What you've heard is true. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is unlike any Mustang ever before: it has a roomy back seat.
Oh, wait, there are other differences, too. Unlike the four-seat, gas-powered Mustang two-door coupe we know and love, Mustang Mach-E is a five-passenger, four-door crossover SUV powered by electricity.
Huh? It's electric? It's an SUV? And it's a Mustang?!!
Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Dearborn anymore.
But wait! Closely examined, Mach-E does show hints of the Mustang mystique. With its galloping-pony badging, muscular fenders and tri-section taillights, it somewhat captures the Mustang conceit.
It also boasts Mustang-like acceleration. Offered in Select, Premium, California Route 1 and GT trims (the First Edition version already is sold out), this shapely electric crossover, in its slowest iteration, will sprint from zero-to-60 in the mid-6's; the quickest -- the GT with the optional Performance Edition package -- will make the same trip in the mid 3's. Shocking.
Available with rear- or all-wheel drive and with standard- or extended-range drivetrains, every 2021 Mach-E is motivated by an electric motor (or two, if AWD) and a lithium-ion battery pack located under the floor between the axles for better vehicle balance and weight distribution.
In standard-range models, the battery is a 68-kWh affair; in extended-range models, that grows to an 88-kWh pack.
Regarding charging protocols, Ford offers an at-home Ford Connected Charging station that can add up to 32 miles of range each hour at a 240v outlet. Owners also can use what Ford calls "built-in charging solutions that route customers to nearby public charging stations, recommending where to charge on trips, and providing access to over 13,500 public charge stations in the FordPass charging network."
Depending on model, Mustang Mach-E can go from a 10-percent to 80-percent charge in as little as 38 minutes. (But -- an inherent problem with electric vehicles -- who the heck wants to spend over half an hour at the "gas" station and then leave with the "tank" 20-percent empty. Harrumph!)
We drove a Premium AWD Mach-E. When we started our electric sojourn, the battery pack boasted a 100-percent charge and, according to the gauge display, a range of 266 miles. After 130 miles of mixed city/hwy motoring, our Premium AWD Mach-E retained 45 percent of its battery charge and 88 miles of remaining range.
With its Whisper, Engage and Unbridled drive modes (English translation: Eco, Normal, Sport), this guy feels not at all like a Mustang -- other than it's fast. With gobs of electric torque fully on board immediately, we greeted 60 mph in our Premium AWD in less than 5 seconds.
Otherwise, forget the firm, loud and visceral experience of traditional Mustangs. Mach-E is smooth, quiet and cosseting. It's also roomy, with comfortable front buckets, an astonishingly spacious back seat and nearly 60 cubic-feet of seats-folded cargo room -- nearly 65 if you count the 4.7 cubes under the hood, where no engine resides.
Needless to say, all the modern connectivity talent is here, including Ford's next-generation SYNC4A infotainment. We found its huge, 15.5-inch vertical screen nifty, but interaction complicated.
The handsome, handy and nicely performing Mach-E is a major step toward electric cars being real-world functional. However, we continue to offer four suggestions to buyers of any electric car: 1.) EV motoring isn't free; at an estimated $0.11 per residential kWh, it'll cost about $7.48 each time you charge a standard-range Mach-E from depletion to a full, about $9.68 for extended-range; 2.) at a minimum, install a 240-volt outlet at home; 3.) there are said to be 67 public charging stations within 30 miles of St. Louis: note them; and, 4.) you'll still want a "normal" car for that 250-mile day-trip to Columbia, Mo., and back.