- I spent a week living with and driving the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E.
- The crossover is Ford's first mass-market electric vehicle.
- Ford packed it full of cool and useful features, like a waterproof frunk and a 360-degree camera.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
I spent a week with the 2021 Mustang Mach-E, Ford's first mass-market electric vehicle.
Although my first EV road trip hit some snags, the Mach-E was overall a joy to drive and packed plenty of cool features. Here are my favorites:
Front trunks - frunks - used to be reserved for high-end, mid-engined exotics. Now they're becoming more prevalent as EVs, which don't have engines taking up space under the hood, grow in popularity.
I reckon that's a good thing, because who doesn't want more storage?
On my recent trip, the Mach-E's frunk proved super useful for stowing away soggy camping equipment and muddy shoes I'd hesitate to throw in the SUV's cabin. The frunk is made of hard plastic that's impossible to stain and has a drain plug so you can hose it out when needed. It's a place you can toss your dirtiest stuff without fear.
In theory, I like the idea of driving a car - or doing most things, really - without the need to fumble through an app. "OK, boomer," you're thinking to yourself. Point taken.
I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find that the FordPass app was intuitive and a massive help for getting places in the Mach-E. Mainly, it made charging a breeze.
The app lets you search for nearby plugs, filter for ones that deliver faster charging or are in the FordPass network, and pay seamlessly once you're done filling up. Plus, the app displays and updates a vehicle's current battery level and charging speed. That meant I could plug the Mach-E in, walk away, and keep tabs on it from afar.
The app notified me whenever the Mach-E reached 80% charge, or when it had gained enough energy to continue on a pre-planned route. And when a cruel Hyundai Kona Electric owner unplugged the SUV before it was done charging, the app pinged me about that too.
Ford Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0
The Mach-E comes standard with all manner of safety features as part of its Co-Pilot360 2.0 package, but what really blew me away was Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0, Ford's competitor to Tesla Autopilot.
When the tech, a combination of adaptive cruise control and lane centering, is switched on, the Mach-E slows down and speeds up to maintain a set distance to the car ahead. It also automatically drives in the center of its lane and follows bends in the road. It does both of these things exceptionally well.
This doesn't mean that the Mach-E can drive itself. No car on the market can. But it makes long stretches of boring highway driving much more tolerable. Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 was also a godsend in bumper-to-bumper traffic. When it encountered a jam, the Mach-E would slow down from highway speed and do all the tedious crawling wonderfully.
You have to keep your hands on the wheel and pay full attention to the road, but I still found that when I had Co-Pilot360 Assist 2.0 turned on, I ended trips way less fatigued than when I do 100% of the driving.
My test car came with a 360-degree camera, which is an option on some Mach-E trims and standard equipment on others.
When reversing, the Mach-E's giant screen showed not only the typical backup camera feed, it also displayed a birds-eye view of the vehicle, including any surrounding objects within a couple of feet of it. This helped immensely when backing into tight parking spots - for instance, spaces with a charger on one side and another pricey EV on the other.
I was too proud to rely on backup cameras for far too long. But when Ford hands you a crisp 360-degree view of your SUV, you take it.