Tesla's Model 3 has been Consumer Reports' top EV choice for the past two years, but the publication is ready to declare a new champion. CR has revealed that Ford's Mustang Mach-E has ousted the Model 3 as its EV Top Pick. The Mustang crossover is not only "more practical," according to editors, but has better first-year reliability and a "far easier" infotainment system that doesn't require multiple steps for basic tasks. A better ride and reduced noise help, too.
Ford's BlueCruise driver assist technology also gave the Mach-E an edge thanks to a more effective drive monitoring system that now counts toward vehicle scores. Tesla's Autopilot was docked for functioning while drivers look away.
Consumer Reports still recommended the Model 3 thanks to its sports car-like performance, long range, charging network and technology. However, the outlet couldn't recommend the Mach-E's more direct rival, the Model Y, as an EV Top Pick. Tesla's SUV-like ride has "much worse" reliability than average vehicles in the lineup, and is noticeably worse than the average-rated Model 3.
This isn't going to please Tesla, which has had a less-than-amicable relationship with Consumer Reports over the years. The two have disputed test results, and CR has temporarily pulled recommendations for some models. However, it also reflects lingering concerns about Tesla's reliability. The EV producer has issued a string of recalls in recent months, and owners have frequently reported build quality issues. This might not have cost Tesla the lead by itself, but it certainly didn't help the company's chances.