My year with a 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E (and why I just sold it)


I like to occasionally take a break from new car reviews and focus on my own buying experiences. I feel like people (often) ask me what I drive as an automotive journalist because they assume I’m pretty informed about what’s good, and I purchase accordingly. And I suppose that’s true, though the recent craziness in the car market, plus my own indecisiveness has made for a convoluted buying process of late. My last purchase was a 2021 Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD that I picked up at MSRP last January after calling it the “best all-around car I’ve ever driven“. However, after a little under a year, I just sold it. Here’s why.

What was good

Well, let’s do a quick run through of what was good about the Mach-E. If you read my review, and subsequent review of the GT version, you’ll see that I had a lot of good things to say about Ford’s portly Mustang. Even as a six-time V8 Mustang owner, I went in with the impression that they could have called it the Pinto Mach-E and I still would have been interested. It’s a sleek design with great proportions that integrate great styling elements of the Mustang coupe without looking like a 1st gen Cayenne or Panamera that failed miserably at integrating the 911 image into a larger vehicle.

And it was great to drive, with plenty of power on tap most most situations, a comfy ride, and plenty of room inside for kids and stuff. Oh, and I owned it during the era of $5.00 a gallon petrol prices. During that time, it was our workhorse, doing school runs both directions, commutes to the office (when we actually had to go) and more. It truly did exactly what we needed it to do, and the GLS 450 that my wife had sat idle except for long trips. Which brings me to a key reason why I sold it, long trips. Well, that wasn’t the only reason, but it was a huge factor. More on that in a bit.

If you read my column (is this a column, what makes a column? Jeff, can I have a column?) you’ll know that I took a cross-country (ish) trek from DC to TX and back in a 2022 TRD Pro 4 Runner to think through some shit. When I got back, I decided to make a change and am now separated from my wife. But hey, Toyota hit me up with a manual Supra that week I moved out, so that was nice. But, press cars aside, the Mach-E was now my only car. So I’ll cover the reasons I just sold it in rough order of priority.

My Premium with a 2021 GT.

What was bad

1. Long Trips

The Mach-E Premium for 2021 had a range of up to around 211 miles according the EPA. That real world number in the winter drops to around 180 miles or so. The cold can affect each EV differently, but that was my typical range with 100% battery. Once the Mach-E became my only car, trips to visit my aging parents became a challenge. It was during the 2022-2023 model year changeover that I started to notice it, with no press loans to lean on, I had to use the Mach-E to go to go visit for the holidays. If I turned off the HVAC, and didn’t drive like a hoon, I could coast into their driveway on fumes (or watts, volts, whatever). Then, I had to nicely ask one of them to drive me over to the university nearby to plug it in, knowing that my super-low battery wouldn’t top up on their 110 outlet quickly enough to return home a day or so later. So, long trips (of which I am a big fan) became problematic. But there was more to the decision than just that.

2. Charging Logistics

While it’s true that my new apartment does not have a charging area, the reality of public charging challenges was already imprinted on my brain long before the move. My phone has a folder of charging company apps, and I felt like every time I stopped to charge, I added a new one. Standing in the cold, while my 89 year old father stood nearby waiting for me to sign up for yet another app was one of the last straws. Lots of people have written about the crappy charging infrastructure, but when I was living in a house with a driveway and a garage, I didn’t really care.

Driving a Mach-E around town for school runs and errands means that you never really dip below 80%, so I would come home and plug it into the 110 outlet and it usually was close to 100% by morning. Occasionally I did an 80-mile round trip and needed something with some more juice. I would say that more than half of my public charging experiences resulted in a problem, whether it was a broken charging station or returning to find that the charging never actually started, or stopped prematurely. Even the range of charging pricing for similar offerings was unideal, my post about my first public charge resulted in a lot of “wow, that’s really expensive for what you got”. Once I was forced to rely solely on it, I knew I had to make a change.

3. The EV Community (Well, parts of it…)

Owning an EV was a generally positive experience despite the hurdles. I met a bunch of people online who were supportive and exchanged tips and tricks to make EV ownership easier. And then I met the Stans. Short for Teslastans, there is a rabid community of Tesla fans, not all of which actually own one, who will dump on any other EV other than the ones their fearless leader produces. My first posts about getting my new Mach-E brought them out of the woodwork, and I’m not even sure how. I didn’t tag #EV #ElectricVehicle or anything remotely related to Tesla, but they found me. Boy did they find me.

I only posted something on my Twitter about how I was excited to take delivery of my new Mustang Mach-E and they showed up in droves to dump on it, and on me, for making such a poor decision. I lived through the 1990s car forum era where people debated Ford vs. Chevy as well as enthusiastic fans would debate why their car import make or model was best. That was nothing like this, though I suppose we’re living in a new era of social media. It wasn’t the reason I got rid of it, but I won’t miss it.


So, yesterday I sold my Mach-E to CarMax. I did OK, with a final offer of $45,500. It was much better than the bait-and-switch experience at “We Buy Any Car” earlier the same day. It wasn’t quite Turo-bad, but I won’t be returning after their generous online offer of $46,240 dropped significantly (4-digits) in-person. In November, I could have sold my Mach-E to CarMax for $51,000, which is basically what I paid for it. Some poor decision-making on my part, where I agreed with my ex to wait until 2023 to sell it, cost me $5,500. She was concerned about us not getting the $7,500 tax break, despite my assurances that that wasn’t a thing. Oh well, you live and learn.

A new car is already in the garage here at the apartment, and with all the great press loans I’ve been getting, it’s…sitting idle. But it’s fantastic, and was yet another car I reviewed on here and loved. If you follow me on Twitter, you already know what it is, but stay tuned to an intro article at some point in the future. My EV experience is over, and I’m not anti-EV whatsoever, I understand that it’s the future. However, for the short term, I look forward to the flexibility of having a gas engine back in my life. Plus it sounds better.

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