2021 Ford Mach‑E First Observations

January 7, 2021

Ford Mustang Mach‑E First Observations

By: Rob Bowers

On Decem­ber 15th, I vis­it­ed the Phil Long Ford loca­tion in Motor City, Col­orado Springs with an appoint­ment to expe­ri­ence the upcom­ing Mach‑E. While wait­ing for my turn, I spent about 20 min­utes chew­ing the fat with for­mer Bron­cos play­er Randy Gradishar and rem­i­nisced about some com­mon acquaintances.

I was greet­ed by a Ford Mar­ket­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive from Michi­gan who pro­ceed­ed to intro­duce me to an “Infi­nite Blue” (stock pic­ture above) Pre­mi­um mod­el in the show­room. I was very open about com­par­isons between Ford and Chevy fea­tures, includ­ing the 360-degree view (both Bolt and Mach‑e share this fea­ture), Rearview cam­era (Bolt only), and com­fort (Mach‑e is sig­nif­i­cant­ly more com­fort­able with ample soft-touch surfaces).

Sit­ting in the back seat, I felt the head­room was ade­quate for a 6‑foot guy, but it had a bit less legroom than the Bolt. The roofline is black, with a panoram­ic glass roof extend­ing the full pas­sen­ger area of the cab­in, but side pil­lar fea­tures fol­low a fast­back style much like ear­li­er Mus­tangs. The result is clear­ly a sporty look­ing design, with inte­ri­or space some­what sim­i­lar to a CUV. I would call it a com­pro­mise, not nec­es­sar­i­ly a neg­a­tive. There is no inter­nal cov­er for the panoram­ic roof. This may be dis­tract­ing to some dri­vers on sun­ny days, though the dou­ble thick­ness and tint­ing may some­what com­pen­sate for the excess light enter­ing the cab­in dur­ing day­light hours.

The car is equipped with an unlock but­ton on all four pas­sen­ger doors, sim­i­lar to a pow­er but­ton on a PC. The key fob seems use­less, though I sus­pect the pres­ence of the Fob and/or a paired phone with the Ford­Pass app are nec­es­sary for the unlock but­tons to acti­vate. When pressed, the door opens about 3 inch­es. A U‑shaped grip is out­fit­ted on the front doors which can be used to open the door ful­ly, but for the rear doors, a rub­ber grip on the inside is used instead. This scheme no doubt allows for an aero­dy­nam­ic ben­e­fit. I can’t help but won­der why the rear door method wasn’t used for the front as the han­dle seems a bit unnecessary.

While in the ini­tial open state, the door can­not be closed with­out first open­ing the door ful­ly, thus pro­tect­ing fin­gers from inad­ver­tent­ly being slammed in the door. A nice touch, kind of unique. I can’t help but won­der if ice build up might com­pro­mise the door but­ton func­tion­al­i­ty, how­ev­er the accom­pa­ny­ing smart­phone app enables remote door lock and unlock as well as remote win­dow control.

The Ford­Pass app allows for an exten­sive list of remote fea­tures includ­ing lock, unlock, win­dows, charg­ing set­tings, remote start, rout­ing, and oth­er vehi­cle settings.

Ford has part­nered with Elec­tri­fy Amer­i­ca and pro­vides 250 kWh of com­pli­men­ta­ry EA Quick Charg­ing. Plug & Charge is ful­ly sup­port­ed on net­works that have imple­ment­ed this feature.

The rear hatch can be opened by wav­ing your foot under a sen­sor, pro­vid­ed your paired phone or key fob is with­in range. The rear car­go area is a decent size, with a con­ve­nient two-lev­el deck. At the high lev­el, with back seats fold­ed for­ward, the car­go space is quite gen­er­ous and pro­vides a flat sur­face. With the deck in the low­er posi­tion, an addi­tion­al 3” of depth are pos­si­ble. Under­neath the deck is a cutout where the 120V240V mobile charge cord is stored, as well as a tire infla­tor kit which appar­ent­ly comes standard.

Under the hood is a large car­go trunk, out­fit­ted with a divider which attach­es with a few screws. Con­vert­ing from a com­part­men­tal­ized trunk to a large space would require tools, but not too dif­fi­cult. It seals when the hood is closed and could con­ceiv­ably be used as a large ice chest for a tail­gate party.

In the driver’s seat, the seats are a faux leather mate­r­i­al, which hold true for all trim lev­els, with col­or options vary­ing by trim. The seats are quite com­fort­able with com­mon elec­tron­ic con­trols. Con­fig­urable dri­ver pro­files will remem­ber mir­ror and seat set­tings when the smart­phone con­nects to the info­tain­ment sys­tem. Oth­er pro­file con­trols can be con­fig­ured through the phone app and Info­tain­ment screen, includ­ing cli­mate con­trols. An online video sug­gests that the range esti­mate on the small Dri­ver Info Cen­ter screen (DIC) will adapt to the dri­ver pro­file that is active at the time. So, in a two-dri­ver house­hold, the lead foot will see a low­er range esti­mate than the feath­er foot. 

A high-end B&O sound sys­tem option equips the entire front edge of the dash­board with a con­tin­u­ous mesh speak­er cov­er­ing. I sus­pect this will be a bit of a chal­lenge for auto detail­ers to keep clean. The upper dash is hard touch, but most­ly out of reach to the pas­sen­gers. The low­er por­tions of the dash fac­ing the pas­sen­gers uses a soft touch mate­r­i­al. The mas­sive 15.5” por­trait-ori­ent­ed info­tain­ment touch­screen con­tains a vari­ety of soft­ware set­tings and alter­nate views. The low­er por­tion of the screen has a ded­i­cat­ed bar with cli­mate con­trol but­tons that per­sist what­ev­er upper screen views the dri­ver selects. There is a large vol­ume dial in the low­er cen­ter of the screen that almost seems out of place.

In front of the dri­ver are two more small screens. One is attached to the dash and con­tains speed and range data. Pre­sum­ably, the dis­play can be changed through steer­ing wheel con­trols, but I did not explore this. This may be an attempt to appease dri­vers who dis­like Tesla’s lack of dri­ver ded­i­cat­ed dis­plays, giv­ing a more tra­di­tion­al feel to the dri­ver. Oth­er dri­ver con­trols such as pow­er but­ton, wipers, and on wheel phone, cruise and enter­tain­ment con­trols retain the tra­di­tion­al feel dri­vers are accus­tomed to.

The sec­ond, rather incon­spic­u­ous screen is fixed to the steer­ing col­umn and is appar­ent­ly fit­ted with cam­eras for the yet to be released ADAS sys­tem. Online videos sug­gest these will be used to detect whether the dri­ver is look­ing for­ward, a pre-req­ui­site to dri­ver assist functionality.

Wire­less charg­ing and wire­less Android Auto or Car Play are stan­dard fea­tures. The charg­ing mat is on the dri­ver side of the con­sole, towards the front of the cen­ter con­sole. The dri­ve selec­tor dial sits in the mid­dle of the cen­ter con­sole and there is a decent amount of stor­age in the console.

There are three dri­ve modes: Whis­per, Engage and Unbri­dled. These adjust regen and ped­dle sen­si­tiv­i­ty. In keep­ing with the Mus­tang breed, Unbri­dled is a per­for­mance set­ting with increased respon­sive­ness and arti­fi­cial sounds to give the illu­sion of being in a “Mus­cle Car”.

The bat­tery options are a 68kWh and 88kWh usable capac­i­ty. The actu­al capac­i­ty is rough­ly 72 and 95kWh. Ford reserves a por­tion of the capac­i­ty to pre­serve pack health.

Range will vary depend­ing on mod­el and dri­ve options with a rear-wheel or all-wheel dri­ve option impact­ing range. EPA esti­mates for the stan­dard range (68 kWh) con­fig­u­ra­tion across all trims:

  • 211 (AWD)
  • 230 (RWD)

The Extend­ed Range (88kWh) option will pro­vide EPA val­i­dat­ed ranges of 235 – 300 miles depend­ing on model.

  • 300 miles for the Pre­mi­um and Cal­i­for­nia Route 1 RWD trims.
  • 270 miles for the AWD Pre­mi­um and First Edition.
  • 250 miles for the GT AWD trim.
  • 230 miles for the GT AWD Per­for­mance Edition. 

DC Charg­ing is up to 115 kW (Select trim) or 150 kW (all oth­er trims). Reports are the charg­ing curve is rel­a­tive­ly flat up to 80% and remains some­what high for the remain­der. Over­all, this should make for a good road trip EV, par­tic­u­lar­ly when the ADAS fea­tures are unlocked.

Over­all, this car retains many of the unique Mus­tang breed char­ac­ter­is­tics. While some tra­di­tion­al­ists may take excep­tion to an SUV styled Mus­tang, the sig­na­ture ver­ti­cal rear light bars and famil­iar Pony emblems are present, albeit with mod­ern sequen­tial motions more com­mon with cur­rent vehi­cles in the market.

Pric­ing starts at $43,000 for the Select, $47,000 for the Pre­mi­um, $50,000 for the Route 1, and $61,000 for the GT. Obvi­ous­ly, options will dri­ve prices high­er, but the Mus­tangs will qual­i­fy for the $7,500 Fed­er­al, and $2,500 CO tax incen­tives, mak­ing the net prices rough­ly $31,500 to $49,500. All of the mod­els are avail­able now with the excep­tion of the GTs which will arrive mid-year 2021. 

Recent Posts

Take the pledge to make your next car electric!