Ford Mustang Mach-E: The First Proper Tesla Competitor

Tharuka Kodituwakku, Writer

TL;DR, no.


The Ford Mustang Mach-E is an interesting case. It is one of the first electric cars to truly go head-to-head with a Tesla in terms of vehicle class. The Mustang Mach-E is a competitor to the Tesla Model Y, a crossover SUV with a range of about 300 miles and a price point at around $50,000. This is usually where things begin to go downhill for the non-Tesla, but not necessarily this time. The Mustang Mach-E starts at $42,895. This would have been stomped out by the standard-range Tesla Model Y, projected to start at $39,000, but that was cancelled for “unacceptably low” range. Now, one may argue that the Mustang Mach-E and the Model Y are not really competitors. They would be partially correct.


Image Source: Ford Motor Company;


The Model Y has two trim levels, Long Range and Performance. The Mustang Mach-E has four: Select, Premium, California Route 1, and GT. The Select is well below the price point of the Tesla Model Y, so it does not compete with it. The Select starts at $42,895 and earns its name because only a select few would buy this car and even fewer should. It has a paltry range of 230 miles (210 if you spring for all-wheel-drive). Because of its close-to-$40,000 price, it is at the mercy of the Volkswagen ID.4, which is $3,000 cheaper than the Mustang and will trot 20-40 extra miles. Unfortunately for Ford, VW unequivocally wins this battle.


The second trim is the Premium trim. This trim has a fairly wide scope in itself. The base of this trim starts at $47,000 and has rear-wheel-drive with 230 miles of range. This would be interesting if only it wasn’t $3,000 extra to get a Tesla Model Y with nearly 100 extra miles. Not to mention the all-wheel-drive. Don’t even get me started on all-wheel-drive. For $49,700, you get the all-wheel-drive standard-range Mustang Mach-E (lots of hyphens innit) with 210 miles of range. For only $200 more, you get more than 100 miles extra range. Now for the third out of four, the long-range rear-wheel-drive Mach-E. This is where eyebrows may begin to rise. For $52,000 you get 300 miles of range. You may be disappointed by this since the Model Y does 326 miles, but wait here. Tesla’s one downfall is that they are a fairly new company. Ford has their production process all worked out. They have for more than a century with the founder Henry Ford having his company be one of the first to use an assembly line to build their cars. They know exactly what they are doing with their cars. Tesla, on the other hand, was founded about two years before I was born and does not fully have a handle on their production. They deliver many, many cars knowing they have defects and issues. Sometimes, they even tell the customer that their car has an issue on delivery day even though they could just push back the delivery date and fix those issues. Ford likely makes a higher quality product in that front, and some may be willing to shell out the extra cash for a car that is inferior on paper, but gives them the peace-of-mind and guarantee that their car works properly from day one. Last, but not least, is the long-range all-wheel-drive Mach-E with 270 miles of range; $54,700. This is the only model that can match the Model Y’s acceleration figures with both this Ford and the Tesla having a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds. All the models below this long-range AWD do above 5 seconds. This car is worth it if you are convinced on the long-range RWD, but can sacrifice range for four powered wheels.


You might have stopped reading by now due to my long-winded third paragraph, but if you are still here, thank you. The third trim is the California Route 1. It’s got an interesting name that would leave non-Californians scratching their heads. As you might expect, it is supposed to be a special model. It is quite similar to the long-range RWD Premium Mustang Mach-E (say that ten times fast). It is exactly $100 more expensive than the Premium LR AWD and $190 less than the Tesla Model Y. The only thing that makes it different is styling cues. This is where I would say it might be something to consider if you really like the Mustang brand, but to be frank, it does not look so great. The most glaring issue is the rims which are simply unpleasant (see Figure 2).


Source: Bartow Ford Dealer, Bartow, Florida