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An iconic name for Ford's exciting new electric car

Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV (20 on) - rated 0 out of 5
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At a glance

New price £40,350 - £58,080
Lease from new From £536 p/m View lease deals
Used price £32,655 - £49,160
Used monthly cost From £815 per month
Fuel Economy 3.2 - 3.8 miles/kWh
New

PROS

  • Claimed performance figures are sensational
  • Battery range potentially more than 300 miles
  • Ford's massive dealer and service network

CONS

  • Firm ride might not suit city dwellers
  • We're still waiting for it to go on sale

Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV rivals

Written by Richard Kilpatrick on

The Mustang Mach-E is hugely important for Ford as this is a new car set to enter the electric car market just as buyers really start to turn on to EVs. So, for its cutting-edge new SUV Ford has decided to lean on its extensive heritage.

It's not the first time – the firm has been busy resurrecting cherished model names on cars that, honestly, owe little to their previous generations. For Kuga (read Cougar), a low-slung, luxury coupe; for Puma, a low-slung, nimble Fiesta-sized sports car that's been reborn as a practical SUV. Now there's a new Mustang - the Mach-E. A five-door, five-seater fastback SUV with a sporty attitude.

The Ford Mustang, however, is still very much alive and kicking, with a 5.0-litre V8 option and some very extreme tuned versions available. It's a low-slung (do you see a theme here) large coupe or convertible, with old-school fun from rear-wheel drive handling and it has rock-solid credentials as an American icon.

We don't use that word often, or lightly; such is the consistency and focus of the Mustang's identity over 55 years, it deserves it.

Charging and gadgets: Mustang's on the pace

Although novel for Ford, a lot of the connected technology featured on the Mustang Mach-E is what we have come to expect from premium electric cars. Smartphone integration including the ability to use the smartphone as a key, 150kW charging capacity and advanced driver assistance are all available, ensuring the Mach E is competitive with key rivals.

Ford's partnership with Ionity yields a healthy number of FordPass connected chargers, Home charging will benefit from dedicated Ford Connected wallboxes, but there's a domestic power cable included as well - giving nine miles per hour of charging, versus 38 minutes for an 80% charge (around 250 miles) on a DC fast charger.

It also comes equipped with a new feature to help more accurately predict how much range drivers have left, becoming more precise over time. Ford says that the Mustang Mach-E’s cloud-based online Intelligent Range system can accurately estimate how much range the all-electric SUV has left, helping reduce anxiety about when and where customers can recharge.

Mustang Mach-E delivers on performance

Yes, it's a practical family SUV offering 1,420 litres of boot space with the seats down - and 402 with them up, plus a handy front boot with a drainage system so you can hose out muddy boots and sandy beach gear (if it fits in the 100-litre space). It's got the kind of performance original Mustang buyers could only dream about, however.

Thanks to that all-electric powertrain, it has up to 337hp and 565Nm on tap, and it's rear-wheel drive as standard; yet Ford's also targeting a 370 mile range from the largest 98.8kWh battery. A high performance model, the Mach-E GT, aims to reach 62mph in less than five seconds and deliver 465hp and an immense 830Nm - enough to shame some fierce 4x4s (including the Ranger Raptor) and the occasional supercar.

Style: core to the Mustang's identity

Even though the Mach-E is a thoroughly practical electric car, Ford hasn't neglected design, and claims to have retained strong links to the Mustang's core identity. Taut, muscular flanks with distinct rear haunches and a series of power bulges on the bonnet retain some instantly-recognisable cues from current Mustang coupes, without sacrificing modern aerodynamic efficiency.

The unusual door handles are particularly distinctive - they're electric buttons that 'pop' the door open, with a small handle on the front doors because buyers felt uncomfortable putting their fingers in the gap to pull it wider.

Clever optics mask the height needed to provide that capacious boot and ample rear seat space, literally drawing a fastback coupe profile onto a five-door shape.Two-tone finishes may be vital for this to work effectively, and on the road most people will probably miss the true shape of the rear roof and window.

What you can't miss is the updated rendition of those unmistakable three-bar lights - a genuinely attractive piece of design regardless of heritage. Big on the outside means big on the inside, of course - and Ford has blended the futuristic vision of electric cars with some key elements of Mustang DNA to create an airy, but still sporty interior.

The Mustang's traditional dual-cowl dashboard is reduced to the barest of lines, allowing the large 15.5-inch touchscreen of Ford's latest Sync infotainment to dominate the cabin, including the discrete, sound-bar like installation of B&O audio above the airvents.

Sync's upgrades include cloud-based driver assistance, such as learning routines and routes, mapping out the best chargepoints for you and Car-to-X communication for smart traffic updates. Simplifying the interface, there's a conversational voice recognition system made possible by more than doubling the processing power.

An optional full-length panoramic glass roof makes the most of the minimalist dashboard and spacious rear seats, while providing improved solar insulation and sound suppression than previous tech.

First ride review

Our first experience of the Mustang Mach-E isn’t exactly an extensive one. We pick up the action in an underground car park near Marble Arch, where Ford’s latest baby silently pulls up to greet us.

This is a pre-production model wearing a vinyl wrap instead of its final paint finish, but it’s not camouflaged, per se, so we’re able to see the body and its styling in a reasonable level of detail. In the flesh, the Mach-E doesn’t appear to be as upright and boxy as rival electric SUVs such as the Tesla Model X or Audi E-Tron. That will of course affect practicality, but it bodes well for the car’s sporting credentials – embodied in the use of the ‘Mustang’ name, which has exclusively been applied to muscle cars since its inception.

When building an electric car, manufacturers love doing something high-tech with the car’s extremities – just look at the Audi E-Tron’s ‘virtual’ door mirrors. The Mustang Mach-E has conventional mirrors but has done away with door handles – instead, you get in by pressing a small button and allowing the door to ‘pop’ before pulling it open.

These don’t have quite the same ‘wow’ factor as the Tesla Model X’s ‘falcon-wing’ attachments, but they’re rather more practical – and a lot quicker. With regards to practicality, the Mustang Mach-E offers a surprising amount of passenger room in both front and rear seats – easily on a par with an Audi E-Tron or Mercedes-Benz EQC. That’s helped by the construction of the battery pack – it sits flat underneath the car, providing a totally unobstructed floor for passengers to slide their feet around.

Our driver’s quick to tell us that the materials used in the interior aren’t representative of the production car, but the layout is. It uses a portrait-oriented central touchscreen measuring a colossal 15.5 inches to display most information such as navigation, entertainment and other secondary functions. However, unlike the latest Teslas, which also use the central display for driving data, the Mach-E has a narrow, high-resolution display behind the steering wheel for speed, remaining range and alerts.

A brief squirt of acceleration from our test driver shows that the power and instant pick-up provided by the electric drivetrain are alive and kicking – there’s more performance on tap here than anyone will realistically need, and though it probably won’t outpace a Tesla at the traffic lights you’ll leave most conventional traffic in your (silent) wake.

The car’s ride is undeniably on the firm side – it’s not as rough as a full ST-branded Ford, but central London’s potholes do unsettle it more than they would a Mercedes-Benz EQC. That should pay dividends when it comes to handling, though – and the body control exhibited through our short run is impressive.

It's of course too early to tell anything meaningful about the Mustang Mach-E's on-road credentials from such a short ride, but the process - and a further poke around a more 'finished' model later in the day - leave us cautiously optimistic about the car's future.

Check out our verdict page to see if we think the Ford Mustang Mach-E is worth waiting for

Ford Mustang Mach-E (2020) rear view

Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV rivals