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HomeClassic Car2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium: Test Drive | The Daily Drive

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium: Test Drive | The Daily Drive

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2023 Mustang Mach-E Premium
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium

Consumer Guide Test Drive2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium EAWD

Class: Compact crossover

Color: Carbonized Gray

Seating Capacity: 5

Miles driven: 122

CG Report Card
Room and Comfort B+
Power and Performance A-
Fit and Finish B
Fuel Economy A
Value B
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide’s impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big Guy B
Tall Guy A
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. “Big” rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, “Tall” rating based on 6’6″-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs 346-horsepower
Engine Type Electric motors
Transmission Automatic
Drive Wheels AWD

Battery capacity: 91 kWh

EPA-estimate MPGe: 97 city/85 hwy/92 combined

EPA-estimated driving range: 290 miles

Consumer Guide range estimate: (ideal conditions): 290 miles

Charge-port location: Driver-side rear fender

Snow performance: N/A

Base price: $57,675 (not including $1300 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: Extended-range battery ($8600)

Price as tested: $67,575

 

Quick Hits

The great: Invigorating acceleration; engaging handling; choice of rear- or all-wheel drive and battery-pack size; high-tech features

The good: Competitive driving range; ambitious design inside and out; respectable passenger and cargo space

The not so good: Overly firm ride, less rear-seat space than some EV rivals

Tom Appel:

New for the 2021 model year, the Mustang Mach-E was launched to much fanfare, and an equal dose of controversy. Ford’s first-all-electric regular-production electric passenger vehicle, the Mach-E was expected to do big things in terms of bringing consumers into the electric fold, even if some brand loyalists questioned the extension of the Mustang moniker.

2023 Mustang Mach-E Premium
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium

A lot has happened since then. The ravages of the COVID-19 epidemic took some steam from the sails of would-be EV buyers, and Ford’s tireless meddling with Mustang Mach-E prices left shoppers confused and frustrated. Worse, the privately operated public-charging companies, the organizations we trusted to build out the nation’s EV infrastructure, failed Americans on an epic scale.

Long story short: EV sales have not lived up to early expectations, and the Mach-E, a pioneering example of the promising EV breed, has never sold in anything close to originally projected volumes. All that said, things could be worse…

2024 Genesis GV70 Electrified: Test Drive

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium

Turns out 2023 was a best-ever year for the Mach-E, accounting for almost 41,000 sales in the U.S. And 2024 may prove a better year, still. While the 2024 Mustang Mach-E does not currently qualify for any federal EV incentives, Ford is offering $7500 in incentives for lease customers. Check with your Ford dealer for specifics. Also, and this is a big deal, the Mustang Mach-E can now be charged at reliable and generally easy-to-locate Tesla Supercharger EV charging stations, of which there are currently 15,000 in the U.S.

2024 EV Tax Credits: Rule Changes Shrink Availability

2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium

Despite the buzz and controversy, the Mach-E has not changed all that much since its introduction, though the trim-level lineup has been updated. For 2024, the top-tier California Route 1 trim level is dropped, replace by a pair of new additions to the lineup. New for ’24 are the GT Bronze and Rally trim levels. From least expensive to topline, the new lineup incudes the Select (about $47,000), Premium (about $50,000), GT (about $62,000), GT Performance (about $63,000), GT Bronze (about $64,000), and Rally (about $67,000).

All are available or come standard with AWD, with horsepower ratings ranging from 266 to 480. Battery range estimates start at 224 miles for a standard battery model (70 kWh) with AWD, to 310 miles for a rear-drive model with the long-range battery (91 kWh).

The new Rally includes standard AWD and off-road-themed trim updates, including unique wheels and tires. Also, the standard Mach-E’s modest 5.8-inches of ground clearance—really low for something called a crossover—gets a bump to 6.4 inches, which will come in handy in mud of deep snow.

Consumer Guide recently spent a week with a 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium with AWD and the extended-range battery. All told, our Carbonized Gray test car came to $67,575. Prices and equipment levels for the Premium are little changed for 2024.

Consumer Guide evaluated a 2021 Mach-E equipped much the same as our 2023 test vehicle, and our generally positive impressions are little changed. We can argue that the Mach-E, given its low profile and sedan-like proportions, is more car than crossover, but the point is moot, as the Mach-E features a usefully spacious cargo area, and a reasonable amount of people space. Note that we do classify the vehicle as a crossover, if only because we expect the Mach-E to be cross shopped against other small crossovers.

Once in the car, we much appreciate the Mach-E’s clean, efficient cabin design. The large, vertically oriented touchscreen is home to virtually all primary controls, save for the large—and much appreciated—rotary volume control. We found touchscreen operation to be generally simple and logical, and the icons involved large and easy to identify at a glance. Likewise, the clean digital instrument panel is on the small side, but the primary gauges—including the speedometer—were especially easy to read.

Also, the available bang & Olufsen audio system is generally excellent, and well suited to the mid-century jazz frequently enjoyed by this author.

What is Level 1 Charging?

2023 Mustang Mach-E Premium
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium

The low ride height of the Mach-E means that getting into, and out of, the vehicle is nominally more difficult than some other compact crossovers, but still easier than, say, a midsize sedan. Once inside the front seating row is plenty roomy, with decent outward visibility all around. Rear-seat space is also good, though kneeroom can be scarce behind taller front-row occupants. Head room is decent all around.

One the road, the Mach-E is something of a silent rocket. There is all sorts of immediate power—from a stop or underway—and passing and merging maneuvers are easily handled. Perhaps in homage to the “real” Mustang, the Mach-E acquits itself well in corners and on on-ramps, with plenty of grip and a surprising amount of useful steering feedback.

Really, our sole complaint centers on the Mach-E’s overly firm ride, which some EV shoppers may find too firm for daily commuting. We also found the Mach-E prone to pitching over rough surfaces, with more motion than we’d generally find in other crossovers over similarly imperfect road surfaces.

Our Mach-E was delivered during a serious cold snap, and at a 98-percent state of charge our range was projected to be 281 miles. However, using the heat—as Chicagoans are prone to do in January—we saw our range drop to just 102 miles with the battery at 48 percent. Somehow we lost about 40 miles of range in chilly weather, suggesting our true range was closer to 200 miles than 281.

But, apart from the range, and the ride, we found the Mach-E a very modern, sporty, and likable crossover, and a pretty good EV as well. At this point we need to remind potential EV owners that the similar-size Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6, are also excellent EVs, and absolutely deserve a place on serious shopper’s test-drive list.

And, again, whether or not the Mach-E should ever have been called a Mustang, it is fine EV crossover, and there is enough pony-car spirit here to make the moniker work.

What is Level 2 Charging?

2023 Mustang Mach-E Premium
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium

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2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium Gallery

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