Mach-E vs. Model Y Compared: Finally a ‘Tesla Killer’?

The Mach-E is Ford’s first big bet on electric vehicles and one of the first true competitors to the Tesla Model Y, which has had a head-start in the crossover space, since it first went on sale since March 2020. If 2021 is your year for purchasing an electric vehicle, you may seriously be considering one of these two amazing crossovers.

On the one side there’s Tesla, no longer a startup, but now an experienced electric car manufacturer and one of the most valuable companies in the world, and on the flip side, there’s Ford, one of the oldest carmakers with a Mustang-inspired entry. It’s a potentially tough choice! But don’t worry, we’ll break it all down for you below, including Mach-E vs Tesla Model Y Specs.

Table of Contents

Exterior Styling

Ford Mach-E Exterior Styling

Ford Mach E
Ford Mach E

Let’s jump right into the styling. Ford decided to leverage one of it’s most recognized brands to battle Tesla in this segment. As such, the iconic Mustang symbol graces the blunt front end of Ford’s cutting-edge electric-powered vehicle and the rear tail lights will also look familiar.

It’s clear that Ford took advantage of time it had to study the Tesla Model Y, as it incorporated many of Tesla’s styling components, both inside and out, blending them within Mustang framework.

Ford Mach E - Rear Image

Departing from the traditional Mustang, this one offers four doors rather than the traditional two-door coupe styling of the classic combustion engine models. Designed with sporty sides and a fast roofline, this crossover SUV features a small rear hatch window sitting beneath its rooftop spoiler. Overall no one will miss the strong Mustang ques all over this vehicle.

In another Tesla-like feature, even the door handles take a page from Tesla’s book and are embedded into the vehicle:

Ford Mach-E Door Handle

Rear LED tail lights retain the unmistakable Mustang styling and the rear hatch provides sculpted angles for a smooth rear bumper. Mach-E’s electric powertrain makes faux exhausts unnecessary.

Ford Mach E from above

While Ford hasn’t disclosed the suspension type for its Mustang Mach-E SUV, it will cruise on 18-, 19-, or 20-inch wheels. This crossover offers an all-wheel drive and a performance-enhancing low stance.

Tesla Model Y Exterior Styling

Tesla Model Y

Versus the more traditional approach, Ford has taken with the Mach-E, Tesla has a more futuristic, sleek styling to it. There is no false nose cone on the front of the Model Y as on the Mach-E, instead the aerodynamic hoodline helps the Model Y produce a 0.23 drag coefficient, according to Elon Musk, the electric vehicle maker’s chief executive.

While the crossover platform is the same as the Tesla Model 3 compact sedan, the SUV Model Y’s exterior styling resembles a smaller version of Model X. Unlike the falcon-wing doors on Model X, Y sports conventional rear doors. A panoramic glass roof comes standard.

Tesla Model Y Rear Quarter Image

Tesla offers Pearl White Multi-Coat as the standard exterior paint for Ys. If you want a different color, spend a little more and select from Solid Black for $750, Deep Blue Metallic or Midnight Silver Metallic for $1,000, or Red Multi-Coat for $2,000.

Door handles are embedded into the frame to help with the aerodynamic profile:

Tesla Model Y and Model 3 Door Handles
Model Y door handles are similar to the Model 3 handles (shown here), except in black

Standard wheels are 19 inch “Gemini Wheels” except on the Tesla Performance trim, which features a low suspension and 21-inch wheels as standard. Twenty-inch “Induction Wheels” are available for the Long Range variant for an additional $2,000. Model Y has an optional tow bar and the Model Y Standard Range vehicle towing capacity is up to 3,500 pounds.

Interior Styling

Ford Mach-E Interior Styling

Here’s where Ford really took a page from Tesla and nearly copied the interior of the Model Y which has a minimalist interior and large screen. The most notable differences are that Ford’s primary screen is in a portrait orientation and Ford also includes a secondary, smaller instrument-cluster display in front of the steering wheel, which many will appreciate.

Ford Mach E Interior

A dashboard featuring brushed metal, wood, and soft-to-the-touch surfaces adds to your unique 21st-century motoring experience.

Seats Five

Seated in synthetic leather or cloth upholstery and surrounded by elegant finishes, up to five people can in the Ford Mach-E, four comfortably.

Ford Mach E Rear Seats

Mach-E Cargo Room

In terms of cargo room, the Mustang-inspired Ford Mach-E gives you 29 cubic feet behind the second row of seats. Fold the seats down and get 59.6 cubic feet of space. If you have a couple of small backpacks or soft-sided duffel bags, toss them in the front trunk (the ‘frunk’), which offers an additional five cubic feet of cargo room.

Ford Mach E Frunk - Autopilot Review

Engine Sounds

New EVs sold in the US will be required to make noise on the outside for pedestrian safety. Interestingly, Ford also chose to make an engine-like sound available on the inside as well, ya know, for those who miss the familiar combustion noises!

Tesla Model Y Interior Styling

Tesla Model Y has a very similar interior to the Model 3, with a large horizontal screen and no instrument cluster.

Tesla Model 3 and Model Y Interior
Tesla Model 3 and Model Y Interior

Seats Up to Seven

One big difference between the Mach-E and the Model Y, is that the Model Y can be configured to seat up to seven people, similar to the larger Model X. Two front seats and three rear seats are standard. In 2021, third-row seats for two additional passengers became available, for an extra $3,000.

Tesla Model Y Rear Cargo Area with Seats Folded

Model Y Cargo Room

Tesla Model Y provides more rear cargo room than the Mach-E. In its two-row models, you get 66 cubic feet when you fold down the second-row seats, which is 6.4 cubic feet more than the capacity of a Mazda CX-5. However, two-row Model Ys gives you 3 cubic feet less than a Toyota RAV4 and 9 cubic feet less than a Honda CR-V.


Ford Mach-E Performance

Ford Mustang Mach-E Select and Premium versions make about 255 horsepower in standard-range configuration and rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Both versions go from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds.

Ford Mach-E GT
Ford Mach-E GT

The Mach-E GT kicks it from 0 to 60 mph in “mid 3-second” when decked out with optional equipment.

Tesla Model Y Performance

Tesla Model Y
Tesla Model Y

Equipped with a motor that produces 201 hp/150 kW of power and 258 lb-ft of torque, Tesla’s Model Y Standard Range will take you from 0 to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. Its top speed is 120 mph. This crossover SUV runs on a 50 kWh traction battery providing power to a permanent-magnet electric motor on the rear axle. For faster acceleration times, get behind the wheel of the Long Range and make it in 5.5 seconds or the Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive version for a 4.8-second ride.

Aptly named, Tesla’s Dual Motor AWD Performance model accelerates from a dead stop to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.

Technology & Infotainment Systems

Ford Mach-E Technology

Ford SYNC 4

Ford recently announced its next generation SYNC technology, called SYNC 4, which will be integrated into the Mach E. This system will learn driver preferences for infotainment and navigation in addition to receiving over-the-air updates. Plus it has wireless compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, something Tesla lacks.

Ford Mach-E Touchscreen
Ford Mach-E Touchscreen

A 15.5-inch tablet-style touchscreen holds a central location on the Ford Mustang electric SUV dash.

Ford Mach E Instrument Cluster Screen
Ford Mach E Instrument Cluster Screen

Ford drivers benefit from a slim 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster (called a “binnacle”) that allows key information to be closer to the driver’s line-of-sight, something Tesla doesn’t currently offer on the Model Y (and doesn’t believe is needed).

Ford Mach E Infotainment System
Ford Mach E Infotainment System

Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0

The Ford Co-Pilot360 2.0 system is a bit like Tesla’s Autopilot system but far more rudimentary. It helps assist the driver with freeway driving tasks, including dynamic cruise control and lane centering, and in the city with parking via technology including a 360 camera and automatic parking.

Ford did say that they plan to release more robust self-driving type features over the air in the future, similar to Tesla’s Autopilot, but didn’t provide any timetable.

One interesting note is that Ford appears to be building in a standard Driver Monitoring System (DMS) within the steering wheel column in front of the instrument cluster display, perhaps for future hands-off autonomous driving, similar to GM SuperCruise and BMW X5 implementations (see Cars with Autopilot). This system would monitor your eye and head movements to ensure you’re paying attention.

Ford Mach-E Driver Monitoring System (DMS) Autopilot

Other Mach-E Tech Features

An array of features keeps occupants of Ford and Tesla electric SUVs busy and safe, including standard safety technology such as Automatic Emergency Braking. A phone-as-a-key system, automatic parking system, and surround-view cameras are standard on all models above base Reserve. Potential Mach-E Reserve buyers have good reason to expect a performance package and safety package to be available.

Tesla Model Y Technology

Technology is where Tesla really shines. Elon Musk has often said that Tesla is as much a software company as it is a car company.

Tesla Model 3 and Y Interior
Tesla Vehicles are Computers on Wheels

Tesla Vehicles: Computers on Wheels

All Tesla vehicles are essentially giant computers-on-wheels that are connected via WiFi or the built-in cellular connection. Just like your cell phone, they also receive regular software updates and features over-the-air that can upgrade the entire vehicle, not just the infotainment system. For example, Tesla can adjust vehicle performance and handling.

In addition, each Tesla vehicle comes with an extremely powerful “Full Self Driving” AI computer that can be activated with an optional software package purchase. Tesla Autopilot is continually updated over-the-air and improves with each rollout.

Tesla Full Self Driving Computer (aka Hardware 3)
Tesla Full Self Driving Computer (aka Hardware 3)

Tesla Model Y premium crossover offers a 15-inch horizontal touchscreen display and immersive sound system as standard equipment. Vehicle safety design features include a rigid body structure, low center of gravity, and large crumple zones. An all-glass roof affords maximum headroom and seamless scenic views.

Tesla Autopilot

Tesla Autopilot is where Tesla has another unique advantage. It is one of the most sophisticated driver assist features available on the market (see Cars with Autopilot), allowing the vehicle to almost drive itself on the freeway and other well-marked roads. Tesla currently reigns supreme with the most sophisticated technology on the market.

See all the Tesla Autopilot Features.

The automaker’s driver assistance technology, includes adaptive cruise control, lane centering, an automatic lane changer, self-parking, and even the ability to summon the car out of a garage.

EV Range

Ford Mach-E Range

The Ford Mach-E comes with two different battery pack sizes built by LG Chem: a 75.7 kWh version and a 98.8 kWh version. These battery packs are included in different Mach-E configurations which affect the vehicle’s range.

The 75.7 kWh configurations will offer up to 210 miles with a dual motor All Wheel-Drive (AWD) configuration and up to 230 miles in a single motor Rear Wheel-Drive (RWD) configuration.

The 98.8 kWh version will get up to 270 miles with a dual motor All Wheel-Drive (AWD) configuration and up to 300 miles in a single motor Rear Wheel-Drive (RWD) configuration. Note that the GT version, which uses this battery pack will get up to 235 miles.

Interestingly, since Ford is using a third party (LG Chem) for its battery packs, they are not as efficient as Tesla’s, which get significantly more miles per kWh.

Tesla Model Y

The Tesla Model Y has similar ranges compared to the Mach-E, but use much smaller battery pack sizes. This means it’s cheaper to produce, more efficient and could potentially increase range if they choose to increase the battery pack size.

Tesla hasn’t officially released the battery pack sizes, but it’s estimated to be around 50 kWh for the Standard Range and around 75 kWh for the Long Range version. Notice that, unlike the Mach-E there is no 98 kWh version.

The range of travel for Tesla’s Model Y SUVs depends on the vehicle’s trim. The Long Range Tesla Model Y vehicle will travel 326 miles on a single charge. The Performance Model Y has a range of 303 miles before you need to recharge the battery.


Ford Mach-E Charging

If you’re charging your Ford Mustang Mach-E at home you’re probably using a Level 2 charger and Ford hasn’t disclosed how long it will take to recharge with that equipment. However, the Mach-E will replenish 47 miles of range in 10 minutes on a 150 kW fast-charger, and charge from 10% to 80% in 45 minutes, according to Ford estimates.

Ford Mach-E CCS Charging Port
Ford Mach-E CCS Charging Port

Partnering with Electrify America, Ford plans to provide drivers with the ability to charge quickly at about 3,500 chargers at 800 charging stations throughout 45 states and the District of Columbia, by December 2021.

Tesla Model Y Charging Time

For Model Y, if you’re charging at home, the charging speed may be from 7 miles to 32 miles per hour. However, Tesla offers over 2,000 Supercharger Stations with 20,000 Supercharger stalls throughout North America and is adding about six more each day. Recharging 168 miles takes only 15 minutes at those locations, according to the automaker’s website.

Tesla V2 Supercharger

Tesla continually improves the range of its vehicles over time so be sure tot check their website for current range estimates.

Also see:


Ford Mach-E Pricing

Ford Mustang Mach-E buyers can expect to have five trim choices, starting with the Select model at $43,895 and $50,600 for the Premium trim. A slight incline to $52,400 buys the California Route 1 trim, and the price accelerates to $59,900 for a limited First Edition. If you want Ford’s top trim choice, go with the GT model for $60,500. There’s good news for Ford electric vehicle buyers, in the form of a $7,500 federal tax credit. When using the credit, the Mach-E starting price drops to $36,395 and the other prices drop accordingly. Expect to see Mach-E First Editions arriving late in 2020, followed by other trims in early 2021. GT models should arrive in the spring of 2021.

Tesla Model Y Pricing

Tesla is offering several trims for its electric crossover SUV. Tesla offers a “Standard Range” rear-wheel drive Model Y with a range of 244 miles and a low entry price of $41,990. Next is the Model Y Long Range, starting at around $49,990, and the Model Y Performance, starting at around $59,990. Both are AWD.

One big factor, unlike Ford buyers, Tesla purchasers are not eligible for the federal tax credit since Tesla has sold so many electric vehicles.

Mach-E vs Model Y Specs

On paper, the Ford Mach-E looks very competitive to the Tesla Model Y. The Model Y has more cargo space and seating capacity, while the Ford Mach-E may have a price advantage due to their ability to still offer a Federal Tax incentive. Of course, there are more considerations, like charging network access, software, and Autopilot, etc.

Seating:5 occupantsUp to 7 occupants
Cargo Space: 59.6 cubic feet 66 cubic feet
Low-End ModelsSelectStandard Range
Price: $43,895*$41,990
Range:230 miles (EPA) 244 miles (EPA)
0-60 mph:“mid-5” seconds 5.3 seconds
Mid-Level ModelsPremiumLong Range AWD
Price: $50,600*$49,990
Range: 300 miles (EPA) 326 miles (EPA)
0-60 mph: “mid-5” seconds 4.8 seconds
High-End Models GTPerformance
Price: $60,500*$59,990
Range: 235 miles (EPA)303 miles (EPA)
0-60 mph: “mid-5” seconds 3.5 seconds

* price before federal tax credit

Pros & Cons

Ford Mach-ETesla Model Y
ProsGood price and value Most robust high-speed charging network
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android AutoAdvanced Autopilot driver assist technology
Instrument cluster & 360 camera Proven EV and software technology
ConsFewer high-speed charging options than TeslaLack of instrument cluster screen
Co-Pilot360 not as advanced as Tesla AutopilotNo 360 camera
Smaller people & cargo capacity Smaller dealer / repair network

The Verdict

So is the Mach-E a “Tesla Killer”? We doubt it will ‘kill’ Tesla, but we do think it’s the first serious competitor to Tesla, matching or even beating Tesla on many feature fronts. That said, Tesla has a far more robust high-speed charging network, a long history with EV technology, and a more sophisticated Autopilot offering.

Either way, whether you’re a Tesla or Ford fan, the developing battle between the Mach-E vs. Model Y electric vehicles promises to be exciting for consumers and the automotive industry, and good for the environment.

Apparently Elon Musk thinks so too:

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