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2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Review

The 2021 Mustang Mach-E is a fully electric 5-passenger crossover SUV about the size of the Ford Escape. It’s the first in a wave of new EVs for Ford arriving in the coming years. The Mach-E rides on an all-new electric vehicle chassis and is available in 5 trim levels with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. And the Mach-E can be equipped with standard or extended-range battery packs that can provide up to 300 miles of range on a charge. A high-performance GT version arrives this summer and, in its most potent form, will hit 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.

The Mach-E is a member of the Mustang family, so Ford has made sure the driving experience is more involving and fun than typical EVs. And because the suspension is tuned the same across four of the five trim levels, backroad agility should be common for every model. To that point, the GT Performance Edition comes with high-performance brakes, larger tires, and a unique suspension.

The Mach-E’s closest competitor will be the Tesla Model Y, which rides on a slightly shorter wheelbase but is longer overall and has more cargo space. The Model Y also provides more standard electric driving range. But it does cost more.

Like the more-expensive Tesla, the Mach-E comes with a huge standard touchscreen. Ford’s measures 15.5 inches and is intuitive to use. A smaller 10-inch screen in front of the driver houses a digital speedometer along with battery information. Ford’s interior is fresh, modern, and very thoughtfully arranged. Features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard.

The Mach-E has a sleek and muscular exterior design that not only looks like a Mustang, but really sets it apart from the sea of conventional crossovers on the road.

What’s new for 2021?

The Mustang Mach-E is all-new and marks Ford’s first attempt at an all-new and very practical five-passenger electric vehicle for those that need space but value performance and style too. The Mach-E has a driving range up to 300 miles depending on which battery pack is specified. But even the standard Select model will easily clear 200 miles. The interior is forward-looking and packed with loads of safety and tech features that would normally be options on other cars.

What we like

  • All-electric range up to 300 miles
  • Athletic moves and strong acceleration
  • Large front trunk
  • Loaded with latest tech standard
  • Good Value

What we don’t like

  • Ford is a relative newcomer to EVs
  • Reliability is unknown

How Much?

$42,895 – $60,500

Fuel Economy

The Mustang Mach-E in rear-wheel-drive (RWD) form is rated by the EPA at 105 MPGe city/93 MPGe highway/100 MPGe combined. In AWD form, the Mustang Mach-E is rated at 100 MPGe city/86 MPGe highway/93 MPGe combined.

The rear-drive, standard-range Mustang Mach E uses a rear-mounted electric motor with 266 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque and offers 230 miles of range from a 68-kWh battery pack before charging. When all-wheel drive is added, there’s a front axle electric motor too, for a massive 428 lb-ft of total torque. But on that model, range drops to 211 miles.

The extended-range models have a large 88 kWh battery pack and provide an excellent 300 miles of range in rear-drive with 290 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. That puts the Mach-E in some good company when it comes to driving range. Choose the all-wheel-drive model, and there’s 346 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque. Range drops slightly on that model, to 270 miles. When the GT arrives in summer, it will have 480 hp, but the range will drop to 250 miles (or 235 miles with the Performance Edition).

For comparison, a 2020 Tesla Model Y Long Range can travel 317 miles on a charge.

Standard Features & Options

Unlike most new cars, the base model Mustang Mach-E called Select ($42,895) is packed with a great deal of standard equipment. A rear-drive Select with the standard battery has 230 miles of electric range and wears 18-inch aluminum wheels with all-season tires. These base models offer up to 115 kW DC fast charging while all other trims max out at a 150-kW ceiling.

Select models also receive LED signature lights, Ford’s E-Latch electronic doors, FordPass Connect that allows your phone to act as a key, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, 4G LTE, and Wi-Fi connectivity, and USB ports in the front and back.

There’s also Sync4A with navigation and Ford’s Co-Pilot360 suite of safety tech (reverse brake assist, reverse sensing system, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert, pre-collision assist with auto emergency braking, lane-keeping system, rear camera, and auto high beams).

Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Assist also comes standard on the Select models and includes intelligent adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane centering, intersection assist and speed sign recognition, evasive steering assist, and VR navigation.

The list of options is mostly built into one of the five trim levels—Select, Premium, First Edition, California Highway One, and GT. But since the First Edition ($58,300) is already sold out, there are really four trims available going forward.

All-wheel drive is an option on the lower Select models and includes a second (front) motor for improved acceleration and traction.

Step up to the Premium model ($47,000), and there’s the option of an extended-range battery. LED headlamps come standard here as do 19-inch wheels, a hands-free tailgate, and a panoramic fixed-glass roof. There are also “Pony” projector lamps and black mirror caps. Inside, there’s multi-colored ambient lighting, heated front memory seats and steering wheel, B&O sound system, 360-degree camera, Active Park Assist 2.0, and Active Drive Assist Prep Kit. That last one allows you to purchase (for $600) Ford’s latest partial autonomous driving program when it becomes available for an over-the-air download.

The California Highway One model ($49,800) consists of mostly cosmetic upgrades to the exterior, including special badges and 18-inch wheels with covers designed to maximize range.

GT models ($60,500) have increased power (480 hp) and will come with Brembo brakes, 20-inch wheels and tires, unique lower facia with a splitter, sport seats with copper metallic stitching, and aluminum interior trim.

Other options include a Performance Edition for the GT, which bundles in even more power, larger brakes, 245/45R20 Pirelli summer tires, MagneRide dampers, and more.


Although no safety ratings have yet been published, the Mustang Mach-E comes standard with a healthy list of safety equipment. That’s a huge bonus for those that want a Mach-E but don’t have the money to spend on the more expensive trim levels.

Ford’s Co-Pilot360 2.0 suite of safety tech comes standard and includes auto emergency braking, blind-spot information with cross-traffic alert, reverse backing assist, and pre-collision assist. Additionally, every Mach-E is built with an additional grouping of safety tech (Ford’s Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0), which brings intersection assist and speed-sign recognition, intelligent adaptive cruise control, voice-activated navigation, lane centering, and evasive steering assist.

Step just one level up to the Premium trim, and Ford’s 360-degree split-view camera system (with camera lens washer) comes standard. And so too does the Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 Prep Package, which adds active park assist as well as the active drive assist prep kit. That last one will allow for the semi-autonomous driving feature to be added once the system is ready later in the year at a cost of $600. The system will truly be hands-free, as it monitors the driver’s eyes through a camera to make sure the operator is alert, and it will work on 100,000 miles of pre-approved roadway in the US.

Behind the Wheel

The Mustang Mach-E is a fun and involving electric car to drive. Our time was spent in a Premium all-wheel-drive extended-range model, and it was certainly entertaining. Acceleration is very quick, and the Mach-E corners with serious speed on a twisty backroad. The ride can be somewhat busy and even a little bouncy on a rough road, but hey, this is a Mustang, not a luxury car.

Ford’s large touchscreen is as easy to use as any smartphone. And every trim level of the Mustang comes with a system of drive modes that can be configured by touching the Mustang car icon in the upper lefthand corner. The names of these are modes are unconventional. “Whisper” is the smoothest, with a more relaxed throttle calibration, lighter steering, and quietness from the powertrain. Plus, the regenerative brakes feel like coasting in this mode. This is the setting we most enjoyed on the streets of LA.

Engage mode provides a little more driving involvement and a soundtrack that adds a subtle growl to the background silence. When you point the Mustang’s nose toward a canyon road, you might want the most aggressive Unbridled mode, which brings some weight into the steering, loosens the stability control a bit, and sharpens the throttle’s responsiveness. This machine is a lot of fun on curvy roads, but the tires do seem to reach their limits before the chassis does. There’s also increased faux engine sounds pumped into the cabin.

Speaking of those sounds, you can toggle them on and off through the touchscreen. And you can also engage a one-pedal driving mode, which dials in a strong regenerative braking calibration so that you never really need to touch the brakes when slowing down.

Looking out over the Mustang’s peaked fenders and through the sloping windshield, this is one crossover that feels smaller than it actually is to drive. However, the interior is spacious—especially in the back seat, where we had plenty of room to fit our 5’11” frame. And we particularly liked the fixed panoramic glass roof which comes standard on the Premium.

Once back from the canyon roads, we spent a few minutes in a base Select rear-drive model on an autocross course. The lower-priced model was not only nicely appointed inside but drove with just as much sharpness in the corners as the Premium. The GT models (when they become available) should really showcase the performance potential of what the Mach-E can do.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Tesla Model Y—Tesla is the gold standard for EVs, and the Model Y is certainly impressive. The Y is slightly larger than the Mach-E and has more standard electric range and quicker acceleration. But the Tesla comes at a substantial price premium. The Mach-E delivers much of what makes the Tesla great, at a lower cost.

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 — The all-new ID.4 is another solid five-passenger electric crossover option. Right now, the ID4 offers just 250 miles of range and acceleration that’s a step behind the Mustang Mach-E. The VW’s handling is solid but not quite as sporty as the Mustang. The ID4 doesn’t have a front trunk either, which cuts down on storage space.

2021 Hyundai Kona Electric — The Hyundai Kona Electric has 258 miles of electric range and starts at around $38,000—so it’s a good deal. Its moves aren’t quite as athletic as the Mach-E, but the electric Hyundai does have strong acceleration. The Hyundai is in the smaller subcompact class, too, so cargo capacity is limited.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt — A used Chevy Bolt is a good buy for those that want a solid electric range in a tidy package for not a lot of money. We found more than a few under $20,000. The Bolt is quite entertaining to drive too.

2019 Nissan Leaf Plus — Nissan’s Leaf received a major redesign in 2018. Just one year later, an extended-range model (Leaf Plus) was added with a range of 226 miles. The Leaf offers comfortable driving and the ability for partial autonomous (hand’s on) driving when optioned with ProPilot Assist.

Autotrader’s Advice

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is an electric crossover SUV that hits high marks in several key areas. This EV offers up to 300 miles of range mixed with taut handling and quick acceleration. Inside, every model and trim has a connected 15.5-inch touchscreen with built-in navigation. Best of all, for those considering this machine as a family car, it comes standard with loads of safety tech. The Mustang Mach-E offers much of the Tesla experience at a lower price point. And if high-performance driving is on the list of priorities, the upcoming GT model (available in summer) should provide increased thrills. Ford says the top Performance Edition accelerates from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds. That’s very quick. Find a Ford Mustang Mach-E for sale

Ben Stewart
Ben Stewart
Ben Stewart is an author specializing in automotive testing and technology. He has a unique perspective—as a lifelong 4WD enthusiast Ben has driven just about every production 4X4 on road and off for the last 20 years. But his expertise and experience goes deeper. Ben has had the opportunity to drive and report on a wide variety of vehicles ranging from pre-production fuel cell cars to... Read More about Ben Stewart

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