A familiar name but a very different thing, the new 2021 Ford
Mustang Mach-E crossover EV takes on the 2021 Tesla
Model Y. Both have impressive driving manners and range. Let’s compare them.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E
Starting price: $43,995
Above average: 300-mile maximum range; crossover practicality; loaded with tech; optional all-wheel drive; fun to drive.
Below average: Top trims are nearly $20,000 higher.
Consensus: A brand new crossover EV, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E offers loads of practicality and space, a maximum range of 300 miles, and your choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. Given that it’s a new model, both reliability and resale values are unknown.
Also see: This is Kia’s fast-charging 2022 EV6
2021 Tesla Model Y
Starting price: $51,190
Above average: Quick; over-the-air updates; seating for up to seven; great driver assistance tech; standard all-wheel drive.
Below average: Not eligible for federal tax credits; more tall car than SUV; fit and finish; some tech requires a learning curve; neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto integration.
Consensus: Offering great range, impressive performance, and standard all-wheel drive, the 2021 Tesla Model Y is an electric crossover with either 5- or 7-passenger capacity. It’s not eligible for federal tax credits, however, and there are some fit and finish issues.
Mach-E vs. Model Y: electric upstarts
Ford Mustang Mach-E
With Ford planning to unveil a large number of EVs in the next few years, it wanted to make a splash with the first crossover in the lineup. Hence, the Mustang name, formerly reserved for the brand’s legendary sports car, has been chosen to kick off this effort.
Four trims provide a few different ranges or levels of driving, with the base having a very usable 230 miles of range and the extended range having 300. The GT is the much sportier and quicker variant, with an estimated range of 250 miles. But 230 miles is still plenty for daily driving and even some road trips if the stops are planned carefully.
Inside, the 2021 Mach-E is innovative and modern, yet also practical, with plenty of storage options and ample space even for taller passengers. The cabin is airy and spacious. With just under 30 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats that expands to nearly 60 with them folded, the Mustang Mach-E is practical as well.
There are numerous available options in the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, but standard features are comprehensive, including FordPass Connect (allows your phone to operate as a key), a 15.5-inch infotainment screen, and Apple
CarPlay/Android Auto, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi, and front and rear USB ports.
Mustang Mach-E also boasts Sync4A infotainment with navigation, plus Ford’s CoPilot360 suite of safety tech. This includes reverse brake assist, reverse sensing, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, pre-collision assist, lane-keeping assist, a rear camera, and automatic high beams. Optional is Co-Pilot360 Active, with a semi-autonomous driving mode. Prices can climb above $60,000, but the Mach-E is eligible for a $7,500 federal tax credit.
Tesla Model Y
The newest member of the all-electric Tesla fleet and now in its second year, the 2021 Tesla Model Y is the baby brother to the larger Model X crossover. It offers 5- or 7-passenger seating, depending on how it’s configured, and a choice of electric powertrains.
Tesla initially marketed a low-price standard-range model (244 miles), and while there are still a few available, that model is discontinued. That leaves the Long Range (326 miles) and Performance (303 miles) as the only two trims you can order.
If there’s one thing we’ll say about the 2021 Model Y, it’s not dull. The Long Range gets to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, with the Performance lowering that to 3.5. Couple that with a taut suspension, quick steering, and the Model Y can be a lot of fun to drive.
If you’d rather enjoy more relaxed cruising, Tesla also offers a semi-autonomous mode with adaptive cruise control and steering assistance, and a more advanced Full Self-Driving package. Keep in mind that even the latter is still a Level 2 system, which requires the driver to be focused on the road and able to take over control of the car at any moment.
Inside, the Model Y is very minimalist, with nearly every function controlled by a landscape-oriented 15-inch touchscreen. Standard features include heated seats in the first two rows and a 12-way power adjustment for the front buckets.
The infotainment system includes four USB ports, docking for two smartphones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, navigation, and a 15-speaker audio system. Note that neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto integration is available. The Model Y no longer qualifies for the federal $7,500 tax credit.
Sporty driving manners; good space for passengers and cargo; driving modes range from sporty to serene.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E advantages
Lower starting price; Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility; modern interior.
2021 Tesla Model Y advantages
Longer range; network of superchargers; optional 7-passenger capacity; long warranty.
Which one is right for me?
An impressive freshman effort, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E bodes well for Ford’s electric future, with a practical and usable interior, good electric range, and loads of practicality.
With a higher range but at a higher price, the 2021 Tesla Model Y offers optional space for seven and more than 326 miles of range. Plus, Tesla’s national network of Superchargers means there’s never a quick charge too far away.
Ready to buy a Ford Mustang Mach-E or Tesla Model Y?
|2021 Ford Mach-E||2021 Tesla Model Y|
|Electric Motor||198 kW AC synchronous||AC induction|
|Horsepower||266 hp||447 hp|
|Torque||317 lb-ft||376 lb-ft|
|EPA Driving Range||230 miles||326 miles|
|EPA Fuel Economy||100 combined/105 city/93 hwy MPGe||125 combined/131 city/117 hwy MPGe|
|Level 2 Charging Time||8-9 hours||10-12 hours|
|Battery pack||66 kWh Li-ion; 288 cells||75 kWh Li-ion; 2,170 cells|
|Warranty||3 years/36,000 miles||4 years/50,000 miles|
|Battery warranty||8 years/100,000 miles||8 years/120,000 miles|
|NHTSA Safety Rating||n/a||5 stars|
|Max Seating Capacity||5||7|
|Wheelbase||117.0 inches||113.8 inches|
|Overall Length||186.0 inches||187.0 inches|
|Width||74.0 inches||77.9 inches|
|Height||63.0 inches||63.9 inches|
|Turning Diameter||38.0 feet||39.8 feet|
|Headroom, Front||38.8 inches||41.0 inches|
|Headroom, Rear||38.2 inches||39.4 inches|
|Legroom, Front||41.7 inches||41.8 inches|
|Legroom, Rear||38.1inches||40.5 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Front||57.6 inches||56.4 inches|
|Shoulder Room, Rear||55.9 inches||54.4 inches|
|EPA Passenger Volume||101 cubic feet||N/a|
|Cargo Volume||59.7 cubic feet||68.0 cubic feet|
This story originally ran on KBB.com.