From £41,3308
Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

Push the dashboard-mounted button that starts the Mach-E and the car emits a quiet but intense and throbbing musical motif that – and this simply has to be deliberate – sounds remarkably similar to the first bar or two of Harold Faltermeyer’s intro for the Top Gun theme. Look through the Mustang- logoed steering wheel and you’ll also notice it says ‘Ground Speed’ on the slim digital screen that stands in the place of a traditional instrument binnacle.

No, the Mach-E does not try quite as hard to tap into a certain cultural zeitgeist as the V8-engined Mustang, but superficial trappings are there to be noticed. These might irritate you; to us, it’s all harmless fun.

Chrome-effect dial for the volume is the only physical control for the infotainment, which makes you wonder why Ford has allowed this part to feel cheap

Word has it that this cockpit was originally going to borrow heavily from the Focus, but when Ford realised just how important its first ever ground-up electric car was going to be, that changed. Now, only some of the switchgear is obviously taken from the parts bin, although, as a whole, the place still falls some way short of the standards set by the Polestar 2 for materials variety and perceived quality.

True, there are fewer hard plastics in here than you’ll find in the Volkswagen ID 4, and the stitched ‘leather’ seats and woven dashboard trim elevate the Mach-E above standard Ford fare (as well they might, given the asking price), but the cockpit was never going to be the main event with this car, and that’s how it feels. Fit and finish isn’t uniformly excellent, and visually the place is fairly drab.

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Ergonomically, the picture is mostly good, although the bases for the electric seats lack much in the way of tilting functionality (this is more irksome than it sounds) and are only very lightly bolstered. There is, at least, plenty of occupant space, not only up front but also in the second row, where scalloped front seatbacks help create plenty of knee room. Head room is truly superb, too, thanks to that deceptively high roofline, into which is built a panoramic roof that floods the cabin with light.

Infotainment and sat-nav

How you feel about Ford’s next-generation Sync infotainment array in the Mach-E will depend on your feelings towards enormous touchscreens. The portrait-oriented 15.5in unit here is taken straight from the Tesla playbook, albeit retaining a useful physical control for the volume. It will be a big, glossy, vibrant distraction to some, but a useful and intuitive aid to others, because its size really does make it easy to flick through menus and get the functionality you want, as well as presenting information clearly.

What the Tesla doesn’t have that the Ford does is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, each of which works well on this system and can feed miniaturised navigation data onto the slim digital instrument readout.

The climate controls are then laid across the bottom of the screen. We would always prefer physical switches for climate, but the Ford’s touch-sensitive buttons are easy enough to use.