Vehicles | January 15, 2021 12:36 pm

Looks Like All the Haters Were Wrong About the Mustang Mach-E

Ford’s electric Mustang beat out the Land Rover Defender for SUV of the year

Mustang Mach-E wins NACTOY Award
Think an electric Mustang SUV could never work? Think again.
NACTOY

Some people called it sacrilege, others called it a simple marketing ploy, others said it was a sad attempt to catch up to Tesla. But now that the Mustang Mach-E has been put through its paces, it turns out that not only did Ford’s first all-electric SUV live up to its namesake, it’s actually the best utility vehicle of the year.

That’s according to the 2021 North American Car, Truck and Utility Vehicle of the Year Awards, the results of which were released this week. In the utility vehicle category, the Mustang Mach-E beat out the Genesis GV80 and even the reimagined Land Rover Defender, a legendary name in the off-road world. And remember, it beat both of those gas-powered models even though it’s electric. 

This win is a big deal for Ford — who gambled both a huge financial investment and the reputation of its iconic Mustang sports car on this flagship electric vehicle — especially because the awards are based on actual tests by 50 automotive journalists who work for a variety of outlets from magazines to television. In essence, they’re not getting approval from the industry (who may have had incentive to choose an electric vehicle because many automakers are currently investing gobs of money into their own EV lineups), they’re getting approval from people who live and breathe cars, whose job it is separate the wheat from the chaff. 

In fact, the voting wasn’t even close. In the car category, the Hyundai Elantra won with a score of 176, while the Genesis G80 and Nissan Sentra came in second and third place with 173 and 151, respectively. Over in the utility vehicle category, the Land Rover Defender came in third at 99, the Genesis GV80 at 136, and the Mustang Mach-E trounced them both with a score of 265. 

“While an all-electric SUV is hardly new, to take Mustang, one of the world’s most recognizable nameplates; one known for carefree living and higher performance, and use it as the launching pad for an EV utility shows both insight and pure guts,” commented John Davis, creator and host of MotorWeek. He added: “Further, Ford has installed the Mach-E with competent handling, braking, and of course acceleration, that fits the name. It is a totally useful total performer.”

But the Mach-E wasn’t the biggest blowout of the awards. In the truck category, the Jeep Gladiator Mojave (a higher-performance version of the pickup) scored 30, the Ram TRX came in at 130, and the Ford F-150 — the king of trucks — almost tripled the second place finisher with a solid 340.

If you want to read more about their findings and the judging criteria, head here.

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