WASHINGTON, D.C. (Thursday, May 5, 2022) – 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 active driving assistance systems (ADAS), like automatic emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance, and adaptive cruise control. Addressing these desires can be accomplished with the newest batch of EVs (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 drive. The AAA Car Guide provides consumers with reviews highlighting how many advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are included in the vehicle and 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. Six are electric of the 62 vehicles reviewed for the 2022 AAA Car Guide. 

“EV sales, while small, are growing, and the signs are everywhere that the future is electric,” said Megan McKernan, manager of the Automotive Research Center. “And that future may arrive faster with consumer preferences changing because of factors such as high gas prices and the gradual phasing-out of gasoline-powered vehicles in some areas.”

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 (ARC) of the Automobile Club of Southern California, a member of the AAA federation of motor clubs.   

“Our research is designed to eliminate the guesswork for consumers when they are looking to purchase a new vehicle,” continued McKernan. “The AAA Car Guide is an easy-to-understand resource that can help improve consumers’ decisions regarding car buying.”

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. The highest scoring ranked by category are: 

Category                                                          Vehicle

  • 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 the ADAS technology 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 advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), gasoline quality, headlight effectiveness, and safely transporting a pet in the vehicle.  

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