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2021 Mustang Mach-E Named North American Utility Of The Year

All-electric crossover gives ‘validation’ to Mustang Mach-E. This is the fourth major recognition for Ford’s brand-new electric crossover that will rival Tesla.

Today, the North American Car, Truck and Utility of the Year jury announced the three winners of this prestigious honor. Ford was a finalist in two of the three categories with the Mustang Mach-E up against the Genesis GV80 and the Land Rover Defender. Meanwhile the stalwart Ford F-150 was up against the Ram TRX and the Jeep Gladiator Mojave.

Ford took home two honors with the Mach-E winning the utility of the year while the F-150 took home truck of the year honors for the fourth time.

Ford’s Kumar Galhotra, president, Ford Americas and IMG, accepted the awards via video from today’s virtual announcement.

“This recognition for Mustang Mach-E and F-150 is validation not only for our brand, but also for our Ford team, which continues to innovate and deliver on its commitment to creating must-have products and services,” said Galhotra. “The North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards are among the most prestigious in the industry and such an honor serves as a capstone achievement for years of hard work for the Mustang Mach-E and F-150 teams.”

It is the first time since 2014 that the same brand has won multiple North American vehicle of the year awards in the same year.

Mustang Mach-E interiorMustang Mach-E: North American Utility Vehicle of the Year
It’s quite an accomplishment for a first-time entry like the Mach-E to win the award, although often the jury does reward new entrants in segments.

Certainly the Mach-E is not without publicity and fanfare having swept onto the scene somewhat controversially by using the Mustang name on an electric crossover vehicle. I wrote about how I thought the Genesis GV80 might win because some on the jury might hold the Mustang name against the Mach-E, but clearly that was not a swaying factor.

The jury did seem to reward innovation, something they are known to do.

Ford brought the all-new all-electric Mustang Mach-E to life through a development process concentrated entirely on customer needs and desires, resulting in a sleek, beautiful SUV that delivers spirited ride and handling – with state-of-the-art connected vehicle technology that makes it even better over time.

According to Ford, the winning vehicles are benchmarks in their segments based on factors including innovation, design, safety, handling, driver satisfaction and value for the dollar. Clearly, the jury agreed.

Additionally, both models have connected vehicle technology, including over-the-air updates, that keeps them in the forefront of purposeful technology and ensures customers’ future wants and needs are met through the life of the vehicle.

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E driverOther Awards and Honors For the 2021 Mustang Mach-E
This is not the only award that the Mach-E has won, which is sometimes an indicator that a more prestigious recognition like Utility of the Year might be following.
Here’s a list of other accolades the 2021 Mustang Mach-E has won:
• Green Car of the Year - Green Car Journal
Edmunds Top Rated Luxury EV - Edmunds
Best Car to Buy 2021- The Car Connection
• Best Electric Car to Buy 2021 - The Car Connection
• Best Crossover to Buy 2021 - The Car Connection
• Best Car to Buy 2021 - Green Car Reports

I wrote just yesterday about how a win like this could greatly impact Ford’s overall stock and valuation on Wall Street. So it will be interesting to see if the needle moves up for Ford and their stock, which has been fairly weak over the last several years.

Even if it doesn’t have an immediate impact, this is surely a feather in the cap of new CEO Jim Farley who has been a product champion for the Mustang Mach-E, including putting the name of Mustang on the crossover.

Did that decision pay off? At least as far as the national automotive media goes it didn’t hurt it. Now, will this help bump up sales? That is the all-important key indicator for the long-term viability of the Mustang Mach-E.

What do you think? Does this increase your opinion of the Mach-E? Do you give much credibility to awards like this? Leave me your comment below.

Jimmy Dinsmore has been an automotive journalist for more than a decade and been a writer since the high school. His Driver’s Side column features new car reviews and runs in several newspapers throughout the country. He is also co-author of the book “Mustang by Design” and “Ford Trucks: A Unique Look at the Technical History of America’s Most Popular Truck”. Also, Jimmy works in the social media marketing world for a Canadian automotive training aid manufacturing company. Follow Jimmy on Facebook, Twitter, at his special Ford F-150 coverage on Twitter and LinkedIn. You can read the most of Jimmy's stories by searching Torque News Ford for daily Ford vehicle report.


John D Kennedy (not verified)    January 11, 2021 - 3:04PM

re: the Mach E... just read the article and I agree with all thats said.
I was very close to inking a deal on the Model Y but since the Pandemic and not driving anywhere anyways we thought we would wait.
Saw a Mach E at the dealership in Milton Ontario a few weeks ago but couldnt see inside ..
My one concern with the Mach E is no one at FORD can answer me about the service schedule... When you get a TESLA they dont even want to see you again for a year... No one can tell me what the Mach E will be... Theres nothing a detest more than having to go to the dealership every 8000 km's. it is such a waste of time.
Hoping I can go with Ford as Ive drove Fords since 1972 . I hope they dont stumble and drop the ball on this one .. They have a lot riding on it.
In my humble opinion electric is the only way to go for my needs .
As for the using the Mustang name .... who really cares ..
As far as the pre production one we saw at the dealership the fit up wasnt that great around the rear taillights ... The Tesla is no prize either especially around the frunk lid. Both companies will get it right but I believe Ford will get the fit and finish done faster .... Thanx for reading this and if you know the answer to my service question I would really appreciate a reply or someone to contact that does know .

DeanMcManis (not verified)    January 12, 2021 - 3:29AM

Kudos to Ford! However it is confusing. Is this the best utility award for 2020 vehicles? Or are they pronouncing the Mach-E the best for 2021, anticipating that no other new utility vehicles released this year will be better? Because it's a stretch to call the Mach-E a 2020 vehicle, without having them ship to customers last year. Am I missing something?

Jimmy Dinsmore    January 12, 2021 - 11:19AM

This is the "Oscars" of the auto awards. Vehicles are submitted for consideration that meet certain criteria. This is for model year 2021. But to qualify they have to be delivered the first half of the model year, so the Mach-E is eligible while the Bronco is not.

DeanMcManis (not verified)    January 13, 2021 - 8:26PM

OK, but aren't the Oscars actually a review of the best films of the past year? Many of the contenders of the "best vehicles" of 2021 have not even been revealed for sale yet, and to truly judge them well you should see how well they are received, reviewed, and enjoyed over the whole year. Perspective counts.

Jimmy Dinsmore    January 14, 2021 - 10:05AM

Well in that case the Oscars was a bad comparison. This is an ELITE award, chosen by elite members of the automotive media. Handled through an accounting firm. This is not an overview of the previous model year, but the upcoming one. Each member drove all trims and iterations of each vehicle from basic trim to top trim and if there are engine options. It's a grueling process. They then vote in a weighted system. Then it's calculated. To be considered the 2021 vehicle has to be delivered before June of 2021. Thus the Mach-E is eligible, and the Broncos were not. Make sense?

DeanMcManis (not verified)    January 14, 2021 - 11:34AM

It makes sense how they do their judging, but not necessarily why they do it that way. Maybe it is an award system that they built on the way that legacy automakers and magazines used to work. Where they worked on developing cars many years in advance and announced new models at car shows, and published several months after the cars were reviewed because of printing lead times. But much of today's new car news comes out daily and weekly. So we will only know about a few of the cars that will be released and sold in 2021 by January. It's OK, as this group will probably have the first automotive awards of the year, if not the most representative of 2021 cars. Either way the Mach-E seems to be deserving of praise, and this award will give it recognition to compete better against the leading legacy ICE model competitors. So that's good.