The Tesla Model Y is arguably one of the best EVs on the market, at least when it comes to driving range, availability, and price. In fact, it’s Tesla’s most successful model, holding the title of the world’s best-selling car—including internal combustion vehicles, not just EVs—for much of 2023.
That said, not everybody wants to buy a car that’s as ubiquitous as the iPhone these days. Some are looking for a sportier ride and maybe even a history-rich nameplate, which is where the Ford Mustang Mach-E comes into play.
While its sales numbers can’t match those of the Model Y, with a smidge under 41,000 units sold in 2023 in the U.S., compared to the roughly 200,000 Model Ys sold in just the first half of 2023, the Mustang Mach-E is still a good choice for anybody willing to shop around and not go by sales figures alone.
Tesla Model Y
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E
So, without further ado, let’s look at how the two electric crossovers compare.
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Price
- Tesla Model Y: from $43,990 without tax credits and delivery fees
The entry-level Model Y, which is known as the Rear-Wheel Drive because it’s powered by a single rear-mounted electric motor, includes standard equipment such as 19-inch Gemini wheels wrapped in all-season tires, a Midnight Silver Metallic paint, an all-black interior, and seating for five people.
The base package also comes with a glass roof, a central touchscreen display, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, a dual wireless smartphone charger, as well as power-adjustable front seats.
Tesla Model Y Interior
That said, you won’t see any gauges or displays behind the steering wheel of the Model Y, with all the car info being related to the centrally mounted touchscreen alone. It’s definitely a departure from the more conventional setup that’s found in cars made by legacy automakers, and there’s a bit of a learning curve with Tesla’s system, but on the flip side, the infotainment is among the best out there, so once you’ve learned all the settings, you’re good to go.
Every single Model Y, irrespective of trim level, comes with pretty much the same features. In fact, Tesla doesn’t really do trim levels in the traditional sense. Instead, you can choose different powertrain options that come with slightly different wheels and some other cosmetic bits, but that’s it.
In other words, you don’t have to spend extra for a more expensive variant just to get the glass roof, as is sometimes the case with other carmakers. At the same time, however, you can’t get a car without a sunroof, either, which might put some people off.
Tesla Model Y
There is a list of optional extras, but it’s pretty thin, with different wheels, paint colors, and a tow hitch among the things you can tick in the online configurator.
The base RWD version can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 135 mph. For $5,000 more you can get the Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive Long Range which offers a quicker 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds, while the top speed is the same. The Performance variant, which is listed at $52,490, cuts the sprint time to 3.5 seconds and raises the top speed to 155 mph.
To sweeten the deal, all three Model Y trim levels are eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit as of January 2024.
- Ford Mustang Mach-E: from $42,995 without tax credits and delivery fees
Ford’s electric crossover is available in four trim levels: Select, Premium, California Route 1, and GT (and there’s a Rally version in the works, too). The Select and Premium come as standard with a single rear-mounted electric motor, but a dual-motor all-wheel-drive system is available as a $3,000 option for both trims.
The California Route 1 and the GT come as standard with AWD, and the maximum power output is 480 horsepower.
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance in Vapor Blue
The base version comes with a 72-kWh (usable capacity) battery pack, while the other versions can be specced with a bigger, 91-kWh extended-range pack that ups the driving range. Earlier in the crossover's life there was a 70-kWh base battery pack but that was superseded by the 72-kWh version.
Standard equipment includes a 15.5-inch central touchscreen and a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster in front of the steering wheel, a manual liftgate, a drainable front trunk, rain-sensing wipers, heated side mirrors, manual adjustment for the front passenger seat, 8-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat, a 360-degree camera, SiriusXM radio, a wireless charging pad for smartphones, and a 6-speaker audio system.
Upgrade to the Premium, which starts at $46,995, and you get a panoramic fixed-glass roof, a 10-speaker B&O sound system by Band & Olufsen, Ford’s BlueCruise 1.2 hands-free highway driving assistant, a power liftgate, as well as heated and 8-way power-adjustable front seats.
Ford Mustang Mach-E Interior
Step up to the California Route 1 and you get the bigger battery as standard, enabling an EPA-estimated driving range of 312 miles on a full charge. The $56,995 price tag also includes all-wheel drive but excludes the power liftgate and the power-adjustable front passenger seat.
Go for the $59,995 GT model and you get the most powerful and fun-to-drive Mustang Mach-E available, with 480 horsepower and up to 634 pound-feet of torque. This version comes with all the bells and whistles of the Premium and adds an upgraded front motor, 20-inch wheels, and summer tires (as opposed to the all-seasons that come with the other variants).
There’s also an additional $5,000 GT Performance Edition pack that comes with a pair of Ford Performance front seats with fixed head restraints and a MagneRide Damping System.
All in all, the Mustang Mach-E is more expensive than its Tesla competitor. Furthermore, none of the electric Mustang’s trim levels are currently eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit when buying (not leasing), which is a pretty big deal for shoppers trying to save a buck.
Tesla Model Y trim levels and prices
|Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive
|Model Y All-Wheel Drive Long Range
|Model Y Performance
Ford Mustang Mach-E trim levels and prices
|Range (depending on battery size)
|Power (depending on battery size)
|California Route 1 (eAWD)
|GT Performance Edition (eAWD)
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Range
The EPA-rated range of the entry-level RWD Model Y is 260 miles, while the Long Range increases that number to 310 miles. The Performance fits somewhere in between with an estimated driving range of 285 miles on a full battery.
By comparison, the Ford Mustang Mach-E can travel anywhere between 226 miles and 312 miles on a full charge, according to the EPA, depending on the battery size and powertrain configuration.
The standard range, all-wheel drive Mach-E is the worst offender, with 226 miles, followed by the standard range, rear-wheel drive model with 250 miles, while the Premium with rear-wheel drive and the extended range battery can drive for up to 310 miles. The California Route 1, despite having all-wheel drive, is the best when it comes to range, with an estimated 312 miles on a full charge.
Tesla Model Y
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
That said, various factors such as driving speed and ambient temperature can decrease the number of miles that can be driven on a full charge, and it’s not uncommon for Tesla models to fall short of their advertised ranges when tested under real-world conditions.
A Consumer Reports article shows that the Model Y did not meet its advertised range all year round, with the worst scenario being a highway drive at a constant 70 miles per hour and an average temperature of 16 degrees. In these conditions, the Model Y Long Range returned a calculated real-world range of just 186 miles.
The Mach-E, on the other hand, beat its EPA estimate by 29 miles in CR’s testing, going 299 miles before running out of juice instead of the advertised 270 miles.
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Efficiency
The EPA says that the Model Y can consume between 26 and 30 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles driven, depending on the powertrain.
The most efficient version is the base RWD, with 26 kWh/100 miles, followed by the AWD Long Range with 28 kWh/100 miles. At the same time, the AWD Performance is the least efficient with 30 kWh/100 miles.
According to the EPA, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is more energy-hungry than its Tesla competitor, with the most efficient version, the standard range, rear-wheel drive needing 33 kWh/100 miles. On the other end of the spectrum, the GT Performance munches through 41 kWh/100 miles.
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Charge Time
Tesla specifies that the Model Y RWD can accept up to 170 kW of power from a DC fast charger, while the Performance and Long Range versions can draw up to 250 kW from a compatible fast charger.
The electric crossover can be topped up from a 120-volt household outlet using the Tesla Mobile Connector, a 240V source using the Tesla Wall Connector, or the DC fast charging network of Tesla Superchargers. When connected to a Supercharger, the Model Y can gain up to 162 miles of range in 15 minutes, according to the company.
The car can also be recharged from other DC fast chargers, including those that have a CCS cable and not the NACS connector used by Tesla, as long as you have a CCS1 to NACS adapter.
Tesla Model Y charging at a Tesla Supercharging station
Ford Mustang Mach-E charging
The Ford Mustang Mach-E can accept up to 150 kW when topping up from a DC fast charger. Models with the older 70-kWh base battery pack peaked at 115 kW when DC fast charging.
Ford says the Mach-E can go from 10 to 80% state of charge in 33 minutes for the standard range battery, while the extended range pack needs 45 minutes for the same top-up.
The American EV can also be recharged from a household socket rated at either 120V or 240V using a compatible mobile charger. Ford sells one for $500 and is actually a mandatory option when speccing a brand-new Mustang Mach-E.
Currently, the Tesla Supercharger network is regarded as the best DC fast charging network in North America, with very good reliability and availability. It’s long been exclusive to Tesla vehicles (with the exception of Magic Dock-equipped stalls), giving the company an advantage over competitors. Starting this year, though, almost all competing EV makers, including Ford, will get access to the Supercharger network, which will alleviate some of the pains of EV owners and, at the same time, eliminate the exclusivity that has been associated with Tesla owners and the Supercharger network.
Ford also has its own charging network called the BlueOval Charge Network, which includes several roaming partners.
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: 0-60 MPH
- Tesla Model Y
The Tesla Model Y Rear-Wheel Drive can sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds, while the Long Range trim is slightly faster, reaching 60 mph in 4.8 seconds. The Performance version can do it in 3.5 seconds.
The Model Y Performance can reach a top speed of 155 mph, while both the RWD and the Long Range variants have a maximum speed of 135 mph.
- Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford says on its website that the rear-wheel-driven version of the Mach-E with the 72-kWh battery can go from a standstill to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds.
The California Route 1 trim, with its extended-range battery and all-wheel drive system, can reach 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, while the GT version, with its upgraded e-motors, slashes the time to 3.5 seconds.
Tesla Model Y
2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Top Speed
The Tesla Model Y RWD and Long Range can go up to 135 mph, while the Performance version ups the top speed to 155 mph.
Ford doesn’t publicize the top speed of the Mustang Mach-E, but you might see a figure of 130 mph for the top GT trim floating around the internet, so take that as you may.
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Driver-Assistance Systems
- Tesla Model Y: Autopilot, Enhanced Autopilot, and Full Self-Driving
Tesla’s entire portfolio of passenger cars is available with the company’s so-called Autopilot advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS). This includes traffic-aware cruise control and a steering assistant called Autosteer.
As an optional extra, the $6,000 Enhanced Autopilot suite adds supervised, Level-2 capable automatic lane changes, automatic parking, and the so-called Navigate on Autopilot feature which “Actively guides your car from a highway’s on-ramp to off-ramp, including suggesting lane changes, navigating interchanges, automatically engaging the turn signal and taking the correct exit,” according to Tesla.
On top of that, there’s the so-called Full Self-Driving (FSD) option which costs $12,000 and adds the ability to autonomously steer the car on city streets and to automatically stop at traffic lights and stop signs. That said, Tesla mentions on its website that driver supervision is needed at all times and that none of these features make the car autonomous.
- Ford Mustang Mach-E: BlueCruise and Co-Pilot360
Ford’s all-electric crossover comes as standard with the company’s so-called Co-Pilot360 suite of active and passive safety assists, including auto high-beam headlights, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping, pre-collision assist with automatic emergency brain, forward collision assist, post-collision braking, and more.
The cheapest Mustang Mach-E also comes with a 90-day free trial of the company’s BlueCruise system which is a hands-free driving assistant that works on over 130,000 miles of prequalified sections of divided North American highways. That’s 97% of controlled-access highways across the U.S. and Canada, according to Ford.
On these roads, the system can change lanes automatically once the turn signal is activated, and it can reposition the car in the lane by subtly shifting away from vehicles in adjacent lanes. This is on top of keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front, following the road without getting out of the lane, and braking when needed.
For an extra $2,100, buyers can add three years of BlueCruise 1.3 to their purchase, which helps drivers stay engaged longer in hands-free mode, according to the company.
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Interior
- Tesla Model Y
The standard panoramic glass roof gives the Model Y an airy feel to the cabin but it can also cause some issues in the summer, seeing how there’s no factory-fitted sunshade to protect the occupants from the sun.
Tesla says that the glass is treated so that infrared and ultraviolet light is “effectively blocked,” but a quick browse through owner reviews on YouTube is all it takes to see that there are more than a few owners complaining about having trouble keeping their cars’ interior cool on a very hot and sunny day.
The RWD and Performance versions can only be specced with five seats, while the Long Range has an optional seven-seat package that can be added to a custom build.
The central 15-inch touchscreen has native apps for services like Spotify and Apple Music, but it lacks integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto neither wired nor wireless connectivity is available). There is, however, Bluetooth connectivity.
- Ford Mustang Mach-E
Despite its fastback roofline, the Mach-E offers ample room inside for four adults, and with the optional panoramic roof, it feels bigger than it actually is.
Ford’s electric crossover is only available in a five-seat configuration, so don’t expect it to be as versatile as the Model Y when it comes to carrying a lot of people. That said, it has plenty of storage cubbies inside, so for what it is, it’s pretty well thought out.
The 15.5-inch central touchscreen runs Ford’s latest Sync infotainment system that offers a great built-in navigation system, as well as standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The system itself is nicely laid out and it doesn’t take much time to get familiar with its menu system.
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Build Quality
Tesla models have been known for their less-than-stellar build quality, especially the lower-priced ones, and the Model Y is no different. Although things have improved over time, there are still problems with body hardware, paint, trim, and the climate control system, according to Consumer Reports.
In the Mustang Mach-E’s case, expect to see Ford’s usual interior build quality, which is not great, not terrible, to quote the internet-famous meme from HBO’s Chernobyl series.
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Driving Dynamics And Ride Comfort
Despite its weight of about 4,300 pounds (for the all-wheel drive versions), the Model Y is surprisingly engaging to drive. The steering feels light and quick and the body stays relatively composed during hard cornering.
It’s not perfect, though. On uneven surfaces, small bumps and cracks make their way to the cabin, especially on the Performance.
The Mustang Mach-E feels more dialed in, with a suspension that’s great at soaking up large bumps in the road and a cabin that’s well insulated against wind and ambient noise. When driving down your average highway, the car feels nicely put together and offers a relaxing ride, but it’s also capable of putting a smile on the driver’s face around sharp turns.
What Our Experts Say
Hard specs will only tell you so much. That’s why we encourage everyone to try both cars as extensively as possible to see which one is suited best to their needs. Until that happens, here are some words from our team of expert journalists about each option.
- Tesla Model Y
We've said it before and we'll say it again: the Model Y is the EV to beat this year (excepting any markets where new contenders from China's automakers are giving it a run for its money.) Sure, everyone in your city has one at this point, but there's a reason for that. For the price, capability and range—and with Tesla's Supercharger network backing it up—it's the value-packed choice that's very hard to match.
There are plenty of reasons to want something that's not a Model Y these days, but I can't fault anyone for going for it. Maybe that will change in the coming years, but for now, almost everyone who's come at this king has missed.
—Patrick George, Editor-in-Chief
It’s arguable that the Model Y is so popular less because of its merits as a car, but more so because it’s such a screaming deal. There are several ways to get into a Tesla for not much money: the single motor, 260-mile range Model Y can be had for $43,990, not including destination or any other fees. Likewise, the 330-mile range dual-motor AWD can be had for $46,050, provided you’re willing to settle for whatever color and wheel option Tesla has available.
Those are solidly competitive prices for a premium crossover, no matter the propulsion type. A gas or hybrid-powered Lexus NX350, or Acura RDX, in theory, matches the Model Y in terms of premium prestige. But, add in the IRA’s point-of-sale tax credit, and the Model Y becomes an absolute bargain. At $36,490 (RWD) and $38,550 (AWD, on-lot discounts), the Model Y becomes as cheap as mid to high-trimmed compact crossovers. Hell, it’s a stone’s throw away from a few of the subcompact crossovers I’ve driven not that long ago.
—Kevin Williams, Staff Writer
- Ford Mustang Mach-E
The first time I drove a Mustang Mach-E, I was convinced it was proof that Ford really is serious about electric vehicles. I was impressed by the many little touches engineers and designers added to make it "feel" like a Mustang (yes, really) and I thought it was an absolute blast to drive. Capable and fun, the Mach-E is a delight in so many ways.
Unfortunately, these days it gets seriously undercut by the Model Y's knockout-punch combo of range and price. If you want more than 300 miles of range—my personal sweet spot—expect to pay $56,000 for a California Route 1, with no tax credit help as of this writing. With the credits the Model Y All-Wheel Drive Long Range does get, it seriously undercuts this electric pony car.
I'd like to see Ford juice the range on this crossover more in the coming years. It's one of my favorite direct competitors to the Model Y, but lately it's having a hard time measuring up.
—Patrick George, Editor-in-Chief
What the NACTOY-winning Mach-E offers more of than any other EV in its class is personality. This is not an appliance, not even close. Ford smartly used the iconic pony car nameplate to inject some life into its first true mass-market EV, which also blends superior driving dynamics, impossibly good looks, and a few honest-to-goodness muscle car characteristics.
—Jeff Perez, Managing Editor, Motor1
Tesla Model Y vs. Ford Mustang Mach-E: Conclusion
The Model Y is hard to beat, let’s face it. With prices that appear to be going down constantly, range figures that are more than enough for the average consumer, and a user experience that’s closer to that of owning a smartphone rather than a conventional car, Tesla’s most affordable crossover has taken the world by storm.
But it’s not perfect, and wannabe shoppers need to take into account the slightly unpolished ride, lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the over-simplified interior that relies on a single screen to relay information to the driver.
Tesla Model Y
2023 Ford Mustang Mach-E
For more money, the Ford Mustang Mach-E offers a better ride, a more engaging drive, and an interior that looks like the natural evolution of the conventional car that we all have in our minds. It even has 2 extra miles of advertised driving range when considering the California Route 1 versus the Model Y Long Range. That said, the charging speeds are lower, so expect to spend more time at DC fast chargers compared to the Model Y.
Now, Tesla has the upper hand thanks to its vast Supercharger networks of fast chargers, but that’s about to change come spring when owners of Ford EVs will also gain access to the same network (by way of an adapter at first). In other words, the user experience gap that set Tesla apart from its competitors for years will be smaller than ever before and maybe it will even disappear altogether.
Correction: This story has been updated with the accurate battery pack size information for the entry-level 2023 Mach-E Models.