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Ford Mustang Mach-E tops Tesla Model 3 as Consumer Reports top EV pick of the year

Ford Mustang Mach-E tops Tesla Model 3 as Consumer Reports top EV pick of the year

Consumer Reports is swapping the Tesla Model 3 for the Ford Mustang Mach-E as its new top electric vehicle pick for 2022. The designation is sure to boost Ford's morale as it looks to topple Tesla in the race to become the number one EV. Manufacturer in America.

Tesla has long dominated CR's EV rankings, with the Model 3 holding the position for the past two years. But the publication says a number of factors, including ride quality, reliability and in-car user experience, have made it a new winner in the Mustang Mach-E.

"Make no mistake, the Model 3 is still a great option, and Consumer Reports recommends it," CR's deputy editor Jeff Bartlett writes on TODAY. “But the Mustang Mach-E is also a lot sportier, at the same time it is more practical and easier to live with. The Ford is also quieter and rides better. Both cars have larger infotainment center screens, but the Mach-E is more powerful to operate. Easier and doesn't require as many steps to activate regular features, like using a defroster or adjusting mirrors with a Tesla.

Consumer Reports sends out a survey to its members each year to gather information about reliability and drive quality, as well as several other factors. This year, members of the publication reported "very few problems with the Mustang Mach-E, giving it a significant advantage over the Model Y and even the Model 3. (CR notes that the Mach-E Tesla Model Similar to the Y. Compared to the Model 3, but the Model Y's issues with reliability kept it out of its top pick.)

Most notably, the publication praises Ford's decision to include a driver monitoring system in the Mustang Mach-E, giving the vehicle an additional two points in its overall score. Tesla has long resisted efforts to incorporate DMS into its vehicles, despite pushing more software updates to its advanced driver assistance system that would benefit from a more robust driver monitoring system.

Ford recently introduced its hands-free driver-assistance system for its 2021 Mustang Mach-E vehicles via an over-the-air software update called BlueCruise. (Owners pay $600 for a three-year subscription to BlueCruise.) An infrared sensor monitors the driver's eye movements, and the vehicle will issue a series of alerts if the driver loses attention. In contrast, Tesla's system only requires a hand at the wheel and no system for monitoring the driver's visual gaze.

This isn't the first time the CR has soured on the Model 3. Back in May 2018, the organization said it could not recommend an electric car due to the shockingly long distance it took during emergency braking tests. Tesla CEO Elon Musk attacked the CR's methods, but later, Tesla sent out an over-the-air update that improved the vehicle's braking distance by about 20 feet. The update pacified the CR, which went back to recommending the Model 3.

The Tesla-Consumer Reports relationship is a real roller-coaster ride. Back in 2015, the publication tore up its rating system in its blatant praise of the Model S P85D. But that love affair began to go south almost immediately when it surveyed nearly 1,400 Tesla owners and used that data to present a "worse than average overall problem rate" for new buyers over the vehicle's lifetime. As a result, it pulled its coveted "Recommended" rating for the Model S.

Tesla dominates the older auto industry, with the electric automaker accounting for nearly three-quarters of all EV sales in the US. The company's share price, which values ​​Tesla more than nearly all automakers in the United States, is the envy of its competitors.

Ford, in particular, has its sights set on Elon Musk's company. In a recent earnings call, the company's CEO Jim Farley claimed that the upcoming Ford F-150 Lightning electric truck has the potential to overtake the Tesla Model Y, the best-selling EV in the US.

"The F-150 Lightning, if we had full production today to meet our current demand, would rival the Model Y as the leading [battery-electric vehicle] nameplate in the US market," Farley said.

Of course, the F-150 Lightning isn't outselling the Model Y, because Ford, like most automakers, was late in recognizing the need to switch from internal combustion engines to electric motors. Tesla was ahead of the game, and its early bets have paid off in dividends. But the rest of the industry has finally caught up, and now the race really is on.

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