New vehicle shoppers primarily want two things in their next ride – better fuel efficiency and more driver assist safety features. According to AAA, nearly 80% of drivers want automakers to focus on improving fuel economy. And 76% want advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), like automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control.
Addressing these twin desires can be accomplished with the newest batch of electric vehicles, which are often the most technologically cutting-edge and the most fuel-efficient.
Many of the world’s major automakers have announced plans to dramatically increase electric vehicle production or phase out gasoline-powered vehicles entirely by 2035. The AAA Car Guide helps consumers navigate the changing automotive marketplace by ranking and rating the newest vehicles available for sale, including alternative fuel vehicles.
For the 2022 edition of the AAA Car Guide, the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD earned the overall top score. Researchers noted this Mustang has a dramatic new profile, is powerful, electric, quiet, quick, roomy and fun to fun drive. The AAA Car Guide provides consumers with reviews highlighting how many ADAS technologies are included in the vehicle along with other criteria and information. All category winners for 2022 are electric, plug-in electric hybrid, or hybrid vehicles. In addition to being highly fuel-efficient, the winners are also loaded with the latest in advanced driver assistance systems.
In 2021, electric vehicle sales rose to nearly 477,000, representing 3.3% of total vehicle sales – but a whopping 81.5% increase over 2020 sales. Of the 62 vehicles reviewed for the 2022 AAA Car Guide, six are electric.
“The signs are everywhere that the future is electric,” said Lloyd Albert, Senior Vice President of Public and Government Affairs at AAA Northeast. “And that future may arrive faster with consumer preferences changing because of high gas prices and the gradual phasing out of gas-powered vehicles.”
The 2022 AAA Car Guide includes comprehensive reviews of each vehicle based on 12 criteria, including the number of ADAS safety features, fuel efficiency, emissions, braking, handling, ride quality and acceleration. These vehicles are tested, scored and placed in one of five vehicle categories by the Automotive Research Center of the Automobile Club of Southern California.
Industry analysts forecast that the COVID-19 pandemic, the semi-conductor chip shortage and the proliferation of EVs will affect the availability, types and prices of new and used cars in 2022. For those in the market for newer used vehicles, the online AAA Car Guide also contains links to the two prior editions in 2021 and 2020.
Each of the 2022 AAA Car Guide winners has numerous ADAS safety features and achieves high fuel efficiency by being hybrid or all-electric, generating a higher score. The highest scoring ranked by category are:
|Overall||2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (electric)|
|Small||2021 BMW 330e (plug-in hybrid)|
|Midsize||2021 BMW 530e (plug-in hybrid)|
|Large||2021 Mercedes-Benz S580 4MATIC Sedan (hybrid)|
|Pickup||2021 Ford F-150 XLT SuperCrew Hybrid 4×4|
|SUV/Minivan||2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (electric)|
|Best Under $35K||2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid Limited|
|Best $35K – $50K||2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition (electric)|
|Best Over $50K||2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E Premium AWD (electric)|
Winners, detailed evaluation criteria, vehicle reviews and an in-depth analysis of ADAS technologies can be found at AAA.com/CarGuide.
The AAA Car Guide also contains detailed information about AAA’s recent research on current automotive technologies and topics, such as gasoline quality, headlight effectiveness and safely transporting a pet in the vehicle.