Sunday, December 5, 2021

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Cars in the City

Mustang Mach-E SUV: The iconic car has a new role.

5/5/2021

First Edition Model driven, $59,400. Based on a 250-mile charge range, the Mustang Mach-E’s MPGe is 100/105/93 (combined/city/highway). MPGe stands for “miles per gallon equivalent, calculating the electric vehicle’s efficiency.

As I contemplated driving a new Ford Mustang Mach-E, I was excited to feature a car from my youth. The Ford Mustang is the bestselling two-door sports car made in America, recently surpassing 10 million cars sold since its debut in 1965.

However, the Mustang I drove was a different pony. This is Ford’s first all-electric SUV debuting in 2021. For the first time in six decades, the non-convertible Mustang now represents a family vehicle.

According to Ford, the electric vehicle needed a profile boost, choosing the desirable Mustang name to go head to head with other electric vehicles. But don’t worry, this Mustang hasn’t replaced the popular sports car.

The electric all-wheel drive First Edition drives smooth and quiet. When opening the door, there’s no handle. Look for the 1-inch push button instead.

A button also starts the engine. You might question if the car is running, since it’s so quiet. If quiet bothers you, and you really want to hear engine noise, you can program it into the 15-inch display. Engineers researched sound profiles from race cars, roller coasters and traditional gas engine noises and created a fake noise that comes over the speakers, whether the radio is on or not. In drive mode, choose Whisper, Engage or Unbridled, which has the maximum revving engine sound.

Once the sound is set, the acceleration really takes off. From zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds simulates an amusement park ride. The accelerator was touchy. I barely pressed my foot down and instantly reached 80 mph. Sorry, officer, this was for important research. 

When I took my foot off the accelerator, it didn’t slow right away. I traveled nearly a quarter mile before it dipped to below 55 mph. Once I pressed the brakes, it only required a light tap. Otherwise, the brakes took some getting used to.

A screen displays battery time in miles remaining. This is a biggie as battery usage varies, using more juice to heat or cool the interior. It comes with an extended 88-kilowatt battery, which provides about 250 miles with a full charge. A 240-volt plug in can shorten charge time to about eight hours. Drivers can search for nearest charging stations on the info display for quick-charge stations. 

Want to check the engine? Don’t bother popping the hood. You might find a six-pack of seltzers instead, cooling in ice, in the 4.7 cubic feet of cargo storage. It includes a drainage hole for melting ice or muddy gear, giving new meaning to tailgating. The engine? It’s underneath the car.

The Mach-E offers numerous comfort and safety features. An infrared driver-facing camera monitors head position and eye level, focusing on the driver’s gaze. The driver assistant warns when the driver is not paying attention.

Overall, the Mustang Mach-E stands up to the gas-guzzling SUVs with regards to driver assistance, safety, luxury and performance with one big bonus: no gas smell on your hands after filling up. ♦

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