The Ford Mustang Mach-E is here, and you can read a full review here. But what do you REALLY, REALLY need to know about the Mustang Mach-E?
Well, I had a chance to drive this thing a week ago, posted a bunch of pictures of it on Facebook and Instagram, and I got a lot of keyboard warriors asking questions, so I can tell you exactly what they were asking.
I’ve boiled this down for you into Ten Things You Need To Know About the Mustang Mach-E, all expressed in the all-caps/half-caps/poorly spelled suburban Boston accents in which they were presented when I posted the pictures online.
The introduction of the Mustang Mach-E appears to be a carefully orchestrated attempt to twist the average Boomer’s boxer shorts into a tightly knotted wad over what Ford decided to name it.
And it’s more than just Boomers. It appears that everybody who is even slightly into cars has taken offense at the idea that Ford is calling this thing a Mustang.
SPOILER ALERT: NOBODY CARES.
About 96% of the 17 million Americans who buy new cars every year couldn’t give one hot dookie about the things that obsess a handful of “enthusiasts.” They’re looking for a reliable, comfortable, somewhat interesting vehicle that won’t make them physically ill every time they have to make a payment on it.
The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of car buyers in the United States wouldn’t even consider a product with the Ford script on it. They’ve been conditioned to buying Hondas and Toyotas for so long, they’re unconvinced that Ford can build something technologically advanced.
If a “Mustang” logo slapped all over it makes people look beyond the fact that they have to wander into a Ford showroom, so be it.
Imagine you’re a resident of Dorchester, Massachusetts, you’re a fan of Mark Wahlberg, and you want to get his attention across a busy Harvard Square.
“HEY, MACH-E MACH!”
That’s how you say it.
The Mustang Mach-E arrived in my driveway with a set of nicely detailed instructions which I obviously ignored and never read.
By the time the workday was over and I went out to take a look at it, it was dark and a light dusting of snow had covered the car.
I had the key in my pocket, and the car recognized I was there because all the lights came on, but I COULD NOT FIGURE OUT HOW TO OPEN THE $%&*ing door. Instead of a door handle, the Mustang Mach-E has a round button on the window frame, with a little handle-y protrusion you grab to open the door. I had to get my phone out and turn the flashlight on to figure it out the first time, but it was fine after that.
I could’ve also read the instructions. I did not.
You won’t find one. As we mentioned, Ford hopes you forget this is a Ford. And the Mustang logo that’s on it is different from the Mustang logos on an actual Mustang. When the GT version shows up, it’s going to light up in white, further enraging people whose uncle once had a six-cylinder Mustang in 1971.
The Mustang Mach-E -- like several other EVs on the road -- has a one-pedal driving feature. If you’ve ever driven a forklift or a golf cart, you’ll know what this is. With the one-pedal feature on, the gas pedal essentially acts like a rheostat, allowing you to not only speed up, but to slow down to a stop by just letting off the gas.
The brake pedals still work normally in a panic stop, but using the one-pedal feature, you can get about 90 percent of your driving in light traffic done without ever touching the brake.
That’s not why it’s there, exactly. What it does is make the most use of the Mustang Mach-E’s regenerative braking. But it’s a cool feature that you’ll find yourself getting used to pretty quickly.
If you can’t seem to get used to the absolute DELIGHT of driving a car that emits nothing more than a quiet hum as it accelerates from a stop, you can turn on a mode called “UNBRIDLED”. It offers the most aggressive acceleration, plus it allows the audio system to emit a V-8 inspired exhaust note.
Yes, that’s as stupid as it sounds, but if it gets one dummy to give up a polluting V-8 for a EV, it’s probably worth it.
The Mustang Mach-E has a substantial storage area under a steeply raked tailgate, plus seats that fold down to stow all your garbage.
But what’s going on up front, where a normal Mustang would have an engine? We yanked the handle where the hood release should be to find out.
Under that sizable hood is a tiny little storage area about the size of an Igloo cooler, where you can store things like a ham sandwich, a one-liter bottle of Moxie, a copy of TV Guide and perhaps an harmonica.
Between the front seats of the Mustang Mach-E is a touch screen approximately the size and brightness of the average Coke machine.
The crazy thing here is that the actual instrument panel is so small you can barely see it. This cookie-sheet sized panel, though, you can see from space.
On the one hand, I hate that all car manufacturers are in a sort of nuclear arms race to show who can make the biggest, most obnoxious infotainment screen. Pretty soon, you’re going to have a 47-inch widescreen TV on the dash.
On the other hand, there’s a lot to this car, and it’s integrated pretty well into the screen. I didn’t have one moment when I was parked beside the road, screaming at the screen to do something simple, like tune a radio station I like, or select the next podcast I was listening to, which is saying a lot. I do that in about 92% of the cars I drive now.
My son, however, was frustrated with the touchscreen controls for the heated seats, because every time he attempted to turn his down, I’d step on the accelerator so he’d miss the touch control.
I should remember this when I’m placed in an assisted living facility with a one-star Yelp rating.
As I mentioned, I drove the Mustang Mach-E in a few inches of fresh now. Not a major Nor’Easter, but three or four inches of the white stuff.
The Mach-E I drove was all-wheel drive, making it one of a very few all-wheel drive EVs available. It was great in the snow, though I would’ve preferred a better tire on it. The Mach-E is equipped with Michelin Primacy A/S tires. They get middling ratings in the snow and in the wet, but the all-wheel drive certainly helped.
Another note about tires: this one had the 19-inch hoops, which should give anyone a coronary when it’s time to replace them. List price is nearly a thousand dollars for four, before you pay for a mount and balance.
We heard this from a lot of people, who have been conditioned by Tesla that an electric vehicle should be absurdly expensive.
It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s not ridiculous, either. Fully equipped, our helpful Ford contact pointed out that this car was $56,200. That includes $400 for the Rapid Red paint, and another $5,000 for the extended range battery.
You’ll want the battery if you plan on driving it any distance. You can save the $400 on the paint and get it in Poop Brown or whatever.
That’s certainly not economy car money, but expensive compared to what? The average American will spend $40,000 on their next new car, and end up with something that’s not a hell of a lot more advanced than a Camry they could’ve bought in 1997.
This is a legitimately advanced car that will make you think differently about EVs. Every EV up to this point has been either a nerd-mobile (see: Honda Clarity) or some Hans Doofenschmirtz-type evil overlord’s part time hobby (see: Tesla).
This is an honestly fun, top-quality car from a real car company. You should really go try one out.