Once seated in the eight-way power-adjustable vegan leather-upholstered heated driver seat, the eye is drawn to the star attraction – a 15-inch portrait-orientated touchscreen that allows you to touch, swipe and pinch your way through the various apps and features.
Featuring cloud-based connectivity and conversational voice recognition, Ford’s latest-generation SYNC system brings twice the computing power compared to its predecessor to help make navigation, music and connecting a smartphone to the vehicle faster and easier. The system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Bluetooth, DAB radio and USB sockets front and back are also standard.
SYNC enables 80 vehicle settings to be customised, from cabin temperature and seat position to ambient lighting. Real-time and predictive traffic information is provided by TomTom; Garmin supplies in-vehicle and in-cloud routing. Journeys can be pre-planned with itineraries pushed from the FordPass app to the car. SYNC can also independently advise drivers where and when to charge during journeys, as well as provide access to real-time charging station availability and pricing.
The rest of the cabin is a fusion of sleek, modern design and smart functionality. Some clever design and engineering deliver surprising rear-seat roominess and ample cargo space. Electric charging leads are stored under the bonnet between plastic storage dividers, providing 100-litres of drainable storage space. The boot can swallow 402 litres of luggage and its volume can grow to 1,420 litres by folding down the split rear seat backrest. The boot itself has plenty of tie-down points and hooks to keep things safe while on the move. The flat floor means three adults can sit quite comfortably in the back for short journeys. Each front seatback incorporates a handy magazine holder. Door bins are generally a decent size although it takes a little manoeuvring to squeeze in a water bottle.
Audio-wise, a B&O Sound System includes a string of speakers positioned behind mesh on the dashboard that looks and sounds fabulous. A floating, flip-up armrest doubles as a place to store purses or bags. Traditional Mustang design cues like the double-cowl instrument panel
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Panoramic fixed-glass sunroof has a special coating with infrared protection that helps the interior stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. In addition, an inner layer between the glass helps protect against ultraviolet rays.
Getting in and starting the SUV is made easier with ‘Phone As A Key’ technology. Using Bluetooth, the vehicle can detect customers’ smartphones as they approach, unlocking it and allowing them to start driving without getting their phones out of their pockets or using a key fob. A backup code can be entered into a weird and wonderful keypad on the B-pillar to unlock the vehicle, and a separate code into the centre touchscreen to start and drive the vehicle, in the event a phone battery dies. When you climb out, it chimes a chirpy tune to confirm that the vehicle is switched off. So far so good.
Other creature comfort and convenience features include heated and powered driver and front passenger seats, heated steering wheel, heated windscreen, a wireless charging pad, an optional one pedal drive, powered and hands-free liftgate, front and rear parking sensors, rearview camera, and dual-zone electronic air temperature control.
Advanced driver assistance systems
As we would expect, the Mach-E boasts loads of ADAS equipment. Although it can’t drive itself … yet. ADAS technologies include pre-collision assist with pedestrian detection (designed to reduce the severity of, and, in some cases, even mitigate frontal collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians), adaptive cruise control, distance alert technologies (helps drivers maintain an appropriate distance to the vehicle ahead) and lane departure warning (it does what it says on the tin.)
On the road
It is offered with standard or extended-range battery options with either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive powered by permanent magnet motors. Equipped with an extended-range battery and rear-wheel drive, Mustang Mach‑E has a targeted pure-electric driving range of some 370 miles although we saw a range closer to 300 miles between charges during late winter. Ford is also offering a performance version. The Mach-E GT is targeting 0-62 mph acceleration in less than 5 seconds, as well as an estimated 465 PS (342 kW) and 830 Nm of torque.
The Mach-E 4 all-wheel-drive system applies torque independently to the front and rear axles to deliver impressive acceleration and improved handling over the rear-wheel-drive model. Mach-E is also available with Brembo’s Flexira aluminium callipers, which maintain the functionality of a fixed calliper while being designed with the dimensions of a floating calliper. The Mustang Mach-E GT is also equipped with MagneRide damping system, an adaptive suspension technology that lets drivers hug the road while delivering an exciting, comfortable ride.
Drivers can match their driving experience to their mood using selectable drive modes. Whisper, Active and Untamed modes are each designed to immerse the driver in the moment by altering what they see, hear and feel from behind the wheel
On balance, the seriously stylish and spacious interior of the Mach-E ticks a lot of boxes. Although the cabin lacks colour, it is far from dull. Its clean, visionary cockpit looks the business. While its minimalist dash means adjusting almost everything via the touchscreen, the graphics are super-sharp and responsive. There is very little not to like about this compelling SUV that blends the old with the new. And that is how it should be for a £58,000 price tag for the extended range version with 346bhp. Rival models include the VW ID.4, Volvo XC40 Recharge and Tesla Model Y.