First Drive: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Is a Thrilling New Breed

Ford’s first purpose-built electric vehicle impresses drivers and onlookers

A red 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E driving

The Mustang Mach-E is Ford’s first electric vehicle designed to be an EV from the outset, rather than spun off from an existing model. It wears the Mustang name and adapts a few styling cues from the iconic muscle car, but this is really an all-new animal.

For starters, it’s an SUV with room for five rather than a low-slung coupe. Based on our initial experience and the enthusiastic reactions from onlookers, we think Ford’s heritage-inspired approach to this expanding EV segment might pay off.

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Ford first dipped its toes into the EV world in 2011 with the Focus Electric, a conversion of its compact hatchback. Now the Blue Oval re-enters the EV arena with a much more credible model that has a robust range and high-tech galore all wrapped up in a popular SUV-ish body style.

Adorned with one of Ford’s most valuable possessions, the Mustang sub-brand, the cool factor is built-in. These opening credentials should help the Mach-E battle the Tesla Model Y and a host of other upcoming EVs priced between $40,000 and $60,000. Needless to say, we have an order for our very own Mach-E, but until we get ours, we rented one from Ford to get some initial impressions.

The Mach-E comes either as a rear- or all-wheel drive and with a choice between two battery sizes, a standard 68 kWh or an optional 88 kWh. The EPA rates the standard range at 230 miles and the extended range at 300 miles for rear-drive versions. Our example, an extended range, premium AWD is rated at 270 miles; AWD versions have slightly less range than their RWD counterparts. Charge times from empty on a 240-volt connector are about 10.5 hours, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

If you’re a Consumer Reports member, our initial assessment of the Mustang Mach-E is available to you here. We will buy our own Mach-E soon for a road test.

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What we rented: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD
Powertrain: 346 hp combined from two electric motors; 1-speed direct drive; all-wheel drive; 88 kWh battery
MSRP: $49,700
Options: 88 kWh extended range battery $5,000, Rapid Red metallic paint $400.
Destination: $1,100
Total cost: $56,200 (before $7,500 federal tax credit)

2021 Ford Mustang Mach E rear view
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