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|Mustang Mach-E Test Drive
February 17, 2023
Mark D Larsen
Having taken a VW ID.4 and a Hyundai Ioniq 5 Limited for test drives, we decided to also stop by our local Ford dealer to see if they had a Mustang Mach-E in stock. We were in luck! They had one, although it only had a “standard” battery pack. Apparently someone had ordered it and then decided against buying it. The sales rep that helped us, Dave Call, was very helpful, even though he didn’t know a great deal about the vehicle. He checked out the key from the sales office, had someone move the car parked behind it so we could get out, and accompanied us on a nice, long testdrive on the freeway and highway to the St. George airport. I had often taken people interested in my previous Nissan LEAF for test drives on that highway, because it is much less congested.
I wish I could share a video of our test drive in the Mach-E, but Tamara wanted to sit in the passenger seat this time to thoroughly check out the vehicle’s features rather than serve as a videographer. I can’t say I blamed her, as she deserves to know what these various EVs have to offer. I think she was happy with the functions she could find on the touchscreen —and so was I! When I first saw the Mach-E, and noticed the physical dial on the bottom of the screen, I couldn’t understand why Ford would have placed it there. After using it, I understood much better, and would even say that it is a useful feature that I wish our Model 3 had. Depending upon the feature selected, the dial could easily adjust various functions: radio stations, volume, seat heater, fan speed, temperature, etc., etc. Clever!
Tamara claims that the Mach-E’s seats were more comfortable than the others we have tested. I frankly couldn’t tell much difference, but will say that they are definitely more comfortable than those in our Model 3. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that its BlueCruise adaptive cruise control and lane keep are better than Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot. You don’t have to give the steering wheel “torque” to keep the system engaged, and could even take your hands off the wheel completely. I also found that, if you do apply a bit of “torque” to the wheel, you can slightly nudge its lane keep nearer one lane or the other, something that would be useful when passing a large truck hogging the dividing lines. Its one-pedal driving worked well, but I did notice that the regen was not as aggressive when slowing down as in the other EVs we’ve driven. Also, it didn’t have auto lane change, but that doesn’t bother me, having also driven a “standard range” Model 3 without that feature. It’s no big deal. Honestly!
I have to admit: although I was skeptical about the Mach-E when it first appeared, considering it a mere Tesla wannabe, it is actually an impressive vehicle. No, its largest battery cannot match a Tesla Model Y’s range, but then again, who needs to? We know from vast experience on our own roadtrips that it is rare to drive more than 200 miles at a stretch before we need to visit the restrooms ourselves. The only real disadvantage I can see for the Mach-E —and other non-Tesla EVs— is that the DCFC networks are not nearly as widespread and reliable as Superchargers. Hopefully, with time that difference might disappear, especially if and when Tesla finally fulfills its promise to open up its Superchargers to other EVs. Time will tell!