The Mustang Mach-E Takes the Blue Ribbon
The world of all-electric cars is changing rapidly. Last year, we announced our pick of best family EV and the winner was Volkswagen’s excellent ID.4. The sensible SUV for the masses ticked all the boxes and is still in our top five best crossover EVs. But the number of all-new electric vehicles keep coming, and for 2022, our pick of the best Family EV goes to the amazing Ford Mustang Mach-E.
The galloping stallion nameplate is the stuff of legends, right up there with its rivals the Chevy Camaro and Porsche 911. But the Mustang Mach-E is no steel thoroughbred of days past. The sports car namesake is now a four-door, all-electric crossover SUV with a 68- or 88-kilowatt hour battery pack as well as a single or double electric motor layout. Depending on the trim level you choose, the new Mustang comes with 266 or up to 480 horsepower.
Those five trim levels run the gamut from the entry level Select and California Route 1 with its bigger battery and an EPA-estimated 300-mile range, to the Premium that adds more features and horsepower, all the way up to the GT and GT Performance variants known for their blistering speed. Base level MSRP starts at $43,895, dropping by $7,500 thanks to the federal tax credit for electric vehicles.
Inside the Mustang Mach E
Styling on the Mach-E is impressive. This is one smart-looking SUV with more than a nod to Mustang styling of the past. The tri-bar lights have been a Mustang signature since 1964. But that’s where the comparison ends. Though it’s odd to see a Mustang without a front grill, we found the electric pop-out door handles a nice touch. The body lines are as sleek and clean as you can possibly make a crossover and it feels more like a coupe.
In fact, the Mach-E is a hatchback with 29 cubic feet of storage space in the back that grows to 59 cubic feet with the rear seats stowed away. There is also underfloor storage for the onboard tire air compressor and charge cord.
When you pop the hood to take a look at the engine… there isn’t any. That’s because the electric motor (or two electric motors in the Premium trim), suspension, and battery pack sits under the car. Like many purpose-built EVs today, it looks a bit like a big skateboard that you can just plop a vehicle body on top of. That means under the hood, you’ll just find ample storage space in what is officially known as the “frunk.”
Press the door release button and driver’s door pops open to reveal a high-styled cabin. It is crisp and clean with very few knobs or buttons to see. That’s because the main focus is on a massive 15-5-inch touchscreen that handles everything from the heated seats, heated steering wheel, and climate control, to the long list of advanced driver assist wonders that come close to autonomous driving.
Safety Features, Technology and Customization
Available safety features include forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist and more.
The vertical touchscreen also takes you to Ford’s next-generation Sync 4 infotainment system that customizes each driver’s experience to suit their needs and desires. Ford uses over-the-air updates to constantly improve the system. It includes GPS navigation including where the closest charging stations are located, surround view cameras, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, and an excellent Bang & Olufsen audio system.
Speaking of sound, the screen also takes you to a long list of ways to customize your driving experience including various driving modes. One of these is called “Unbridled” mode which amps up the performance of the car and also produces a fake yet convincing engine sound that you might associate with a V8 Mustang. Don’t worry, it can be turned off if you don’t like it. There is also ‘one pedal’ mode that gives you the most from the regenerative braking system. Just take your foot off the accelerator in this mode and the car will slow to a stop.
Out on the road, the Mach-E is extremely quiet. There is very little tire noise or wind roar. You’ll find plenty of room for a tall driver and four tall passengers, even in the back seat, where the floor is flat to give you more room to move around. All this and more makes this reborn ‘Stang a truly great family car.
Different Trims and Upgrades
We prefer the Premium trim variant as it includes a number of noteworthy upgrades including fast-charging capability, a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate and more. The Premium package is rated at an EPA-estimated 305 miles of range with the extended battery pack and rear-wheel drive. We suggest the all-wheel drive version with a motor at each axle for improved performance, though the range is reduced to 270 miles. And that performance is daunting. We’re talking about a zero to 60 miles per hour time of just 4.8 seconds from a dead stop. Need more speed? In GT Performance trim, the Mach-E is capable of rocketing you to 60 mph in a breath-stealing 3.8 seconds!
In sweeping curves, the Mach-E stays nicely planted and you get the feeling that Ford’s technicians definitely wanted to retain some of the Mustang’s legendary sportiness in the way it feels to drive. The steering is agile, and the suspension is precise. The Premium version feels more like a crisp-driving crossover with a nod to Mustangs of yesteryear. And since most EV owners charge up their cars overnight, it’s like having a full tank every day.
The Mach-E is an excellent crossover and is currently outselling its gasoline-powered Mustang cousins. It also took Car & Driver’s first-ever Best EV award. For all these reasons and more, the Mach-E is GreenCars pick for Best Family EV of the year. The Mustang Mach-e carries a starting MSRP at $43,895 and qualifies for a Federal Tax credit of $7,500.
Coming in a close second for Best Family EV of 2022, we find the all-new for 2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5. It is the first in an entire line of Ioniq EVs to come and this one parallels the Mach-E in many ways. They are both compact crossovers with advanced technology, cool styling, and roomy interiors. They offer similar range, the Ioniq 5 boasts a 303-mile range before it needs a charge up, and also has impressive charging speeds (up to 350 kW). The price is comparable to the Mustang, debuting with a starting MSRP of $43,650.
Like the Mach-E, the Ioniq 5 will be available in a number of configurations including single motor or dual motor for rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, making 168 or 320 horsepower, respectively. But the Ioniq is much slower than the Mustang from zero to 60. The hottest AWD version manages a time of 5.2 seconds. Plus, the ‘Stang is superior to the Ioniq in build quality, suspension, and steering, edging out the Hyundai this year.