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2021 Best Eco-Friendly Car of the Year


What’s eligible: Any 2021-model vehicle that’s available nationwide regardless of when it was introduced or last updated.

Criteria: We consider all vehicles that reduce consumption and/or minimize the release of carbon and pollutants, regardless of fuel type. Vehicles that do so at a lower overall cost have an edge over those with steep premiums. The winner was chosen from among our favorites in five eco-friendly categories: battery-electric, plug-in hybrid, gas-electric hybrid, clean diesel and regular high-mileage gasoline.

Winner: 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E

Though pure battery-electric vehicles are arguably the most eco-friendly type — especially when fueled with cleaner electricity from renewable sources — Cars.com hasn’t rushed to select an EV as its Best Eco-Friendly Car every year, mainly for reasons of accessibility. Many Americans aren’t in the position to charge at home, and many of the most recognizable or even desirable EVs aren’t available nationwide, a requirement of ours. The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E meets our top criteria at a time when the need for zero-tailpipe-emission vehicles appears greater than ever.

In addition to its national availability and range as high as 300 miles, the Mach-E is what American buyers prefer but haven’t been able to find in electric form — a small SUV. While it’s called Mustang, it doesn’t behave like the namesake sports car. It’s better to say that the Mach-E was inspired by the Mustang, as evidenced by its aggressive, sporty looks.

Not that the Mach-E has anything to apologize for with its abilities. A choice of five trim levels are available at launch, with either a standard- or extended-range battery and rear- or all-wheel drive. The standard-range RWD model is no slouch, with an estimated 0-60-mph time of 5.8 seconds, but the upcoming GT model should be worthy of that storied trim, with an estimated 0-60 of 3.5 seconds.

It’s electric-car quiet in the Mach-E, unless you want some artificial engine noise, which you can activate at the flip of a switch. Acceleration is brisk; steering feel is excellent.

The interior is clean and minimalist, as many Tesla owners seem to prefer, but retains Ford’s excellent Sync 4 system functionality for a seamless multimedia experience. Most controls are in the massive vertical touchscreen, but it works well enough. There’s plenty of headroom both front and rear, and while backseat legroom can be a bit tight for a vehicle of this size, it has plenty of cargo room.

We do have complaints about the ride quality — it’s bouncy and unusual. But Mach-E competitors are flawed, as well — more so, in our opinion, when viewed through the eco-friendly lens. In the end, the Mach-E covers more than enough bases to earn our selection as our 2021 Best Eco-Friendly Car of the Year. It has the body style, range, efficiency, charging capacity, design and nationwide availability to give EV sales a jolt like no model before it — and not a moment too soon.

Credit Paul Dolan - Source

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View our video below to learn more about the Ford Mustang Mach-E