CHATHAM, Mass. – A buddy of mine who has leased a Tesla Model 3 for the past two-and-a-half years was anxious to go for a ride while I had my second go-round with a battery-electric (BEV) 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD electric sport utility vehicle (SUV).
Getting a second chance in a “press car” – the vehicles publications like The EV Report obtains for evaluations – is quite unusual, and I jumped at the chance because of the uniqueness of the Mach-E. And I was anxious to get my friend’s reaction.
“I like it. It’s quiet, like my car (Tesla Model 3); is very smooth and I like the screen behind the steering wheel, which the Tesla doesn’t have.”
He was referring to the 10.2-inch rectangular screen which shows pertinent information like speed, percentage of battery charge remaining, range on remaining charge, and a graphical representation of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) information concerning the proximity of the vehicle ahead (which culminates in a large, red warning screen should the system detect an impending collision) and lane-keep location.
As my friend pointed out, and lamented, the Tesla Model 3 does not have such a driver-visible screen but instead relies on its 15-inch tablet (vertically)-oriented touch screen in the center of the dash for all visual information. This means the driver must look further away from the road than the quick glance down possible in the Mach-E to find out how fast he/she is traveling.
The Mustang also has a large, 15.5-inch tablet-oriented screen (which is trending in many of Ford’s newest models like the 2021 Edge SUV and F-150 pickup) for management of the climate-control system; infotainment system; vehicle settings, and information (including the online owner’s manual).
The interior is a warm, comfortable place for drivers and passengers, loaded with a full complement of today’s high-tech features and amenities.
The heated front seats feature power adjustment (the driver’s with three-person memory); the steering wheel is heated and tilts and telescopes – all helping occupants find the most comfortable positions while watching the world go by the Mustang’s large windows or the moon visible above through the panoramic glass roof.
Ford’s SYNC 4A infotainment system includes WIRELESS Apple CarPlay/Android Auto making this capability seamless and much more advantageous than wired systems (no more having to remember to plug in your smartphone upon entering the vehicle or remembering to unplug it and take it with you when you leave). And the system uses simple screen buttons arranged logically and prominently for all functions rather than a combination of dials, buttons, and knobs working with a long series of menus.
The Electrifying Experience
Living with the Mustang Mach-E is unlike living with any previous version of the classic pony car, and I am not simply speaking about the added passenger and cargo room afforded by the new SUV configuration (versus the traditional Mustang 2+2 sporting couple design).
Living with an all-electric vehicle needs a different mindset than living with one powered by an internal-combustion engine. You have to do some planning and understand patience is a part of the equation – but the rewards of driving gasoline-free can make these adaptations very worthwhile.
The Mustang Mach-E has a federal Environmental Protection Agency range rating of between 230 and 300 miles, depending upon battery pack (68 or 88kWh) rear or all-wheel drive (one or two motors respectively).
Most – some 80 percent – BEV owners install a home charging station capable of delivering a fast DC charge. The Ford Connect Charging station (there are others on the market) can provide up to 30 miles of range on an hour’s charge.
The Ford mobile charger, included with the vehicle, can add an estimated average range of 20 miles per charging hour on a 240V outlet.
In addition, Ford has worked to make finding a charge station when away from one’s garage easier by giving owners access to the FordPass Charging Network – the largest public charging network in the country with more than 13,500 charging stations (and more than 40,000 charge plugs) and growing, including DC fast chargers.
With a peak charging rate of 150 kWh, the Mustang Mach-E with an extended battery (88kWh) and rear-wheel drive can add an estimated average of 61 miles of range in approximately 10 minutes while charging on a DC fast charging station. The standard-range Mustang Mach-E is estimated to charge from 10 percent to 80 percent in approximately 45 minutes while charging on a DC fast charging station.
And Mach-E’s standard navigation system can help you find these various charging stations without any problems. The combination means if you are patient (it still takes longer to charge than to fill a gas tank – and will for many years), you can go virtually anywhere in the U.S. with an electric vehicle!
No Shortage of ADAS in the Mach-E
The Mustang Mach-E premium shows off Ford’s ADAS featuring both Ford Co-Pilot360™ and Ford Co-Pilot360™ Assist 2.0.
Ford Co-Pilot360 includes: Reverse Brake Assist, Reverse; Sensing System, Post-Impact Braking, BLIS (Blind Spot Information System) with Cross-Traffic Alert, Pre-Collision; Assist with AEB, Lane-Keeping System, Rear Camera, and Auto High Beams.
Ford Co-Pilot360™ Assist 2.0 includes: Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Lane Centering, Intersection Assist, and Speed Sign Recognition. Evasive Steering Assist, and Voice-activated Navigation.
In addition, the system has a 360-Degree Camera with split-view and front washer.
Rewarding Electric Pony Ride
Saddling up (sorry, could not resist) for the new Mustang Mach-E begins at about $42,000 for the base rear-wheel-drive version. Our two different weeks were spent in the all-wheel-drive Premium model which priced out at $55,800 which included the extended-range (88kWh) battery pack ($5,000) and destination and handling ($1,100). And the Mustang is eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit and additional ones in certain states.
Driving an all-electric vehicle might mean changing one’s habits, but the rewards – especially in a vehicle as fun and comfortable as the Mustang Mach-E Premium – can more than makeup for any inconveniences. This is a terrific vehicle that also happens to run on electric power.