The authority still thinks the Model 3 is a great car but says the Mach-E is just better.
Every year, Consumer Reports puts together a list of 10 cars that it thinks are the best options in their respective categories. It doesn't just make this decision by pulling the names out of a hat. Instead, it measures everything from performance to safety, reliability, features, quality, and more. It stretches its selection over a series of segments to help make it easier for buyers to narrow their choice down to a single car.
For years, the Tesla Model 3 and Model S have been in somewhat of a battle with Consumer Reports for the 10 Top Picks. In 2018, the decision was made to snub the American manufacturer's smallest product because of its poor braking distance from 60 mph.
The panel noted that during its testing, the Model 3 could only come to a stop after traveling 152 feet which is worse than the Ford F-150 of that time. Tesla argued that this test result was inaccurate but regardless, it issued a fix. This resulted in Consumer Reports retesting and listing the car as a recommended model. In fact, the individual in charge of testing cars for the report said he was impressed with how the company was able to resolve this issue via an over-the-air update.
This didn't last long as just one year later, the Model 3 was cut from the list yet again. This time it was because of reliability concerns including poor paint finishes, questionable trim quality, and defects noticed on glass panels. The testers also noted several issues relating to the infotainment system. Following this, Tesla stepped its game up and managed to get a spot on the list for 2020 and 2021.
This year, however, Consumer Reports notes that it has decided to drop the Model 3 yet again in favor of the Ford Mustang Mach-E as its top electric car. The reason for this is that the Ford performed better through its testing criteria. The panel makes sure to note that it still thinks the Tesla is a commendable offering but it just doesn't match the standards of the Ford, particularly in the dynamics and performance departments.
Consumer Reports also notes that the Mach-E benefits from improved ride quality and lower noise, vibration, and harshness levels. Both models have large infotainment screens, but the panel of reviewers explains that Ford's system is much easier to use with fewer steps required to activate key functions.
Consumer Reports acknowledges that the Tesla Model Y is a more appropriate competitor for the Mach-E but it decided to exclude the model from the testing procedure because its reliability is even worse than that of the Model 3. It has come to this conclusion based on reports received from consumers that state issues with the paint, panel integrity, exterior hardware components, electrical equipment, and the climate control system.
Consumer Reports adds it has added two points for advanced driver assist systems because of how much more important these features have become in daily driving situations. In this discipline, the Mustang Mach-E offers Ford's BlueCruise technology as a trick up its sleeve and gives it a solid edge over Tesla's Autopilot. The reason for its preference is that BlueCruise will not operate unless you maintain attention on the road while Tesla's system is a lot more complacent in this regard.
What about the other winners in the 10 Top Picks of 2022? In the under $25,000 category, Consumer Reports has awarded the Nissan Sentra and Rogue Sport the best Small Car and Subcompact SUV titles respectively. It notes that both of these cars excel in offering high value at a low cost. In the $25,000 to $35,000 price category, the Subaru Forester wins the Small SUV segment and the Honda Accord emerged as the best Midsized Sedan.
The Toyota Prius and Prius Prime have been given the nod for the ideal hybrid offering thanks to their impressive mpg returns and overall quality levels. The best two-row SUV in the $35,000 to $45,000 segment is awarded to the Toyota RAV4 Prime while the Kia Telluride gets the nod for the three-row category. The Honda Ridgeline is awarded the best Compact Pickup truck and the Lexus RX was named the best Luxury Midsized SUV.