Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
  • Four versions to choose from
  • Standard and extended battery
  • Rear- or all-wheel drive too

The Ford Mustang Mach-E was launched with four power options made up from a combination of rear- or all-wheel drive, and standard or extended range.

Mixing and matching these characteristics yields a variety of results – all-wheel drive cars have two motors and therefore more power, but less range than the single-motor rear-wheel drive models.

Version
Power and torque
0-62mph time
Range
Standard, RWD
269hp, 430Nm
6.9secs
273-miles
Standard, AWD
269hp, 580Nm
6.3secs
248-miles
Extended, RWD
294hp, 430Nm
7.0secs
379-miles
Extended, AWD
351hp, 580Nm
5.8secs
335-miles

 

Even so, the smallest range (AWD and standard 68kWh battery) is a useful 248 miles, while the longest journey on a full tank comes from the extended 88kWh battery paired with rear-wheel drive.

This also happens to be our favourite car in the line-up – more than powerful enough for most everyday applications with exciting rear-wheel drive dynamics (more on this below) and a highly flexible capacity for longer drives.

Three drive modes tailor the power delivery, named Whisper, Active and Untamed. The first is understandably the most relaxed, with a laid-back throttle response and no augmented driving noise. It’s great for a long drive or when you’ve got passengers, but there’s almost no regenerative braking effect when you release the gas, which takes a bit of getting used to.

That gets ramped up a bit in Active mode, which mimics the engine braking effect of a petrol or diesel engine when you’re off the throttle, and feels more responsive when you’re on it. There’s also a bit more of the synthetic engine soundtrack to listen to as well. This is the best all-round setting.

Finally Untamed mode is the sportiest, with much a sharper reaction when you press or release the gas, and a very noticeable step-up in engine sound being piped into the car’s speakers.

In addition to these modes, you can separately turn the engine noise on or off, and enable one-pedal driving. This is the strongest regenerative setting and will slow the car down to a stop when you take your foot off the throttle.

Handling

  • Not entirely Mustang-like
  • Rear-wheel drive the purest model
  • More fun and involving than rivals

It’s probably best to deal with the elephant in the room first here – the Mach-E is good fun to drive but it’s not exactly like a traditional petrol Mustang.

That news was probably obvious to you anyway given that we’re talking about a high-riding SUV with quite a lot of its two tonnes slung low between the axles, rather than a ground-skimming coupe with a heavy V8 under the bonnet and not much over the rear wheels.

Still, to reiterate that first point this is a fun electric car, and those are not exactly in abundance right now, save for the Jaguar I-Pace or Porsche Taycan. You’ll enjoy your time behind the wheel more than in an Audi E-Tron or Mercedes-Benz EQA, that’s for sure.

The rear-wheel drive models are arguably the best placed to carry the Mustang badge and while not quite so keen to light up the back wheels on a roundabout or do a big burnout at the traffic lights, you can feel the rear of the car pushing wide while cornering fast, even if it means trying quite a bit harder than in the petrol model.

That attitude is unlikely to be a huge selling-point for buyers of this car though – given its five seats and large boot, it will surely draw an audience looking for a practical but fun daily driver. Not one that can perform rolling burnouts and doughnuts. Here the all-wheel drive models offer more security and less flamboyance.

Still, we like the way the rear-drive car runs out of traction at the rear first, so the front wheels usually go where you point them. There’s very little fun-sapping understeer in the Mach-E (where you turn the steering wheel and it carries on straight) and a satisfying sensation of the car’s back end pushing you through the corner, rather than the front dragging you around.

Even driven at modest pace the Mach-E feels balanced and poised – its firm-riding suspension coming into its own by holding the car up in corners rather than leaning over and good all-round grip levels that will leave a smile on your face.

But while we’re full of praise for the chassis, it’s fair to say the steering takes some getting used to, and that’s an odd thing to say about a Ford. It’s certainly accurate enough but feels very numb with the wheel in the straight-ahead position, before suddenly speeding up as you rotate it.

This means you might find yourself turning into corners more than you expected at first. If you’ve driven a Ford Fiesta or Focus ST this learning curve will be shallower, as it’s broadly similar to those cars.