Many cars today are just huge, expensive, highly acclaimed gadgets. So it makes perfect sense to test out some of the latest and most advanced vehicles and cover the latest in automotive technology. Our first subject is the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and boy, there's a lot to talk about here.

The Ford Mustang Mach-E is a fully electric vehicle with a long range. It can cover anywhere from 211 to 305 miles or 340 to 490 kilometers on a single charge. It can comfortably accommodate four people. It seems like a mashup of sedan, hatchback and crossover. Perhaps it describes four-door liftback well enough. In terms of size and price, the Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4 and maybe even the Polestar 2 could be called rivals for this Ford.

When Ford revealed in 2019 that its new, practical electric vehicle would be called the Mustang, there were many critics of the name's use online. Two years later, as the Mach-E hits more and more dealers, the grumbling has gotten a little more muted as the Mach-E turned out to be very quick and enjoyable, not to mention that it was relatively accessible.

Is it a real mustang? Is it important? People have asked, "what's in a name?" since the 1600s, so this is unlikely to change anytime soon. Whether communities like the name or not, it has a starting price of $ 42,895 in the US and a fully loaded price under $ 70,000. For comparison, the similar Tesla Model Y starts at around $ 46,990 in the US, while the VW ID.4 starts at $ 41,190.

Specifications & Models: What Should I Know?

The wide price range is due to the different configurations of the Mustang Mach-E. Buyers can choose between two battery sizes: a standard 66 kWh and an extended range model with 88 kWh.

Buyers also have a choice of powered wheels and power. Rear-wheel drive models with the standard battery have 266 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, while RWD models with the extended battery have 290 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque.

Do you want more grip or confidence in bad weather? Then you can get yourself an all-wheel drive model. These standard battery units deliver 266 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque, while AWD models with the extended battery deliver 346 hp and 428 lb-ft of torque.

Do you think these numbers are a bit weak? Then check out the high-performance GT model, which includes the extended-range battery and all-wheel drive, but delivers more power and torque at the rate of 480 hp and 600 lb-ft of torque, while Performance Editions get an additional 34-lb-ft Torque.

In the middle of all these configurations sat the model we had available: it has all-wheel drive and an extended range battery. This setup is rated by the EPA to travel 270 miles, or approximately 435 kilometers, on a single charge. Outside of the EPA labs, however, the range can vary quite a bit.

Things like outside temperature, cabin climate, speed and even the accessories used in the vehicle can affect the range. There have been moments when the estimated range from a full battery was within ten percent more or less of the EPA numbers.

How is it to drive

Accelerating doesn't help keep the battery full for long, but it's incredibly satisfying.

While 346 horsepower and 428 lb-ft of torque seem like a breeze in this mid-range model these days, the vehicle accelerates instantly without delay or hesitation. The 0-60 MPH sprint takes just 4.8 seconds, almost the same as a V8-equipped Mustang GT.

The silent sprint is a hit and will elicit giggles and smiles from you and your passengers.

The silent sprint is a hit and will elicit giggles and smiles from you and your passengers. Ford could add more padding to the headrests if they wanted to improve that kind of acceleration.

With its large battery, it should come as no surprise that the Mach-E is heavy. Depending on the configuration, it can weigh between 4,394 lbs and 4,890 lbs. So much weight can affect agility and handling.

For the average commuter, it will likely be fine and not bothering. However, enthusiasts who speed the vehicle down their favorite streets will find how the Mach-E feels SUV-esque when braking. There's also a single-pedal drive mode that takes a bit of getting used to.

The battery pack is located in the floor between the front and rear axles, ensures a low center of gravity and limits the effects of the additional weight. Stickier tires would help too, but would also hurt range. Enthusiasts will notice the lack of feedback and engagement from the steering. Different driving modes can add more steering force, which makes the handling feel a little more complicated.

When driving the Mustang Mach-E in traffic, the car easily keeps up, can fill gaps quickly and passes by without much hesitation. Unlike early electric vehicles, it never feels like it is lagging behind or holding up other cars.

What about charging?

Finally, the vehicle needs to be charged. This can be done very slowly with a 120-volt household outlet that refills about 3 miles per hour. This task takes almost 90 hours to fully charge. Don't do this unless it is an emergency and there are no other options.

Most EV buyers get a level 2 charger at home or pick one out on the go. Using any of these features speeds things up a lot. Expect this method to fully charge a battery in 14 hours, although Ford also sells a 48-amp connected charging station, which will further reduce this to just about 10 hours. This rate is about 30 miles of range per hour.

The impatient who want to recharge much faster also have an option.

The Mach-E supports DC fast charging and accepts charge rates of up to 150 kW. Depending on the conditions, you can expect the car to charge from 10 to 80 percent in 45 minutes.

I saw this on a 150kW Electrify Canada station, and I also used 50kW FLO chargers during my time with the Mach-E, which were a bit slower.

Those used to the reality of EV charging know that fast charging an EV is not cheap. The FLO chargers near me are around $ 20 an hour and I used them for 37 minutes and charged over 30 percent of the car's range for $ 12.55. Electrify Canada's stations are a bit faster and more expensive. It costs $ 0.57 per minute on the 150kW plugs, which billed me $ 22 for 54 percent of the battery, which took about 30 minutes.

Additionally, EV newbies should know that once the battery reaches 80 percent, the fast charging experience changes dramatically. In order to preserve the service life of the battery, the charging current drops after the 80 percent mark. The Mach-E started charging at 12 kW instead of 150 and 50 kW during the same session. If you're planning on taking a long electric vehicle ride, remember the vehicle's range at the 80 percent mark for planning purposes (it's about 220 miles at Mach-E).

How high is the technology inside and out?

Ford follows the trends of other automakers, throwing large screens in the center of the dashboard. While it presents a minimalist dashboard with few physical controls, operating this screen on the go is a frustrating experience.

Tapping the screen to change items like the climate settings takes your eyes off the road, and the animations and adjustments seem to take a little too long to feel safe. As with a smartphone, the touchscreen surface has notification panels and drop-down menus that can also be distracting when navigating while driving. Perhaps the future Android Automotive OS system will be better, but that might alienate those who want less Google in their lives.

For familiarity, the vehicle supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both of which can be started wirelessly, although the system sometimes did not start these companion apps automatically. The car also features a wireless phone charger and some USB ports (both USB-C and USB-A) for connectivity and charging.

While the cabin has a mix of materials, only one area is beneficial: the instrument cluster. This is another screen that protrudes from the dashboard. It's relatively small, non-customizable, and just does the job, which you wouldn't expect when you see a screen at this point. Usually they're full of fun and mood, are customizable, and pack a lot of useful information in one place. I've seen better displays in the Volkswagen Golf and Hyundai Elantra.

The vehicle can also be equipped with a range of safety technologies and driving aids. There's a useful 360-degree camera (it also has a camera washer that splatters dirt off the lens) and an active parking aid that parks the car for you. Push a button and slide to where you want to park and it will park from there.

There are many trademarks for these safety functions, so Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 means that the vehicle has automatic emergency braking for front and rear, rear parking sensors, post-collision braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and automatic high beam.

There's also Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0, which includes adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, d a car comes in that you can't see), speed sign recognition (always handy when you hit the speed limit with a flex of your big one Zehs can break through) and voice-activated navigation, which is already available via Android Auto and CarPlay.

Ultimately, all of these functions come together in what Ford calls BlueCruise, a hands-free driving mode that uses highly detailed maps along with all of the built-in sensors to make driving as easy as possible. This feature is added wirelessly and costs $ 600.

The adaptive cruise control worried me a bit in heavy traffic. Braking always felt a little late and made me restless, and there was a moment when it seemed like the Mustang couldn't see a hatch-mounted bike rack on the vehicle in front.

And yes, you read that right – updates will come wirelessly to this car. Currently, the updates are vaguely described as bug fixes, but there have been small changes to the infotainment interface, such as improving the screen buttons for trunk and frunk access. The vehicle also received support from Amazon Alexa through an OTA update.

Is it practical?

Because electric vehicles don't have large internal combustion engines under the hood or powertrains, they can offer more space for passengers and cargo. Unfold the trunk and you are greeted with 29.7 cubic feet or 840 liters of storage space. Fold the rear seats down and that expands to 59.7 cubic feet / 1,690 liters.

There's also a modest front trunk (frunk) with 4.7 cubic feet of storage space. Overall, it's a lot more space than a typical family sedan, but less than most crossovers like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.

The last word

There's a lot to like about Ford's four-door with a large battery. It has enough usable range, is spacious and fast. Charging times are pretty good, but lag behind some of the German electric cars that can charge at 350 kW instead of the Mustang's top 150 kW. The technology in the cabin is noticeable, but not as useful as it could be. And I had to babysit the adaptive cruise control at times, which didn't make commuting any less stressful.

Overall, it's good enough and fun, but still leaves room for improvement expected in 2022-2024, as engineers have already discussed how to increase the vehicle's range and performance – likely by reducing weight and increasing efficiency.

Fortunately for Ford, the Mach-E's competitors are just as imperfect: the Tesla Model Y has a higher starting price of $ 46,990 and more range, though there are quality concerns, while the VW ID.4 has a lower starting price of $ 41,190 Has. but with fewer configurations. Even more competition threatens, because the Hyundai IONIQ 5 and the Kia EV6 are sure to cause a sensation when they finally hit the market. At the moment, however, the Mustang Mach-E feels like it's part of it.