Test Drive: Ford Mustang Mach-E RWD Extended Range: a strange bird

We fiercely resisted testing electric cars for a much longer time than some of our colleagues but we had to give in, eventually. At first, we tested top-of-the-range premium German electric cars as we felt less range anxiety with these. As the Ford Mustang Mach-E “Extended Range” fits our bill too, we decided to test this dynamically styled crossover.

How to identify marketing people ? They dare anything and everything ! When it came to naming the blue oval’s first full electric car, they probably got paid a lot of money, to come up with « Mustang Mach E ». We’re sure they felt it was a real stroke of genius, enough to achieve very high sales figures. Ford even proudly announced recently that between January and July 2022, 28,000 Mustang Mach E left its Michigan factory along… 26,000 ICE Mustangs. Not that impressive considering that the ICE Mustang remains a niche model for Ford.The Mach-E exterior styling sets it apart as derivative design is too often the order of the day in its market segment. At the front, the headlights are tapered and the bonnet goes down to end on a full size grille proudly displaying a… mustang horse. The whole design is enhanced by the side lines that give it more substance while the black wheel arches covers make it lighter on the eye. At the back, the three claws rows are a nod to the past and link the Mach E to the very first Mustang ever. Our test car was fitted with 225/60 R18 wheels and we thought this combo would be comfortable enough…

I like it

Over the last few years, we regularly lamented Ford interiors’ lack of flair. However, the Mustang Mach-E takes a big step forward and put us into the 21st century straight away. The minimalist, simple and effective dashboard is akin to a Tesla’s. Behind the steering wheel, a small rectangular screen displays range, speed and which gear is engaged. Nonetheless, it’s the huge 15.5-inch vertical central screen that really catches the eye. It uses the 4th generation Sync system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The FordPass app links your smartphone to the car and enables you to interact with it. It is even possible to unlock the Mustang Mach-E by entering a code on the B-post. Sci-fi is everywhere !

Quite clever

Once inside, the feeling of space is quite impressive and the panoramic roof reinforces it. Boot space  is an impressive 400 litre and there’s another 80 litre trunk under the front bonnet. Like the Puma’s, it is waterproof and will take dirty boots and stuff without any problem. A good pressure jet wash will have it new and clean again.

I don’t like it

Low key interior plastics (as on the Volkswagen group’s EV range) are rather disappointing on such an expensive car. Front and rear seats are pretty hard and lack support. Suspension settings are on the rocky side… we were really disappointed; given the wheels and tyres size, we expected a bit more comfort. No doubt the batteries’ weight has something to do with it. By the way, the car is 2,200 kg!

Why I buy it

If you want to buy an electric car but don’t fancy a Tesla or any of the German brands’ offerings, then the Ford Mustang Mach-E is right for you. The first EV Ford  is rather well engineered and offers a 430 km range in normal weather conditions. When we teste dit back in early November, Belgium’s weather was still quite nice. You can choose one of three driving modes (Whisper, Active and Untamed). We tented to favor « Active » most of the time as its a good compromise between performance and range. The Mustang Mach-E is rated at 294 HP and it’s more than adequate for day to day driving, especially as the lack of feedback from the front wheels will wipe out any sporty drive intention straight away…

Why I don’t buy it

Indeed, the steering set up doesn’t give you enough feedback and we won’t even mention the brakes erratic responsiveness that’s not to our taste at all. We tried to be gentle with the pedal in city driving but we had to press it quite to avoid hitting the car stopped in front of us. Needless to say, our passengers disliked the very unpleasant effect it had on them. So much so that we quickly activated the single-pedal drive function and left it that way for the rest of the test. As is often the case with electric cars, it accelerates very strongly, but once you have to slow down before taking a bend, the weight can be felt and that quickly becomes a problem. This € 69,100 Mustang Mach-E with extended range failed to convince us. For now, we’ll just remain a petrolhead. (Translation: Dimitri Urbain)

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