EV Motoring: 2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E - Review by Bruce Hotchkiss +VIDEO
If you can afford it, it's a good choice
Special Correspondent, West Coast Bureau
THE AUTO CHANNEL
I'll get this out of the way right up front and once only - I don't like calling a 4-door vehicle "Mustang". The Mustang is a pony car, it defined the term "pony car." The Ford Mustang always has been, and always will be to me, a 2-door sporty car. But the name belongs to Ford and they can put it on anything they want. I just think they are wrong.
My granddaughter took one look at the front and exclaimed "Horsey!"
I got a few compliments about the style of the Mach-E. It is a good-looking vehicle to my eyes although I'd skip the Rapid Red Metallic color, it's just too red for me. The first question for any Electric Vehicle (EV) is "What's the range, how far can you go before you need to plug it in?" Depending on model and the mode the Mustang Mach-E (MM-E) can go up to 313 miles on a full charge. Looking at the specifications a more realistic range is around 225 miles. So the range isn't bad if, and this is a big if, you can find a rapid charging station on your travels. I know people who have taken an extended trip in their EV without a problem. It just means planning your route around charging stations. Kind of like how it was in the early years of motoring looking for a gas station.
I don't know what it is with EVs, or at least the ones I've driven, but the suspensions always remind me of a slammed vehicle - choppy and harsh. When driving over a rough road in a construction zone my wife actually asked if something was wrong with the car. On smooth roads the ride is fine but I don't understand why it has to be so stiff.
Some of my thoughts on the Mustang Mach-E are really about all EVs. I have nothing against EVs, I'd consider buying one if I could afford one (I'm not someone who leases a vehicle). I think most EV customers are either Techies or think of themselves as pioneers. That's all well and good but if EVs are going to become a force to be reckoned with they must appeal to the average driver. I don't think many EVs accomplish this.
There is an advertisement I have seen on TV (not for Ford) and the tag line is along the lines of "like your smart phone only larger." That may be a selling point for some but I think there is still a majority of people who use their vehicle for transportation, not entertainment.
If we, and by we I mean society, want to move the national fleet over to EVs there needs to be a lot of work done. Right now EVs are bought by a small percent of car buyers. There are a variety of reasons but I think one big one is they seem foreign. Maybe, just maybe EVs need to seem more "normal."
I like a good sound system, and navigation is often a blessing but I want them easy to use. I want everything in my vehicle to be easy to use. I especially do not want to have to scroll through screen after screen to figure out how to change a setting. The Mach E's owner's manual is accessible through the screen below. I find it easier to flip through paper pages but then I'm old.
I like tactile switches. Ford seems to have decided that touch screens are best. I disagree. I'll give you an example. I recently drove a vehicle that had conveniently located toggle switches for the seat heaters. After the first use I never had to look to find them. The MM-E and other Ford products use the computer screen with slides. First I have to locate the spot to touch to bring up the slide control, then I have to look to make sure my finger is on the right spot to slide the control up or down. And all of this is on a screen, there is no feel to it, and it is next to impossible to use on a bumpy road!
Right out of the box, or should I say as soon as I tried to drive the Mustang Mach-E, I was stymied. There is a thing called "One Pedal" that I did not understand. Basically, unless you are pressing on the accelerator pedal the brakes are on. My driveway has a slope down to the street. Normally I get in a vehicle, select Reverse, and the car starts to back out without me touching the accelerator. But the Mach E just sat there. I tapped the accelerator and it backed up a tad and then stopped. It felt like the parking brake was on! I got the MM-E onto the street and accelerated forward just fine but as soon as I took my foot off the pedal it stopped, it didn't coast it just stopped. Yup it's designed that way. Sure does take some getting used to how it works.
One aspect of the MM-E is the power. Like all EVs, the power is right there. My granddaughter saw the red MM-E with the "horsey" and wanted to know if it was fast (red means fast to her). So we put her car seat in, belted her up, and took her for a little ride. No I didn't go out and race around, but I did a quick acceleration from about 20 mph to maybe 35 mph. Her eyes lit up, she got a big grin, and a "Wow!" It made Grampa smile.
The Mustang Mach-E is not a low-cost vehicle, nor is it extremely pricey. The base Select model starts at $43,895, the top of the line GT is $61,995. A 2022 Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD similar to the vehicle tested runs about $58,295 according to www.ford.com.
There are government tax credits available, from both Federal and State governments. In my opinion, and I've been told my opinion is irrelevant, instead of tax credits rebates that could be applied to bring the upfront price down would make more sense and get more people into an EV.
Don't get the wrong impression, I am not anti-EV or anti-Mustang Mach-E. If you can afford it the MM-E would be a good choice.