Model Y vs. Mach-E – Tested & Compared


Model Y vs. Mach-E - Tested & Compared

The Ford Mach-E is the manufacturer’s first attempt at a fully-electric SUV. This begs the question: how does the Mach-E compare to the Tesla Model Y? In the article below, you will see how the Model Y and the Mach-E compare in terms of interior/exterior features, battery range, and drive performance, among a multitude of other points of comparison.

The Model Y is comfier than the Mach-E, owing to its greater cargo space. The two are near equals in terms of motor performance, although battery range and towing capacity certainly do make the Model Y more versatile. One nice touch on the Mach-E is the driving mode option.

The two models also vary in the types of suspensions that they use, with the Model Y employing a double-wishbone suspension at the front and the Mach-E a Macpherson strut suspension. The consequences of this will also be discussed in further detail below.

Trim Levels: Mach-E vs. Model Y

Ford does deserve credit for offering so many different trim levels for the Mach-E, which is the first fully-electric vehicle that the company has manufactured. You will see here that both the Tesla Model Y and Ford Mach-E are competitively-priced.

Mach-E- MSRP $42,895 – $60,500

The Ford Mustang Mach-E does come in a wide variety of trim levels, with the base-level Select rivaling the most affordable options that Tesla has to offer. The Select lacks several of the luxurious features seen in higher trim levels, including a glass roof, heated seating, and assisted parking. The full selection of trim levels is:

  • Select
  • California Route 1
  • Premium
  • GT
  • First Edition

Model Y- MSRP $48,490 – $59,490

The two levels of the Model Y are the Long Range and Performance. The difference between them lies in the specs of the battery systems. Tesla does allow its buyers to customize their vehicles during the online ordering process, which can be accessed here.

Things that can be customized during the ordering process include exterior features such as paint scheme and tires, as well as interior features such as the seating arrangement (5 vs. 7 passengers. All Tesla vehicles come standard with autopilot and full self-driving capabilities, with the full self-driving package costing an additional $10,000.

Battery Range

Battery range is an all-important statistic for EV owners. This determines how far you can venture without having to charge your vehicle, an activity that can take anywhere from 3-12 hours to complete.

ModelBattery Range (EPA-est.)Battery Capacity (kWh)
Tesla Model Y303-326 miles75
Ford Mustang Mach-E210-300 miles68 or 88

Courtesy: Ford, Tesla

Battery range is one category where Tesla Model Y has an advantage over the Ford Mustang Mach-E. The Long Range trim of the Model Y has an EPA-estimated battery range that maxes out at 326 miles. Even the range-shortened battery of the Performance trim goes the distance at 303 miles.

Is The Motor Of The Mach-E Better Than The Model Y?

Both the Model Y and the Mach-E are fitted with independent front and rear drive motors, a feature that is common in the EV industry. Although similar in design, the motor systems perform differently in terms of acceleration, horsepower, and torque. Of particular significance is the ability of the Model Y to accelerate rapidly.

ModelDrivetrainAcceleration (0-60 mph)HorsepowerTorque (lb.-ft)
Ford Mustang Mach-E SelectRWD/AWD5.8 s – 6.1 s (RWD) / 3.5 s – 5.2 s (AWD)266-480317-634
Tesla Long RangeAWD4.8 s384376
Tesla PerformanceAWD3.5 s456497

Courtesy: Motortrend, Ford

Ford Mustang Mach-E Motors

The Mach-E comes standard with rear-wheel drive motors. However, customers can upgrade to the all-wheel-drive motor if they wish to do so.

If you’re looking for something with a bit of get-up-and-go, then you will most certainly need to check out the GT trim. The GT has an acceleration of 3.5 to 3.8 s and delivers a torque of up to 634 lb.-ft. Otherwise, Mach-E doesn’t score high marks in terms of acceleration.

Tesla Model Y Motors

The Performance trim of the Model Y provides an impressive acceleration boost comparable to the GT trim of the Mustang Mach-E. It’s also worth noting that the Model Y’s Performance trim delivers quite impressively in terms of horsepower and torque.

Although Tesla does not yet manufacture a crossover SUV that is quite as powerful as the GT trim of the Mach-E, its Performance and Long Range trims do compare favorably to the base-level trims Ford has to offer.

Dimensions: How Big is The Mach-E? How Big Is The Model Y?

Being that SUVs are directly marketed towards families, it is crucial to know just how comfy each of these vehicles is. You will see below why the Tesla Model Y may be the better choice as a daily driver for a family, mainly if their interests include a variety of outdoor activities requiring them to haul gear.

Exterior Dimensions

There is minimal separation between these two in regards to exterior dimensions. This does have implications though, on the interior’s spaciousness and the maximum cargo capacity, as you will see in the section below. The Tesla is slightly wider and also higher by an inch.

MeasurementTesla Model Y (inches)Ford Mustang Mach-E (inches)
Length187186
Width7674
Height6463

Courtesy: Ford, Tesla

Interior Dimensions

Despite the similar exterior dimensions of the two vehicles, Tesla has created a vehicle with a more spacious interior. Maximum cargo capacity is the category in which this is most apparent, with the Model Y claiming a whopping 8.3 more cubic feet of storage space than the Mache-E.  It is also worth noting that the Mache-E only comes in a 5-seat option, while the Model Y allows buyers to choose between a 5-seater and a 7-seater.

MeasurementFord Mustang Mach-ETesla Model Y
Front Head Room38.9″41″
Front Shoulder Room57.6″56.4″
Front Leg Room41.7″41.8″
Rear Head Room38.3″39.4″
Rear Shoulder Room55.9″54″
Rear Leg Room38.1″40.5″
Max Cargo Capacity59.7 cu. ft.68 cu. ft

Courtesy: Edmunds, Ford, Tesla

What is the Inside of the Mach-E Like? What about the Model Y?

It would appear that Ford took a page out of Tesla’s book when they designed the Mach-E. Much like the Model Y, this vehicle takes a minimalist approach when it comes to dashboard features and design. Both manufacturers make use of tablet touchscreen displays for infotainment purposes, affixing to the futuristic aura of electric vehicles.

  • Perhaps the biggest difference is that the Mach-E has both a center-mounted tablet and an instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. The Model Y has a 15″ tablet mounted in the center, where drivers can adjust everything from a single screen.
  • The Ford SYNC software in the tablet was buggy upon its release and may continue to go through growing pains. Tesla is well-known for continuously updating its software and has been doing so for several years now.
  • Sound systems:
    • The Mach-E is equipped with an externally coupled subwoofer.  This system has received rave reviews thus far.
    • Tesla has also received praise for its sound system, which includes 14 speakers and a subwoofer.

Both Tesla and Ford ushered in a new age by including vegan leather for interior materials. Ford claims that the Mach-E is 100% vegan, while Tesla has been invested in more sustainable interiors since 2015, officially unveiling this feature in their lineup in 2019.

Autopilot/Self-Driving Features

The autopilot features of the Tesla Model Y go above and beyond what is currently offered with the 2021 Mach-E. This is because Tesla has spent years developing self-driving software.

Ford’s autopilot features for the Mach-E are still in the early stages of development. However, the manufacturer plans to launch an Active Drive Assist feature enabling hands-free motoring on more than 100,000 miles of divided highways in the US and Canada. Ford’s Active Drive Assist software is anticipated to compete with Tesla’s.

Is the Tesla Self-Driving Package Worth It?

The complete self-driving package costs an additional $8,000, so this is certainly a valid question. According to a Consumer Reports analysis dating back to October 2020, the software offers a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to usefulness.

Here is a summary of the report:

  • Don’t let the full self-driving monitor fool you; even with autopilot features fully engaged, the driver still needs to be focused and attentive.
  • The self-parking system is inconsistent in performance.
  • Traffic light and stop sign control programs cause the vehicle to slow down for green lights, as well as red lights

The bottom line here is that both vehicles’ self-driving features are still a bit of a work in progress. Since Ford’s autopilot features are still in development, it’s still too early to decide which manufacturer will deliver a better product in this category.

Drive Modes: Mach-E vs. Tesla

The computerized motor drive system in EVs allows manufacturers to take an interesting approach with driving settings. Electric vehicles do not need clutches or gears. They are also equipped with a regenerative braking system, which converts heat from brakes back to kinetic energy that the car’s battery can then use. Both Ford and Tesla have developed driving modes designed to deliver a seamless flow throughout the entire process.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Owners have access to three different driving modes that Ford is calling “experiences.” These driving modes give the entire car a distinct personality that matches the user’s driving behavior in real-time. The feel of the steering wheel, ambient lighting, instrument-cluster screen displays, and vehicle sounds are all parameters that are changed by the chosen mode.

The three driving modes in the Mach-E are:

  • Whisper: A calm driving experience with lighter steering controls, a gentler accelerator response, brake-traction control
  • Engage: A balance of serenity and Mustang performance, low gear function
  • Unbridled: Sharpened steering, enhanced throttle response, driver can feel the responsiveness of the downshifting on deceleration

Ford also offers a one-pedal mode, which reduces the driver’s need to use the brake pedal.

Changing the driving mode is as simple as quickly panning through a few menus on the touchscreen and choosing the appropriate mode.

To select a driving mode: drivers can scan to a vehicle drawer on the touchscreen. They can then go to the controls menu to change the drive mode.

Tesla Model Y

This vehicle comes with customizable settings similar to the driving mode settings that Ford has to offer. Tesla offers the unique option to set the car to a mode that restricts its maximum speed. This setting, designed for valet service, can also come in handy if you have a student driver in your house.

  • Convenience lights operate automatically based on which action the driver is performing.
  • Adjustable steering options: drivers can choose between comfort, standard, and sport modes. This offers drivers a similar feel to the whisper, engage, and unbridled modes of the Mach-E.
  • Easy entry settings automatically adjust the steering wheel and seat as soon as the car is parked.
  • A valet mode limits speed to 70 mph, restricts acceleration, and locks the front glove box and trunk.

Driving Performance & Comfort

The Tesla Model Y and Ford Mustang Mach-E are strikingly similar in many of the parameters discussed here. Driving performance and overall comfort are relatively subjective and, as such, it may be challenging to determine a clear favorite in this category. As you will see below, Ford and Tesla have each taken their own paths in formulating a quality ride.

Ford Mustang Mach-E

Starting with the suspension, the Mach-E is equipped with an independent multi-link rear suspension. What does this mean? Multi-link suspensions are designed to reduce the amount of diving and squatting that occurs during braking and acceleration. At the front is a strut suspension with coil springs.

The Mach-E has a MacPherson strut setup at the front, which is commonly seen in vehicles. A MacPherson strut does a good job of keeping the vehicle flat to the ground. It also helps keep the vehicle at a lighter weight versus a double-wishbone suspension. Macpherson struts are also associated with a more comfortable ride.

Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y has a similar suspension to the Mach-E, with a double-wishbone coil spring at the front and multi-link coil spring suspension at the rear. This means that Model Y owners miss out (for the time being) on the adaptive air suspension available in other models in the Tesla lineup.

The Tesla Model Y does not have a Macpherson strut at the front. The results of a double-wishbone suspension are improved stability and easier handling. Generally, double wishbone suspensions do lead to higher vehicle costs. However, this is not necessarily the case with the Model Y since it is priced competitively with the Mustang Mach-E.

Towing Capacity: Why the Model Y Is Better For Towing, Hauling Cargo

The Tesla Model Y holds a significant advantage over the Ford Mustang Mach-E when it comes to towing capacity. The Mach-E is not set up for towing at all. The Model Y has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. Most gasoline midsize SUVs fall within the range of 5,000 to 7,000 lbs.

The tow package comes as an option that can be added during the online ordering process of the Model Y, costing $1,000.  As was mentioned earlier in the motors section, the Model Y is preferable for anyone who wants to haul gear in an SUV, for a variety of reasons. The Model Y compares favorably to the Ford Mach-E in terms of available cargo space, horsepower, and torque ratings.

Maintenance Costs

One category in which Tesla vehicles are struggling is owner access to affordable maintenance. Some report waiting weeks, if not months, to even have simple dings and dents worked out in their Tesla vehicles. This is because Tesla is still working ambitiously to enlarge their network of certified service centers and auto body repair centers, which as of now stands at just 120.

Matters are being helped by Tesla’s rapid expansion, with 52 new service centers being planned for opening in 2021.  For the moment though, it is difficult for Tesla to compete with Ford’s already well-established network of service centers at over 3,000 dealerships across the US. In theory, Mach-E owners should not have to struggle to find a certified service center for their vehicle.

Final Thoughts

The advantages that the Tesla Model Y has over the Ford Mach-E mostly have to do with the better battery range and towing capacity, making the Model Y a more versatile vehicle, particularly for hauling purposes. The Model Y also delivers a continuously-updated software package that compares favorably to Ford’s infotainment system.

The Ford Mach-E does fare better than the Model Y when it comes to the number of different trim levels offered. Ford has also uniquely constructed distinct driving modes that allow the driver to choose between a sport mode, a more relaxing ride, or a perfect balance of both.

Tesla Discounts:

Greg

Hi, I'm Greg. My daily driver is a Tesla Model 3 Performance. I've learned a ton about Teslas from hands-on experience and this is the site where I share everything I've learned.

Recent Posts