Our long-term 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E just hit 10,000 miles. As one of our favorite new electric vehicles when it launched (after all, we did name it the Edmunds Top Rated Luxury EV in 2021), we couldn’t wait to see how this SUV would hold up after thousands of miles.
So we bought one and added it to our long-term test fleet. Having driven our stylish Mach-E Premium RWD for just over a year, our team is still impressed with this EV but does admit there’s room for improvement.
Going the distance
At purchase, we opted for the 88-kWh extended-range battery for a $5,000 premium over the standard 68-kWh pack. This raises the EPA-estimated driving range from 230 miles to 300 miles. In Edmunds’ real-world EV range testing, we surpassed the estimates with an impressive 341 miles of range.
Since our initial testing, we managed to drive a maximum of 327 miles on one charge. And, that’s a gold star for us, as this Mach-E trim currently ranks No. 10 on the Edmunds EV range leaderboard. Plus, the Mach-E’s average lifetime consumption is 33.4 kWh per 100 miles, or slightly better than the EPA’s estimated consumption of 35 kWh/100 miles. (Lower numbers are better in these measurements.)
There’s a lot of real estate in that giant screen
The Mach-E’s native navigation is easy on the eyes, simple to follow and makes great use of the giant screen, says CarMax editor Jake Sundstrom. However, wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity has been a mixed bag.
“Our Mach-E struggles to connect and display information even when connecting through USB-C. It doesn’t matter how big your screen is if there’s nothing to see or if the display freezes, lags and generally performs like an iPod Nano dunked in a hot bath.”
Meanwhile, post-production coordinator David Lucio found Apple CarPlay worked seamlessly, and so did the wireless charging pad. But our editors were unanimous on their thoughts about the Ford BlueCruise hands-free driving system: meh. It seemed to work well for what it’s supposed to do. But one editor doesn’t see much value in what it does, while another “never quite liked where it chose to be in the lane, particularly on any curves in the road.”
“The car seems to only ‘see’ so far ahead of it and doesn’t seem to predict upcoming curves,” says David. “So, it would feel like it was turning later and faster/harder than I would like.”
Performance and the pedal
Another area of discussion around the office is the Mach-E’s one-pedal driving mode.
What’s one-pedal driving, you ask? This mode brings about stronger deceleration (through regenerative braking) when you lift off the accelerator pedal than if you just otherwise coasted along. If you keep your foot off the accelerator and let the Mach-E come to a stop, the brakes will hold you in place until you press the accelerator again.
And the consensus from the team was that this EV’s one-pedal option is a plus.
Effectively, you rarely have to use the brake pedal because you’re just going on and off the accelerator for typical driving. “I like the way Ford tuned the Mach-E’s system. Its deceleration is strong enough that I rarely have to touch the brake pedal,” notes senior manager of written content, Brent Romans.
Additionally, the team still thinks the Mach-E is fun to drive. While our 290-hp Premium RWD is one of the slower Mach-E variants on paper, it actually feels quick and sporty for an SUV (0-60 mph comes up in about 6.5 seconds), which works for most as a daily commuter.
“Ford has done a nice job of making the Mach-E feel engaging and fun to drive around turns,” says Brent. “It’s a lot more playful than our long-term Volkswagen ID.4 or a typical front-drive-based EV, such as a Nissan Leaf.”
But, he adds, “the car’s eco-minded tires grip the road about as well as politicians stick to their stated positions.”
Additionally, our director of vehicle testing, Jonathan Elfalan, has mixed feelings on the ride quality.
“Now that there are more options in the EV market, the Mach-E feels a bit less refined in the ride comfort area,” he says. “The rear suspension in particular feels a bit underdamped, which leads to a bouncy ride for rear passengers.”
However, we all agreed the cabin is fairly roomy and comfortable. The seats are upholstered in plush synthetic leather and provide a similar level of comfort to seating in other small luxury SUVs.
Does space conquer all?
While not everyone is sold on the Mach-E’s ride, we all agreed that the cargo area’s 29 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats deserved a thumbs-up.
“I really appreciate the squared-off shape of the rear cargo area,” says our senior manager of vehicle testing operations, Mike Schmidt. “The design really maximizes the usable space. So far, I haven’t found a situation where it struggled. Load in a two-week run of groceries, softball gear, folding chairs, or drop a section of the second row seat and slide in a 10×10 E-Z Up. Everything fits.” Our team’s only issue was the rear cargo cover, which is thin and hard to attach.