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      03-26-2021, 01:44 PM   #1
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Fordís Electric Mustang is One of Their Most Impressive Products in Years: My Review

Ford Mustang Mach-E
Select AWD (Standard Range)
Space White/Black Onyx
As Tested: $45,595 (Before Federal Credits)

When I think of Ford, there’s three vehicles that typically come to mind. The F-Series Trucks: The best-selling trucks, as well as vehicles in the industry for close to 40-years now and Ford’s biggest cash cow. The Bronco, Ford’s off-road ready SUV, and OJ’s vehicle of choice And of course The Mustang: The iconic pony car and its soulful V8’s.

Over the years Ford has made many other vehicles, from the Taurus, Focus, Fusion, Edge, Escape, Expedition etc. But none of them have ever had the cache of the three vehicles listed above. There have been some good ones, like Ford’s ST and RS division cars which the US has sadly lost to crossovers or the original Taurus which was referred to as "The Shape of Tomorrow" and "A Totally New Breed of Car" by respective automotive magazines. There’s also been the bad, like the rollover Explorers, the Pinto fires, and even recently the Focuses and their transmissions which grenade themselves from the factory, of which Ford was well aware of and continued building anyways. Aside from the occasional Mustang (particularly the Shelby’s) and the Focus ST and RS, Ford hasn’t really impressed me for a while. Their trucks are great, and the Shelby’s are intoxicating but the rest was forgettable to me. Ford is trying to change that, with three sub-brands: Of course the first being the F-Series, second being the Bronco which is now its own sub-brand with its two and four-door off-road ready SUV’s back to fight the Wrangler, as well as the Sport which is bringing back the old boxy Escape into a cooler package, and now there’s Mustang with new models and variations arriving to showrooms. But this isn’t the Mustang any of us were expecting. An SUV, and an electric one at that. I was expecting a four-door Mustang to happen eventually but not in the form of an electric SUV. Could this be brand suicide? Taking an iconic name and throwing it out the window for all its meaning? Or is this the start of something great and a genius ploy for marketing? Well, that’s why I just had to get behind the wheel of the new Mustang Mach-E and find out, as ever since the rumors, spy shots, and eventual reveal of this car, I have been very curious to drive it, more so than any other SUV coming out.

Now this isn’t the first controversial Mustang, we all remember the Mustang II, the sales success but overall pathetic example of a Mustang which almost killed the Mustang name in itself. Well now we have our second controversial Mustang. This is an SUV, and its electric. It wears only pony badges, and Ford isn’t written anywhere outside or inside, even on the infotainment and gauge cluster upon startup. This vehicle takes no chances in forgetting to remind you that it’s a Mustang. I’ll talk more about the controversy and whether it deserves its name in the conclusion. But first, the exterior.

Exterior
This is a good looking crossover. Yes, it’s another crossover in a dreaded world full of them, but it does look good unlike its competitors like the VW iD4 which looks like a boring MPV, Tesla with its Model Y, which is just a fat Model 3, and Chevy with its dorky Bolt. This vehicle looks normal, but at the same time still fresh and modern without screaming that its electric, it could pass easily for an ICE SUV. Despite being electric they kept the strong cab backwards look and the longer nose of a RWD vehicle, as well as made some clever tricks in preserving space while not sacrificing style.

For example, the rear: This car looks more “coupe-like” than it actually is. The roof appears to taper off towards the back, but actually there is a neat trick of using a piano black roofline to preserve vertical space. The front end is grill-less but has a mustache-esque surround, similar to that of the Ford Edge, Escape, etc. Overall the front does the job without looking too plain, it has just enough visual accents and flair with a nice and subtle aggression to it. The side looks sharp, and I love the look of having no visual door handles cluttering the design. Creases are nice and sharp, with a strong shoulder-line disappearing into the center bodyline, which has become a popular automotive trend. The wheels are that of the base model, and it shows. They are small and the gray color doesn't blend with the black and white contrast of this particular model. The rear three-quarters is its best angle, from the raked roofline of the hatch to the Mustang inspired animated taillights. Simple but very nice. The handles are interesting as only the front has physical door pulls. To get in was also much easier than expected. The press of the button on the door trim is surprisingly natural and the small handle falls into the hand nicely, less finicky than getting into a Model 3/Y for the first time. The rear has no handle, but the doors have an electric motor that refuses to shut them on anyone’s hands for safety.

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Interior/Technology
Get inside and this is where the biggest deviation from any Ford really is. This feels more like a Tesla, both good and bad. The materials are surprisingly very nice, much better than any other recent Ford I’ve been in. Soft touch materials adorn the place, with everything from the knees up being soft and the speaker grills on the dash being covered in a nice fabric. Below the knees is hard plastic, which isn’t unexpected. The seats were also a surprise. I typically struggle to get comfortable in Ford’s, but these seats were comfy, the seating position was nice and low, and I had no lumbar issues. They aren’t heavily bolstered, but for the type of driving this vehicle will get that likely won’t matter.

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The center screen is straight out of Tesla and honestly, I would have liked to see more of a different approach rather than a copy. The volume knob is a nice touch, but I mainly use the steering wheel volume control in every vehicle I’ve had so not really a big deal. I would have liked to see them be able to use that knob for other controls as well, like the HVAC, similar to how JLR does. The tech is a bit clumsy and difficult at first. There’s a lot going on especially with all the vertical space. The controls are split into many menus, and there’s tiles that change and are customizable. In my time with the vehicle I didn’t get much experience but there’s a learning curve. I find other Ford’s with the latest version of SYNC to be more intuitive. The gauge cluster is a nice touch. Small but all the information needed, from speed, range, trip info, driver’s assistance, etc. Space up front is very nice.

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To get in the rear the opening could be bigger, but under 6ft passengers should have no issues with space. Without a moonroof though it is a bit dark due to the small greenhouse. Visibility is okay from the B-pillar forward, the further you go back the harder it is to see out. The frunk is nice although first thing I would do is unscrew the stupid cargo divider which limits space and usability. Making it a cooler with a drain was also smart even if it won’t be used much. You can easily put any wet items in there without worrying. The only way to open the frunk is inside the car though which is stupid and a hassle for groceries, there should be a button on the key. Hopefully, the app can solve this. The trunk was a bit disappointing. Ford says about 30cu-ft of space, but it doesn’t look it. It has more depth than height, more so the size of a big hatchback, and vertical space is tight, so pets may have difficulty out back.

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Powertrain/Driving Dynamics
Unlike a regular Mustang there’s no V8 under the hood. In this Mustang, there’s an electric motor under the floor. Quite a drastic change. This “Select” model I tested featured a 68kWh battery with AWD, as well as an EPA range of 211 miles and a 0-60 time of 5.2 seconds from 266hp and 428lb-ft of torque. Overall curb weight is about ~4,500lbs. First impression as with any electric vehicle is the power. This being the base model I wasn’t expecting much, but of course due to being electric its nice and peppy. Its ~5 second 0-60 time is definitely accurate, but it feels quicker at low speeds due to the instant torque which is very nice. It not as quick towards the top end but can still easily pass others like it’s no big deal. Rolling starts from 5-60 and passing from 50-70 is effortless and quick, no drama. A nice little touch is because there’s a lot of torque and you can have slight hints of tire squeal, just a tiny bit if you slam the throttle in turns or a corner. In my drive, I kept it in “Unbridled” mode.

There are three modes to choose from all with weird and confusing names. There’s “Engage” which is weirdly the normal mode, “Whisper” for eco/comfort, and “Unbridled” for sport. I didn’t change modes, but I’m sure they each have small little differences. Upon throttle the noise you hear is simulated to emulate a deep whirring noise. It’s a bit strange, and honestly, I’d prefer no noise. The brakes are equally impressive as the power. They don’t have the weird vague and spongy feeling of most hybrids/electric cars but feel perfectly normal. When letting off the throttle there’s slight regenerative breaking happening but it’s not intrusive. In Whisper or Engage this may be more aggressive. I tried the one-pedal mode for a short period of time, but it was too aggressive for me, but I also haven’t completely gotten to experience one-pedal driving in EV’s enough to perfectly modulate it.

Handling is impressive for this 4,500lb SUV. While the weight can be felt, because of the low center of gravity from the batteries, it has a solid feeling to the drive. Around corners its surprisingly eager to go in with ease, it’s just still strange to not have a transmission to change gears with, or a V8 singing in the background. Grip is decent, although of course I didn’t push it too much that it would break traction, but overall it’s not bad for an SUV, gives you a good amount of confidence for a 4500lb SUV, and doesn’t have too much roll in the corners. The suspension is also perfectly comfortable and absorbs most road imperfections, although over some bumps and changes in road height the damping could be a bit better, but overall comfortable and composed at speed. The steering was also surprising in that it was better than the last GT Mustang I drove. The wheel itself is girthy and easy to grip. It’s a bit springy on center with a little too much reliance to return to center but weighting is overall nice and heavier than light in Unbridled mode. There isn’t much in terms of feedback but some signs of road texture, but the steering was overall more natural and enjoyable than a lot of other crossovers I’ve driven. I would definitely like more time to see any differences in the Engage or Whisper modes for steering and handling.

Range/Efficiency
Being that my experience with the car was limited, I can’t comment too much on range and efficiency other than that it depends on the buyer and their needs. With options ranging from 211 miles to 300 miles there is a nice variety of models to help fit people’s lifestyles. While of course for some this range will never work for them, I think going for the Premium AWD with its Larger Battery Pack making about 280 miles of range will be sufficient for a large group of people. I could easily see my wife being fine with the range as the only time we really would exceed this would be going to the beach in which there are some charging station stops.

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I still think the biggest issue for all EV’s outside of Tesla is the charging network. Electrify America (VW) really just needs to step up and improve their network. While they have planned out many stations, a lot of them suffer from reliability issues, slower than promised charging speeds, as well as having poor customer service. Tesla’s Superchargers really do simplify and make the process easy, and adding features like YouTube, Netflix, etc. to the car was also a smart way of limiting boredom at these stops. Hopefully, EA will be able to improve themselves in the next few years as more brands add electric cars to their lineup.

Controversy? What Controversy?
So is this a Ford Mustang? Hell no. But what this actually is, is the best Ford Edge ever made. Think about it this way. If they called this thing a Ford Edge, would anyone get excited? Probably not. Giving it the Mustang name was purely an exercise in marketing and using brand equity to one’s advantage. Sharing the Mustang name makes this car more desirable than any other regular Ford, while appealing to the regular everyday people who may have always wanted and aspired to a Mustang but couldn’t do with RWD or 2-doors. Will they get the same experience? No, but when someone asks them what they drive, they can say they drive a Mustang, they may just leave off the electric SUV part Ford is risking brand dilution at the expectations of sales, and with this controversy they’ve received a ton of press and hype for the vehicle which has definitely worked towards their favor.

During my own test drive I received numerous looks as well as a few folks asking what I was driving. One woman even said, “what is that gorgeous vehicle you’re driving?” I replied, “It’s the new Mustang Mach-E,” to which she responded very enthusiastically. At the risk of diluting the brand, I think Ford will succeed. And one advantage of the name is because this isn’t called an Edge, there are certain Mustang expectations, such as great styling and better driving dynamics. Do I agree with the name after all this time? Not exactly, I still have my issues with it as a Mustang lover, but I do see the sense from a marketing perspective.

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Final Thoughts
At the end of the day, Ford has a winner here, regardless of name. This car has road presence, comfort, nice amenities, and luxuries, as well as great driving dynamics with quick acceleration, and the name and branding that people desire. This is easily much better and more desirable than its main competitors from VW (a car I found very lackluster in person) and Chevy. For the price, I definitely can see this being a great buy, and you’ll get $7,500 in federal incentives, sweetening the deal. The new Ford Edge, I mean, Mustang Mach-E, is one of Ford’s best new vehicles in years. Now, Ford would be really smart to spin the internals and technology from this Mach-E into a multitude of vehicles, from an electric Lincoln SUV to more new and exciting Ford vehicles. One thing is certain, the Mach-E is excellent, and its impact on the Ford brand and its future should be a very interesting one at that.

If you made it to the end, thanks for reading!
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Last edited by stein_325i; 03-26-2021 at 02:29 PM..
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      03-26-2021, 02:07 PM   #2
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Thanks for the detailed review. I live in the Detroit suburbs and have been seeing these pop up all over my neighborhood in the past month or so. I was surprised how nice they looked on the inside.
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      03-26-2021, 02:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by nick3753 View Post
Thanks for the detailed review. I live in the Detroit suburbs and have been seeing these pop up all over my neighborhood in the past month or so. I was surprised how nice they looked on the inside.
I was greatly surprised with the interior too. My most recent Ford experience was in a 2020 Explorer and the interior was awful for a $50k+ SUV. Tons of cheap plastics, trims that looked obviously fake, and a lot of the materials and trims didn't line up well leaving huge gaps, and even places to snag your fingers. This was quite the opposite. Felt a lot more solid and well built, with no glaring issues and tons of soft touch materials on the base model. I expect the upper trims which get nicer materials such as real leathers I even better.
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      03-26-2021, 03:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the write-up. I've yet to go check one out in person, but I hope to do so soon. I'm starting to get excited for the GT coming out this summer.

Like nick3753, I'm seeing these everywhere in southeast MI over the past few weeks. Sure, that's pretty typical of any exciting new vehicle from the Big 3, but I honestly wasn't sure how the octane hungry, V8 loving - not to mention Mustang worshiping - Detroit area crowd would receive this vehicle. So far, it looks like it is being embraced and will be accepted into the fold.
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      03-26-2021, 03:13 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Thanks for the write-up. I've yet to go check one out in person, but I hope to do so soon. I'm starting to get excited for the GT coming out this summer.

Like nick3753, I'm seeing these everywhere southeast MI over the past few weeks. Sure, that's pretty typical of any exciting new vehicle from the Big 3, but I honestly wasn't sure how the octane hungry, V8 loving - not to mention Mustang worshiping - Detroit area crowd would receive this vehicle. So far, it looks like it is being embraced and will be accepted into the fold.
The GT's are definitely what I'm looking forward to as well. Everything I've seen about them looks good except for the wheels which they recently changed from the pre-production version. I'm very interested to see any of handling and powertrain differences made to that model as I assume it will likely be a superior handling version of an already great vehicle.

I can't remember exactly, but didn't you say a while back this was a contender for your next vehicle?
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      03-26-2021, 03:24 PM   #6
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Thanks for the great write up, looking forward seeing what the GT brings.
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      03-26-2021, 03:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stein_325i View Post
I can't remember exactly, but didn't you say a while back this was a contender for your next vehicle?
Yep, I have a deposit down for a GT. Depending on how timing works out, I may defer to an early MY2022 if there are any interesting new colors or other options. I'm also hoping the Performance Edition package isn't too ridiculously priced, because I really want to be able to justify adding that.
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      03-26-2021, 03:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
Yep, I have a deposit down for a GT. Depending on how timing works out, I may defer to an early MY2022 if there are any interesting new colors or other options. I'm also hoping the Performance Edition package isn't too ridiculously priced, because I really want to be able to justify adding that.
Nice, I'm definitely a fan of the Grabber Blue and Rapid Red exterior paints, they both look excellent in person.


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      03-26-2021, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Nice, I'm definitely a fan of the Grabber Blue and Rapid Red exterior paints, they both look excellent in person.
I've driven past a couple in each of those colors, and yes, they do look great. Right now my top choice is Cyber Orange. It's a GT exclusive, so it's tough to spot in person. If no colors that I like even more are added for MY2022, that's the one I'll go with.

(Pic below was found on a forum - I didn't take it)

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      03-26-2021, 04:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkoesel View Post
I've driven past a couple in each of those colors, and yes, they do look great. Right now my top choice is Cyber Orange. It's a GT exclusive, so it's tough to spot in person. If no colors that I like even more are added for MY2022, that's the one I'll go with.

(Pic below was found on a forum - I didn't take it)

Wow usually I'm not a fan of orange, especially on SUV's but that looks very nice and surprisingly fitting, although I do not like those wheels compared to the ones at the autoshow, but I'm assuming they were chosen to get extra miles of range since they look more aerodynamic.
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      03-26-2021, 04:42 PM   #11
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Excellent review stein_325i This Mustang is the only EV vehicle I may consider down the road
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      03-26-2021, 05:43 PM   #12
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Great write up and review stein_325i . Enjoyed reading it. Not quite sure how I feel about it yet, but it’s growing on me. Aesthetically it looks more pleasing than the Tesla Model X.
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      03-26-2021, 06:13 PM   #13
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Excellent review stein_325i This Mustang is the only EV vehicle I may consider down the road
Thanks. So far I agree. Of the EV SUV's I would only consider this and a Model Y. The VW iD4 was incredibly lackluster after seeing it in person. Boring MPV-like looks, limited color availability, poor technology (which is very unlike VW) and a cheap interior. All for the same price as this Mach-E I drove. I didn't even need to drive it to know that its inferior. Also they got rid of the rear window switches for the driver and replaced it with touch buttons. Incredibly stupid and cheap feature.
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      03-26-2021, 06:16 PM   #14
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Great write up and review stein_325i . Enjoyed reading it. Not quite sure how I feel about it yet, but it's growing on me. Aesthetically it looks more pleasing than the Tesla Model X.
Thanks. I also was a bit hesitant upon its revealing, but after driving it and adjusting my expectations of it not being a V8 Manual 2-Door coupe I found that its really one of the only decent EV SUV's out there right now along with the Model Y, and it actually looks like a normal car, and doesn't scream electric like so many other do. I hope that this is a success for Ford and paves the way for future models.
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      03-26-2021, 08:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by stein_325i View Post
Thanks. So far I agree. Of the EV SUV's I would only consider this and a Model Y. The VW iD4 was incredibly lackluster after seeing it in person. Boring MPV-like looks, limited color availability, poor technology (which is very unlike VW) and a cheap interior. All for the same price as this Mach-E I drove. I didn't even need to drive it to know that its inferior. Also they got rid of the rear window switches for the driver and replaced it with touch buttons. Incredibly stupid and cheap feature.
We pre ordered an ID4, but realized the Tesla makes a lot more sense, but neither of us want a Tesla. So right now the better half is back to ICE cars. I've tried to pitch the Mach E, but I think I'll have to wait until she can see one in person to really make the hard sell.
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      03-26-2021, 08:23 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
We pre ordered an ID4, but realized the Tesla makes a lot more sense, but neither of us want a Tesla. So right now the better half is back to ICE cars. I've tried to pitch the Mach E, but I think I'll have to wait until she can see one in person to really make the hard sell.
I was really hoping I'd like the iD4 given how much work VW seems to be investing into EV's but in the end I was just so disappointed. VW admits they are going after soulless cars like the CR-V and RAV4, but for an EV to do well they need to do more than make it a commuter car without an engine. That's why I think the Mach-E works. While it does have some quirks like the tech, its just so much more desirable than the iD4's that I was looking at, inside and out, and surely in the drive as most driving reviews have said, and it was the same price. The iD4 I looked at was a RWD 1ST Edition for $45k.

The Mach-E feels like you bought something a little special whereas the iD4 to me at least feels like just another VW, albeit one that lacks all the best features of a VW, like physical controls, a good and intuitive interior/tech, and subtle but clean design. I had to watch videos of the car just to make sure it wasn't just my tester that was buggy as the screen and controls were so unresponsive. And the rear window switch situation would drive me crazy!

I hope VW improves, because so far the Mach-E and Model Y are my benchmarks for EV SUV's, and the upcoming Ioniq5 from Hyundai looks it should compete very nicely as well.
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      03-26-2021, 11:21 PM   #17
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Thanks for the detailed review. Detroit was historically always behind the curve but this time they've done their due diligence. Hats off to Ford (minus the name they gave it ).
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      03-27-2021, 05:26 AM   #18
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Nice looking car aside from it really just being a big coupe. Thanks for the review.
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      03-27-2021, 07:04 AM   #19
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It’s not bad but I think I would still take the Model Y.
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      03-27-2021, 07:43 AM   #20
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It's not bad but I think I would still take the Model Y.
I would also still take a Model Y but for those who refuse to buy Tesla's this is a good option.
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      03-27-2021, 07:45 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Germanauto View Post
Thanks for the detailed review. Detroit was historically always behind the curve but this time they've done their due diligence. Hats off to Ford (minus the name they gave it ).
Yep, and to think, they almost went a different route and designed another boring and undesirable hatchback/crossover. It was smart on Ford's part to can this concept in favor of the Mach-E.
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      03-27-2021, 03:19 PM   #22
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Great job, Stein. Keep those reviews coming. Can you maybe add your grade (1-5) for price, performance, interior quality, etc.?
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