My colleague Darren Lynsdale and I toured the Mustang Mach-E around the South of England, taking in a lovely little cafe on the waterfront in Hove, exploring every beach around Shoreham and the River Adur, plus the country lanes of Sussex and the Surrey hills.
Ford’s Mustang Mach-E Standard is a perfectly formed all-electric single motor rear-wheel SUV with a 70kWh battery with 269 PS or 265 Bhp and 430 Nm of torque. It does 0-62 mph in 6.9 secs with an A+ efficiency rating and a top speed of 111 mph. Due to the batteries, it weighs a hefty 2.2 tonnes and the standard model has a claimed range of 273 miles.
10-80% charge takes 38 mins on a high powered 115 KW charge and it charges over 50% overnight on a normal household plug. Most impressively a ten-minute rapid charge will give you approximately 70 miles, enough to get you out of most tricky situations. So far, so good.
Why is a Mustang coming out as an SUV? Because they sell well and it’s what people want. So is it a Mustang? We’ll come back to that once we’ve got to know it.
The exterior is modern and attractive with Mustang touches in the large macho bonnet and the fluted tapered waist. Attractive side windows evoke finely Kohled Egyptian eyes, particularly against the Star White body colour. My favourite touch is the drooping Mexican horseshoe moustache front grill framing the 3D Mustang logo. Add to that piercing razor led lights above and a smirking spoiler grin below. The back swoops down with futuristic style and the signature Mustang tri-bar rear lights have been updated reminding me slightly of a crash of rhinoceri. A pleasing modern, swift and low slung SUV that could sit in any garage with its head held high.
Two things that stand out are the new illuminated circular door buttons, no bigger than the end of your finger, that pop the door out when pressed. And the strange numbers on the door sill. These are a keypad so you can enter with a digital code. Very nice.
One complaint. The key fob is plain plastic and over a decade old. This represents the car in your pocket and is the only thing that you take with you, away from the car. It should mirror this futurist electric Mustang and represent the legend in every aspect of its design. That fob should be a thing of beauty in of itself. It’s not.
Frunk is the new word in the US for a front boot that takes 100 litres and has a drain hole for easy cleaning. The rear boot holds 402 litres so there is ample storage space for the family holidays to France.
Walk around the car and you will notice the build is solid and of good quality. This is a car that will last.
The interior is all Ford, they have kept it familiar for their clients apart from the new infotainment screen. You can tell Ford have retooled to a minimum to get this out as quickly as possible and also to maintain the Ford feel. This is very much a continuation of the Ford brand, merely electrified, no bad thing.
A giant 15.5” vertical touchscreen tablet controls every aspect of the car. Sure there are still the usual Ford switches and dials, but the screen is a game-changer. Air-con, interior ambience, heated steering, heated seats, car apps, sat-nav, CarPlay, Android Auto and driving mode are all here. Different apps are displayed in separate boxes on the screen, so it’s child’s play to read and use, flawless. Plus the car manual can be fully searched onscreen in seconds. No more faffing about with a book the size of a brick. Another design feature I particularly liked is the large rotary dial cleverly set directly into the glass display.
The system works well connecting swiftly to your phone each time, the sat-nav is excellent and displays all the nearby charging stations, though not their usage status and the sound system is good with decent bass. There are two shelves below the dash for phones, one of which wirelessly recharges your phone.
It’s a genuine five-seater with enormous space for big chaps and all the family. The middle back seat also has a flat floor so your knees won’t be crushed up to your chest. The grey faux leather interior with white contrast stitching and diamond pattern seats do just enough to make it feel luxurious. Though the seats are more comfortable living room armchairs than supportive high-speed sports seats, which is right for a family car. Minimalist levers replace the usual door handles inside, another modernist space-saving addition.
Overall the interior makes good use of textured plastics and imitation carbon fibre with lots of legroom to convey comfort and quality. Spec with discernment and you can create a relaxed and pleasing environment.
The performance is way better than the stats suggest. 0-62 mph in 6.9 secs misrepresents the surprising acceleration this car brings to the road, even in the standard model. You get all the toque in that single electric motor right from standing start. The response is nippy, enough to push you back in your seats at lower speeds. Power enough to overtake and lane change with gusto.
Steering is family car level, mushy, set for touring, not racing, it is an SUV, not a sports car. Cornering is good as the battery weight keeps the centre of gravity low, though there is some roll, perfectly acceptable considering the head height.
The rear-wheel-drive is fun particularly if you enjoy that style of driving. If you live in a region that sees plenty of snow every year go for the all-wheel-drive model. Another plus for the Mach-E is the tyres protrude out over the alloys so they don’t get easily scuffed. Always a plus on an SUV where it’s hard to gauge the wheel distance to the kerb. The suspension is good for normal driving even over speed bumps so you glide around town, silently or noisily if you put on the fake V8 engine sound. If you want MagneRide Suspension you’ll need to plump for the AWD GT model.
There are three drive modes, four if you include L (low mode). Active, Whisper and Untamed which electronically adjust the throttle, brakes, synthetic V8 engine sound and steering response. Obviously, these will affect range, so for long journeys stay in Whisper, for long go Untamed and take pleasure in the instant acceleration.
Now we get to the best bit, the reason why this is a great car.
The best bit about the Mustang Mach-E is the driving style and regenerative braking. One pedal driving is engaging, soothing and soon becomes second nature. After a while, other cars seem less… modern, smooth, pleasant and intuitive. You can turn single pedal driving on or off, but basically, it means you don’t use the brakes much. Keep the pedal steady to progress, push down to accelerate and release to brake. The regenerative braking puts power back into the batteries and extends your range. Also, you don’t wear the disc pads down, so you save money. Another advantage is disc brakes throw out pollution in the form of particulates, so less pollution too.
Ford has tuned the regenerative braking perfectly. At low speeds simply release the pedal and you come to a stop at the ideal speed for smooth deceleration. At higher speeds, it decelerates less as you don’t want abrupt deceleration at 70mph. This makes the car a delight to drive every day. There is an L button in driving mode that imitates low gear for steep hills or descent but what it mostly does is increase the regenerative braking. I would like more choices available for the braking too, but at the risk of repeating myself, Ford has set it beautifully.
So is it a thunderous, roaring V8 muscle car? Is it a Ford Mustang? Absolutely not. But, before we go all Jeremy Clarkson puffed up with outrage at such a blatant defilement of a noble brand, let’s look at it from another perspective.
This has no Ford badge on it, just the Mustang horse emblem. Electric is taking over so the V8 Mustang will soon be resigned to the annals of history and who in twenty years will remember it? Just petrolhead geeks like me. However, as Ford starts a new era of electrification then perhaps this is a way of preserving this icon. A whole new range of super modern cars all under the Mustang brand.
In the decades to come when someone asks why the latest rotor-bladed, electric, 0-62 mph in 0.4 secs flying car is called a Mustang then the answer will hark back to the fabulous story of the original legendary V8 Mustang petrol car. Well, it brought a tear to my eye.
Mustang will now be a luxury brand in its own right, much like Citroen did with the DS. Preserving that history into the future has got to be good. I’m for it.
Plus the GT does do 0-62 mph in 3.7 seconds, I’ll let you know what I think when we review that next.
The Mustang Mach-e is perhaps not a muscle car but it is a worthy successor to the Mustang. The excellent torque provides surprising acceleration, so much so that it is a joyful drive. One pedal driving soon becomes second nature and the ease with which you can lurch forward is delightful. Charging is excellent and the 10-80% rapid charge in 38 mins on a 115 kW fast charger will appeal to a wide audience. The modern interior that will still be familiar to Ford users, plus the balance of luxury, performance, range and plenty of interior space for the price make this a genuine contender for your first electric car.
Mustang Mach-E Standard: £42,530
Our model with extras (Star White): £43,680
18" 5-Spoke Silver Alloy Wheel
LED Reflector Headlamps
LED Mustang Signature Taillights
Body Colour Bumpers
Body Colour Powerfold Mirrors with Puddle Light Mustang Logo Projection
Side Cladding and Wheel Arches in Black
Brace Front Grille Design
Black Perforated Full Sensico Trim with Grey Stitching
Heated Driver and Passenger Seats
Heated Steering Wheel
6-Way Manual Driver and Passenger Seats - Fore/Aft/Up/Down/Recline
10.2" Full Digital Cluster & 15.5" Central Touch Screen
Next Generation SYNC with Connected Navigation and Natural Voice Search
FordPass Connect (Embedded Modem)
Wireless Device Charging Pad
E-Latch Keyless Entry System (Inc. B-Pillar Keypad Access)
Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop & Go and Lane Centering
Front and Rear Parking Sensors
BLIS with Cross Traffic Alert
Rear View Camera
Selectable Drive Modes (Active, Whisper and Untamed)
One Pedal Drive
Dual-zone Electronic Air Temperature Control (DEATC)
Pre-Collision Assist; Includes Collision Mitigation, FCW (Forward Collision Warning), DBS (Dynamic Brake Support),
AEB (Automated Emergency Braking), DA/DI (Distance Alert/Distance Indication), ESA (Evasive Steer Assist)
Ford VariPower Charging Cable
High Power Charging Cable
Lane Keeping Aid + Lane Departure Warning
Thatcham Category 1 Alarm
Applink Remote Control System
Quickclear Heated Windscreen