The Mach-E is Ford’s all-electric, Mustang-inspired SUV. Will this new model be the silver bullet to the brand is looking for? Darren Cassey finds out
What is it?
This could just be the most important Ford in a generation, with the new Mustang Mach-E representing the Blue Oval’s first steps into the electric revolution. Its job description is a tough one – converting buyers of its traditional cars to emission-free motoring.
Unsurprisingly, looking at what’s flying off dealer forecourts these days, Ford has gone for a sleek SUV look, while it will be hoping an appealing price point and good variety of powertrains will make it doubly appealing.
The Mustang Mach-E is new from the ground up using a new electric vehicle platform. This allows Ford to fit the batteries in the floor, free up extra storage space and create a big, spacious cabin.
Although the Mustang name isn’t new, something that has upset purists, the body is not based on anything else in the Ford range either. There are two batteries available, with 68kWh (standard) and 88kWh (extended). These both have all-wheel-drive (AWD) and rear-wheel-drive (RWD) options.
What’s under the bonnet?
Both these powertrain choices have a single electric motor over the rear wheels, while the AWD option also has a motor over the front axle. Ford reckons they can provide full torque within 0.5 seconds of the driver pressing the throttle, with the single-motor system making 265bhp and the dual motor making 290bhp with RWD and 346bhp as an AWD model.
When it comes to range, the standard RWD model can go the furthest between charges, managing a truly impressive 379 miles on official tests. While we didn’t quite push it that far, on a near-100-mile trip the range generally declined in line with mileage, so it certainly looks possible.
What’s it like to drive?
Our single-motor test car felt suitably brisk, but with 265bhp in a large electric car it does lack some of that rapid acceleration we’ve come to expect from EVs. Even in ‘untamed’ mode, it leans more towards a surge of power than punching you back into your seat.
First impressions are very good, because although the steering lacks feel, it has a nice weight to it, so when coupled with the silent and smooth electric motors, this weighty SUV is a relaxing way to get about.
However, there are a couple of complaints. The main one is that the ride is incredibly stiff, and on rough, low-speed roads you’ll jiggle about in your seat, while there’s a lot of road noise. Our car had the smaller 18-inch wheels, too, so stepping up to the 19s could make things much worse.
How does it look?
Naturally, SUVs tend not to be the most handsome things, but we reckon the new Mustang Mach-E looks great. It has a sleek roofline and although its muscular curves make it look quite big in photographs, it’s not obnoxiously huge in person.
With the closed-off front grille and smart narrow headlights, it gives off real concept car vibes, something that will become more common as more electric vehicles come to market. Couple the headlights with the traditional Mustang three stripes taillights, and the Mach-E cuts a distinctive figure at night.
What’s it like inside?
If you’re looking at the price and the specs and thinking this is a pretty appealing package, the modern interior will likely be the icing on the cake. The 15.5-inch portrait-orientated infotainment screen in the centre of the dashboard dominates the cabin, and although it feels a little obtrusive during the day, it’s actually better at night when the brightness turns down and a dark colour theme is used.
Aside from this, though, the overall cabin design is fantastic because of the minimalist ethos Ford has employed. The materials feel of a decent quality too, with the only complaint we can level at the interior being some glitchiness in the infotainment screen when switching to the parking cameras.
What’s the spec like?
Prices for the Mustang Mach-E start at £37,350 in standard range RWD guise, rising to £46,980 for the extended range version. The specification includes the 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and 15.5-inch infotainment screen, 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, and wireless smartphone charging.
Going for an AWD version sees pricing start at £43,650 (standard) or £57,030 (extended). This model has more performance, which goes some way to explain the big price jump, as well as 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights, red brake calipers and the dual-motor powertrain.
It’s fair to say that Ford has done a great job with the Mustang Mach-E. It looks great, offers decent value for money, and feels genuinely premium inside.
It’s also generally lovely to drive, but we’d recommend avoiding the bigger alloy wheels if you can take the style hit, because we imagine the ride will really suffer. If this doesn’t bother you too much, Ford has built a genuinely compelling alternative to the likes of the Audi e-Tron and Jaguar I-Pace.
Model as tested: Ford Mustang Mach-E
Price as tested: £46,980
Engine: Rear-mounted electric motor
Max speed: 111mph
0-60mph: 6.8 seconds
Emissions: 0g/km CO2
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