2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E Review: Breaking New Ground
Just as the original Mustang indelibly marked automotive history, so too does the electric Mustang Mach-E.
Though it is not Ford’s first electric vehicle (EV), the Mustang Mach-E nevertheless represents a groundbreaking accomplishment.
Positioned as a 5-passenger crossover SUV, the new Ford Mustang Mach-E marries a modern EV skateboard platform with a choice between two battery sizes and a single or dual electric motor drive. It is made for driving on pavement, not off-road, and can easily serve a family of four people.
Nothing about that description is notable. Essentially, it is the same recipe other automakers are using to create Mustang Mach-E competitors of their own. However, Ford is leveraging the Mustang brand’s legacy in the Mach-E’s design and performance, giving EV buyers a clear reason to consider this model over rivals such as the Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6,
However, while it wears Mustang badges and design cues, the Mach-E is clearly something entirely different from the coupes and convertibles that share its name. Not only that, but the interior is also dressed more like a Lincoln than a Ford, demonstrating a sophisticated approach to color, materials, and detailing.
Intrigued? Then you’ll want to know that the trim level roster includes the Select, Premium, California Route 1, and GT. Base prices range from the mid-$40,000s to just over $60,000, but the Mustang Mach-E is eligible for a $7,500 federal income tax credit that you can claim as long as you owe that much or more on your taxes. Additionally, some states and local governments offer additional incentives to purchase an EV, so your actual cost could be almost $10,000 less.
For this review, Ford provided a 2022 Mustang Mach-E Premium with an extended-range battery and dual electric motors to create an electronic all-wheel-drive system. Extra-cost paint and an Interior Protection option package brought the total cost to $57,635, including an $1,100 destination charge to ship the EV from Ford’s Cuautitlan, Mexico factory, to the U.S.
Exudes Style, Inside and Out
Approach the Mustang Mach-E from the rear, and you’ll spot its most obvious and direct design connection to the coupe and convertible. Triple-lens taillights with sequential turn signals, a black panel separating them with a galloping horse emblem mounted to it, and a steeply angled rear window. Otherwise, though you can spot hints of Mustangs both past and present, the Mach-E is unlike any pony car to come before it.
Use the electronic door release button to enter the EV, and the Mustang Mach-E presents an original interior design save for the faint dual-cowl dashboard top. Two rectangular display screens dominate the cabin. One is narrow and horizontally oriented to share instrumentation, and the other is wide and vertically oriented to serve as the access point for nearly all of the car’s controls.
Generally speaking, the user experience is intuitive if you’ve got plenty of experience using smartphones and tablet computers. Thankfully, most functions are available within a stab or two of the screen’s menus instead of buried in layers of sub-menus, making them easier to find and access.
Ford uses perforated ActiveX upholstery in the Mustang Mach-E Premium, soft, simulated leather that looks and feels like the real thing. The light-gray color choice offers welcome contrast in the otherwise black interior, and the automaker’s stylists make creative use of fabric panels, carbon-textured plastic, and ambient lighting to give the cabin an upscale look and feel. The dark-tinted panoramic glass roof lacks a shade, but one proved unnecessary even during a Southern California heat wave.
Both of the test vehicle’s front seats offered power adjustment, including for height. They were plushly padded and lacking in terms of side bolsters, but supportive over longer driving distances. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel made the test vehicle ready for chilly weather.
Adults can comfortably ride in the Mustang Mach-E’s back seat. The bottom cushion is raised and provides good leg support, and soft front seat-back material protects the knees and shins of taller passengers. Air vents help occupants to keep their cool, too.
Storage space is commendable in the front portion of the cabin, and the Mach-E’s cargo area measures 29.7 cubic feet behind the 60/40-split folding back seat and 59.7 cubic feet with it folded down. Additionally, a front trunk, or frunk, offers an extra 4.7 cubic feet of volume underneath the SUV’s hood.
A Showcase of Ford Technology
As you might expect, Ford offers all of its latest and greatest technology in the 2022 Mustang Mach-E, and most of it is standard on every model.
The 15.5-inch touchscreen infotainment display uses Ford’s Sync 4A software that benefits from continual improvement via over-the-air updates. Highlights include wireless smartphone mirroring, wireless smartphone charging, satellite radio, FordPass Connect services including Wi-Fi access, voice recognition technology, and a navigation system. In addition, digital key technology transforms your smartphone into a key that unlocks and starts the vehicle, and an excellent 10-speaker premium sound system is an option.
Overall, the technology is accessible to anyone familiar with a modern smartphone or tablet computer. However, the voice recognition system isn’t as robust as what you might find in other vehicles in this price class, which is a shame considering how Ford puts darn near every control into Sync 4A. Still, for primary functions like finding your favorite coffee shop, adjusting the temperature, and requesting a specific radio station, it works fine.
Ford offers three Drive Experiences in the Mach-E. They alter the appearance of the 10.2-inch digital instrumentation, modify the manufactured sounds the EV makes while you’re driving, and adjust how the Mach-E responds to driver inputs. “Whisper” creates a silent, calming, frictionless driving experience. “Engage” is the equivalent of a “normal” setting. “Unbridled” adds some excitement in the form of bolder graphics, a more athletic driving sensation, and a synthetic note with hints of a V8 engine’s rumble.
Every Mustang Mach-E has Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 and Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0. These are collections of advanced driving assistance and collision avoidance systems (ADAS), and together they include the usual suspects, as well as unusual features like Intersection Assist and Evasive Steering Assist.
Intersection Assist can determine whether the driver is attempting an unsafe left turn across approaching traffic and automatically brake the Mustang Mach-E if necessary. Evasive Steering Assist adds stability to the vehicle when the driver takes sudden evasive steering action to avoid an obstacle in the road.
Ford also offers Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 on the Mustang Mach-E. It is optional on the Select and GT, and standard on the California Route 1 and Premium trim levels. It includes Active Park Assist 2.0, an autonomous self-parking technology, and Ford BlueCruise. If your Mach-E has this package, Ford will activate BlueCruise through a software update when the hands-free driving technology is ready.
The Mustang Mach-E’s adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assistance technology worked well, if not transparently to the driver. From behind the steering wheel, you’re regularly aware of the added steering input. It’s not persistently irritating, but occasionally comes close.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has performed crash tests on the Mach-E and calls it a “Top Safety Pick.” However, it misses the highest overall rating due to an unfavorable score for the headlights on the Select and California Route 1 trim levels.
Pleasing to Drive, If Imperfect at Times
When ordering a new Mustang Mach-E, your battery and electric drive choices are dependent on the trim level you’ve chosen. For example, the Select trim comes only with the standard-range battery, while the California Route 1 trim is available only with the extended-range battery. Only the GT offers a performance electric drive system.
If you seek the broadest selection of battery packs and electric motors, the Premium trim is the one to choose. It offers both standard-range and extended-range batteries, each paired with a rear-mounted electric motor or dual front and rear electric motors that create an electronic all-wheel-drive system.
Our test vehicle had the extended-range eAWD setup. According to Ford, it supplies 91 kWh of battery power, 346 horsepower, 428 pound-feet of torque, and 270 miles of estimated range. Ford claims this version of the SUV requires just 4.8 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph, and it sure feels like that’s accurate.
Unfortunately, we never saw an indicated driving range higher than 243 miles on a full battery charge, but that likely has more to do with how the Mach-E was driven by others who test-drove the SUV before us than anything else. The reality is that you can program this car to be wildly efficient by choosing Whisper mode and activating the aggressive one-pedal driving technology, or you can rapidly burn through the battery by using Unbridled mode and testing the acceleration capabilities when leaving each stoplight. So really, it is up to you whether the car is efficient or not.
On testing day, we departed on the mountainous evaluation loop with a full battery and an indicated 236 miles of range. With one-pedal driving and Whisper mode engaged for the majority of the drive, the Mach-E covered 77.4 miles, averaged 3.1 miles traveled per kWh, and still had an indicated 72% battery charge and 169 miles of indicated range at the end. The EPA thinks this version of the SUV should expend 37 kWh for every 100 miles of driving, so we beat that efficiency estimate, using just over 32 kWh/100 mi.
If you’ve ever driven an electric car, you know what a treat the instant motor torque is. Unsurprisingly, then, the Mustang Mach-E whooshes silently and effortlessly to speed. Its low center of gravity also makes taking urban and suburban corners a delight. However, the unbolstered front seats literally cannot hold up against the car's agility.
One-pedal driving engages an aggressive regenerative braking profile, making it possible to drive the Mustang Mach-E without touching the brake pedal. Of course, successfully driving the SUV in this manner takes some practice, and you won’t always time things right, so you’ll still need to step on the brakes on occasion. But this technology engages drivers in a unique way to make driving more fun.
After several days, however, we turned the one-pedal driving feature off, and the Mach-E suddenly felt “free.” It’s hard to describe, but without the immediate friction with each release of the accelerator pedal, the SUV felt unshackled in a way. But this also isn’t as efficient in terms of preserving battery charge.
On tight, winding mountain roads, the Mustang Mach-E Premium revealed itself to be more of a cruiser. Even when placed in Unbridled mode, the steering isn’t fast or sharp enough to encourage high-speed driving, and the all-season tires squeal and scrub earlier than you might prefer. A summer tire option is available for an extra $250, so if you plan to drive enthusiastically, you might want this upgrade.
The brakes can also be a little touchy, exhibiting the inconsistent feel and response frequently common with regenerative braking systems. Another downside is the choppy ride quality on imperfect pavement. Tuned for a firm feeling in keeping with the Mach-E’s sporty character, the suspension also must grapple with the SUV’s average curb weight of about 4,500 pounds – much of that mounted low in the vehicle. So expect some discomfort, depending on the road surface.
Despite some disappointment in the driving dynamics, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is nevertheless an impressive daily driver. Keep the battery topped off, which we did for a week using nothing more than a porch-mounted 115-volt standard household outlet, and you’ll find this car easy to live with.
However, it is worth mentioning that on our final night with the car, the porch outlet tripped, and the Mustang quit charging. Fortunately, the FordPass Connect smartphone app notified us that something was amiss, and we were able to fix the problem and continue charging.
The Mustang Mach-E Is Not a One-Trick Pony
A wave of electric vehicles is about to arrive in the U.S., whether Americans want them or not. Among the early arrivals from the legacy automakers, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is an undeniably impressive effort. It exhibits style, quality, engineering, and technology that need not take a back seat to the leader in its segment, the Tesla Model Y.
Separately, but no less important, the Mach-E trades on the legacy of one of the most beloved automobiles of the past half-century, the legendary Ford Mustang. The automaker’s decision to name this vehicle a Mustang and to style it in a way that makes a visual connection to the iconic pony car is a brilliant gamble that deserves to pay off for the automaker.
2022 Mustang Mach-E Review: Features
The Ford Mustang Mach-E is the automaker’s first genuinely competitive electric vehicle. A 5-passenger crossover SUV with plenty of utility and enough battery range to make it a practical daily driver and then some, the Mach-E is stylish, sophisticated, practical, and enjoyable to drive.
- Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 – Standard package including numerous driving-assistance and collision-avoidance features
- Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 – Standard package including adaptive cruise control and lane-centering assistance
- Intersection Assist – Standard feature that can help to prevent unsafe left turns across traffic
- Evasive Steering Assist – Standard feature that adds stability to the Mach-E when a driver takes sudden, evasive steering action
- BlueCruise – Available hands-free driving technology for use only on approved limited-access highways*
- Digital instrumentation – Standard feature with a 10.2-inch display
- Sync 4A – Standard infotainment system with a 15.5-inch touchscreen display
- FordPass Connect – Standard connected services with a remote-access smartphone app
- Drive Experiences – Standard feature with Whisper, Engage, and Unbridled driving modes and interior themes
- Digital key – Standard feature that turns the owner’s smartphone into the vehicle’s key
- Standard- and extended-range battery packs
- Single- and dual-motor electric drive systems
- 266 to 480 horsepower
- 317 to 634 pound-feet of torque
- 211 miles to 305 miles of estimated driving range
- Wireless smartphone charging pad – Standard feature
- Panoramic glass roof panel – Standard feature
- Active X – Standard simulated leather upholstery with available perforations on higher trims*
- Heated front seats and steering wheel – Available features*
- Premium sound system – Available feature with ten speakers*
*Availability is subject to specific trim level selections