Tesla Model Y and Mustang Mach-E
Jimmy Dinsmore's picture

Motor Trend Proclaims The Tesla Model Y To Be Better Than Mustang Mach-E

2021 Mustang Mach-E is first real challenger to Tesla. Both vehicles have their merits and having more, viable electric vehicles is good for the economy and good for the consumer.
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Forget Ford vs. Ferrari, the new rivalry is Ford vs. Tesla. Similar to the successful Ford vs. Ferrari movie, Ford is the new entrant in this showdown, while Tesla would be more like Ferrari – established and well known.

Ford steps into the arena with the 2021 Mustang Mach-E which comes with some controversy due to its name (as silly as it may be) while Tesla introduces their latest EV the Model Y. Reports indicate that Ford is already taking a chunk out of Tesla with the Mach-E. Both electric crossovers have a lot of similarities. So comparing and contrasting them comes to mostly subjective opinions.

And the internet is crawling with plenty of comparisons between the Model Y and the Mach-E. My colleague John Goreham offered one of the best comparisons between these two vehicles. He also proclaimed that the Mach-E will get IIHS safety scores before the Model Y.

It’s a pretty level field and highly competitive, and that’s a good thing. One major publication, Motor Trend, stepped out with their subjective take recently and proclaimed the Model Y to be slightly better than the Mach-E.

Motor Trend cited numerous reasons and concluded in the end that Ford had all the right ingredients to challenge Tesla, but needed to “refine the formula.”

I spent some significant time driving the Mach-E recently, and shared my thoughts and even took a complete about face on my initial reaction to the Mach-E. Sure, I might’ve had a knee-jerk reaction (like many) to the hallowed Mustang name and emblem going on a crossover, and still takes some getting used to, but as I said in my review, driving the Mach-E will change your mind.

I have not driven the Tesla Model Y but have driven the Tesla Model S and Model 3. And I can say the driving and performance is comparable and as I expected it to be. Motor Trend seems to agree and certainly does not pan the Mach-E and calls it a legitimate challenger. Let’s look closer at what Motor Trend felt between these two rival EVs.

Tesla Model Y and Mustang Mach-E

Comparing The Tesla Model Y To The Mustang Mach-E
Motor Trend put excessive seat time in both vehicles and compared them on various aspects. For driving, Motor Trend determined that the Mach-E seemed more refined but the Model Y seemed quicker.

My general impression would concur with that analogy (again having not driven the Model Y). While the Mach-E was torquey and fast and even loud in Unbridled mode, it still seemed to lack the wow factor that I’ve experienced in the Model S. Perhaps that will all change when Ford bring the Mach-E GT to market later this summer. If I were to invest in a Mach-E, I’d hold out for the GT version for true mind-blowing performance.

And in Whisper mode, the Mach-E is absolutely refined. It was like riding on a cloud. So kudos to Motor Trend to Motor Trend for pointing this out.

In two key areas for EVs, Motor Trend decrees that Tesla has the edge. The Model Y has true autonomous capability with self-driving technology, while the Mach-E does not. Personally, I don’t believe the average consumer cares about that, and so I give less of an edge to Tesla for this. But if ADAS and technology like that is important, then certainly Tesla is the way to lean.

But since the Mach-E is so much fun to drive, I’d rather drive it, than have it be driven for me.

Mustang Mach-E charging

The second, and most vital way, the Tesla Model Y has the edge over the Mach-E, according to Motor Trend, is in charging. And this is a no-brainer. You cannot argue with this point.

When I had my seat time in the Mach-E I initially had range anxiety concerns. But with almost 300 miles of range, that quickly went away. But the inconvenience of finding a level 3 charging station near me (in Cincinnati, Ohio) that would work with the Mach-E was a challenge.

Tesla has it all over Ford when it comes to charging infrastructure. But Tesla has been in the game a lot longer in this realm than Ford. But I would urge Ford to continue to expand their charging network as much as possible to persuade the consumer that it’s easy and convenient to recharge the Mach-E.

Mustang Mach-E frunk

Mustang Mach-E vs. Tesla Model Y showdown
My colleague John Goreham did an excellent story on why a former Tesla owner chose the Mach-E over the Model Y.

Next week, I will be doing a story where that owner, Sergio Rodriquez, is driving his Mach-E against a Model Y on a 1000-mile trip around the perimeter of Florida to see which does better and who completes the drive first.

Check out Sergio’s video (below) where he compares the Mustang Mach-E to the Tesla Model Y and be sure to check out Torque News’ Mustang page for next week’s story.

Related story: Ford addresses "electric brick" deep-sleep issue with a service bulletin for early production Mach-Es.

So, as always, I want to hear your comments. Which of these two electric crossovers do you prefer and why? Leave 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.


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