The Ford Mustang is arguably one of the most legendary, well-known, and mythical names of any car in history, so they took a huge gamble using it. But the car turned out among the best EV’s so far, and sort of makes sense, I will try to explain why.
Note* this is a first review of the Mach E over in Norway, this article in invented to educate that market and comparison to some of the competition.
So what makes a Mach E a Mach E?
I already had some familiarity with this car from a static showing of it a while back, but that car was black. As we all know black is the devil of all good design as it just devours all lines and contours of anything. (I simply do not like it in black). This one is in what Ford calls “infinite blue metallic” and it shows the car is a wonderful way in the low winter sun.
Normally cars look a bit bland in colors like that, but this one still carries itself with a lot of presence, the only other SUV or Crossover with this much presence I can think of is the Jaguar I-Pace, and that was Ian Callum’s last hurrah before he sort of retired.
Yes, they have unashamedly used cues from the Mustang’s long history and put it on an SUV that runs on electricity just to add insult to injury, and it works great. The front has a sort of grille plate with the horse in it, and below that is a set of cooling flaps that open or close as needed.
The power bulge on the bonnet gives it presence and identity, together with the rear lights and the apparent lack of a rear bumper.
They didn’t have a choice if they wanted to make an impact.
The electric car market, especially in Europe is beginning to get crowded with SUVs firstly, secondly, everyone talks about Tesla all the time. And to break through all the noise from the competition and the wall that is Tesla they have used the biggest hammer they could find, then they gave it a design to match. Modern and with intent, but not too much, it still has a slight elegance that will age better than some.
This is the einsteig, the smallest battery and rear wheel drive, so I set my expectations accordingly.
I was very impressed when I got into the car, comfy leather seats, big 15.5” screen that runs almost everything and plenty of range too.
The interior has a few bits of cheap plastics, and Ford stalks, but they are almost all in places where you never will interact with them. Most surfaces are covered with leather, the speakers are covered with a grey fine textile that also runs across the dashboard and gives the interior a feeling of class and color in what could be a bit dark and dreary.
The Bang & Olufsen sound-system by the way is rather good, with lots of depth and detail. Depending a bit on your input source and quality it can sound a bit flat in the midrange on some occasions, I ran my Tidal through the wireless Apple Car play and was very seldom disappointed. It is not up there with the Baumeister’s and Meridians of the world, but considering the price of 420,000NOK (around $42,000 and 41,000 Euro), this is indeed very good.
The steering wheel is a leather (at least I think it is leather) covered item that feels very good to hold and the buttons are easy enough to understand. It has a 10.2” screen behind it that shows the speed, range, battery percentage, and adaptive cruise settings (In the US it will also show information for the Ford Co-Pilot Assist).
Like certain other American car brands, Ford has decided to run the entire car of the central screen and given my deep distrust of the car industry ever designing good user-friendly and intuitive in-car interfaces, a lot of the experience hangs on how this actually works in the real world.
And it is brilliant, wonderful even.
The thought that has gone through how the menu is laid out and how all functions you use are always accessible in the lower half of the screen, so you never get lost or have to go looking for something is just top of the class. And they have integrated Apple CarPlay/Android Auto in a very good way, by simply overlaying it in the top half it looks like an organic natural prolonging of the Sync 4 system unlike everywhere else where it clearly is better designed than the actual in-car system. That also tells you the graphics are good here, there is no lag, and all buttons are big and easy to find.
Yes, the integration of HVAC, heated seats and steering wheel are always there and easy to find.
In the middle of the screen, there is a tray of icons, the trip computer, tire pressure, navigation and stuff always are, and the last thing you run always stays nearest to you.
The car in the top left corner takes you to the settings and controls menu, and it is all laid out in tabs so you never run into a dead-end, I even like the big volume knob, it has a great tactile feel to it.
In short, they ripped off Tesla and then improved a few things.
The car has all the modern power connections you need, and a wireless charging are big enough for the biggest of phones.
The car looks like a fresh modern coupé-like SUV, so I expected headroom to be rather lacking, but I was wrong. I have room for my head and my knees sitting behind myself and I actually sit on the seat with my legs, unlike in some cars. There is ventilation and USB A and C for your devices here too.
And the luggage space here is rather good too, it’s a ski hatch should need it, and some room under the boot floor too, it even has a big frunk that can drained too, so this car should cover most of your needs.
This is a rear-wheel-drive car, and it has 275hp and 430NM and does 0-100KM in around 6 seconds. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but even at motorway speeds it never feels like it lacks power anywhere.
It is not as rabid or as direct as a Tesla or a Jaguar, and the steering doesn’t have the most feeling either, so this has around as much in common with a Mustang as a bag of chips, and I don’t think the twin motor version is very much more sport.
The GT version that comes later will cater for those that want a quicker and sportier car.
It has three drive modes, active, quiet and untamed, they don’t change much more than just a synthetic V8 noise being pumped into the cabin. But that sounds so linear and natural that it suits the car very well and makes a spirited drive rather ore fun. But unlike in the Mazda, it can be turned off, and the car turns wonderfully quiet, as it is well sound-proofed. Like a 5-liter mustang cab, this is a comfortable, very quiet cruiser and the seats are very comfortable, so just relax and enjoy the sound-system and the adaptive cruise-control.
It also has an app of course, but I didn’t have time to try that, but it runs all the usual functions like pre-heating and warnings and so on, something else would be very strange on a so tech heavy car. When I drove the car, the temperature was between -2 and +2 degrees, and on a mixed driving cycle it averaged around 200wh/km, which is very well indeed considering this is a SUV.
It also had plenty of power and I never was worried about the range either and never charged it much above 70%, the lights are very good too, sadly the fog prevented me from testing them properly, but they are full LED with good spread and range.
Speaking of charging, this just rocks, it starts of a bit slow if you come with a lukewarm battery, but it charges rather quick, 77kW at 72% state of charge is absolutely up there.
If you want more range and speed you can get that too with a bigger battery pack and four-wheel drive, but even in this guise, Ford have made car that can challenge the best at their own game, so the brand has come a long way since it bought the Norwegian EV carmaker Think 20 years ago, so keep them coming please.
They want to use VW’s MEB platform in Europe, they could make a smaller version of this and bring back the Capri, should be fun, just bring the magnificent sync 4 system over.
The Mach E, Oh the Mach E!
I will have a separate article written about the Ford Mustang Mach E in a later article, but I thought I would just glance over what I thought was a decent performing car. Is it better than the Model Y, the overall answer is No. I have had the opportunity to drive around 4 Model Y in all variants included two Long Range along with the Standard Range (which has unfortunately been canceled).
I won’t go too much in-depth about what I think, but overall the car has character and a lot of it. Many people would not consider this vehicle a Mustang, and to be honest, it is probably one of the best/ worst marketing strategies in the car industry today.
Tell us what you think of the article!