Autos

This Is America's Best EV

By the end of June, Ford had sold nearly 13,000 of its new Mustang Mach-E all-electric SUV in 2021. The company sold more Mustang EVs than gasoline-powered Mustangs in June. Dealer inventory of the Mach-E turns over every 11 days, essentially spending no time on a dealer’s lot.

On Wednesday, Car and Driver magazine named the Mach-E the 2021 EV of the year. The magazine’s editors said:

It’s the right car to bring drivers along during this watershed moment as EVs transition from niche alternative to new normal. … It moves us past the argument that we should drive EVs because they’re better for the environment and proposes a simpler, more fundamental truth: EVs can be as rewarding to drive as their gas counterparts.

Besides being fun to drive, the Mach-E is reasonably priced. According to Kelley Blue Book, the average new car price in May was $41,263. The starting price for a Mach-E is $43,995. That price can rise to more than $60,000 for the Premium version with all-wheel drive, a 98.8-kWh extended battery pack and other upgrades. And the Mustang EVs remain eligible for the full $7,500 federal tax credit.

The magazine tested an all-wheel-drive model with the 88-kWh battery pack that delivers 346 hp and a 0 to 60 mph time of 4.9 seconds. The tested model ran a quarter-mile in 13.6 seconds and reached a top speed of 103 mph. The U.S. EPA fuel economy rating is a combined 90 MPGe and the tested car’s range is rated at 270 miles. Car and Driver’s test version ran for 250 miles on a single charge.

Car and Driver noted that a key requirement for its EV of the year was that “it make electric vehicles more desirable to buyers to a degree that moves the industry forward.” The editors continue, “At long last, an automaker has given us an EV that competes head to head with Tesla on design, performance, price, and range, and it neither looks nor feels like it was built in a tent.”

What’s the car’s biggest flaw? Its name. Car and Driver thinks the name “implies a loud and rowdy machine that will have you seeing red anytime a stoplight turns green.” By using the Mustang name, “Ford triggered our emotions and raised our expectations,” but the car is “as smooth and calm as cars come, with quiet dynamic competence, ample room for four, and a cabin that appears luxury-car expensive.”

Last December, Edmunds.com named the Mach-E the best luxury EV of 2021. In comments on the award, Edmunds.com’s editors noted that the luxury component of Ford’s winner played a role in its win with “upscale interior materials and [an] attractive central touchscreen, which is more user-friendly than what you’ll find in other luxury EVs.”