Mustang Mach-E lives up to its name

This undated photo provided by Ford shows the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is the Edmunds Top Rated Luxury EV for 2021. It offers a premium cabin and an experience behind the wheel worthy of its Mustang namesake. (Courtesy of Ford Motor Co. via AP)
This undated photo provided by Ford shows the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is the Edmunds Top Rated Luxury EV for 2021. It offers a premium cabin and an experience behind the wheel worthy of its Mustang namesake. (Courtesy of Ford Motor Co. via AP)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

All-electric crossover Mustang truly is a revolutionary vehicle

Many of you know me as a Mustang historian, as the author of the book “Mustang by Design.” I like to think I have my finger on the pulse of the passionate Mustang community. So when I first heard that Ford would put the hallowed name and logo on an all-electric crossover, I was outraged.

Then something happened that changed that opinion. I drove the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.

Let me premise this by saying that it’s very difficult to accept the Mustang name being on a four-door crossover. That’s really the rub, not so much about the electric powertrain. As far as those looks go, there are Mustang resemblances that I appreciated.

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The tail lights have a similar look to many generations of Mustangs, which I love. If you just see it from the back and squint, you can see it’s a Mustang. The same goes somewhat for the front end. It has a sporty look and has some vague resemblances to a classic Mustang, or at least the modern-era Mustang. The profile and four doors is where it loses any resemblance to a Mustang, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a stylish crossover. It has a modern, distinctive look. It stands out on the road.

Driving the Mach-E is where it really does have Mustang-like tendencies. My tester had the extended range battery, with all-wheel drive. As such, it was good for between 270 miles and 300 miles of range. As a pure EV, this means no gasoline, obviously. With that bigger battery comes quicker performance too. My Mach-E was rated for 346 horsepower/258 kilowatts and 428 lb.-ft. of torque.

As expected, it was torquey and fun, but also had some refinement. The best feature is the one-pedal driving mode, which took a little getting used to, but was fun and engaging. You can slow down and even come to a complete stop by just letting off the accelerator. When done properly you never have to hit the brake pedal, although it’s still there should you need it.

There are three driving modes as well: Whisper, Engage and Unbridled. The latter is by far the most Mustang-like as it actually pipes in internal and external sound, to the otherwise quite vehicle.

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Inside, the Mach-E has high-quality touchpoints and comfortable seating. In the back seat, there’s room for three passengers, although two adults would be ideal. Headroom is outstanding and features an all-glass roof (which is stationary and doesn’t open).

With the almost hatchback-like design of the Mach-E there’s a lot of cargo room (for an EV). There is 29.7 cubic feet of rear storage, which is impressive for a battery-powered vehicle. The rear seats fold flat allowing for 59.7 cubic feet of overall space. The front trunk or frunk is more gimmicky than useful with only 4.8 cubic feet of space. But it’s fun to say frunk, at least.

This is normally the part where I talk about fuel economy. Since this is an EV, that’s not relevant. This was my first experience driving a pure EV for any amount of time. I initially had range anxiety, but quickly felt at ease as I drove from Cincinnati, up to Tipp City and back, and still had more than 80 miles of range to go. I don’t have a 220 home charging station, so I couldn’t charge at home. Note: You can charge at home on a standard 110, but it’s not advisable and won’t yield much range. If you buy an EV it’s pointless if you don’t also get a dedicated 220 outlet.

As such, I had to charge on public networks. Ford makes finding these easy by using the MyFord Pass app, and it even integrates through the Mach-E’s Sync 4 infotainment system. There aren’t as many charging stations as there are gas stations, but there’s more than you’d think. As such, finding a fast charger at a Walmart cost me just under $15 but did take around 40 minutes. Do a little shopping, recharge up and you’re ready to go.

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If I were to charge at home overnight, this entire process would be unnecessary and thus, range anxiety is not a factor. Drive the Mach-E and you’ll quickly figure that out too.

As for price, my tester was the Premium trim with AWD and the extended-range battery. MSRP, according to Ford was $49,700 and the price as equipped was $55,800.

I realize it’s hard to accept a Mustang crossover, especially one that is all electric. The times they are a changing and Ford has a vehicle that is monumental, dynamic and significant. What else would you name something that fit all those adjectives but a Mustang? For me, while it’s hard to grasp, it’s actually quite an honor to Mustang heritage to place that hallowed Mustang emblem on such an important car for Ford.

Jimmy Dinsmore is a freelance automotive journalist. Email him at jimmydinsmore73@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @driversside.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium Extended Range AWd

  • Price/As tested price................................................ $49,700/$55,800
  • Mileage.......................................... 270-300 miles of range
  • Engine............................................. 88-kWh extended range battery
  • Horsepower................................. 346 horsepower/258 kilowatts and 428 lb.-ft. of torque
  • Transmission................................. Single-speed
  • Drive wheels................ All-wheel drive
  • Final assembly point................ Cuatitlan, Mexico

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