Survey Says

Autolist Survey: Most don't like the Mustang name on a Ford EV, split on Mach-E vs. Model Y

The Ford Mustang Mach-E's natural competitor is the Tesla Model Y.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford made big news ahead of the 2019 L.A. Auto Show this month with the debut of its first-ever Mustang Mach-E, an all-electric crossover that will go on sale in late 2020 and early 2021.

Though there are a variety of high-end luxury EV crossovers either already on the market or joining it shortly (from the likes of Tesla, Audi, Jaguar, and Mercedes-Benz), there's only a single mainstream rival to the Mach-E: Tesla's Model Y.

Like the Ford, the Model Y will start under $50,000, arrive in 2020, offer up to 300 miles of range, and will come in rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations.

Tesla Model Y Tesla's Model Y has yet to begin deliveries but promises similar range and features to the Ford Mustang Mach-E.Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

So which one will be more popular? It turns out it might be a draw. But people did agree that they didn't like the Mustang name slapped onto an all-electric crossover.

Autolist.com surveyed roughly 1,000 car shoppers shortly after the Mach-E was revealed and asked them which they would choose: the Ford or the Tesla Model Y.

Fifty-one percent of people choose the Ford; the remaining 49 percent choose the Tesla.

Those who chose the Ford Mach-E cited the following reasons for doing so:

  • Prefer/trust Ford more
  • The Mach-E's exterior styling
  • Ford's established dealer and service network
  • The Mach-E's expected reliability
  • Concerns about Tesla's future

Meanwhile, those who chose the Tesla Model Y did so citing the following reasons:

  • Prefer/trust Tesla more
  • Expected reliability
  • The Model Y's expected performance
  • Tesla's Supercharging network
  • Dislike of the Ford brand

Turning to Ford's decision to use the iconic Mustang name on this Mach-E crossover, that proved less divisive in Autolist's poll.

Forty-six percent of respondents said they didn't like the fact that Ford chose to use the Mustang name on the Mach-E, 20 percent did like the decision, and 34 percent were undecided.

Ford Mustang Mach-E Ford offers a richer dealership network than Tesla, which sells from boutiques or online.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

While the Mach-E certainly is a departure from what the Mustang muscle car has been known for over the past 55 years, there's some logic behind Ford's choice to use it here. Because the Mustang name has so much brand awareness unto itself, Ford can leverage it to get more attention paid to this all-new electric crossover than it would have if it had used a new name for the EV.

Tesla's Model Y is currently expected to begin deliveries in the middle of 2020.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

The sale of every Ford Bronco will benefit America's wilderness. Ford Motor Company is establishing the Bronco Wild Fund, a charitable effort aimed at supporting the enjoyment and preservation of America's wilderness through a variety of grants and initiatives.

The endowment of the Wild Fund will be funded by a portion of the proceeds from Bronco two-door, four-door, and Bronco Sport sales, as well as Ford licensed merchandise. Ford says that the goal is for the fund to raise up to $5 million annually.

2021 Ford Bronco four-door Many orders have already been placed for the 2021 Bronco. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

As part of the announcement the company is taking first public steps today to showcase an aspect of what the fund was designed to do.

"The Bronco Wild Fund will help Bronco owners and off-road enthusiasts connect with the outdoors on a deeper, more personal level – ultimately enabling them to become responsible stewards of our nation's treasures," said Mark Grueber, Bronco brand marketing manager.

Strategic alliances will make the fund's efforts possible. The first two beneficiaries of the fund's support are the National Forest Foundation and Outward Bound USA. The National Forest Foundation, created by Congress in 1992, is the only nonprofit solely dedicated to protecting and promoting America's 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. Ford has pledged to plant 1 million new trees by the end of 2021 in cooperation with the National Forest Foundation.

Founded in 1941, Outward Bound USA pioneered outdoor adventure learning around the world and now operates in more than 30 countries. The organization will receive funds to provide access for young people to learn and grow through outdoor experiences in some of our country's great wilderness spaces.

Outward Bound USA Outward Bound USA provides outdoor experiences for America's youth.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Ford says that future preservation initiatives will include financial support for reforestation and trail maintenance programs, forest health, fire mitigation, and restoration work.

The 2021 Ford Bronco Sport is expected to arrive at dealerships soon. The Bronco two-door and four-door will following in 2021.

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The Ford Ranger is a solid entry into the midsize truck segment

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The Chevrolet Colorado is a good working man's truck. Want a step up? Get the GMC Canyon. Toyota's aging Tacoma is built for reliably tooling around. The Nissan Frontier is anxiously awaiting an upgrade while the Honda Ridgeline is busy being the best-kept secret of the segment. The Jeep Gladiator is the Wrangler of trucks.

What is the Ford Ranger besides just a slot-filler for the Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker? A week behind the wheel would surely sort that out. Surely.

2019 Ford Ranger Not much changed on the Ranger between the 2019 and 2020 model years. Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

As tested, the 2020 Ford Ranger Lariat is a top-tier option that starts at $38,675 but had a number of add-ons driving the price up to just under $46,000 all-in. While the exterior isn't particularly striking sans lift or beefy tires, the Ranger is, by most accounts, a reasonable looking truck. It's certainly not nearly as polarizing as the Ridgeline.

In the Lariat trim level, the Ranger comes with a long list of desirable features including LED headlamps and fog lamps, front tow hooks, cargo box tie-downs, power-folding side mirrors, and approach lights. The interior features list includes dual-zone automatic climate control, a 110-volt power outlet, cruise control, Ford MyKey, push-button start, eight-way power-adjustable driver and passenger heated seats, and flip-up rear bench storage.

In its cabin, the Ranger begins to show more of its true colors. The truck's dashboard and center console design earn Ford a solid "alright" in terms of design and appointments. It's all functional though not particularly modern and without any revolutionary components. The 8.0-inch touch screen infotainment system, 4.2-inch driver's information display, and steering wheel date the model more than anything else - and that's saying a lot in a segment where the Tacoma and Frontier live.

2020 Ford Ranger The wheel of the Ranger is a bit dated in its appearance, but completely funtional.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

That's not to say that the Ranger's interior doesn't have a lot to like. The Medium Stone leather-trimmed seats were comfortable and the front row's seat design allow the driver and passenger great visibility.

Ford also gets points for its strong 270-horsepower, 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. That's the same engine that will power the new Bronco - the two are manufactured at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan. The engine is paired with the same 10-speed automatic transmission that's is in the F-150 and proves to be just as smooth in the Ranger as in its big brother.

Operation of the switchgear inside the cabin is just as smooth. There's not particularly special about the buttons, knobs, and dials, but they do the job without much hassle.

In their most off-road proficient variety, the Colorado and Tacoma are forces to be reckoned with. The Ranger, though capable off-road, doesn't come in the ultra-proficient Ranger Raptor variant in the U.S. that is sold globally, and that's a shame. So, we're left with the more pedestrian variety and some available add-on packages. Still, it's a good daily driver leaving the average customer little to complain about.

2019 Ford Ranger The interior of the Ranger is not as outdated as the Frontier's, but it's not the most modern either.Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

None of this moves one any closer to deciphering what the 2020 Ranger is. But, what if that's the magic of it? The Ranger doesn't have a defining characteristic or package or specialty. This U.S. model is a well-rounded machine that quickly leaves the impression that maybe what this Ranger is, is really good.

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