It is the time of year for Consumer Reports' annual Top Picks, in which it awards the best cars, trucks, and SUVs in a total of 10 categories. While Tesla continues to dominate the EV space, and the Tesla Model 3 has been CR's "EV Top Pick" for two years, the Ford Mustang Mach-E earned a higher score and took the win this year.

Consumer Reports shares:

"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."

According to CR, a vehicle's Overall Score is based on a combination of scores from its road test, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.

The publication points out that the Tesla Model Y is actually a more direct competitor with the Mustang Mach-E than the Model 3. And, interestingly, the Model Y outmatched the Mustang electric crossover in the road test category. However, the Tesla crossover didn't make CR's Top Picks primarily due to its reliability issues. 

CR says Model Y owners have reported issues with paint, climate control, build quality, and more. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model 3 earned an average predicted reliability score. Since reliability is a critical component in CR's Overall Score, the Model 3's average rating had a negative impact.

That said, CR still calls the Model 3 a "great choice," and even recommends it. It highlights the EV's range, "impressive" charging network, and technology features as reasons the Model 3 shines. Consumer Reports also notes that the Model 3 offers "a driving experience closer to a high-performance sports car than a sedan."

CR goes on to say that the Mach-E is sporty as well, though it's simply more practical than the Model 3, and arguably a better daily driver. It adds that the electric Mustang delivers a smoother ride than Tesla's Model 3 or Model Y, and it's quieter. The publication also believes that the Mach-E's infotainment system is more intuitive and logical than Tesla's.

As far as problems are concerned, Consumer Reports' members haven't made many complaints about the Mach-E. 

Finally, as CR promised last year, it has added a new component to the scoring system for its awards. Vehicles get an additional two points for having an advanced driver-assist system with "an adequate driver monitoring system." The Mach-E got the extra credit here, though CR has made it clear it's not impressed with Tesla's driver monitoring technology.

As always, share your thoughts with us in the comment section below. Do you agree with Consumer Reports? Is the Mustang Mach-E deserving of the top spot? Could Tesla easily redeem itself with a few simple tweaks?

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