You read that title right. A six-time Ford Mustang owner and auto-journalist-type just said that a crossover EV is the best all-arounder he’s ever driven. No, I didn’t say it’s the best all-around electric vehicle I’ve ever driven, although that’s true as well. I also didn’t say it’s the best crossover I’ve driven, though true too. It’s the best all-around vehicle I’ve ever driven. Period. I made a lot of notes as to “why” that was the case, so settle in. I won’t top our recent Road Trip Review of the Mach-E with regard to word count (not even close), but in the end, I hopefully explain why the Mach-E is a fantastic vehicle worthy of your money.
The Mach-E virtually came out of nowhere. I recall being of the almost six million folks on Twitter watching Idris Elba swagger out onto the stage and introduce the Mach-E. We had seen teasers, we knew something electric with the Mach-E name and a Mustang logo name was coming, but we didn’t know exactly what it would be. The specs were impressive, but the price was what made me say “wait what”?
The Mach-E Select, basically the base model, starts at $42,895. This brings the quick and inevitable comparison to Tesla’s various crossovers. While the Tesla Model Y lists a $39,990 starting price for the 2021 year when you click “order now” that price quickly jumps to $49,690. Even parked side-by-side with a near $100,000 base-priced Model X, it’s hard to see a drastic difference.
The Premium Mach-E, like our test car, starts at $47,600 or you can opt for the California Route 1 trim ($50,400) or the near $60,000 GT model.
As a regular car shopper, I dig where the Premium lands with regard to features and options for the price, so I was excited to spend a week in one. The current $7,500 tax rebate from the U.S. Government, that brings the Premium down to just about $40,000 even. It’s easy to assume why it was priced the way it was, and as former Ford CEO Jim Hackett noted, the Mexican production location is intended to actually allow Ford to make a profit off of the first generation Mach-E.
What you need to know about the Mach-E is that it comes in Standard Range (SR) and Extended Range (ER) and that decision will affect a host of other things. The Select and Premium are the only two available in SR, but that means your “horsepower” is limited to 266 HP with either RWD or “eAWD” layouts. The Select is only available as SR, while the CA Route 1 version is only available with ER but does get a small bump to 290 horsepower (RWD only). Do you get all that? Well, I’m not done. If you get the Premium in ER, it also has 290 horsepower in RWD but jumps up to 346 horsepower with eAWD (our test car). The new GT will have a 480 horsepower EV system with eAWD and ER only. Torque ranges from a minimum of 317 ft. lbs. (260 horsepower versions) up to 600 ft. lbs. for the GT.
So, the Premium model starts at $45,600, the eAWD Extended Range add-ons will ramp things up to around $55,000 before any rebates and incentives.
What you really want to know though…is it fast? Yeah. It’s really fast.
But first, the elephant in the room is the crossover shape. Ford did a great job on it though, from the aggressive front end to the Mustang’ish taillights out back. The silhouette is helped by the black bit running down the hatchback profile. It takes away some of the mass and gives the Mach-E a great look.
Also, there aren’t really any door handles. Not really a new thing, but it’s impressive how much it cleans up the lines of the Mach-E and also confuses children. The back doors actively pop open when you press the button, while the front just sort of releases the door, leaving you to use the grab handle to open them.
The Star White Metallic Tricoat paint color will add $600.
The function to search a charging location wasn’t massively impressive. I’m sure there is a better version available via a smartphone app. It spun for a bit thinking and then found options, but I couldn’t move the screen to look around. I could only click on one and go. I imagine that will improve over time and over-the-air updates.
Speaking of charging, wireless phone charging doesn’t work all that well. The charging pad is susceptible to bumps, and it is repeatedly turned on and off based on the phone’s placement on the pad. Since the Mach-E is primarily configured to use wireless Apple CarPlay, not having to plug a phone in is a nice feature, when it works. I found myself reverting back to using the USB connection since that was 100% reliable.
One thing I had to try was the Active Park Assist feature. Basically, you push the (physical) button in the middle of the center console to launch the system. You can choose what type of parking you plan to do, back in, parallel, etc.
The system scans the lot for an appropriate space as you drive. It alerts you to stop and shift the vehicle to neutral. Attempt one (below) wasn’t a total failure, but it wasn’t amazing either.
Attempt two was next to an actual car, and not a cheap one. Close…about as well as they did in the Audi.
Finally, attempt three. More in the lines than not. Maybe just park it yourself…