Ford Mustang Mach-E: Green Car Reports’ Best Car To Buy 2021 finalist

4 weeks ago
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The idea of applying the Mustang’s pony car heritage to Ford’s first widely available electric vehicle, the Mach-E, might seem like sacrilege to some, or the smartest product decision of the decade to others. 

Whether you come out on either side of that, or somewhere in the middle like us, the Mustang Mach-E takes electric cars somewhere new. It’s a finalist for Green Car Reports’ Best Car To Buy 2021

Having just published a first drive review of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E last week, we’ll leave you to read that for more details. But in brief, the Mustang Mach-E is offered in Standard Range (68 kwh usable) and Extended Range (88 kwh) versions, with single-motor (rear-wheel-drive) versions making 290 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque and dual-motor (all-wheel-drive) versions making 346 hp and 428 lb-ft—the latter badged 4X. Top GT and Performance Edition versions are on the way, promising a 0-60 mph time in as little as 3.5 seconds. Prices start at $ 43,995. 

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive - Portland, OR

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive – Portland, OR

Between three driving modes (Engage, Whisper, and Unbridled), a one-pedal driving mode, and even an ‘L’ selection on the shift dial, you can dial in the right settings to make the Mach-E thrilling, perky, or easygoing, and a firm but not harsh ride combined with precise steering makes the Mach-E enjoyable in an accessible way. 

The propulsion sounds are a bit strange—and out of character once you get to know the car. And if you filter all the Mustang cues out of the view, what’s left is the most futuristic cabin in Ford’s lineup. The big 15.5-inch vertically oriented touchscreen runs what Ford called Sync 4A and consolidates most of what you’ll need to get to in a couple of layers of menus, with climate controls always locked to the bottom and a big volume knob. A short, wide screen directly in front of the river essentially provides the equivalent of a head-up display; with just the basics, it’s the gauge screen that Tesla wouldn’t deliver. 

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive - Portland, OR

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive – Portland, OR

Whole-vehicle over-the-air updates are on the way, as are upgrades enabling Active Drive Assist, the carmaker’s equivalent of Tesla Navigate on Autopilot or GM’s Super Cruise. 

In practicality, the Mustang doesn’t miss a beat. Seats are ample and supportive, with a great view all around, and despite the racy roofline there’s enough headroom (and legroom) in back below the big panoramic glass roof. There’s a good, flat expanded rear cargo space with the seats folded forward, and a front “frunk” good for a couple of backpacks or a cooler full of drinks, too. Some serious packaging thought went into making it all work. 

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive - Portland, OR

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive – Portland, OR

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive - Portland, OR

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive – Portland, OR

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive - Portland, OR

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive – Portland, OR

In range, the Mustang Mach-E is the first non-Tesla SUV to reach an EPA-rated 300 miles (in Extended Range rear-wheel-drive form). Extended Range 4X models are rated 270 miles. That’s not quite up on what Tesla delivers now with the Model Y, but it’s enough range for most—and with 150-kw charging and up to 61 miles recovered in 10 minutes, that’s quick enough for weekend road trips. 

Ford has another thing that those outside the Tesla crowd are probably going to be happy to find: a network of more than 2,100 EV-certified dealers in the U.S. that will be able to service the Mach-E. 

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive - Portland, OR

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E first drive – Portland, OR

Mustang or not, Ford has created a car that leads the way to many more EVs from the brand. But because it’s a Mustang—and has to hold to that standard—a great many more people may notice. 

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Visit our editorial group’s other Best Car To Buy awards—at Motor Authority and The Car Connection. And vote for The Car Connection’s annual Driver’s Choice.

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