Last year we had a Mach-E Select and we liked it – it had lots of oomph, could corner like it was on rails and was a blast to drive. This time round we get the all-singing-all-dancing GT version. Don’t even get me started along the lines of this ain’t a Mustang – clearly you’ve never driven a Mach-E if those words even come out of your mouth…and I’d have to wonder if you’ve ever driven a Mustang at all. We know the Select was good, but is the GT better? Let’s find out…
Related: Ford Mustang Mach-E
What Is It?
- Mid-size Electric SUV (virtually all the SUV EV’s are within close proximity size-wise of each other)
- Note: This is a 2021 MY and because of the infamous chip shortages there won’t be a 2022 version till very late in 2022, maybe even 2023
- 5 Trim levels: Select, Premium, California Route 1 and GT Performance Edition
- Test vehicle is GT Performance Edition with Extended Range Battery w/Est. Range: 418 kms (Standard)
- Permanent Dual Motor eAWD with magneride dampers and Pirelli summer tires come standard in GT
- Three selectable drive modes – Unbridled, Engage, Whisper – more below
- Using FordPass Connect, you can use your phone as a key – we couldn’t do that because we were locked out for some reason – a first – and that takes away a lot of useful features we rely on when using Fords, such as keeping an eye on your charge levels etc
- Not all EV’s have a unique front trunk for additional storage – does it does have a FRUNK? Yes! There’s even has a drain plug, so you can fill it with ice and easily drain it
How Does It Look?
- We really love the look of the Mach-E. The GT version looks even better
- Colour: Cyber Orange. When we saw this school bus orangey-yellow we weren’t too enamoured, but you do get used to it quickly and actually loved it on the Mach-E
- It’s perfectly sized, and the overall proportions are just about perfect
- Great looking rims too! 20″ Aluminum Wheels come standard
- 245/45 R20 summer tires
- Full LED headlights, taillights, fog lights and DRL’s
What’s It Like Inside?
- Interior layout is very nice – to date it’s my favourite EV interior
- The huge 15.5″ Touchscreen with swipe capability dominates the interior
- The rear camera when reversing was disappointing in quality and sharpness compared to some recent test vehicles from other manufacturers
- The 2″ Digital Instrument Panel in front of driver provides just the right amount of info for the driver – I loved it
- ActiveX seats is a synthetic leather material used throughout the line-up
- Front seats are powered – with 3-person memory for the driver are very comfortable – much better than the previous Mach-e we tested last year. They felt nice and snug compared to the kind of flat and not very firm ones in the Select model
- They are heated, AND cooled, plus both also have power lumbar adjustments
- Sync 4A with Enhanced Voice Recognition
- Connected built-in Navigation (3-yr included) – or you can connect to Waze for free (for now)
- Power Folding Mirrors
- Android Auto compatibility (plug in via USB) and wireless Apple CarPlay
- Unlike the previous Mach-e we tested, I had zero effort connecting my phone to the sound system via Bluetooth, so obviously the previous one had a glitch – nothing surprising since cars are basically computers on wheels nowadays
- Upgrading to the GT gets you the wonderful B&O Sound System by Bang & Olufsen (10 Speakers, including Subwoofer) – it’s optional on other models and worth every penny
- USB Ports are skimpy by today’s standards – in front under the screen, there are USB A and C ports (1 each), with another set in the back
- There are two 12-v outlets – in the front Armrest/Console and the cargo area
- There’s plenty of knee and legroom for rear passengers with a completely flat floor
- Hands-free, foot-activated power liftgate – worked perfectly every time
- The cargo area offers plenty of space, even with the steeply raked rear end
- The rear seats split 64/40 offering even more room if it’s needed – they don’t fold entirely flat, but close
- I really liked the rear cargo area protector/cover – it folds up out the way when you open the rear hatch
- Cargo Space (Behind Rear Seat): 29.7 cu.ft. / 840 Litres. Behind First Row: 59.7 cu.ft. / 1,685 Litres
- Frunk: 4.7 cu.ft.
Mach-E EV Features:
- 10-80% Charge in 45 Mins. (DC Fast Charge Station)
- AC Charging (Level 2): Up to 10.5 kW with 48 Amps capability
- DC Charging (Level 3): Up to 150 kW capability – good luck finding that level 3 charging outside of Toronto
- J1772 / CCS combo connector – Level 2
- Mobile charge cord 120v/240v (Home charging) Plugging into the 110V outlet at home netted me only 3 kms of range per hour!
- Programmable when you want to charge – set times for cheaper tariff rates at home for example
- Preconditioning: To help the battery reach its optimal performance state, prior to departure – and to optimized range, you can precondition the vehicle while it’s still plugged in by setting departure times. Not all EV’s have preconditioning
So How Quick Is It & How Does It Handle?
- All Mach-E’s get 3 adjustable Driving Experiences: Unbridled, Engage and Whisper – guess which one we used
- In Unbridled mode, the Mach-E GT is very responsive and an absolute blast to drive it also gives it a nice growl when you step on the gas
- The steering wheel is nice and thick and the steering input is very sharp and precise, braking is superb
- The Mach-E GT handles much better than the ‘regular’ Mustang GT simply because there’s no rear-end trying to kick out and kill you as you corner hard and fast
- It corners extremely flat and gives you plenty of confidence that you can push it even more while the car remains like it’s on rails going around corners with no body roll to speak of
- Regenerative braking and one pedal drive is something unique to EV’s and takes a little bit to get used to – take your foot off the gas and it slows down by itself – to a complete stop. If you’re driving fast and suddenly take your foot off the gas, the re-gen kicks in instantly and slows you quite dramatically (and yes, the rear brake lights come on instantly)
- Reversing using the one-pedal drive is weird. Unlike a traditional car, you put it in reverse and take your foot off the brake allowing the car to move on its own, but you can’t do that – you have to press the gas pedal to get it to move. As soon as you take your foot off the gas pedal, it comes to an abrupt halt
- Unlike other EV/PHEV/Hybrid’s, there’s no way to determine how effective your re-gen is – how much energy is actually being returned to the battery. We saw no noticeable increase in battery range at any time and no information on the screen to know what’s happening
- Max Towing: 750 kg *According to the latest OTA update, that will increase to 1,000 kg any time now
Horsepower: 221 @ 6,200 rpm (regular hybrid is 200hp)
Torque: 155 @ 4, 500 rpm (engine only, not combined output)
94 kW/173 lb.-ft. battery peak
Top Speed: 214 km/h / 133 mph (est)
0-60 mph (sec): 8.7 (est)
Est. Range: 418 kms
0-100 kms (62 mph) (sec): 3.7
What Does It Cost?
- NOTE: Prices have been constantly going up by all manufacturers during 2022 thanks to numerous shortages etc, so prices quoted will probably be inaccurate and outdated by the time you read this. Contact your local dealer for pricing/availability. ALSO, be aware that some items included in the test vehicle may be removed due to shortages
To Buy… Base Price: $83,495 / As Tested: $89,185
Options Included on test vehicle ($5,690)
- Cyber Orange Metallic, 3 Coats – $800
- Fixed Panoramic Glass Roof – $1,895
- Interior Protection Package: (Front and Rear floor mats + Cargo Mat) – $350
- Ford Co-Pilot360 Active 2.0 (BlueCruise + 360 Degree Camera) – $2,545
- 20″ Summer Tires (245/45R20)
- 20″ Black Machined Alum Wheels
- Magnetic Damping System
- Rated at (Le/100 km): City – 2.7 / Highway – 3.1 / Combined – 2.9
- Annual cost to operate (Transport Canada – 20,000 kms / $0.13 kWh): $666
- EV Incentives in Quebec are (up to $8,000) and B.C gets $3,000, on top of the $5,000 Canadian Federal Grants
- Check your local area for incentives
- The Mach-E DOES qualify for the Federal Rebate of up to $5,000 as of April 25, 2022
- For vehicles that do qualify click HERE
- Check local provincial rebates / Transport Canada site
For our Charging Experiences, Recharge Times & Costs see below, after “the Verdict”
- Basic: 3 years/60,000 km
- Powertrain: 5 years/100,000 km
- Battery/Components: 8 years/160,000 km
- Roadside Assistance: 5 years
Hyundai Ionic5, Jaguar i-Pace, Kia EV6, Porsche Macan EV, Tesla Model Y, Toyota bZ4X, Volkswagen ID.4
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
• The Good: Quick, stylish and easy to live with. Superb sports car handling
• The Bad: Not enough information relayed to the driver – how much have I added to my battery while braking/re-gen? What can I do to improve my range? In other EV’s it turns into a game and you drive with the intent to do better – the Mach-E is completely disconnected
• The Ugly: Price point is pretty steep
What’s The Verdict?
We really liked the previous week with the Mach-E Select, but didn’t love it. The GT version – we LOVED. Like our previous experience, the 15.5″ Touchscreen is really nice and quite easy to use, but we both felt it was only doing “just enough” – it never really stood out as to using its full capability or potential. There was always a feeling that “if only” it could do this, or that. Maybe Ford engineers should spend 10 minutes behind the wheel of the Tesla Model3 and see what is truly possible with such a great feature of the car. Good news – as I write this article, Ford CEO Jim Farley announced: “Mustang Mach-E is due for a major software update later this year (2022) that will refresh the entire interface displayed on the screens in the car.” Hopefully our wish will be granted soon!
In Ontario we’re a LONG way from getting to a usable EV marketplace outside of charging from home. There is a painful shortage of Level 3 recharge points unless you’re in Toronto, or on the major highways with OnRoute / PetroCanada / CanadianTire charge points that charge in the region of $20/hour (see more realistic costs below). You can’t realistically drive any major distances without Level 3 charge stations for speed of charging (10-80% full charge in 45 minutes), means less time sitting waiting and more time driving… assuming they are working. We’ve heard of plenty of them not working. When it comes to an EV, you can’t just say: “screw you Esso, I’m off to Shell since this one doesn’t work”
The failed Drama Teacher says he will introduce mandatory sales targets that require 20% of all vehicles sold by 2026 to be fully electric. When you live in la-la land you can say anything you want, but it doesn’t mean it’s feasible – or logistically possible, but I guess it’ll take care of itself – just like the budget. The sales target program will expand over the coming years, with 60% of vehicle sales being electric by 2030 and 100% by 2035. Maybe if he took some of that ridiculous scam tax aka Carbon Tax out of his back pocket and gave it to Canadians, we could actually afford to purchase an EV… just a thought. (Rant over).
Charging Experiences, Recharge Times & Costs
Charging Time / Costs
- I picked up the GT at 56% full, and a range of 166 kms
- I headed off to IKEA to buy something and charge up the Mach-E while there – for free… except I couldn’t get it to connect. My phone decided today was going to be the day to have a brain fart and wouldn’t swipe or connect in any way to the internet. Several re-boots didn’t help. Frustrated I went home
- After plugging it in at home I set the Mach-E to charge from 7pm – 8:30 am Mon-Fri and all day Saturday/Sunday to keep the electric costs to a minimum – just as I would if we owned it
- Then I tried to connect the FordPass app… and it refused to connect because someone was still connected to it – I’ve never experienced this before, usually you can have numerous people on the pass per vehicle. Sooo now I can’t watch the progress or communicate with the Mach-E – great! Can today get any better?!!
- Entering the menu on the Mach-E it says it’ll take till Thursday night to get to 100%. Its Monday – early afternoon… this is gonna be fun!
- I’m going to have to fast charge this thing to get a decent range (right now it’s 100 kms) and Niagara Region has no fast charging Level 3 spots – anywhere, the best I can hope for is finding a level 2 charge point and hope to get a 50 kWh charging location (nope)
- Depending where you charge, you have to have several memberships with different companies if you travel around – most are free to join and you simply download an app (more on this below…). You can choose to add a credit card to make payment even easier, but I chose not to because I’m only using these charge points a couple of times per year.
Day 2 (Tuesday) Charged overnight. Beginning range: 212 km @ 60%.
To supplement my home charging I thought I would take the opportunity to try a local ChargePoint (https://ca.chargepoint.com) station at the local GO Park & Ride carpooling area. There are two charge stations with two Level 2 plugs on each. I pulled up beside a Chevy Volt at the first one and I was unable to charge because it said it was being used, so I had to move to the other charge point and plug in there. Another driver showed up and had the same issue, he pulled in beside me and connected to the other plug. Charging is easy enough, you just have to have a free ChargePoint account. You download the app from the app store, create a customer name, email address and password. Then you have to switch on your phone to be able to do an NFC Payment. Tap the back of your phone on the designated area, you hear a click and the plug is released for you to attach it to your car. Connect it and simply wait. I spent the time reading a book on my phone. It’s an experiment, so I was prepared to wait a couple of hours. I ended up spending more time than that because I was talking to another EV owner for about 45 minutes. I later discovered there was a ChargePoint closer to home that charges $1/hour 8am-9pm and 25¢/hour 9pm-8am – Level 2, 6.6 kW AC.
Note: Not all stations are equal when it comes to providing electricity. The local station only gives 6.6 kW, whereas the one at the GO Park & Ride provides 7.5 kW. The Mach-E is capable of receiving up to 150 kW DC – that’s a huge difference. Fortunately the website allows you to check the rate, costs and even availability before you get there.
GO Park & Ride
Started at 12.45 pm 7.5 kW AC. Range: 197 kms @ 57%
Ended: 3.15 pm Range: 269 kms @ 76% (+72 kms range) (used 18.4589 kWh) Price: $0.00
At off-peak prices at home that would have cost me $2.15 (rate+all fees+taxes incl.) – less than 3¢/km
I drove 9 kms home and plugged in overnight…
Day 3 (Wednesday) Range: 318 kms @ 90% My next Trip was mostly backroads roads (80 km/h speed limits).
Roundtrip – Distance: 90 kms Range: 204 kms @ 64%. I actually used 114 kms of range, but I had the bum warmer on, wiper blades and stomped on the gas numerous times, so all-n-all that’s pretty great in my opinion.
Plugged in overnight… in the morning Day 4 (Thursday) the Range was: 279 kms @ 85%
Day 5 (Friday) Another trip with a reasonable distance. After short trips yesterday and plugging in overnight we start at Range: 279 kms @ 85% Oh wait.. that didn’t happen because the Mach-E bricked itself as I was about to move it closer to the outlet in my driveway. I could get the accessories, but no drive. Calling Roadside assistance was a fun experience. Ford were great and very attentive, but the towing company CAA was deplorable! I waited 2 hours, after being told initially it would be 57 minutes. This in and of itself is a horror story – thanks to Covidmania, so I’ll leave it right here…
Day 5 (Tuesday) repeat – (got the Mach-E back after 3 ½ weeks). The problem was a little 12-volt Sensor Switch that was up above the battery, so it had to be ordered, the battery be dropped, replace the switch and put the battery back. It’s something Ford hasn’t experienced before now, so this was a complete fluke. It can happen to any car/EV at any time.. it’s just the way it is – life with a car. My Ranger wouldn’t start one day – needs a new battery – it happens.
The rest of the week was uneventful with the Mach-e, but we were very fortunate, because we had the Hyundai IONIQ5 EV during the same week!!
Who gets to do a direct comparison like that?
Watch for our full Road-Test on the IONIQ5 coming up next…
EV Plug points and Apps
Location Finder Apps…
Plug Share – https://www.plugshare.com/ – Find plug locations anywhere, regardless of providers. This is your one-stop spot for charging/planning a trip etc.
ChargeHub – https://chargehub.com/en/charging-stations-map.html – Find plug locations anywhere, regardless of providers. You can also interact with other EV owners/ other users with the in-app messaging system. Request to unplug a user’s electric car, coordinate your charging or ask for any other info. In my local area it told me about plugs that were coming soon
Electric Charging Providers in Ontario…
Sun Country Highway – https://suncountryhighway.ca/ – You have to use Plug Share/ ChargeHub to find locations, but they offer many free locations
ChargePoint – https://ca.chargepoint.com/ – Probably the most extensive network and has many free charging point
Flo Network – www.flo.ca/ – Flo also have a large number of charging locations, many are free and payments can be made using Flo or ChargePoint locations as well as others
Drive for Free or Cheap
From what I’ve found you can almost always get free charging at shop/mall locations as well as government buildings. Some dealers offer free charging, while others charge either for the electricity or a parking fee. Canadian Tire locations typically charge $1.50/hour for Level 2 charges. Some businesses have charge locations and offer free charging as a good-will gesture, while others charge $3.00+ per hour.
Copyright © 2022 by Iain Shankland. All rights reserved.
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Iain Shankland