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The 2021 Tesla Model Y and 2021 Ford Mach-E are two electric vehicles that are competing for the same market. They’re both larger than the average electric vehicle, making them attractive to people who want more space than something like the Nissan Leaf has to offer. They also come from major names that customers trust. While Teslas have been on the road for some time, the Ford Mach-E is a relative newcomer, and the two are going head-to-head. In the battle of Tesla Model Y vs Ford Mach-E, who will win?

A bright orange 2021 Ford Mach-E against a black background.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Tesla has the advantage of experience in the Model Y vs Mach-E battle

A dark gray 2021 Tesla Model Y against a black background.
2021 Tesla Model Y | Tesla

Tesla has been making electric vehicles since 2008. Although Ford has been tinkering with electric vehicles since 1914 (hard to believe, isn’t it?), they haven’t been a major contender for electric vehicle sales until now.

Car and Driver notes that Tesla’s network of Superchargers is a major selling point for their electric vehicles. They also have the Autopilot function, which despite its name is only a semi-autonomous driving system. Of course, if you opt for the $10,000 Full Self Driving (FSD), your Tesla may be updated with better self-driving technology as it becomes available. 

Ford, on the other hand, doesn’t yet have its own network of chargers. Mach-E drivers will have to rely on third-party chargers like Electrify America, ChargePoint, and EVgo.

Range is comparable, but the Model Y has a slight edge

The basic Mustang Mach-E can get 211 miles from a single charge. The Mach-E also comes with 266 horsepower, and has a MPGe of 108 city and 94 highway.

The Tesla Model Y, on the other hand, gets 244 miles on a single charge. This may not be a huge difference, since you’d likely be charging your EV before you hit that distance anyway, but it’s worth noting. 

The Model Y comes standard with 384 horsepower and gets 115 MPGe city and 106 highway. How fast can it go 0 to 60? Just 3.6 seconds. 

Car and Driver couldn’t get the Tesla they wanted to compare it to the Mach-E they had. They were able to sort of even things out between the two cars they did have. Car and Driver performed their own range test by driving each vehicle 75 mph until they ran out of gas – I mean power. The Model Y was able to go 230 miles, while the Mach-E was able to go an impressive 250 miles. Advantage = Mach-E.

Car and Driver found the Tesla’s standard tires better on the track, but not as good for regular driving as the Mach-E’s. However, the Tesla did handle better around the test track. Perhaps Ford will remedy this in future Mach-E editions.

The inside of the Tesla and Mach-E are both kind of ‘eh’


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Car and Driver thought that the “inconsistent panel gaps” inside of the Tesla Model Y weren’t worth the tested car’s $72,190 price tag. However, the Model Y infotainment had a “mini-stroke,” and Car and Driver was worried this may affect the Tesla’s ability to operate. Luckily it recovered quickly. 

The Mach-E had cheap, hard plastic parts, but more than one infotainment screen, which eased Car and Driver’s worry about a full system failure. At the same time, they found some of the graphics distracting. 

If you just get a standard Tesla Model Y, no Performance package or FSD, it’s a reasonable $39,990. The Ford Mach-E comes in at $42,895, but is eligible for a $7,500 tax credit, which the Model Y is not. 

Overall, Car and Driver found the Mach-E to be a better choice than the Model Y. Its price tag, durability, and quietness on test runs made it more appealing to the testers over at Car and Driver.