Ford Mustang Mach-E: How we’d equip our Best Car To Buy 2021

The Ford Mustang Mach-E beat out nine other finalists out of dozens of contenders to win The Car Connection’s Best Car To Buy 2021 competition. The electric crossover SUV won two segment categories, Best Electric Car To Buy and Best Crossover To Buy, as well as being our overall winner. For the first time in our 10-year award history, it won top honors on both The Car Connection and Green Car Reports, and was seriously considered the winner on Motor Authority

While our editorial team was unanimous in our praise for this Mustang full of firsts, we had different constraints on how to spec our Mach-E. Not only are we a geographically dispersed group, we also prioritize things differently, ranging from overall value, to performance, to efficiency. For example, one third or team lives in sunshine states, while the rest of us live in a reality where we’d prioritize all-wheel drive over rear-wheel drive. And we don’t pretend to have the budget for a his/hers or they/theirs set of Mach-Es in our driveways. 

Shopping on a budget is a crucial part of our awards process. To qualify for our Best Car To Buy award, the honoree has to be available for under $50,000, and in this case, we can’t factor in the $7,500 federal EV tax credit available to many Mach-E buyers. Our price threshold automatically excludes the $50,900 California Route 1, which comes only with rear-wheel drive and the larger battery pack with a 300-mile range. We did not consider the sold-out Limited Edition or the forthcoming GT performance model due later in the year, though based on Ford’s estimate that it can hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, we want to consider it. ASAP.  

Therefore, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E for us can either be the base Select or the top Premium trim. 

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

We want the $48,100 Premium model and its fixed glass roof that adds 1.5 inches of headroom. It also has 19-inch wheels, and all the goodies. More than the goodies, we want the larger Extended Range 88-kwh battery pack that boosts range from 230 miles to 300 miles. But Extended Range costs $5,000 more, taking us out of our price range.

So we’ll be happy to take a well-equipped Select model that only comes with the Standard Range 68-kwh battery pack. Starting at $43,995 (including destination), the Mach-E Select comes with an impressive 15.5-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, wireless smartphone charging, keyless start, satellite radio, synthetic leather upholstery, and standard safety features such as automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors, and automatic high beams.

Adding another motor to the front axle for all-wheel drive cuts the 0-60 mph sprint from 5.8 seconds to 5.2 seconds, but it also trims range from 230 miles to 211 miles. It adds grip, though, as well as $2,700 to the total, but we won’t need to pay for the hassle of winter tires. For colors that pop unlike black, silver, or gray, it costs extra. We want to show off the newest toy on the block, so we’ll add Rapid Red Metallic for $400.

Between the two available comfort packages, we’ll take the one that bundles technology instead of the flashier and fetching 19-inch wheels and a black roof. Both the $2,600 Comfort/Technology package and the $2,300 Comfort/Appearance package include heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, power-folding mirrors, a clever cargo area cover, and a hands-free power liftgate. The tech part adds a surround-view camera system and the hardware for Ford’s hands-free driver-assistance system; the software will come via an over-the-air update due in the third quarter of 2021 and enable hours of hands-free driving on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways across the country. 

That brings us to $49,695. It’s not too late to wrap it in a bow, either. 

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