Car reviews - Ford - Mustang Mach-E
Wickedly fast acceleration, head-turning looks, useful and spacious cabin
Room for improvement
Human-machine interface can be difficult to navigate, doesn’t deliver on range promise, feels weighty when cornering at pace, novelty door handles seem rather pointless, at times brusque ride
A Mustang, but not as we know it – and in one very important way, that’s a good thing
30 Jan 2024
By MATT BROGAN
THERE has been a lot of discussion around the Mustang Mach-E, most of it centred around the use of that iconic nameplate for an electric SUV.
But what you may not know is that in using the Mustang badge, Ford has cleverly pulled a stack of carbon credits in the ‘real’ Mustang’s favour, which means V8-loving die-hards like you and I can continue to enjoy that epic 5.0-litre Coyote for just a little longer.
Or you might just consider making the jump right now…
Sure, the Mustang Mach-E is a higher riding four-door with more seats that the traditional coupe, but it does tick a lot of Mustang boxes. It goes like stink in a straight line, turns heads in traffic, feels purposeful from behind the ‘wheel, and, in the right mode, even sounds rather good.
Even better, Ford Australia recently slashed the price of the Mustang Mach-E range by up to $7000 making it a worthwhile consideration against all-electric rivals like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 (from $69,900 plus on-road costs), the Kia EV6 (from $72,590 +ORC) and the Tesla Model Y (from $69,300 +ORC).
The 2024 Ford Mustang Mach-E range now starts from $72,990 +ORC with the flagship GT (tested here) retailing from $104,990 +ORC.
Ford tells us the Mustang Mach-E is its first all-electric production vehicle to be developed from the ground up to deliver pure-electric, zero tailpipe emission driving. Power is available from single- or dual electric motors offering rear- or all-wheel drive with battery power drawn from a choice of 71kWh or 91kWh packs.
Two types of battery are used on the Mach-E, durable and cheaper lithium iron phosphate (LFP) in the 71kWh Select battery and nickel cobalt manganese (NCM) in the 91kWh Premium and GT battery each with its own specific benefits.
Entry grade Select variants deliver 198kW and 430Nm output via the rear wheels with a claimed range of 470km (WLTP) and a 6.6-second 0-100km/h acceleration time.
The mid-tier Premium grade ups output to 216kW and 430Nm again through the rear wheels, but with a larger 91kWh battery for a claimed range of 600km (WLTP) and a nought to 100km/h time of 6.2 seconds.
Finally, and the model ‘real’ Mustang fans are likely to get most excited about is the one tested here – the Mach-E GT. The dual-motor and all-wheel drive rocket ship rails 358kW and 860Nm to the tarmac whisking its occupants to triple digits in just 3.7 seconds, in the process making it Ford Australia’s fastest ever accelerating production vehicle.
Driving range is officially listed at 490km (WLTP), though we managed around 380km in mixed use.
The ‘hero’ GT matches the oomph with MagneRide adaptive suspension and high-performance Brembo brakes, bespoke rubber on 20-inch alloys, body-specific styling cues and a stack of ANCAP-rated safety kit.
Standard equipment across all three grades includes autonomous emergency braking (AEB) with car-to-car, vulnerable road user, junction assist, and back-over functionality. Lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, emergency lane keeping, and an advance speed assistance system are also standard.
In fitting the Mustang Mach-E’s battery between the cabin floor and the bottom of the vehicle, Ford has achieved cargo and passenger accommodation levels that are both somewhat surprising and impressively spacious. The décor is sporty, and rather Mustang-esque in its own way, with a classy mix of dark-themed leather and material that speaks to what Mustang ownership is all about. A pity the seats are a little flat, then.
Of course, there’s a gigantic 15.5-inch screen set vertically front and centre on the dashboard – and a pokey little instrument readout ahead of the steering wheel. Both do the job, and certainly provide a lot of customisation for owners seeking that ‘just right’ experience.
That said, we found some of the human-machine interface to be a little clunky, with a lot of menus and sub-menus to drill down into.
On the pragmatic side of things, there is decent storage throughout for drinks, keys, wallets, purses, phones and even an iPad or smaller laptop. The storage options don’t interfere with the vehicle’s controls in anyway, which shows some real though that other manufacturers might wish to take on board. Kudos where it’s due…
Sound quality from the B&O audio system is warm and rich with enough adjustability to adapt the setup for differing music tastes. Given the quietness of the cabin when cruising in Active or Whisper modes its quite pleasurable to kick back with the tunes cranked and the adaptive cruise control doing its thing… assuming you can find the restraint.
Flick the Mach-E into Untamed mode and the pony’s hackles stand on end. The suspension tightens, the steering firms, and the motors pull at the reins. There’s a palpable sense of tension that signals the horse is ready to bolt, accompanied by a not-quite-V8 digital ‘Propulsion’ soundtrack.
Ready, aim, fire!
Acceleration in the Mustang Mach-E is wickedly quick, the wheels fighting for traction against the blacktop as 2400kg of metal and passengers race away from the line. It’s a ‘wow’ moment for the uninitiated, and one that we reckon would see most petrol-powered ‘Stangs left coughing in the dust.
Move into a set of corners and the Mustang feels its weight. The tyres hang on as best they can, but it’s evident there is a lot of mass at play here, pushing the nose if you enter a corner too quickly. Slow in, fast out is a far better approach.
The lowered suspension is firm – in hopes of giving the Mach-E a level of control through corners – but it’s best that judicious use of the throttle is maintained. Eight-hundred-and-sixty Isaacs is plenty enough to upset the balance if you’re overzealous.
The steering feel is remote and artificial which detracts from the experience a tad – this is a car you feel through your behind, and not your fingers. And the same goes for the brakes. As powerful as they are, the dexterity just isn’t there, with initially application hollow, then suddenly providing far too much bite for deft daily use.
Like the touchscreen, Ford’s novelty door handles take a little getting used to. The inside latch is positioned oddly, and the outside handle is, well, a button. Arguably it improves the car’s slipperiness in the air, but with wing mirrors still present on the door, we’d argue it’s a pointless gimmick.
But pointless gimmick the Mustang Mach-E is not. Against the Mustang it’s not a patch. But in challenging the likes of its all-electric rivals we think it’s just about on the money. If you’re keen on an EV and have a soft spot for the Blue Oval brand, then go and take a test drive. It might just give you something to talk about…
7th of December 2023
Ford slashes price of Mustang Mach-E
Up to $7000 cut from RRP of Ford’s electric Mustang Mach-E, before deliveries commence
5th of October 2023
Mustang Mach-E battery details
Bigger but lighter battery with more range in high-grade Mach-E versions
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