The 2021 EV of the Year Might Not Be What You Expect
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By and large, people don't really associate Ford with electric vehicles. This automaker is more popular for producing the F-150 pickup, one of the most powerful trucks you can buy. The F-150 Lightning, an all-electric version of this beloved model, will also be released in the near future.
Ford's other notable EV is the Mustang Mach-E, an SUV with the spirit of the beloved sports car. It may be a strange car to bear the Mustang name, but Car and Driver calls it the Best EV of the Year. What makes the Mustang Mach-E so special?
How powerful is the Ford Mustang Mach-E?
The standard Mach-E comes equipped with a 198=kWh battery capable of 266 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. Its Standard Range battery gets 230 miles on a single charge, or 211 if it has AWD. Across the trim lineup, AWD models also earn slightly more torque than their FWD counterparts.
The Mach-E California Route 1 is only available with FWD, but it does come with the Extended Range battery. This pack can get 305 miles on a full charge and the horsepower input is increased to 290.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium is slightly less efficient, but it has a bigger 346-hp electric motor with AWD. The range-topping Mach-E GT can produce up to 480 hp and 634 lb-ft of torque with its standard AWD. Overall electric range gets bumped down to 270 miles.
As far as handling, Car and Driver likens the Mach-E to a Mazda rather than a traditional Ford Mustang. When testing the Mach-E Premium, C/D reported a 0-60 mph time of 4.9 seconds. You won't get the genuine growl of a Mustang's engine, but Ford thoughtfully added some synthetic exhaust rumblings.
The seamless acceleration combined with one-pedal driving creates a smooth and satisfying experience. C/D also appreciated that the Mach-E can corner at high speeds with minimal body lean, even with a heavy battery pack. The interior is comfortingly quiet when driving at highway speeds.
C/D reports that the Mach-E's fuel economy estimates are also quite accurate, only short 20 miles during highway driving. You can fully recharge its battery in about 15 hours with a 240-volt outlet. At a DC fast-charging station, you can restore 70% of its power in 45 minutes.
Inside the Mustang Mach-E
C/D notes that the Ford Mustang Mach-E gets a lot of its inspiration from its Tesla rivals. It has the same door handles, panoramic sunroof, and even a similar center touchscreen. Despite this, the Mach-E's interior design still feels original and benefits from much better build quality.
The Mach-E also has some advantages over the classic Mustang when it comes to interior space. There's plenty of legroom for passengers in the backseat, and the sunroof only impedes headroom on abnormally tall riders. It has almost 30 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats alone, making it an excellent SUV for family errands.
Unlike a Tesla, the Mach-E comes with standard smartphone integration for both Apple and Android devices. The base model is slightly more expensive than the Model Y, retailing for $42,895. Ford says the fully-loaded GT model costs $59,900.
The Ford Mustang Mach-E defies expectations
The Mustang Mach-E proves that Ford is fully capable of competing in the same ballpark as Tesla. The Mach-E's powertrains pack plenty of punch, paired with a stylish and practical interior. Some diehard Mustang fans might disagree with the Mach-E's badging, but it's still an undeniably good EV.
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