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Ford Mustang Mach-E Beats Tesla Model Y in a Head-to-Head

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A white 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E sitting on the balcony of a parking garage
Car and Driver gave the Mustang Mach-E the dub over the Tesla Model Y in a comparison test
Photo: Ford

Ford and Tesla are just kicking off their battle for the heart and soul of the EV market. The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E is out in the wild, giving stiff competition to Tesla’s Model Y. And in a recent showdown put together by Car and Driver, the Mustang came away with the winning edge.

Mustang Mach-E a Frequent Winner: Named 2021 North American Utility Vehicle of the Year

Though the result was no sure thing, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise given that Car and Driver named the Mustang Mach-E its first-ever EV of the Year.

Mustang Mach-E topples Tesla with comfy seats, more value

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E beat the Tesla Model Y in Car and Driver’s head-to-head comparison test. Of course, this win was not without yet another jab at the use of the Mustang name — testing director K.C. Colwell made it a point to make everyone aware that “we usually call it the Mach-E” in order to avoid invoking the wrath of traditionalists. But he also makes sure to note that “whether or not you think using the name Mustang for an EV SUV is wise­ … the vehicle that Ford has engineered is a winner.”

So what makes it a winner over the Tesla Model Y? Car and Driver cites factors like value, a quiet cabin, and the 250-mile EPA-estimated range of the base Mustang Mach-E Select with all-wheel drive. C&D’s reviewers also say that the Mustang Mach-E has more comfortable seats, calling Tesla’s chairs harder and going so far as to say that “you sit in the Ford’s seats, while you sit atop the Tesla’s.”

The final analysis: “There’s a lot of value in the Mach-E and Y, and we’re sure this is just the beginning of what’s sure to become an old rivalry. On price, refinement, and assembly quality, Ford wins the first round.”

Of course, there will be more rounds to come. Next year, Ford launches its highly anticipated 2022 F-150 Lightning. It’ll eventually find competition from the Tesla Cybertruck, though that bizarre-looking pickup likely won’t arrive until 2023.

It’s Coming: The 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck arrives in spring 2022