Ford Mustang Mach-E Replaces Tesla Model 3 as Consumer Reports' Electric Vehicle Top Pick

We explain how this new electric vehicle bumped the Model 3 from our annual Top Picks

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E AM test at ATC Photo: John Powers/Consumer Reports

In its annual Top Picks, Consumer Reports highlights the standout cars, SUVs, and trucks across in 10 distinct categories. Tesla has dominated the electric vehicle category, with the Model 3 holding the EV Top Pick honor for the past two years. But now the Ford Mustang Mach-E has earned the accolade based on its Overall Score, which factors road-test score, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.

The Mach-E crossover is wrapped in Mustang heritage and executed with the detail associated with a century-old automaker. We took instant notice, and so did car buyers. As a result, the Mustang Mach-E effectively bumped Tesla from the 10 Top Picks list this year

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Make no mistake, the Model 3 is still a great choice, and Consumer Reports recommends it. It shines with the latest technology, a long range, an impressive charging network, and a driving experience closer to a high-performance sports car than a sedan. But the Mustang Mach-E is also very sporty, plus it’s more practical and easier to live with. The Ford is also quieter and rides better. Both cars have large infotainment center screens, but the Mach-E’s is far easier to operate and doesn’t require multiple steps to activate routine features, such as using the defroster or adjusting the mirrors, as with the Tesla. Also, the Mach-E has an edge when it comes to reliability, according to first-year results in our Annual Auto Surveys of CR members.

Within the Tesla family, the Model Y is more similar to the Mach-E than the Model 3, and it even outscores the Ford in our road tests. But the Model Y’s reliability has been much worse than average, which has kept it out of our Top Picks. Specifically, owners reported problems with the Model Y concerning paint, body integrity, body hardware, power equipment, and the climate control system. The Model 3 has had an average predicted reliability score. Reliability is a key factor in our Overall Score. 

Conversely, our members have reported very few problems with the Mustang Mach-E so far, giving it an important advantage over the Model Y and even the Model 3. And the Ford has another notable edge: Its driver monitoring system. 

New this year, we are adding 2 points to a vehicle’s Overall Score if it has an active driving assistance system with an adequate driver monitoring system. The Ford Mustang Mach-E gains those points because its BlueCruise active driving assistance system has an effective driver monitoring system that gives appropriate warnings when the driver’s attention wanders. On the other hand, Tesla’s Autopilot system can still be used if the driver is looking away or using a phone, as long as there is at least one hand resting on the steering wheel. 

In total, the Ford Mustang Mach-E shines in the electric car space, standing out as our 2022 Top Pick in this category.

Editor’s Note: This article also appeared in the April 2022 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.

Jeff S. Bartlett

A New England native, I have piloted a wide variety of vehicles, from a Segway to an aircraft carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on race tracks across the globe. Today, that experience and passion are harnessed at the CR Auto Test Center to empower consumers. And if some tires must be sacrificed in the pursuit of truth, so be it. Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSBartlett).