People who are paid to promote Ford’s products are very excited today, because today Consumer Reports released its “best cars” of 2022 list, and the Mustang Mach-E pointedly beat the Tesla Model 3. Connoisseurs of Tesla’s struggle with Consumer Reports will also note that the automaker dropped in CR’s new rankings of car brands, and it was because of that dumb yoke.
Tesla Inc’s new “yoke” steering wheel installed in Model S sedans and Model X sport utility vehicles is so difficult to use that it dropped the most valuable automaker’s position in the Consumer Reports annual car brand rankings by seven spots to 23rd place - below average, the independent testing organization said on Thursday.
“It makes driving these vehicles frustrating all the time,” said Jake Fisher, senior director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports.
The more conventional Tesla Model 3 is ranked as “average” by Consumer Reports.
Overall, Fisher said, “reliability has to do with the frequency of unrolling new technology. The brands at the top tend to very methodically roll out new technology.”
Yokes, of course, are most often seen in dragsters, which are cars that are designed to go in a straight line, unlike the Tesla Model S, which I believe is expected to make turns. A Consumer Reports video from last year ran through some of the issues, which are mainly that it is awkward to use on sharp turns, and that getting rid of the stalks for turn signals means that you might have to take your eyes off the road to activate them.
Depending on your preferences, the hotter action here may be that the Mustang Mach-E bested both the Model 3 and Model Y in Consumer Reports’ reckoning. It says it still recommends the Model 3, but that reliability (or lack thereof) was a key factor in its decision.
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.
Elsewhere, Japanese brands fared best in the rankings, as it turns out that Honda, Toyota, Subaru, Mazda, and Lexus make good cars. Audi, BMW, and Porsche do, too, who knew? Dead last is ... Jeep.