Ford’s Mach-E is a sleek, capable electric vehicle, but it’s not a Mustang

When I was still a kid my old man owned a 1965 blue sharkskin 289 Mustang. Some of my favorite childhood memories were spending our Sunday afternoons cruising around San Francisco. Now nostalgia is a hell of a drug, so when I laid eyes on Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E at the 2019 Los Angeles Auto Show, my reaction was a resounding and sincere “difficult pass”. With its crossover styling, the Mach-E certainly didn’t look like any Mustang of my youth, and given its very quiet EV propulsion system, it didn’t sound or smell anything like the 255 HP, carbureted, 4.7-liter. Windsor V8 I remember my childhood.

Yet the Mach-E has already won the title of North American Utility Vehicle of the Year 2021 and saw pre-orders for its “first edition” sell out almost immediately After its debut, then, it’s clear that the EV crossover has piqued the interest of American auto enthusiasts. This begs the question, what really makes a Mustang, a Mustang? I just spent a week driving the Mach-E 2021 in order to find out.

Andrew Tarantula / Engadget

The Premium that I received on loan is one of four optional models (not counting the short-term “First Edition” which is, again, already sold out): the Select, the California Route 1, the Premium and the GT. They can be specified as RWD or e-AWD, and with a choice of standard 68kWh or higher than 88kWh battery option (a $ 5,000 option). These batteries should give you an estimated range of 230 to 300 miles by the EPA, depending on options and drive types, and from 266 hp from the Select to a 480 hp from the AWD GT. The Select starts at $ 44,995, the Premium will net you around $ 49,000, Route 1 at $ 53,500, and the GT at $ 61,600.

My specific model was the Premium with all-wheel drive and the 88kWh extended battery pack which would cost $ 56,400 if it wasn’t for a loan. It offers 346 horsepower, 428 pound-feet of torque, and a range of around 270 miles. Aside from the bigger battery and Star White metallic tri-coat paint, everything about this Mach-E comes standard – which includes the Bang and Olufsen 10-speaker sound system, Qi wireless charger, point 4G access and the Ford Co-Pilot 360 driver assistance system. You will also find USB A and C sockets in the front and rear rows to minimize the loader space of the charger when traveling on the road. road.

While it doesn’t look much like its ancestors, the Mach-E’s design makes it easy to spot in a busy parking lot – similar to a Tesla Model 3 but taller with a wider, more aggressive stance. Once I got used to its dimensions, I came to appreciate the height of the Mach-E. It’s set far enough off the ground that you don’t have to constantly worry about scratching the bottom of the door on the curbs or needing a deep squat to get in, but not so high that you need to. ‘a stepladder to help you (looking at you, every full-size American pickup built since 2009).

Mach-E wheel

Andrew Tarantula / Engadget

It’s available in one of seven exterior paint colors, even the muted one that turned heads when I pulled over to turn off the lights. In the first 24 hours after this car hit my driveway, I had three estranged neighbors begging for walks. And despite its prominent front end and bold lines, the Mach-E maintains a surprisingly svelte 0.3 coefficient of drag – it’s just a little higher / worse than the new one. Audi e-tron GT or the Polestar 2, both of which have coefficients of 0.24.

The interior of the Mach-E is surprisingly sparse. Aside from the headlights, gearshift and a few buttons on the steering column, virtually all interior functions are controlled through the Mustang’s 15.5-inch vertically-oriented central infotainment screen and dial. built-in volume. The infotainment screen is paired with a 10.5-inch letterbox display that replaces the traditional dashboard behind the wheel. Voice control, audio volume, and track skip / repeat controls are all available as tactile buttons located on the steering wheel. Plus, the infotainment screen’s expansive space means Ford has room to make its generously huge digital buttons and sliders. This is of great help when you are in traffic and trying to keep your eyes on the road while navigating the various Mach-E control menus.

This scenario didn’t happen as often as I expected, thanks in large part to the vehicle’s capable voice recognition technology and integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Connecting your smartphone, whether it’s an iPhone 12 or Pixel 4a, is as easy as turning on the handset’s Bluetooth and pairing it with the infotainment system. I asked the iPhone and Pixel to connect to the Mach-E on each of their respective first attempts. Once paired, I could make calls, read my own picklists (rather than relying on AM / FM / Sirius XM radio), and use Google Maps for driving directions instead of Ford’s in-car navigation system. I would happily take the Mach-E’s infotainment system over Tesla’s.

I was also impressed with the Mach-E’s adaptive cruise control system, which includes a useful semi-hands-free lane-keeping feature which, along with steering the vehicle on highways and highways, although unlike the Cadillac SuperCruise, requires you to keep your hands on the wheel. It’s a bit confusing to use at first, but it’s definitely a feature I could see myself using naturally on longer drives. The Mach-E also offers Active Park Assist that will parallel park the vehicle on your behalf.

The interior of the Mach-E may be sparse, but it’s roomy with plenty of headroom and legroom to accommodate up to five adult humans. The seats are comfortable and breathable, and the entire cabin is much less plasticized than what Tesla offers. The feeling of openness inside the cabin is amplified by simply lifting your back to look through the glass roof. It is polarized and tinted so that harmful UV rays and the prying eyes of car thieves cannot penetrate from the outside while still being clear enough for passengers to enjoy the views both around and above. ‘them. The Mach-E also offers 29.7 cubic feet of storage space in the trunk, so you shouldn’t have much trouble fitting those five people ‘s luggage. I’m also a fan of the extremely useful Fordpass companion app. It offers reminders to drivers of maintenance, service and upcoming reminders. He also always knows where the nearest charging station is and how to get there.

Mach-E rear

Andrew Tarantula / Engadget

Unfortunately, the most disappointing aspect of the Mach-E driving experience is, well, the driving experience itself. When you get behind the wheel and hit the start button, you’re greeted by flashing logos on the display screens, a few electronic chimes, and that’s about it – no V8 rumble, no v8 roar. rich smell of carbureted gasoline. It’s all very minimalist and, finally, lacks a bit of soul. There are three drive modes to choose from: Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled – and they all function as if they were ringing.

Whisper is ideal if you are running errands in the neighborhood and want to minimize the time you need to charge it once you get back (it takes around 10.5 hours to fully charge using a power outlet). 240V). It is low power consumption and low power consumption driving. Engage is a solid everyday option, giving you an efficient blend of power and range. Unbridled is for maximum performance, battery reserves are damned. This drive mode will gently push you back into your seat when you step on the accelerator, and the EV’s instant access to 100% torque is nice when you beat other cars out of the stop line and hit 60 mph in just over 3 seconds, but overall the Mach-E just doesn’t have the same raw horsepower that I expect from my muscle cars. It looks more like someone and Kia Niro all of them jumped on the bull shark testosterone and let him loose on the streets.

Of course, the Mustang is far from America’s first classic muscle car to undergo sweeping design changes during its model life. I mean, look at the Chevrolet Impala. He looked like this But ended up being reduced to this when the final vehicle rolled off its assembly line in February 2020. And the Mustang isn’t the only former gasoline consumer to go green, either. GM is also rumored to be working on the electrification of its flagship Corvette, reportedly transferred engineers from the Corvette team to its burgeoning EV division. However, nothing has been confirmed yet.

For what it is – Ford’s first purpose-built electric vehicle, a five-seat crossover packed to the gills with modern styling, technology and amenities – the Mach-E is a safe bet. The vehicle delivers above-average road holding and battery performance while maintaining a high degree of everyday functionality – beyond getting you to your destination as quickly as possible. But as the heir to the Mustang crown, or even just as a sports car, it just doesn’t make the cut and I’m sticking to my initial reaction from 2019.

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