Let’s get this out of the way at the start: aside from being formal for the post and video titles, I’ll be calling this the Mach-E. Not only will this be for convenience, but personally I think that’s all it really needs to be called. Obviously its full name is the Mustang Mach-E and the internet’s already gone to town on Ford’s decision to call it that. I don’t love the name but equally I don’t hate it, and I understand why Ford went with it; but I like the simplicity of – and less-direct relation suggested by – just Mach-E.
The best example I can think of is McLaren and their LT nomenclature; by abbreviating it to the two letters it references the Long Tail name of the original F1 and indicates the inspiration behind the various new models, but they aren’t literally long tail cars or true successors so they’re not actually named as such.
Regardless, I don’t want to get hung up on the name here today. Like the old saying “you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover”, lets not judge this book by its title. Looking beyond that combination of letters which will appear on its registration, what is the vehicle actually like in person?
Going beyond the initial cool factor of seeing the brand-new SUV in the metal for the first time, I think this is genuinely something quite neat. Would I buy one? No, but that’s all to do with the fact that it wouldn’t fill a need in my life instead of my opinion on the vehicle itself. For a market with a clear king Ford has certainly brought an interesting contender to the table, and if anything the controversy over its name has only helped to make it a much more well-known vehicle than it perhaps otherwise would have been.
We might as well kick it off with the styling, and for the most part I actually like what Ford did here. Even if they hadn’t brought the name over, I think adapting cues from the Mustang design language actually worked out pretty well. It makes it distinctive as a Ford product, and especially from the rear makes it stand out even with the usual electric car shape.
Along with the iconic three-bar tail lights however, Ford also brought over the sequential turn signals to match – and this was probably my favourite detail of the entire vehicle (you can see them running in the YouTube video, linked further on in the post)! It’s worth noting that they do differ from the Mustang in that they start off fully illuminated and then sequentially shut off, surely to meet our silly North American turn signal regulations (fellow Doug Demuro viewers will surely have heard about this one before).
The front also came out quite well in my opinion, with the suggested outline of a grille being a massive improvement over certain Teslas and others that end up looking like a face without a nose. Fake grilles on gas-powered cars are silly, but electric cars need them to keep from looking odd.
All in, the only real change I’d make to the exterior would maybe be to ditch the little winglet door handles (seen in the video) for something like the Continental’s hoops.
As for the interior, it was quite attractive if perhaps a bit too simplified for my taste. The “Light Space Grey” seats and inserts made for a nice two-tone package overall and the subtle accent stitching really brought it up a level.
The dash was of course very elegantly designed, but this is where it was too simplified for me: I’m in the camp of preferring hard buttons for a lot of functions so that they’re always at hand, and so you can operate them based on feel while keeping your eyes on the road. This overall design certainly sets the Mach-E apart from the rest of Ford’s lineup and fits in with the field it’s going up against, but like with the exterior there’s still enough here to tell you who made it…
…an example being the inclusion of the signature double-hump dashboard design. For what it’s worth I think the way the instrument screen sits within it is nicely done too.
Finally, while we know the quoted performance figures (266hp/317lb-ft as shown, up to 346hp/428lb-ft available based on spec) for obvious reasons I have nothing that I can add in regards to driving it because none of us were able to even sit in it. As with the Bronco Sport and Bronco we’ll have to wait for the “real” vehicles to start being delivered before any of us can experience them on the move, but for the time being we’ve now had this first in-person walkaround of the Mach-E to tide us over and let us form our first impressions. Overall, it’s quite an interesting vehicle and I’m very keen to see how it resonates with customers. For all of the internet’s discussion, the real test will be of course how well it sells and what our customers think of them after actually living with them for a little while.
My final summary? If I were to buy a Mustang, I’d get a MUSTANG. But if I were in the market for a Tesla or similar, I’d have a very intriguing and much more unique alternative to consider…it would have to be Grabber Blue though.
Vehicle as shown:
-2021 Mach-E Premium, 300A package
-Carbonized Grey paint, Space Grey interior
-19″ wheels with 225/55R19 tires
-RWD with standard range battery (AWD and/or extended range also available on Premium models)
-Retail approximately $60,745 CAD