The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E GT.
- The Ford Mustang Mach-E is Consumer Reports' top electric-car pick for 2022.
- It unseats the Tesla Model 3, which held the title for two years.
- The ranking is based on road tests, predicted reliability, safety, and consumer satisfaction.
Consumer Reports released its 2022 Top Picks — the vehicles in 10 categories that outshine the rest.
After two years as Consumer Reports' top pick in the electric-car category, the Tesla Model 3 has been dethroned by Ford's battery-powered SUV, the Mustang Mach-E. The nonprofit group still recommends the Model 3 on account of its long range, impressive technology, charging network, and driving performance.
But the Mach-E earned a higher overall score, which is derived from a vehicle's road tests, predicted reliability, safety, and owner satisfaction. The 2022 Mustang Mach-E starts at just under $44,000.
In Consumer Reports' evaluation, the Mach-E bested the Model 3 in both practicality and ride quality. The organization found the Mach-E's center touchscreen, which controls most important vehicle functions, easier to use than the Tesla's interface.
An average predicted reliability score dragged the Model 3 down. In contrast, Mach-E owners surveyed by Consumer Reports have reported relatively few problems. Tesla has struggled for years with quality issues including misaligned body panels, chipped paint, and loose interior pieces.
A new variable in Consumer Reports' ranking methodology also boosted the Mach-E's score this year. The Ford received extra points because it features a driver-monitoring system that adequately ensures drivers are paying attention to the road when they use BlueCruise, an advanced driver-assistance system that enables hands-free driving on some highways.
Drivers can use Tesla's Autopilot feature without looking at the road, but Ford includes a camera that monitors a driver's eyes. Both vehicles give audible warnings when they sense a driver isn't paying attention.
Tesla has dominated electric-car sales in the US for years and continues to outsell rivals by a vast margin. But now that established automakers see the upside in selling electric cars, they're working hard to launch new battery-powered models across vehicle segments.
Ford began selling the Mach-E in 2020 and its electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning, should arrive this spring. Consumer Reports' vote of confidence is the latest signal that Ford and other longtime players have a shot at challenging Elon Musk's company on its own turf.
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