and more progressive than some – a weak point in many EVs.
However, technology hasn’t been allowed to completely sanitise the driving experience, because even in all-wheel drive form, it’s possible to get the rear to step out.
Whether you agree with Ford’s decision to market this SUV as a Mustang or not, there’s no denying that the muscular styling is distinctive and there are enough design cues to legitimise the comparison with the automotive icon.
Signature elements include the long, powerful bonnet, rear haunches, mean headlights and trademark tri-bar tail-lights.
The Mach-E’s designers should also be commended for having the confidence to go their own way n certain areas. For instance, the door handles don’t pop out. In fact, there are no handles. Instead, you press a button on the B or C pillars and pull a streamlined ‘E-Latch”.
Inside, there’s a 15.5-inch portrait-mounted infotainment touchscreen in the centre console, plus a smaller 10.2-inch digital cluster behind the steering wheel for basic driving information, such as speed, battery percentage and remaining range.
Apart from screens, the cabin has a familiar Ford feel, so while it’s a pleasant and comfortable enough place to be, it doesn’t quite have the premium feel of some competitors.
That said, there’s plenty of space for five adults, while boot capacity is a useable 410 litres (expanding to 1,420 litres of space with the rear seats flipped). The front trunk (frunk) has a further 81 litres, though in practice this is the best place to store your charging cable.
So, all in all, the Mach-E is an impressive addition to the electric SUV scene. And frankly, when your biggest gripe is subjective (I couldn’t find a comfortable spot to rest my left foot), it’s a job done well.
Verdict: Ford’s first fully-fledged electric car has been worth the wait. With its combination of kerb appeal, driving dynamics, practicality and long range, the Mustang Mach-E is one of the most accomplished EVs in the crossover sector. Sometimes it’s fashionable to arrive late to a party.
Review in association with www.automotiveblog.co.uk