A lot of people exuded scathing derision when Ford announced its first all-electric crossover SUV would carry the Mustang name and galloping pony logo. Even more outrage ensued when the company had the audacity to appropriate the name of one of Mustang’s most revered performance packages for the EV to boot.
As is often the case however, those who griped the loudest weren’t being counted upon to buy the cars anyway. Meanwhile, those who were being counted upon went for the Mustang Mach-E in a huge way. More than 27,000 copies of the EV found takers in 2021, its first full year of production.
What’s more, nearly 40,000 examples found owners in 2022. Production constraints have slowed the pace a bit for ’23, but consumer acceptance of the Ford Mustang Mach-E cannot be denied.
The SUV profile notwithstanding, the lines of the current Mustang coupe are faithfully reflected in its electric sibling. The graceful sweep of the front fenders, the pronounced rear shoulder treatment, the taillights and even the arc of the roofline are all definitive Mustang styling cues.
And, to my eye, it’s a handsome execution.
Updates for the 2023 model year include black exterior touches on the bumpers and door cladding, along with gloss-black 19-inch wheels demarcating the Mustang Nite Pony package, which can be ordered with the Premium and GT Performance Edition trims.
Further setting the fastest electrified ponies apart, 20-inch gloss-black wheels and black GT badging adorn Nite Pony GT models. Additionally, all GT and GT Performance Editions get a panoramic sunroof as standard equipment.
Two new exterior colors have also been specified for ’23; Carbonized Gray Metallic and Vapor Blue Metallic.
Passenger and cargo capacity continue to be strong points, owing largely to the fact the engineering team chose to place the battery pack underneath the floor. However, while the exterior styling is derived from the car whose name it shares, the interior treatment is a major departure from Mustang coupes and convertibles.
Minimalism is the name of the game, with a slender 10.2-inch wide digital readout mounted behind the steering wheel to convey operational data. The dash’s only other adornment is a huge 15.5-inch tablet-like digital display, within which all infotainment, comfort and convenience functions are interacted.
Among the particularly nice touches is a deep center storage console, the size of which makes it suitable for storing a reasonably sized purse. The electric Mustang SUV also affords 29 cubes of cargo space with the rear seat deployed and 60 with it folded away. While we’re on the subject of storage, the front cargo compartment — the frunk — contains a plastic liner, which can be rinsed and drained. Feel free to stock it up with ice to keep drinks and sandwiches cool on road trips.
“My” Mustang Mach-E Premium RWD was fitted with the optional 91 kWh battery pack. It also had rear-wheel drive and a single-speed transmission, which contributed to its maximum range of 306 miles. The Premium package also added a 10.5 kW AC onboard charger and 115 kW DC charging capability. The electric motor feeding the rear wheels was rated at 266 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque.
Safety and Technology
Machine learning has been applied to Ford’s Sync infotainment system, enabling it to monitor your driving habits and customize itself based upon your routines. Over the air updates are now offered, which should keep the system current for the foreseeable future.
Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, mobile Wi-Fi and a Bang & Olufsen audio system are all standard equipment. The Mach-E will also respond to your smartphone as its key. Ford’s BlueCruise semi-autonomous driving system was also included at no additional charge on my test car.
Automated emergency braking with forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and a 360-degree camera system are all standard equipment as well.
One of the things I really like about driving EVs in general is the quiet and smooth way they handle their business. Set to the 1-pedal drive mode, my Mustang Mach-E all but eliminated the need to use its brake pedal — once I became adept at predicting its rate of deceleration.
The 266-hp motor wasn’t exactly breathtaking in its ability to set the Mach-E into motion, but it was more than adequate for day-to-day needs. Those seeking a more Mustang-like experience should opt for one of the all-wheel drive GT models with 480 hp and 634 lb-ft of torque.
Everything said and done, the 2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium RWD I reviewed afforded me outstanding range, reasonably fast recharging and all the comfort and convenience I could realistically ask for at this price point.
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium Specifications
|Dimension||L: 186 inches/W: 74.1 inches/H: 64 inches/Wheelbase: 117.5 inches|
|Powertrain||Rear-mounted electric motor, Lithium Ion Traction Battery w/10.5 kW Onboard Charger|
|Fuel Economy||20 mpg city/25 mpg highway/22 mpg combined|
|Performance Specs||266 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque|
|Price||Base price: $54,975; As tested: $64,875 plus $1,800 delivery fees|
|On-Sale Date||Available now|
Granted, some naysayers will never be convinced of the goodness of the Mustang Mach-E. In some respects, Ford may have doomed the model to suffer eternal automotive bigotry when it decided to apply the Mustang moniker to this vehicle.
However, the stylists did do a good job of translating the revered model’s styling language to this new application. Further, there does exist an extremely high-performance iteration, which competently carries the Mustang flag. All in all, in the Ford Mustang Mach-E, I see a future in which high performance absolutely has a place, even when we all “fill up” at home, instead of at the corner gas station.
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium — Frequently Asked Questions
What was Ford’s first EV?
The Ford Focus BEV concept, introduced at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
What was Ford’s first hybrid?
Introduced at the 2004 New York Auto Show, the Escape Hybrid was the first hybrid SUV from any manufacturer.
How many EV models does Ford have?
The company currently offers three all-electric vehicles: Mach-E SUV, F-150 Lightning and the E-Transit van.