Even though manufacturers are releasing new electric cars, trucks, and SUVs by the minute, we kept the "Best EV" category for our first-ever Motor1.com Star Awards separate from the rest of the gas-powered fleet. That gave us the chance to properly test our two finalists head-to-head in order to determine which meets our criteria for being the best new EV on the market today.
Our two finalists based on their star ratings from earlier reviews are the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E and 2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo. Both of these EVs are stylish, fantastic to drive, and flying off dealer lots. But only one of these impressive electric offerings could come out on top, and after plenty of debate, the Mustang Mach-E earned the prize. Here's why we picked Ford's new EV over the alluring Porsche.
If you're a regular reader of Motor1.com – or any car news website, really – the Mustang Mach-E is a vehicle that needs no introduction. Ford's first foray into the mass-market electric space raised eyebrows with its Mustang badge and crossover body style. But after driving it earlier this year, we concluded Ford nailed its first big EV – regardless of name. The Mustang Mach-E earned a score of 9.1 stars out of 10 in our review.
The Mustang Mach-E excels in a few key areas. For one, it looks good. There are obvious nods to retro Mustang models in the Mach-E's design, particularly when looking at the slim headlights or the triple-bar light fixtures in the rear. On top of that, the cabin is gorgeous, sporting a 15.5-inch vertical touchscreen.
|2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E||2021 Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo|
|Motor||Two Permanent Magnet Synchronous||Two Permanent Magnet Synchronous|
|Battery||98.8-Kilowatt-Hour Lithium-Ion||93.4-Kilowatt-Hour Lithium-Ion|
|Output||346 Horsepower / 428 Pound-Feet||482 Horsepower / 479 Pound-Feet|
|Drive Type||All-Wheel Drive||All-Wheel Drive|
|EV Range||270 Miles||215 Miles|
|Charge Type||10.5 Kilowatts @ 48 Amps (240V) / 150 Kilowatts (DC)||9.6 Kilowatts (240V) / 270 Kilowatts DC|
|Weight||4,900 Pounds (est.)||5,033 Pounds|
|Base Price||$42,895 + $1,100 Destination||$110,300 + $1,350|
The Mustang Mach-E is also fun to drive, producing 346 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque available in the extended-range, all-wheel-drive model tested here, which allows it to sprint to 60 in a brisk 4.8 seconds. And on top of it all, the Mach-E is affordable, asking just $42,895 plus $1,100 in destination fee.
On the opposite end of the price spectrum is the Porsche Taycan 4S Cross Turismo. This Taycan is a bit of a ringer in our test, admittedly. In the past, we've driven the Taycan 4S sedan and the Taycan Turbo Cross Turismo – both of those cars earning high marks – but we have never fully tested this exact spec. Until now.
The Taycan is stunning to look at in all trims, further enhanced in Cross Turismo form by the wagon-like rear, body cladding, and unique 21-inch wheels. Inside, the Taycan represents the future of Porsche with a fully digital cluster and central display, as well as a passenger-mounted screen. And in terms of performance, the Taycan 4S Cross Turismo is bonkers quick, producing 482 hp and 479 lb-ft, with a 0-60 time of just 3.8 seconds.
How We Tested
In the same way that we tested our “Best Value” and “Best Luxury” finalists, we took the Mach-E and Taycan around several 25-mile loops near our base of operations in Santa Clarita, California. The roads featured varying types of pavement, with a number of tight switchbacks and long straightaways, which gave us the ability to get a feel for how these two cars perform in those conditions.
But unlike the rest of the fleet, which was easy to fill up at the local gas station, finding a place to recharge these two cars after a proper flogging was difficult. There was no charging station within 30 minutes of our base, so that meant using the Taycan and Mach-E for a number of late-afternoon food runs. We located an Electrify America station at a local Wal-Mart about 40 minutes away, and that's where we fast-charged while doing some quick shopping.
Those food runs gave us a better opportunity to test how the Mach-E and Taycan performed as daily drivers, puttering around the city and hauling groceries – and both of them proved exceptional. There was plenty of cargo space in both cars, and neither felt overbearing in the city. But in terms of being the best all-arounder, it was the Mustang Mach-E that impressed us the most.
Why The Mustang Mach-E Is This Year's Best EV
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E wowed us in nearly every respect; it's proof that electric vehicles can be both fun, practical, and affordable all in one. The battery-powered Pony Car offers a dynamic driving feel, lots of power, and the ability to scoot to 60 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds. It’s also a true family car thanks to its crossover shape that provides seating for five and lots of cargo space, even under the hood. Price-wise, the base car starts at $42,895 plus $1,100 in destination fees, while the trim tested here costs a still somewhat reasonable $56,295 after every option. And that’s not including the thousands of dollars of additional savings from federal, state, and local incentives available.
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E wowed us in nearly every respect.
Beyond that, the Mustang Mach-E has a sharp exterior design, a refined interior loaded with modern technology, and the extended range, rear-wheel-drive version travels over 300 miles on a single charge. And it will only be a matter of time before Ford adds its hands-free BlueCruise active driving assist feature to the Mach-E, which would make the Mustang an even more obvious choice in this segment.
That's not to say that the Taycan Cross Turismo isn't great, though – it is. The stylish EV is phenomenal to drive and has a gorgeous cabin with the latest and greatest in-car tech. But its 215 miles of range are sub-par for an EV that costs this much. Speaking of which, its lofty starting price of $110,300 plus $1,350 in destination fees makes the Taycan 4S Cross Turismo attainable to a limited few. When it comes to being a fun EV for the masses, the Ford Mustang Mach-E can't be beaten.
- October 12: Best Value - Hyundai Elantra Hybrid
- October 14: Best Luxury Vehicle - Mercedes-Benz S-Class
- October 18: Best Electric Vehicle - Ford Mustang Mach-E
- October 20: Best Performance Vehicle - Volkswagen Golf GTI
- October 22: Best Adventure Vehicle - Ford Bronco
- October 25: Best Truck - Ford F-150
- October 27: Best Family Vehicle - Kia Sorento
- October 29: Editors' Choice - Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo
Stay tuned for much more on the first annual Motor1.com Star Awards. As always, we welcome your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org.