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Tesla Falls to Number 23 as Best Car Brand

Subaru leaps over Mazda to take top spot in Consumer Reports' 2022 Best Car Brand rankings.

Enthusiastic consumer interest in Tesla  (TSLA) -  isn't enough to rank it as the Best Car Brand in the world or even the U.S. Tesla fans love the company's electric vehicles (EVs) but love doesn't translate to a high ranking when non-fanboy metrics get applied.

People, for example, love the McRib, but that doesn't make it a high-quality sandwich. The same might be said for so many other things and Tesla's cars make that list.

Tesla's ranking in d survey fell seven positions from No. 16 in 2021 to 23 in a report released Thursday, the biggest decline among 32 automobile brands surveyed. The report said that Tesla's decline was "due to the difficult-to-use yoke steering wheel the automaker added to its Model S and Model X vehicles, affecting their road test scores." 

Subaru was named the Best Car Brand this year, leaping over the survey winner from 2021, Mazda, which finished second in the rankings.

18 model S tesla performance plaid Tesla

Car Brands Rank Higher Than Tesla

Five U.S. car brands ranked higher than Tesla, including Buick (No. 11), Chrysler (No. 13), Dodge (No. 16), Cadillac (No. 21.), and Ford F (No. 22.) Chevrolet finished right on Tesla's heels, ranking No. 24 in the survey.

Scoring much lower were U.S. brands Lincoln (No. 26), GMC GM (No. 31) and Jeep (No. 32), which finished last in the survey.

Consumer Reports each year compiles a report card on car brands by averaging overall scores based on road-test performance, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction and safety, the report said. The highest-rated brands tend to have the most consistent performance across their model lineups.

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For example, Buick's overall score was 72, while Tesla's was 60. However, Tesla's road test score was 83, while Buick's was 76. Predicted reliability, owner satisfaction and safety weighed heavier in Buick's favor, through specific numbers were not listed.

A brand must have at least two models tested to be included in the rankings. Fiat, Maserati, Polestar, and Ram did not meet this  requirement to be included in the survey.

, as Ford Mustang Mach-E was No. 1 in this year's rankings, grabbing the title away from Tesla's Model 3, which held the top position in the two previous years. 

The non-profit product-testing publication, which taps scientists, engineers, journalists and researchers to conduct its surveys and reviews, used overall scores for road-test, predicted reliability, owner satisfaction and safety to rank EVs and to determine the top car for its rankings.

The report said Tesla's Model 3 "shines with the latest technology, a long-range, an impressive charging network and a driving experience closer to a high-performance sports car than a sedan.

"But the Mustang Mach-E is also very sporty, plus it's more practical and easier to live with. The Ford is also quieter and rides better," the report said.

The survey also awarded Ford two extra points to the Mustang Mach-E's overall score "because its BlueCruise active driving assistance system has an effective driver monitoring system that gives appropriate warnings when the driver’s attention wanders."

"On the other hand, Tesla’s Autopilot system can still be used if the driver is looking away or using a phone, as long as there is at least one hand resting on the steering wheel," the report said. 

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